Small town businesses often know how to get more business from other people in their town, but gaining business from people traveling through the community is equality important, and has previously been costly using traditional advertising. Now with online directories such as Google Local, the downtown of a small town can have mobile-friendly listings that may have photos, reviews and key information for no cost show up at top of Google. Today they can just speak into their phone and say “Coffee Shop near me” and find a listing of shops near them with reviews, information and pictures to help them decide if they should spend money in that town or move on to the next. Just imagine the economic impact where we are gaining the local people spending part of their money on local-owned businesses and also attracting out-of-towners traveling through a community. Now imagine if a few of the businesses allow visitors to take a full 360-degree walking tour through their restaurant or store directly from the visitor’s smart phone or tablet. The entire town will benefit.
Introducing the new Google Business Photos, which is essentially Google Street View literally carried right through the front door of the business. Produced by a Google Trusted Photographer, businesses will have a full 360 by 360 virtual tour that will walk the user all the way through the salon, gym, restaurant (or most any other type of business) in exactly the same way that Google Street view does right now. The virtual tour will be added to the business’s Google Plus Local Page on Google Maps. The photographer also produces still images of the interior, and such details as menus and methods of payment, all of which are available for posting to the business’s website.
A big deal is you get to use this tour on your website as well as all the still photos that are required can be used with no added royalty! The photos alone are almost the investment.
What the business gets for the price:
- The full Virtual Tour on the Google Maps listing that will be visible on a Google search on the web. It then shows up on the mobile Google Map for Android and iOS (Apple). This means it is mobile friendly out of the box.
- You get the ability to embed the tour on your website at no charge and no hosting fee forever.
- You get 10 full resolution resolutions still photos that are shot as part of the virtual tour (e.g. store front, over all inside view, menu, and types of payment).
• The photographer will schedule a time that is not disruptive to your business and few people are in your store
• The business owner will prepare public areas for photography…remember, there are few places to hide in a 360 degree photo!
• Help the photographer choose the Point of Interest Photos, such as payment types, menu, awards, sample plate of food, etc. The business owner owns these photos.
• The photographer will then shoot the 360 degree photos with a special rig and tripod…no cords and will not disturb your store unless absolutely necessary.
• The photographer will use a still camera to take the Point of Interest Photos
• The photographer will return to his office, upload the photos and access Google’s servers, producing the amazing 360 degree photos and adding them to Google Maps
• Google publishes the photos and the owner receives and notice and the still photos via email
More information about the program can be found here: http://maps.google.com/help/maps/businessphotos/ .
An excellent movie describing the program can be seen here:
Video showing how this promotes a business (and a Town as well as area!):
You can also then put the Google Virtual tour on your own website as well and here is an example on The Inn at Tabbs Creek website (click Photo to see it):
Photographer Cramer Gallimore talks about the process of taking the photos:
(full disclosure, I am not compensated for recommending Cramer).
Also see my class on setting up local directories:
and my Google+ class: Gaining the Advantage of using Google+ and Google Local for Business