• Édgar F. Hurtado

Updated: Jan 17, 2019

Starting up a business, to consolidate it, and, ever better, to optimize it to keep it running is a task full of sacrifices and merits, all of them as a result of the process of decision-making. This time we would like to share with you some considerations to improve your 360° advertising, regardless of the stage your business is currently at.

Personal and Global

At esférica 360, we really believe in getting noticed (of course, only for the right reasons). And given the current digital age, any business can be tagged to stand out in public and receive a lot of laudable feedback from customers, most of them, through their mobile devices. This means the experience is not only an individual one but, now, also could go viral (to be social-media correct).

Considering that the 360° experience will help businesses to increase their selling point, we needed to share with you that advertising your business on Google Maps is possible, doable and, most importantly, very advantageous.

To elaborate, the following blog article, whose author is Chloe Langlois, was originally published by Montreal 360°. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to reproduce it - formatted to fit this screen ;) -


7 Benefits of Google Maps Street View for Your Business

Did you know Google Maps offers you a lot more features than directions? (Especially if you're a business owner.)

This particular feature helps to build trust with your customers. It creates a better connection with your target audience. Both of which potentially increases your ROI.

What we're talking about is your standard business image taken to the next level: Google Maps street view.

This feature allows your customers to take a virtual tour around (and inside!) your business.

Customers can get excited about the restaurant atmosphere before walking through the doors.

…all from the comfort of their living room.

At the same time, Google Maps uses technology that automatically blurs faces and license plates. So you don't have to worry about unwarranted privacy.

Read on to learn what specific benefits Google Maps street view can offer your business!

1. It Builds Trust With Your Customers

According to an Inc article, humanizing a brand is crucial to fostering trust.

Humanizing a brand involves adding pictures of your employees and yourself to the company website. As well as adding an “About Us” tab to your website's menu.

Another way to humanize your business is by using Google Maps street view. Which allows customers to put a face to the business name.

This increases their comfort level, making them more likely to enter your doors.

Show, Not Tell

Also, it's trustworthy because you're not outright telling customers they should trust your business. You're showing them.

What the virtual tour does is show that your business has nothing to hide. In fact, just the opposite.

2. It Helps With the Research Process

According to a Forbes article, retailers state that 82% of consumers do research online before visiting a store.

Such research may involve wanting to know what the store looks like inside and out.

Google Maps street view helps with the researching process by allowing prospective customers to take a virtual tour before visiting.

Customers can learn valuable information from this virtual tool—such as what your storefront looks like.

Other pertinent details include the overall business atmosphere and the store's friendliness and personability.

Information that customers would have to dig for on sites like Yelp and Glassdoor.

Demonstrates Quality

Google maps street view is doing more than helping with the research process. It's demonstrating the quality of your business.

By providing this feature to your customer, you're showing that your business cares for its customers. And will do everything it can to provide the best customer experience.

Both of these aspects of the research process will increase the chances of customers visiting your business and making a purchase.

In fact, your potential customer can have instant access to the inside of your business within one click. After all, 43% of searches are done in Google Maps.

3. It Creates a Better Connection

One of the benefits of humanizing your business is establishing a better connection with your customers.

They know you're legitimate, and don't need to put up their guard. Enough said.

4. Better Access to Your Target Audience

Let's say you're a sports bar restaurant whose target audience is NFL football fans.

To attract your target audience, you've hung up football banners and memorabilia throughout your restaurant.

Well, you want to show off the decor, right?

Google Maps street view gives you that platform to do so. Suddenly prospective NFL football fans can take a virtual tour of your restaurant. They see the football decor and are hooked.

Help Attract Local Target Audience Too

On top of that, Google Maps has over twenty petabytes of data, according to a Mashable article. In case you don't know, that's 21 million gigabytes or around 20,500 terabytes.

Your target audience may be scouring Google Maps' data. They're looking for a restaurant in the Austin, Texas area.

Since you registered your business with Google, your restaurant comes up. Not just that but those customers can drop a pin to see if they'd like to dine there.

Street view may just be the tipping point. Especially when they compare to your local competitors who don't have street view access.

5. It Helps Customers Make Informed Decisions

Is there enough parking in the back? Do they need to come early to get a spot? What about the dress attire? Is the area safe?

These are questions customers want to know but may need to dig through a review site to find out.

Not with Google Maps street view.

Instead, customers can make all of their informed decisions by “walking around” your business.

Customers can then plan accordingly for the occasion. This helps customers to relax and not worry about any unexpected hiccup.

6. Passive Marketing

Instead of actively asking for referrals, let your customers do that for you via word of mouth.

How Google Maps Street View Helps to Make This Happen

One of your customers is having dinner with friends.

They compliment him on the T-shirt he's wearing. He then goes into detail about your clothing store.

How the staff was friendly and personable. How the prices are reasonable. And that he remains a loyal customer to this day.

He then shows what the store looks like using the street view features. Now, his friends can put an image to their friend's customer experience.

They also can verify it's legit. And, combine that with the fact that this rave review is coming from their friend—not you— they're more likely to trust it and check it out.

7. It's a Convenient and Comfortable Experience

Customers can use street view wherever they're at: the mall, park, concert, you name it.

Bonus: Increase the Quality of The Impression

According to research, the brain processes visuals sixty times faster versus text. This may be why images are 40 times more likely to be shared on social media.

Anyways, the point is, 3D images of your business will be processed faster than just a description of what your business offers.

In other words, a picture really is a thousand words.

Final Thoughts

Street view began as a project in 2007. And has now blossomed into a marketable feature for businesses.

Leveraging street view can help you attract your local target audience. And communicate that you provide quality service.


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  • Édgar F. Hurtado

Updated: Jan 14, 2019

I have noticed that many people in the area where I live are wowed by the concept of 360° Virtual Reality (VR), whether it is video or photography. But one question has surfaced ever since I started creating 360 visual content... is it for you?

The (Not So) Short Answer

It is a definitive, probable YES followed by the conditional clause IF:

Yes if you are willing to explore and use a different way to showcase/advertise/market your product (these verbs may sound like they mean the same but they do not).

Yes if you feel comfortable interacting with social media (other than your Facebook page), website links and embedded codes (I do not mean to intimidate you with unintelligible terms but the point is you having control of displaying your product).

Yes if you want to diversify the use of your own mobile device (either iOS or Android, we really believe all mobiles are created equal).

Yes if you are the innovative type. And I really mean being original, resourceful and bold (dear people with shinny tops, we love you but we mean differently).

One Year In The Making

On 12 January 2019, I will be celebrating my first year of publishing 360 pictures being very fortunate to have accumulated, over this period of time, more than 2.8 million views on Google Maps, with a specific view of Pretoria accounting for half of that figure.

As my original intention was to explore a new way to see and show my world, I realized this concept could be put to work for someone else's needs and wants.

Along the way, I learnt that 360° VR is still foreign to some people and challenging for others. Very few people got the concept at once... or have heard of it (sic).

To elaborate, 360° VR is foreign because some people have never interacted with it. And believe me, this fact has nothing to do with age, as I have also found young, vibrant university students giving me a face portraying class act incomprehension similar to the one we once showed after attending calculus or statistic methods classes.

It could be challenging when people expect the image to do all the work. And then I think to myself: --if you can navigate on your favorite clothing, shoe or movie theater website, you can do it on a picture, the only difference is doing it in an spherical way. Like, all around you.

Nonetheless, the most common answer I have received is that "it has been used before" or someone knows someone who has done it. Truth is that some people have come across virtual tours in the form of one-view video intending to show a house or a place of interest. Is that a virtual tour? Could be but I blame it mostly on semantics. Can this video be paused, rewound or fast-forwarded? Yes but, still, it will show you only one view.

This is the point when I use the most common cliché in marketing: location, location, location. If you come across a 360° video or picture, you will have the power to visualize the WHOLE area (big emphasis on all around you) at your own discretion and time, being also able to view details or information displayed on it, from the comfort of your axis. Yes, exactly from the position you are located (seated or standing; we are not fussy).

Most recently, I have been putting together a playlist of 360° music videos that has resulted in slightly more than six and a half thousand views, 196 likes and 21 followers... and counting. Small numbers? Could be but I did it on my own. Is this beginner's luck? Most likely but I am competing with myself only and at the same time it is a great INCENTIVE and RESPONSIBILITY that keeps me moving forward and improving my products. Every. Step. Of. The. Way.

So, help me trying to answer the initial question: is 360° visual content for you?

Please, share your thoughts to make this space a diverse and respectful virtual agora.

#ShowYourWorldAllAround #BetterIn360

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  • Édgar F. Hurtado

He notado que mucha gente en el área donde vivo se sorprende con el concepto de Realidad Virtual (RV) en 360°, ya sea en video o fotografía. Pero me ha surgido una pregunta desde que empecé a crear contenido visual en 360... ¿es para ti?

La Respuesta (No Tan) Corta

Es un definitivo y probable SÍ seguido de la conjunción condicional SI:

Sí si estás dispuesto/a a explorar y hacer uso de diferentes formas de mostrar/anunciar/comercializar tu producto (quizás estos verbos pueden parecer lo mismo pero no lo son).

Sí si te sientes cómodo/a interactuando con redes sociales (más allá de tu página de Facebook), ligas a páginas de internet y códigos de inserción (no es mi intención intimidarte con términos ininteligibles pero mi punto es que tengas control de cómo mostrar tu producto).

Sí si quieres diversificar el uso de tu dispositivo móvil (ya sea iOS o Android, sabemos que todos los móviles cumplen la misma función).

Sí si eres de estilo innovador. Y me refiero realmente a ser original, ingenioso/a y audaz.

Doce Meses Y Contando

El 12 de enero de 2019 estaré celebrando mi primer año de haber empezado a publicar fotos en 360, sintiéndome muy afortunado de acumular durante este periodo más de 2.8 millones de vistas en Google Maps. La foto de una vista panorámica de Pretoria registra tan solo la mitad de dichas vistas.

Siendo mi intención original explorar una forma diferente de ver y mostrar mi mundo, caí en cuenta que este concepto podría ser utilizado para satisfacer las necesidades de alguien más.

Durante este trayecto aprendí que la RV en 360 es todavía desconocida para alguna gente y representa algún tipo de desafío para otras personas. Muy poca gente entendió el concepto a la primera, mientras que otros me decían que habían escuchado hablar de ella (sic).

Me explico. RV en 360° es desconocida para algunas personas no han interactuado con esta tecnología. Y créanme que la edad no tiene nada que ver en este caso ya que me he topado con jóvenes entusiastas universitarios que me ofrecen su mejor cara de "no entiendo", muy parecida a la que alguna vez pusimos en las clases de cálculo o estadística.

También puede ser un desafío cuando la gente espera que el contenido visual lo haga todo. Y aquí es cuando pienso: --si eres capaz de navegar en alguna página web de ropa, de zapatos, de tu banco o en la de los cines, también puedes hacerlo con el contenido visual con la única diferencia de que lo haces como si estuvieras en una esfera. O sea, viendo a tu alrededor.

Sin embargo, la respuesta más común que he recibido es "ya usan esa tecnología" o alguien sabe de alguien que lo ha hecho antes. La verdad es que les han vendido la idea del tour virtual de una casa o sitio de interés en forma de un video en un solo plano. ¿Se le puede considerar un tour virtual? Igual y sí, si nos basamos en la semántica léxica. ¿Al video lo puedes pausar, regresar y adelantar? Sí pero aún así solo puedes ver un plano.

Y aquí es donde todo tiene mejor sentido: en tu ubicación. Cuando veas un video o una foto en 360 tendrás el poder de visualizar TODA el área (hago énfasis en "alreadedor tuyo"), a tu entera libertad de movimiento y tiempo de observación, con la posibilidad de ver detalles e información desplegada en el contenido visual, desde tu eje de ubicación. Sí, exactamente desde la posición en la que te encuentres (sentado/a o de pie, como te sientas más cómodo/a).

En fechas recientes me he dedicado a crear contenido en una playlist de videos en 360 que han resultado en poco más de 6500 vistas, 196 likes and 21 seguidores... y contando. ¿Son números bajos? Puede ser pero los obtuve por mí mismo. ¿Suerte de principiante? Muy probablemente pero solo estoy compitiendo conmigo mismo, al mismo tiempo que estos números representan un gran INCENTIVO y una gran RESPONSABILIDAD que me obliga a seguir adelante, mejorando la calidad de mis contenidos visuales. En. Cada. Paso. Que. Doy. Hacia. Adelante.

Bueno, ayúdenme a contestar la pregunta inicial: ¿el contenido visual en 360° es para ustedes?

Por favor, compartan sus comentarios para hacer de este espacio un ágora virtual diversa y respetuosa.

#ShowYourWorldAllAround #BetterIn360

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