Virtual Tours: Are They Here To Stay Beyond Covid?
During the Covid-19 pandemic – and especially during its lockdowns – care home owners needed to find a way to keep bed occupancy rates high while balancing the health needs of residents and staff. Making any decision about long term care is a tough one at the best of times and usually involves the care seeker making at least one visit to any, or all, of the care homes on their shortlist. How do you show potential clients around a care home during a lockdown? This is where 360 virtual tours proved an invaluable tool. They gave care home owners the opportunity to showcase their care home while keeping residents safe. But will virtual tours become a standard in the care home industry, are they here to stay?
Are virtual tours still popular after the pandemic?
The short answer is, yes. Virtual tours continue to be one of the fast growing sales and marketing tools in the care sector. Although the reasons why they continue to be popular are not quite the same as they were during the height of the pandemic. During lockdown virtual tours were a necessity, a solution to a real problem. Now they’ve become an essential part of marketing for many care homes, like having a website. There are a couple of reasons why this is. Virtual tours are incredibly useful for care seekers because they help to make a difficult decision a bit easier. They have value, they have worth. So much so that care seekers have quickly got used to them and are increasingly expecting to see them when they visit a care home website. As for care home owners, they’ve been able to measure their business value, not only in terms of better conversion and bed occupancy rates, but also in increased keyword rankings and web traffic, too. Virtual tours are here to stay because they’re a hit with care seekers and care home owners.
Why are virtual tours popular care home businesses?
There are a number of marketing reasons and practical ones, too.
Showcase your care home at its very best
Consumers are all pretty internet savvy nowadays, they’re used to making major purchasing decisions online and are always looking for better, more engaging online experiences from brands. A really good quality 360 virtual tour provides care seekers with a unique, online experience of your care home at its very best. They give you an element of control too, giving you the ability to ‘guide’ them toward key features such as communal areas, gardens and your best bedrooms.
Give some users guided virtual tours
While some care seekers will be happy to show themselves around any virtual tour, there are others who might need a helping hand. It might be a relatively unknown feature, but it’s really easy to take a care seeker on a guided virtual tour while talking to them in a video call. Indeed, it’s worth making sure that visitors to your virtual tour page are aware of this, as it’s a great opportunity to talk to potential clients and amplify the key features and benefits of your care home.
Short capture time means minimum disruption to your care home
You’ll be pleasantly surprised when you find out that actually, the shoot for a virtual tour can be done in just two hours. Once the raw footage has been captured, all the magic happens in post-production, so the process is a really simple one for care home owners.
Really easy to add to your website
Virtual tours will usually be hosted for you on specialist servers that can deal with their complexity and traffic demands. It’s usually just as simple as embedding a line or two of code into a page on your website.
Easy to add new sections and update
It’s a bit of a misconception that you’ll have to commission a new virtual tour if you make significant changes to your care home. Virtual tours can be expanded, edited with whole new sections added, if you wish. You can also embed videos, photos and other content within them too.
Help improve your keyword and rankings and increase traffic
Imagine being faced with a number of similar care homes displayed on a Google search results page, the reality is that you’re more likely to want to click-through to the one that says ‘take our virtual tour’ than the one that doesn’t. That’s how they can help increase traffic to your website. And virtual tours will help you to improve dwell time on your website, too. Which is another positive metric that will help improve keyword rankings. Are you ready to book your virtual tour for your care home?
We’re highly experienced at producing 360 virtual tours within the care sector and deliver a comprehensive offering.
We take time to ensure that all our virtual tours are accessible and can be used by real people with little, or even no, digital experience.
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions or want to book a shoot for your virtual tour.