Day  52 and even we  must  admit  that  we’re suffering from COVID-19 Fatigue a little, some of us even want to ban the word or have a new term coined. Confusing messages followed by an onslaught of memes seems to be the general routine post announcement, it really isn’t surprising that the idea of meeting people or visiting places in the future (2m away of course) can be a little daunting for consumers, both now and potentially in the coming weeks and months.

People are increasingly looking to connect with the real world via a virtual one and are looking to destinations to be there tour guides and politely requesting that visitors visit later instead. This can be seen in the latest insights into media consumption, with Podcast listening down from 17% to 6% and Radio listenership up. So, here’s how to capitalise on the  virtual  world and entertain your consumers, with  VR and virtual imaging software increasing online bookings by up to 85%, it would be silly to stop reading right?

A Virtual Second Life(line)

Without stating the obvious the destinations and attractions are closed but a huge number of them are providing ‘virtual tours’, immersive visits and other ways to explore them from the comfort of your own homes.  Some hotels around the world are installing VR service rooms so visitors can explore local sites from their luxury rooms.

Regardless of which experience you choose to deliver, each of them needs to be follow the below formula:

Relevant + Thematic + Personalised + Engaging + Transformative + Humanise = Meaningful Connection  

What are the reasons to consider using Virtual Experiences as part of your content and marketing strategy?

  • Enhances your presence & ranking 

  • Increase Visitor Intention 

  • Educate potential future visitors  

  • Engage your audience on social  

  • Increase traffic and engagement  

  • Generate books 

Virtually Available 

Searches for Virtual Tours in England are up 63% but searches for ‘how does virtual reality work’ are also up 160%, so how can you do this yourself and what do you need to do before you get started? After following the above formula, decide on the content and hotspots you want to include, choose your platform such as Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard and Gear VR, purchase or hire your 360-Degree Camera or GoPro with a rig (keep in mind the capabilities of a device before judging the quality of a 360º video. Each device will have its own resolution), stitch your content together with software such as Adobe Premier Pro. While these tours are best experienced with a VR headset, they can also potentially be made available to those without access to a headset on social media sites like Facebook, using its 360 video technology.

When this form of tech was first released, it would have used up your whole marketing budget plus some (Destination BCs spent circa £330k on VR Content vs Tourism Australia spend at circa £25k) now it is much more affordable with 360-degree cameras readily available and panoramic image functions. Alongside this, the technology was often of relatively low quality, especially by today’s standards, which meant that many weren’t getting enough value for their money so it is wise to partner with one of the established companies for a dedicated support in developing these.

Understand and meet the values of visitors, collaborate, be open to opportunities, push limits and experiment. We’d like to take the opportunity to thank one of our collaborators, Jamie  Riddell, who provided expert SEO insight and advice.

Want to discuss how to widen your horizons, how to capitalise on trends, how to create a Virtual Experience tailored to you or to chat through how immersive technology can help you?  Give Rebecca or Ross a call on 0161 819 5140 and we can connect the dots together, alternatively if you fancy seeing a friendly(ish) face or two we love a Zoom meeting, just respond to this email and we’ll set one up.

Stay connected, stay safe.