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New and Exciting Dimensions in Website Design: Using Video and Virtual Tour Technology

As a marketing consultant specializing in company branding, social networking, website design, and optimization, I am always reading articles on the latest, most effective techniques in design, optimization, and website navigation. My goal is to use the latest techniques, tactics, and strategies to achieve visibility for my clients, help them to build relationships with their customers, and increase their brand awareness.

To that end, many companies are now adding videos to their websites to increase their value and boost the flow of traffic to their site. Many of the websites you will visit in the coming months will greet you with a video that either pops up, or they will give you an option to view a company or product video.

There are many reasons video is so popular. Isn’t it much easier to view a video than to have to read multiple sentences, paragraphs, or pages of information? In addition to ease of use for the viewer- offering a video can help to separate you from your competitors. If your site is more informative and enjoyable than your competitors, then you can easily guess which site will receive the most traffic. Another reason video is so popular is that with the advancement of technology, creating video content for websites has become much easier than in the past. It used to be that you had to hire a video production company, at great expense, to handle all aspects of your video production. But now, all you need is a digital video camera, editing software, a tripod, and lighting. Some people are even creating videos using their built-in desktop or laptop pc camera and mic-although one needs to be certain the sound and video clarity on their camera is adequate before using this option.

The bottom line on using videos is that we live in an era where video content is everywhere. It is on our televisions, the internet, game systems, our ipods, and cell phones. Adding video to your site or blog will provide a much higher response rate, will reach people through a different medium, and lead to many more satisfied visitors.

However, for those who want an alternative to video but want the same reach and the same “wow factor” that video offers-I would like to tell you about a recent technology which has truly amazed me. I recently met with the folks over at Panospin Studios (www.panospin.com) to incorporate their technology in some of the websites I design. Panospin can come to any location and conduct a photo shoot. They then use their proprietary software to create 360-degree rotating images commonly called “Virtual Tours.” You may have seen these on the internet being used by realtors, vacation destinations, and hotel websites. However, the state-of-the-art virtual tour now is being used by restaurants, retail stores, museums, colleges, bed and breakfasts, to name a few. What’s new is that the views are full screen and truly 360-degrees by including the ceiling and floor. Also new, is that inside the rotating view are clickable “hot spots”, that can open sound clips, small pictures, links to YouTube and other webpages, or movement to adjacent 360-degree panoramic views. The effect of all this technology is that the website viewer gets the feeling of actually being there and is more likely to result in the viewer picking up the phone and making arrangements to visit in-person.

The best part of Virtual Tour technology, is in saving trees and money on printing costs, and it is relatively inexpensive. Accelerated can add virtual tours to your website or blog for less than $1,000. To see examples of the newest virtual tour technology, visit www.panospin.com.

So with all that is new and exciting in the world of internet marketing and web design-there is no reason you can’t achieve all your marketing goals, increase your bottom line, and have fun in the process.

Wayne Kessler
Accelerated Business Services

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