2017 taught us a number of lessons in the world of digital marketing: a few being that buyers are extremely visual, more than 50% engage in thorough online research before visiting a physical store to make a purchase, and buyers look for personalization and reasons to trust a retailer.
Google Maps offers much more than directions and side features; it helps bridge better connections between businesses and customers. So what exactly is it, how does it work, and what does it do?
Google Street View is a Google Maps technology feature that offers panoramic views from street level positions. It was introduced in 2007 in select American cities and has since broadened to include remote, rural areas worldwide. When looking at Google Maps, Street Views are displayed with blue lines.
Street View has gone through a number of changes and upgrades. From being full screen capable in 2009 to allowing users to browse interior views in 2013 to still images of interior stores being accessible, to allowing users to capture Street View images in 2017, there is a lot businesses can offer their buyers by embracing this technology.
1. Google Street View Builds Trust with Customers
The best digital marketing companies know that humanizing a brand is crucial to fostering trust. Some tactics include a stellar “About Us” page, adding employee profiles with pictures, a blog, and lots of pictures. Google Street View is also an exceptional way to humanize your brand and amp up the trust factor with customers. Google Street View allows buyers to put a face to the business name while lending familiarity when they enter the physical location (and this will make people more likely to actually walk through the door).
2. Provides Greater Access to Your Target Audience
Google Street View helps draw in members of your target audience. Let’s say you own a brewery with a tasting room and your target audience is craft beer lovers who favor sour ales. You have more than 100 barrels stacked indoors, banners and memorabilia dedicated to sour ale, and you have a spacious tasting room. You want your customers to see how awesome it is inside, right? Google Street View’s platform allows customers to take a virtual tour in your business and even see still images. Now curious viewers who need more of an incentive to enter your business see all the barrels and decor, and they are in the zone ready to come visit your establishment.
3. Google Street View Helps Boost Passive Marketing
You may not see a connection here, but Google Street View helps with passive marketing. Imagine a hat shop’s customer is at her kid’s soccer game and one of the other parents is admiring the custom baseball style hat bearing a supportive message to her child. Your customer takes out her mobile device, pulls up Google Street View, shows her friend the exterior of your store, then takes her inside for a virtual tour while praising the ease of layout and great inventory. Then she pulls up a photo of one of your employees and says how patient and amazing he was at helping you put together the right hat design. Google Street Views is a great tool for singing your praise!
4. Give Your Customers a High Quality Experience
An abundance of research has been done attesting that the brain processes visual information 60 times faster than text. This also attests to why more than 80% of blogs read have images and why content with images is 50% more likely to get shared on social media. 3D images of your business will garner the same pizzaz; not only will buyers favor imagery that is interactive but they can also share your images on social media so long as you have your platform properly set up.