Introducing 360° Google Business Photos

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When Mark Timberlake of Business Photography spoke to me today I hadn’t heard of Google Business Photos, so asked him to explain more about the program and how it would apply to online sellers. Mark was happy to oblige and today explains how Google Business Photos work and what they can do for your business:

Google Business Photos – The Next Big Thing…

There is a quiet revolution going on in the way that on-line customers will be able to engage with your Bricks and Mortars Business. It’s from Google and called Google Business Photos.

How will Google Business Photos work for local businesses?

As you may be aware, local search is something Google are really working on and promoting through Google Places. When you search for a restaurant in your area you will often see a map appear with Google Places listings at the top of the Google search results.

You’ll notice in the example above on the right hand side below the map, there is a link with an image saying “See Inside”, “See Outside”.

Click on that link and you will be able to explore the inside of the restaurant in 360° degrees and “walk around” the restaurant in virtual reality, this is Google Business Photos in action.

Panoramas of this type have been around for a while but the difference here is images are tied directly into Google Places, so your listing will be linked to Google Street View.

This runs with the Google Street View technology and is a product created and supplied by Google, so it rests on the Google Platform.

What do potential customers see?

Someone can wander down the high street in Google Street View, popping into the local shops and restaurants and explore them before committing to a physical visit! This also encompasses local attractions and tourist spots like Museums, Cathedrals etc.

Have you ever been to a Restaurant and really wanted that corner table, or that table overlooking the river? The potential is there to have direct interaction within the establishments, so that your client could book a particular table in a restaurant with a particular view for instance.

How can Google Business Photos help my business?

Your Google Places listing likes content, this is good quality content for your Google Places Listing and as anyone who uses Search Engine Optimisation knows, “Content is King”.

If you have a trade counter or retail premises alongside your online business this is a great way to add trust when potential customers find your online listing.

You can showcase your factory, warehouse and production facilities showing the size and scale of your business giving confidence to customers that you’re a real business with real premises and can deliver on your promises.

What do I get for my money

Not only do you get the 360° degree panorama shoot, you will also get a minimum of 10 Point of Interest commercial images, both of which you can use for your own Business Image Portfolio, on your website, in your literature etc, this is a standard feature when you book any Google Trusted Photographer.

All the imagery from the shoots are your copyright and owned by you, which you license to Google for them to include in their Google Places Listings.

You can then also link the Google Places 360° virtual tour on your webpage and indeed embed it there, promote it on Facebook and use it as a marketing tool beyond the Google Places page and search.

How much does this cost?

It is dependent on each photographer in each area but it usually costs less than a full page advert in your local newspaper for a smaller business and prices scale up from there, except this does not run out in one months time.

There is a one off payment to the photographer to hire his expertise and time, which is paid on the day of the photography shoot. There are no ongoing costs as it all links to Google Places and is hosted there.

If you do not have a Google Places listing yet then speak to your local Google Trusted Photographer and he will be able to advise you on that.

How do I get started?

If you are in the Cambridgeshire area (or if you want a more traditional product shoot), just give Mark Timberlake a call to discuss your booking with specific costs and available appointment spots.

If you are outside of the Cambridgeshire area, then you’ll need to find an alternative Local Google Trusted Photographer and take it from there.

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