One of the best parts of the job we do is being invited to beautiful new places to create our Google Virtual Tours for Street View and Maps. And there’s no denying that The Fenwick, Balmain, is just about the most charming waterfront location we’ve visited so far.
The building used to be the Fenwick & Co. Boat Store, and is one of the few remaining buildings that reflect Balmain’s maritime industry heritage. Now owned and run by The Sydney Restaurant Group, it offers some of the best views of Barangaroo to Sydney Harbour Bridge you can get while eating breakfast.
Balmain isn’t great for parking, but that really doesn’t matter when you are located right next to a Sydney Ferry wharf. And if you can arrive by water, why the heck wouldn’t you? It’s a short hop from Circular Quay, stopping off at Luna Park, and then Balmain East.
The Street View tour project itself was in two parts. The wharf has been rebuilt since the last Google Street View came through Balmain, so we added a Street View pathway from where the existing Street View navigation stops, leading right to the front of The Fenwick itself. So even if you’re not visiting The Fenwick, you can benefit from a virtual waterfront walk past Balmain East wharf.
The second, and obviously most important part, was the 360-degree photography of The Fenwick itself. Because it’s a Heritage-protected building, it maintains all of its features and, like many old buildings, it’s quite dark inside. The most convenient time for the client was 3:30pm, which meant that the entire building was also in shadow as the sun retreated to the west. While that provided beautiful lighting across the bridge and Barangaroo view in the distance, it meant that the dynamic range of the 360-scene was enormous. And that’s a real challenge when you’re trying to capture both in the same 360-degree view – the lenses on the front of the camera are exposing for a brightly-lit landscape of Sydney’s East. While the rest are all trying to expose for a dimly-lit shot that would be challenging on its own.
But that’s why you get a professional to do your photography. We choose to shoot ALL our Google Street View panoramas and 360-degree virtual tours in HDR. This means that every single view is made up of at least 18 source photos, and we take multiple shots of each view to make sure we get what we need. All of these shots need to be stitched, denoised, de-ghosted, and processed to make sure that we show your business at its best. It’s not the simplest path to getting a virtual tour onto your Google My Business profile, but we believe it’s essential. These images will be the virtual front-of-house for as long as you want them to be (and this is a good time to point out that there’s no ongoing cost with a Google Street View tour), so you really need to make sure that the 360-degree panoramas are shot with care and look as good as they possibly can.
“IF YOU’RE CURIOUS ABOUT WHETHER A GOOGLE 360-DEGREE TOUR WILL REACH YOUR CUSTOMERS, THIS TOUR GOT 5K VIEWS WITHIN A WEEK OF POSTING.”
Google Street View – The Fenwick, Balmain
This is the virtual tour of The Fenwick, Balmain, as customers see it on Google Street View or Google Maps. View it in fullscreen to experience it at its best.
If that seems like a lot of work to you, that’s because it is. But that’s what we do for you. All you need to do is let us move around your venue for 30min or so. The rest is all up to us. And if you’re curious about whether a Google 360-degree tour will reach your customers, this tour got 5K views within a week of posting to Google Street View. It’s hard to argue with a number like that. There was no promotion or campaign driving eyeballs to the panoramas, just customers using the tools at their disposal to decide if they want to visit The Fenwick.
And if a packed restaurant can be taken as proof that this Google Street View virtual tour is making a difference, then we’d have to say it’s working. You might need to wait a while for a table to become available, but when the view is this good, we’d say it’s worth it.
SO HOW DO YOU GET MORE CUSTOMERS TO YOUR BUSINESS?
If you’re wondering how to get more customers to your place, we’d recommend you start with a virtual tour on your Google My Business listing. It can be as simple as a single panorama, or you can go big with a full set of 360-degree photographs that allow potential customers to move through your premises.
This virtual tour will appear on Google Maps and Google Street View whenever people search for businesses like yours, and over half of us are now using map-based data to guide our decisions.
Let’s talk about your options.
If you’re a small business looking to get a head start on immersive content marketing, our One-shot 360 deal is unbeatable value – you can get it right now for just $199+GST. No ongoing costs, just one and done.
Having a 360 internal view makes you stand out, and connects your business to your potential customers in a way that’s hard to ignore.
We’ll swing by, have a chat, take a few shots and let you pick your favourite. Then we’ll take it away and process it (stitch, de-noise, HDR, ghost removal, and blur if required), before attaching it to your Google Maps business listing. The shoot can take as little as half an hour, and we make every effort to avoid disruption to your business.
If your business is a multi-room location, or you want a mix of indoor and outdoor photography, then our SMB 360 or Custom 360 virtual tour plans might be a better fit. With these options, you get both a Google Street View tour and a separately hosted virtual tour that your customers can ‘walk’ through.
It offers the best of both worlds. You get all of the customer engagement of a Google Street View tour, as well a tailor-made virtual tour that brings functionality like deep-linking and easy embedding to your website.
“IT OFFERS THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS. YOU GET ALL THE CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT OF A GOOGLE STREET VIEW TOUR, AS WELL AS A TAILOR-MADE VIRTUAL TOUR”
You can opt for third-party hosts like Cupix or Polygon, host it on your own servers, or ask us to host it on our own cloud. All of these solutions deliver your 360 panoramas in a format that lets your customers experience your venue from a number of different viewpoints – they’re awesome for larger venues, and let you to draw attention to specific services and benefits that you might offer.
Our Custom 360 plan is the best option for companies that believe in their brand. While Google doesn’t let you change their tour format, our custom virtual tour can look exactly the way you want it to. We’ll create custom loading animations, and the nadir logo will be branded to match your business. The tour can also include hotspots, callouts, and floorplan/contact us pages.
And if you want to be really creative, we can talk about our Live 360, timelapse and video options. They’re pretty special.
Each platform has its merits, and we’ll be happy to discuss them with you so that you can make an informed choice about which suits your needs best. And if you have something specific in mind, and can’t see it in the pricing table, please get in touch. We’d love to hear what you’ve got lined up.