Ranking at No. 27 on Forbes’ list of World’s Biggest Public Companies, Google is hardly in need of more marketing. So why did it go to such great lengths to assemble a great package of content on its Street View technology? Because it’s a great brand identity strategy.
Here are five reasons the content marketing works.
For a technology that’s gathered images from seven continents and more than 65 countries, Google Street View does an excellent job of presenting information in a simple, easy-to-navigate site.
Website visitors are essentially choosing from:
- Understand Street View
- Explore Street View
- Publish to Street View
- Hire Certified Street View Pros
Text is kept to a minimum and the images are interesting without feeling cluttered.
From privacy concerns and geographic accuracy to contributing images of their own, people have a lot of questions about Google’s Street View. The Street View site serves double duty, providing a cross between FAQs and image-focused content marketing.
Google clearly explains how to distinguish between its own images and those of contributors, how it blurs license plates and faces to protect people’s privacy, and how it collects and aligns imagery from around the world. There’s even a session explaining Google’s fleet, which includes a car, the Trekker wearable backpack, the Trolley, the trike and snowmobile.
Visually stunning multimedia
The behind-the-scenes videos of Street View Treks rival some of the best short documentaries, showcasing the highlights of particularly interesting locations.
In addition to showcasing indoor and outdoor views from the ground, some of the panoramic images offer “non-street” views. There are plenty that offer an underwater perspective, like this image of sea lions swimming in the Galapagos Islands, or above-the-water tours, such as this Amazon Basin boat trip.
While the images themselves offer high-tech interaction, allowing the user to change the angle of the view, rotate 360 degrees and zoom in or out, so do the tours.
Adventure, history or romance? This is the fork in the road where the site visitor must choose which path to take in their peek into Venice. Having the user decide adds a bit of fun to the experience.
Tools for business
Google Street View Trusted lets businesses submit high-quality panoramic photographs, which Google turns into virtual tours of the businesses’ interior.
For restaurants, hotels and spas, it’s easy to see how these virtual tours could make even more of an impact than reviews to potential customers.
A Google-financed study found that users who view a business listing with a virtual tour are twice as likely to be interested in booking a reservation. That same study found that among 18-to-34-year-olds, a virtual tour made the prospects 130% more likely to book.
Among many other places, users can tour stores, soccer stadiums, museums and modes of transportation. Here are a few samples worth checking out:
Google may not need any more marketing, but for businesses that do, Google Street View Trusted is a great example to learn from.