Google today announced that they have rolled out their very successful “Step Inside” business photo program for local business owners here in Ireland. This is excellent news for many business owners and is perfect for anyone who would like to showcase their business premises online. Take a look at this short video of how a toy store in America has capitalised on this excellent opportunity.
(Video Courtesy of Google)
How does it work?
Google has a list of “Trusted Photographers” who have completed a specific training course provided by Google. The business owner finds the nearest trusted photographer from this list and contacts them to arrange a photo-shoot. The photographer then takes snaps of your business premises from a load of different angles (apologies if I’m baffling you with my wealth of photography knowledge!), sends them off to Google to do their magic and then the completed panoramic imagery is uploaded to your Google Places page, easy as that. The business owner is then free to upload the file to their website, Facebook fan page or wherever they like!
One minor downside is the photographers aren’t directly employed by Google therefore the cost of the photo-shoot is paid by the business owner but it would be asking a bit much for Google to foot this bill as well considering they don’t charge for the actual stitching together of the photos. All in all it’s a great value opportunity that enables business owners to give potential customers a guided tour of their premises and hopefully entice them to come and experience it in real life.
This program has literally only rolled out in Ireland today, so they don’t have many trusted photographers on their list yet. If you know any experienced professional photographers who would be interested in the program they can apply here. Business owners who would like to get involved can apply here.
Remember there’s not much point investing in amazing interactive panoramic imagery without having a well optimised Google Places page that is going to appear at the top of your prospects’ search results!