Marketing data centers come with a number of inherent challenges. Simply put, potential clients may not have a comprehensive idea of what your facilities actually enable them to do, or what added benefits they can receive beyond the simple ability to store their data securely and remotely.
And yet, the need for data centers is increasing every year, as evidenced by the booming data center industry. At a compound annual growth rate of nearly 5% until at least 2027, that trend is not about to stop anytime soon. The result is increased competition, making it even more important for your data center to stand out and promote your unique benefits to clients.
This makes an effective promotional strategy a top priority for data centers regardless of both size and location. And while that promotional strategy has to be comprehensive, finding the right informational and visual assets will become a core component of it.
That’s where virtual 360-degree tours enter the equation. Employed the right way, and promoted through the right channels, they take the mystery out of data centers. Virtual tours allow potential clients to learn as much as they need to about your data center’s brand and services before making a decision on where to store their vital business information.
More specifically, 360-degree tours help to market your data center in three ways: visually, informationally, and locationally. Let’s dive into each of these aspects to show the power of the medium in this application.
The visual advantages of virtual tours
Perhaps most obviously, 360-degree tours are a visual medium that allows your audiences to get an in-depth look into how your data center looks. Take the tour for CyrusOne Chicago Aurora II, and you will be able to visit a number of stops that give you an idea of the facilities available:
An exterior view of the building and front door entrance, providing a sense of the scope of the data center you’re about to tour.
The data center’s lobby, showing both the security desk and the secure entrances to provide a sense of privacy and data security.
Conference and break rooms that showcase what potential clients might be able to expect on a specific site visit.
The data hall and equipment gallery, allowing technology-proficient clients to investigate the hardware.
Office spaces available for any on-site staff that clients might want to depose to the site for active data management.
The security facilities to provide more in-depth, behind-the-scenes views at the space in which dedicated personnel work to keep all data safe.
Of course, this case study showcases just some of the many potential stops a data center could highlight. If you have a specific idea of the spaces you want to showcase, build them out as a stop to provide prospects and customers a virtual and visual look without visiting physically.
Beyond the stops themselves, virtual tours also allow data centers to customize their visuals to showcase their brand. INAP Atlanta, for instance, leverages hot spots to show another relevant photo to visitors. INAP Phoenix also uses hot spots, while adding custom-branded buttons that allow visitors and potential clients to take natural next steps in their customer journey.
The informational benefits of virtual tours
Beyond the visual advantages outlined above, virtual tours can also communicate in-depth information about your data center.
For each stop, 360-degree tour managers have these options:
Include narrative text in the bottom-right box for the stop.
Include audio narration for the stop.
Include both, to have narration of the typed text.
The key here is not just describing what audiences already see on screen, but using the text on each stop to tell a comprehensive story of the kinds of services your data center provides. Use it as an opportunity to dive deep into your data security measures, the amenities your data center provides, and more.
INAP Redondo Beach, for instance, uses the first stop as a general introduction before digging deeper into topics like security, staff well-being, and customization options in subsequent stops. Each narration includes both a general overview and in-depth details about the types of equipment, space available, and more. As such, it provides valuable information for all types of organizations and levels of expertise potential clients might bring to the table.
The informational components of your virtual tour are also an opportunity to improve your search engine optimization. Naturally integrate keywords into the text to more prominently position your data center on these keywords in relevant search results.
Finally, even all of the narrative spaces within the data center may not be enough to tell the full story. In that case, you can integrate links to your website for more information at the top of your tour, as INAP has done by prominently placing its logo at the top left of the tour. Clients who want to learn more after viewing your tour now have a natural “off-ramp” to continue on their customer journey by visiting your website, scheduling in-person site visits, and more.
The locational highlights of virtual tours
Finally, virtual tours can promote your data center by showing its location clearly to all visitors.
Although the location of your data center isn’t vital to store data, potential clients may still be interested in exactly where your data center is located for one of two reasons:
The necessity for frequent site visits or on-site work. Large businesses may either want to regularly visit and inspect the data center or dispatch one of their employees to the physical center.
Comfort level with a nearby physical location. Especially new clients who need a data center may be more comfortable with their data being stored close to their location. Understanding what that proximity looks like can help in their decision to work with a given data center.
Fortunately, virtual tours can play a significant role in communicating location as well. Most importantly, they have the option to include a map that integrates with Google Maps, allowing visitors to see exactly where in the world (or where in the United States) the data center is located. The map can easily expand and, through its Google integration, even serves as a starting point for directions to prepare for on-site visits.
Beyond that, the visual and informational abilities outlined above can also contribute to a clearer locational communication. For instance, one tour stop can extend beyond the property to include the industrial park or nearby amenities of the data center, expanding the scope for potential clients looking for context. And of course, stop descriptions and integrated links can also serve as opportunities to discuss the location in more detail.
Turning virtual tours into a centerpiece of data center marketing
Without a doubt, and to be at their best, virtual tours are only a part of a larger marketing strategy for your data center. However, just what place they occupy within that strategy can be a major game-changer. When deployed as a centerpiece of visuals and information for potential clients, they have the potential to maximize your efforts in attracting new clients and growing your presence.
That’s because virtual tours, like 360° Tour from Concept3D, combine visual and informational content in a unique way. They immerse audiences into the visual experience, communicating in-depth technical information to engage relevant audiences.
Concept3D’s experience in both 360° virtual tours and working with data centers will be a major advantage for any potential partnerships. Our solutions can help you communicate the appropriate information and help you market your data center more effectively. Ready to learn more? Contact us to start the conversation about a potential partnership.