360-video is rapidly evolving and gaining popularity. A video technique that gives the viewer an in-action feel, 360-video is great for real estate showings, travel content, documentaries, concerts, professional sports and more.
At its simplest form, 360-video allows brands to insert their viewers into an experience. It gives you the feeling that you are right there, or looking over the shoulder of the scene as it unfolds. Anyone can learn the technique to make a 360-video, but not everyone uses the format most effectively.
Before deciding to make a 360-video for your brand or company, ask yourself these three questions:
1. Why am I using 360-video format? Do you want to increase viewer engagement, message retention, or expand your creation possibilities? Then 360-video might be a good marketing strategy. However, keep in mind that the technique is fairly new and will take longer to film, edit, and master.
2. What’s the desired impact? Whether it is to showcase products, promote destinations, or otherwise bring your audience into your world, 360-video is a great way to make your audience feel inspired and ready to take action.
3. What visuals do I want? 360-video gives the viewer the sense they are really in the world of the video. That means you’ll want to use the format to take your viewer on an experience. For example, if you are going to show a promotional video for an African safari, a 360-video could be a great option to immerse your audience in the experience.
As far as video production, marketing, advertising, or writing goes, you need to know your target market. Take the time to really consider if 360-video is a logical method to successfully reach them. Keep in mind that the format has not been around long, relative to other videography techniques, so you have a higher chance of catching the attention of a trendy, tech savvy young adult. It is important to be familiar with your different social media platforms to ensure that your audience is there. Outside of social media, conferences are a great place to debut a 360-video. Conference attendees are open to out-of-the-box experiences, and may be more willing to explore new media.
This REI campaign exemplifies a successful use of 360 video. Their campaign was aimed to target multicultural millennials. What better way to catch millennials’ attention than to use hip 360-video? REI documented eight artists working on installations in the three cities with the goal of making the outdoors more accessible to young urbanites. The 360-video format allows the viewer to experience the art first hand, over the shoulders of the artists at work. Viewers also have the ability to scroll to view different angles of the project, which they wouldn’t have access to with the traditional narrative of video marketing content.
Before diving into a 360-video project, you should know the format’s visual strengths. If your content will not meet the needs of the 360-video, it is likely that you will produce a lifeless, anti-climatic, video campaign that is more effort than it’s worth. Yes, it will be a 360-video, but will it deliver the message effectively?
If there is a singular point of action and no reason to explore other angles, it is probably not suited for 360-video. If your content will require a lot of movement and a lot of cuts, it will probably not make a good 360-video. However, if you want to give people the feeling that they’re there and let them see the whole scene, that is good 360-video potential.
Let’s take a look at another effective example. Expedia created a 360-video to entice viewers to vacation to Australia. The monologue and the scenery of the video work well with the 360-video style that brings the viewer the action, adventure, and the “in the moment” feeling. See how Expedia successfully uses 360-video to engage their audience and excite them about a trip to the land down under:
The world is constantly finding new ways to engage consumers. 360-video is a current technique that can pave the way for a memorable brand experience, and keep your message at the top of the consumer’s mind. The format can ultimately increase your viewer’s engagement, click through rate, and shareability of your content. While 360-video is certainly not for every brand, it can produce significant results when used optimally.
Updated on February 10, 2020.
Madison Edwards, Marketing and Communications at Green Buzz Agency. Emily Herman contributed to this post.