How Brands Use 360 Video (And Why You Should Too)

How Brands Use 360 Video (And Why You Should Too)

As managing director of video marketing strategy agency, Hurricane, I have over 20 years’ experience creating engaging content, first for the BBC, and now for leading brands maximizing the opportunities of social media. In my opinion, now is the time to get ahead of the competition and add 360 degree content to your video strategy.

There is a lot of chatter about 360 video at the moment with everyone from Mark Zuckerberg to Nicola Mendelsohn throwing their executive weight behind it. But for busy brand managers looking to put time and budget into the most effective areas, is this tech really the one to go for?

Well, let’s take a look at Facebook 360 which is a relatively new feature offering a great deal of potential for brand engagement. It allows brands to create immersive 360 degree video content in which they set the point of view, while users control the perspective with a VR headset or controls in their browser. Take this example promoting the Honda Civic at the 2016 Red Bull Global Rallycross which shows how visceral and immediate 360 marketing can be.

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We dare you not to feel at least mildly thrilled by that. This video cuts rapidly enough that the novelty isn’t lost, and is part of an overall campaign surrounding a key event in Honda’s marketing calendar.

Google has recently carried out a side-by-side trial of a 60 second 360 video ad and a standard format video as well as full-length versions. The ads ended in a specific, measurable call to action, were unlisted and unpromoted and only appeared through in-stream campaigns or peer-to-peer sharing.

They found some interesting results. While the 360 version had a lower view-through rate, it had a higher click-through rate, along with more views, shares and subscribes. There was a 46 percent higher view count of the full-length 360 video than on the standard full-length version. People who viewed the 360 video were more likely to share it copying the URL into messaging apps. As a result, the 360 ad was more cost-efficient as its cost-per-view was lower when organic and paid views were added together. People who do engage with 360 like it, as seen through their interaction with CTAs, engagement with the brand, and sharing with others.

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When it comes down to it, 360 video is powerful because it combines two routes into immersion and engagement. The first-person exploration potential of Google Street View—still a powerful tool for wandering through familiar and unfamiliar places, nearly 10 years after launch—meets the emotional storytelling potential of an intimate smartphone-based video.

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