360-degree video is here and here to stay! Immersive video content – 360° videos and VR – have been on a steady rise since YouTube launched support for publishing and viewing immersive content in March 2015.
In June 2016, Google’s Aaron Luber said this of immersive video:
“On YouTube, we made a big, early bet on 360° video. This means viewers can see the video from every angle just by swiping or moving the phone or tablet around — no headset required. Uploads of 360° videos continue to grow and have doubled over the past three months.”
360° videos are now something people are increasingly literate in, especially on social media platforms – namely YouTube and Facebook. Brands are now turning to 360° video as an essential and valuable component of their digital marketing strategy and it is easy to see why.
According to a report by Business Insider, Hong Kong Airline’s 360° advert they launched in 2016 was 35x more effective than the traditional, 2d version of the ad.
Similarly, Magnifyre found that 360° videos were viewed by 29% more users than the same videos in 2d!
The power of 360° content is clear. However, according to one of the UK’s leading digital agency Terrier, there are a few key things to know before you start putting hard-fought marketing budget into 360 content:
- 360° video ads are a fantastic way of highlighting how your brand is innovative and forward-facing, rather than just saying it. It is important to make sure that the video content you are creating aids this. Pick a focus or subject that is befitting of 360° video’s dynamism and ‘sci-fi’ quality. Think: movement, tactility, energy.
- Increased levels of engagement also tend to lead to lower costs per view than traditional video, making the most out of your budget.
- It is vital that you research your platforms before investing time/money. For example, the only way you can promote 360° video on Facebook is through post boosting. This means that any audience you wish to target needs to be created before you push out the content!
- Contrastingly, YouTube offers promotion in several forms. TrueView Instream ads are the best method due to their low costs per view. It is key that you deep-dive into the targeting options when promoting on YouTube as ads are only shown to certain, compatible browsers and devices.
- Format is key, so make sure you know the gritty details. The majority of 360° videos are uploaded to Facebook and YouTube in .mp4 format (with MPEG4/H.264 encoding). Alternatives include WEBM, MOV and F4V.
With promises of higher engagement and longer viewing times, it is clear to see why 360° video has the digital marketing sector excited. Like most things however, the devil is in the detail.