The most creative and memorable video content can be talked about for years to come. The emergence of 360 videos offers a new, innovative way to present your business.

Taking baby steps

In 2016, video content was the “next big thing” in social media. As we move into the second half of 2017, there is still a strong focus on videos and many brands are trying out new types of content, like 360 video clips. The special cameras used to record this content capture views in every possible direction. This allows users to take control of the video’s focus by simply moving their head while wearing a virtual reality headset or clicking and dragging to adjust the range of vision on a computer screen. Facebook and YouTube have become leaders in this new technology through their early support of 360 videos.

Indeed, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is among the biggest backers of 360 video. In September 2016, Facebook launched their 360-degree video feature, and Zuckerberg used this occasion to publish his baby’s first steps for the world to see. As of this writing, the video has over 15 million views.

More engagement, views and earned actions

To learn a bit more about the impact of this new technology, Google conducted a study on the performance of 360 videos. The goal of the study was to determine if this new type of content is actually driving more engagement than standard video advertising. Google teamed up with Columbia Sportswear to create a pilot video advertising campaign that consisted of two 60-second clips — one version was presented in 360 video, while the other was a standard video. What were the findings of the experiment?

  • The 360 video viewers were motivated to watch more and interact — the 360 video had a lower retention rate than the standard ad, but had a higher click-through rate. The 360 video also drove engagement via interactions in which viewers explored the 360 functionalities.
  • The 360 video drove viewers to share, subscribe and view other clips — the 360 video drove 41% more earned actions than the traditional video. People also eagerly shared the 360 version of the video with their friends. At the end of the experiment, the 360 video had a 46% higher view count than the standard clip.
  • Still, the 360 video did not overperform in traditional viewer metrics — the 360 ad’s view-through rate was lower compared to the standard clip’s view-through rate. Google explained this observation by noting that “viewers aren’t always in the mood to interact with 360 video if they’re primarily watching standard video.”

Google concluded that the 360 video was more liked by viewers and more enthusiastically shared. Furthermore, this ad could also be a more efficient buy, because of its lower cost-per-view. The company believes, that as technology develops, more and more brands will experiment with 360 videos. At the same time, the value of these 360 videos will become stronger, both for brands and their audiences.

From haunted houses to catwalks to King’s Landing

So how should 360 video be approached? Below are a few favourite examples of how different industries and businesses are taking advantage of this new, engaging content type.

Marriott Rewards (3.2M views)

With 360 videos you can take part in concerts from the comfort of your own chair. Here is a sample of DNCE performing live.

Visit Dubai (20M views)

With its great architecture and many places to visit, it is no wonder that over 20 million people viewed the 360 video from Visit Dubai.

Airbus Aircraft (986K views) 

The short video lets viewers experience what is rarely seen by passengers — an Airbus A380 takeoff from the cockpit perspective.

If you can’t see video, click here.

HBO (15M views)

The producers of the hit TV series Game of Thrones pleased their fans with a simple and attractive opening credit sequence shot in 360 video.

If you can’t see video, click here.

Dior (3.6M views)

The French luxury brand Dior invited fans to view its Spring-Summer collection by placing them right in front of the catwalk.

If you can’t see video, click here.

Warner Bros (10M views)

The next level of movie trailers is in 360. The Conjuring 2 was promoted with a 360 clip that lets viewers explore a haunted house.

Gorillaz (8.8M views)

Even musical acts have started to experiment with 360 video. This fresh music video from the virtual band Gorillaz puts you in the middle of the action.