What you Need to Know About Marketing with 360-Degree Video

Make a radical turn at 360 degrees.

By now, we've all interacted with 360 video in some shape or form. Want to see more detail on the hotel room or event space? Most companies have now integrated 360 views to give you a sense of depth and detail. And thanks to Google, you can check out an entire neighborhood from every angle with 'street view.'

If you're not already using 360-degree videos to tell your story, we wanted to break down why this format is the latest trend in video composition and digital marketing. Also known as "spherical" or "immersive" video, they can be created using a variety of methods and equipment. Often compared to virtual reality, 360-degree videos have actually been around for a long time.

Types of 360-Degree Video

There are generally two types of 360-degree video, the kind you can manipulate in all directions and the kind that involves depth perception (also associated with virtual reality).

  • Monoscopic: Typically found in places like Google's street view, monoscopic is a type of 360-degree video that involves a collection of flat renderings for a shot. You are able to move around the space, but there is no real sense of depth perception. The equipment involved to make this type of video, however, is far more affordable than stereoscopic.
  • Stereoscopic: Derived from 3D renderings of a 360-degree shot, this type of 360-video is generally shot using a separate input for each eye. These videos are shot with one lens per field of vision and are best viewed with a VR headset.

Equipment

360-degree videos are generally produced one of two ways, with a rig of special cameras placed accordingly, or with a dedicated camera that contains multiple lenses. When a single camera is used, the video must be further processed—or what is known as "stitched" together—in order to create a single film.

In recent years, special rigs have been developed specifically for filming 360-degree video. Omni-directional cameras, like Nokia's OZO, GoPro's Omni and Odyssey, and Facebook's Surround 360 are specifically designed to make the process easier, and subsequently, put more 360-degree videos on the web. But, most likely, you didn't come here to read an article about gear and specs, right? You want the nuts and bolts on how you can use these videos in your real-life marketing campaigns. So, let's go.

How to Use 360-degree Videos for Business

There are a variety of ways in which people are using 360-degree video for digital marketing. In March 2015, YouTube launched the ability for users to upload and launch 360-degree videos—with playback on their site, as well as some of their mobile apps.

One of the most popular ways companies are utilizing 360-degree video is through simple VR headsets like the Google Cardboard viewers. 

But this still doesn't get to how. We recommend using 360-degree video for all things experiential. There's no better way to get the sense of adventure, discovery, or detail than from the point of view of the user. Whether it's skateboarding, parasailing, going to a red carpet event, standing on the top of a mountain, walking into a luxury villa or walking down the catwalk at NYFW with the seasons' hottest accessory, 360-degree videos are the next best thing to being there.

And if your marketing plans aren't on skydiving level, that's perfectly fine. We see clients use 360 videos to help onboard new employees, walk students through campus buildings, showcase the office, and give customers a tour of their workday. The opportunities are endless with 360 and as you can guess, engagement with these videos is through the roof.

The Best 360 Out There

An article about 360-degree videos wouldn't be complete without some prime examples. Of course, you may want to grab a VR headset for the full effect. The following are some of the best 360-degree videos the web has to offer: 

What's the best way to get people to use your service? Give them a taste with a virtual tour.

Showing off a property.

The Hawaiian Islands

Enter the Blackhole

Rollercoaster 360.