360-degree videos have been hailed as the next big thing in video marketing. Smart gadgets and VR headsets are making such videos more accessible. Here, we look at how your brand could benefit from this new technology.
At Design & Data, we are always looking at pushing the creative and technological boundaries for the benefit of space and science outreach and communication. In November 2020, the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) launched its new website with an updated and more modern design to reflect its new brand. We were commissioned to create several short video clips, including 360-degree content, to be featured on the new site and to help balance the text content.
“This project was an eye opener to me as I thought 360-degree videos were always linked to Go Pro and sports videos. I didn’t know we could use it for communication,” said Johannes Walden, audio-visual media producer at D&D.
Around 74% of video marketers find success from using 360-degree videos, according to Wyzowl. The unique and immersive experience they offer help to tell the story of your brand and gain engagement. Combined with the rise in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) it can pack a powerful brand punch for your video content strategy, but how?
Create a whole new level of immersive experiences.
Whether it is a tour of your facilities or satellites, 360-degree video can make the experience feel even more real to your desired audience. It is a unique opportunity for your organisation to highlight its dynamic work environment and culture. For EUMETSAT, we showcased their satellites and control rooms in a 360° manner where viewers can zoom in and around the location.
Make your brand stand out!
Although the 360-degree video craze is still in its infancy, riding the wave before anyone else will give you a jumpstart in the competition. This will be an advantage in communicating your idea and show your organisation to be inventive.
Demonstrate your organisation as modern and exciting.
360-degree video has the potential to create stunning and realistic virtual experiences for the viewer. It is the closest thing for your audience to ‘being there’ and experiencing your facilities. As a new and exciting format, 360-degree video can help to showcase your organisation in a unique, fun, and playful way. For EUMETSAT, this 360-degree content would be primarily used for human resources (HR) to demonstrate the organisation as an attractive employer and as a “cool place to work”. Such immersive content may help to attract more diverse candidates.
360-degree video motivates viewers to watch more and interact.
360-degree video promises higher engagement and longer viewing times. Google reports that 360-degree content can increase the chances of viewers taking action by 41% when compared to standard advertising. In fact, 360-degree photos can have a 4 times higher click-through-rate than static pictures, according to Omnivirt. A recent study showed that 360-degree and VR ads perform 300% better than 2D ads.
Generate emotional engagement through a unique perspective.
Not only does 360-degree video promise higher engagement but the immersive experience can elicit an emotional response in the viewer. It can really add that “wow!” as the viewer can gain a first-hand perspective of how big things really are. A 360-degree video tour can make it seem like you are standing where the tour person is as they guide you through the experience. You can also create the perspective of looking up and around an object to be in awe of its sheer size. In addition, you can immerse the viewer further with atmospheric background audio. This can serve the purpose to give a very vivid impression of the locations when viewed online.
“For the 360-degree [EUMETSAT] recordings, we captured several atmospheric audio tracks at each of the walkthrough locations. We wanted to project the feeling of the future, in a friendly and harmless way,” added Johannes.
360-degree content is easier to distribute.
360-degree content is now much easier to shoot and deploy to various platforms and devices. You do not need any expensive hardware or software to enjoy the experience. All you need is a mobile device or desktop computer to watch on YouTube, Facebook, and other players, where you can explore content in all directions with a few simple moves. On desktop, you can click and drag with a mouse or click the arrows in the top left-hand corner of the screen. On a mobile device, you can drag your finger across the screen or move it around in different directions.
The VR audience is growing.
While you do not require VR equipment to view 360-degree video, more and more people are consuming this new form of content as the technology is becoming more mainstream. The International Data Corporation (IDC) forecasts 43 million VR headsets will be shipped worldwide each year by 2022. The price of VR headsets has come down significantly since the early models were released and there is more variety. This makes VR technology more affordable and accessible for consumers. So, to adopt 360-degree video into your marketing experience will put you ahead of a growing trend.
360-degree technology has matured in the last years.
Our experience with 360-degree video production goes back to the immersive feature full-dome planetarium movie for the ESA cartoon series “The Adventures of Rosetta & Philae” in 2019. This proved the strength and potential of communicating to different audiences in this exciting format. 360-degree video editing software and rendering has improved in terms of quality and variety as it is becoming more mainstream.
Likewise, 360-degree cameras have also become more affordable and accessible in recent years. Even entry level cameras today enable shooting 360-degree footage. As it takes a lot of pixels for 360-degree cameras to capture every angle at once, such cameras require multiple lenses. These make the cameras bulky and heavy. The cooling fans of some models are quite loud and can cause issues with battery life.
“These kinds of cameras are very challenging from shoot to shoot. We had to set up the camera, get out of the picture and control it remotely. You must be so careful not to scratch them,” said Johannes.
As the camera works hard to produce ultra-high-resolution video all around (we recorded at 8K and 11K), it captures every detail of the environment.
“This was not a normal video shoot that we usually do. Not only did we have to make sure the imagery in front of the camera is working but the all-around scenery. We had to switch on all the lights for best possible overview inside for the best sensitivity to light in these dim control rooms. We also scheduled the shoot for the best possible weather and lighting outside,” concluded Johannes.
If you are interested in creating a 360-video experience for your customers, contact us and we can help you develop a creative way to engage your audience with this exciting new technology.