7 Types of Mobile-Forward 360° Content
It’s no secret that people are spending more time on their mobile devices. In fact, people spend on average 69% of their media time on smartphones alone (according to a study by comScore).
Despite this huge wave of people using mobile content, many brands are still struggling to adopt a new creative marketing strategy to fit the changed demand. What worked on desktop won’t work as well on mobile anymore.
A few bright spots we’ve noticed in the last year, in terms of how brands are engaging people on mobile, relate to the following:
Growth in the app marketplace
Emergence of voice search as a primary tool (like Alexa)
Increased use of interactive content to tell stories (like 360° photos)
Explosive adoption of chatbots
A greater focus on video & live video (especially on social media)
New Dimensions of Media
These examples all point to brands shifting their focus to accommodate mobile markets and, more specifically, to ease methods of communication — whether that’s from brand to consumer, consumer to consumer, or otherwise.
With mobile so dominant, it can be hard to pick which route to take — chatbot, app development, 360° graphics, new forms of media, etc. As always, each type of interactive mobile-forward content is going to have pros and cons.
The Revolution of Experience
It’s time brands started using interactive media and creative 360° mobile content to tell stories and build networks. 360° content stands out from technologies like chatbots and from apps because of their relative simplicity. (A simplicity that doesn’t sacrifice quality.)
While building an app or a chatbot can take months and months to plan and refine, integrating 360° content (and a supporting strategy) into your brand storytelling can be done in a matter of days, while still delivering lasting results and long-term viability.
360° experiences on mobile are memorable, easy to use, drive more ROI, get higher CTRs than 2D content, and make your brand stand out with style.
But what does this look like?
We’ve assembled a list of 7 types of mobile-friendly 360° content to give you an idea of what types of immersive 360s you can use to communicate with audiences, draw more fans, tell new stories, and more, all from the palm of someone’s hand.
While 360s work beautifully on desktop, what makes them stand out on mobile is their compatibility with your phone’s gyroscope. (Read this blog on your smartphone to see what we mean.)
As you move your mobile device around, so does your perspective within the 360° space.
This shift in mobile content dimensionality stops people in their relentless social media scrolling, delivers something new, and is backed by KPIs that far outstrip 2D traditional content.
We just surpassed 1.5 million views online with our 360° content. Check out our blog on reaching that milestone to see some of our favorite 360° photos & designs from the past few years.
1) 360° Photos
When’s the last time you took a picture? Ever taken one in 360°?
360° photography is like regular photography in that you can take a picture nearly anywhere, with the added bonus of 360° viewing range and a welcoming interactive display. (And with 360° photos you can add into the space clickable blocks, links, graphics, CTAs, and more.)
While it may seem obvious, the possibilities for 360° photography are as limitless as your imagination. One look at Kuula.co’s Explore page will give you an idea of just how much you can do with a 360° camera.
We’ve taken 360° pictures anywhere from over the crowd at a sold-out concert to the quiet summer sunflower fields near our house (see above).
2) 360° Videos
Videos in 360° have similar possibilities as do 360° photographs. While the video plays, viewers can scroll around and click to interact with any buttons or overlaid links within the space. For brands, this means linking to their site, their merch, to tickets, etc., directly in the 360° space seamlessly and with flare.
For an example of a 360° video, check out this Facebook 360 video we filmed with the Quadrivium Project.
Several musicians have created music videos in 360°, too, ringing instruments and people around the camera for quite the effect. 360° video can also be used for festival promotion, gallery opening announcements, to show off new spaces, and more.
If video is a major part of your marketing strategy, consider trying it in 360°. Columbia Sportswear did this for a skiing advertisement and saw increased views, shares, subscribes, and 41% higher earned actions versus the standard 2D ad.
3) 360° Flyers & Posters
360° flyers and posters work great for announcing events, grand openings, festivals, gatherings, you name it. Given their interactive nature and compelling click-ability, a 360° flyer or poster has a lifespan beyond just sharing for the event itself. Recaps, archival purposes, and more are all possible here.
Check out a 360° announcement flyer we made below:
This AVL Battlegrounds 360° Poster was paired with an in-the-moment 360° photo taken at the event, both being shared across social media and used to build hype & gather interest.
4) 360° Brand Activations
Trumpets blare. A scroll unrolls.
Here we present another cool mobile content possibility within the 360° space: interactive designed worlds. This concept is something we’ve been working on for years, and falls somewhere within the categories of interactive game and iSpy concept.
All over the 360° ‘wall’ are placed brand elements and graphics that prompt clicks. For a brewery, this could be bottles and taps, kegs, labels, and more, with the prompt for the viewer to, say, find as many different beer bottles as they can (a la iSpy). Check out our Halloween-themed iSpy below for a better idea of what these types of 360° content look like:
5) 360° interactive album covers
360s in the world of music are a hugeeee opportunity. Immersive event flyers and posters in 360° were mentioned above, as were the possibility of 360° music videos. Without a redesign to the album cover since 1938, we proudly present the future of album art and album covers: the 360° interactive album cover.
This 360° world, pictured below, doubles as the artist’s website and is unlike anything else in the world.
We’ve also created 360° album concepts using musician’s artwork in a carousel-type fashion. For more, check out what we built in collaboration with hip-hop group Kooley High.
6) 360° Virtual Tours
You’re probably pretty familiar with Google Street View for businesses, public spaces, coffee shops, etc. You go room to room, mouse around in 360°, look at the ceiling, so forth and so on.
Virtual tours in 360° are just like Google Street View tours except they can have many more clickable graphics, links, embedded descriptions, and more. Plus, 360° virtual tours can be included on businesses’ websites.
For an example of a 360° virtual tour, check out the one we made for the Gregg Museum of Art & Design:
360° virtual tours work for museums (as pictured above) in addition to working great to show off outdoor festival and event spaces, parks, and more.
With a 360° tour, you give people a chance to visit remotely and ponder more clearly whether they’d like to come in person. In our experience, 360° tours drive ticket sales & attendance (via FOMO) while simultaneously serving as an educational marketing tool for brands looking to reinvigorate their creative.
7) 360° interactive Quizzes
Much of the opportunities for 360° storytelling are empowered by the interactive hotspots that drive engagement. Like a decision tree, immersive spaces can be used to track a decision making process. Rather than use hotspots to display pop-up content or deeplink to other platforms, we can use the portal features that are present in 360 platforms to create conceptual interactive quizzes. Each click acts as an ‘answer’ to the presented question and takes the user into a new space.
Thanks for reading! We’re here to help you put these incredible creative formats to work for your bottom line. Leave us a comment with your thoughts or take the next step and reach out.
We FLEX on mobile. 💪
Experiential content on mobile puts flat creative in a sleeper hold. If you're ready to get started, you know what to do.