Facebook 360° Videos and Photos Boost Engagement in Marketing Campaigns
(Updated October 11, 2018)
Want Facebook ad campaigns that crush revenue goals and build deeper connections with your audience?
Whether you are launching social media campaigns for your business or simply looking to generate more engaging posts, this blog is here to help.
In this article, you'll discover how Facebook 360° content can be used to cut through the clutter of timelines, increase reach, boost ROI, and create memorable experiences for your audience all for the same amount of ad spend.
As of June, 2018, 1.47 billion people logged onto Facebook every day (on average). And with average session time hovering around 20 minutes, it only makes sense to dial in on your Facebook marketing strategy so you don’t waste time (and money) generating ho-hum results.
Cutting Through the Clutter
Let’s face it. There is too much media clutter on Facebook. Political videos and dessert recipes, memes, photo albums with 700 pictures, you get the idea. If you’re trying to advertise for your business, it can be hard to distinguish your content from the chatter of voices.
People use Facebook to connect with their friends, within their communities, and to discover new information. Brands and businesses use Facebook to connect with customers using an ever expanding array of advertising options (some more inviting than others).
As companies pour billions of dollars into Facebook ads, it's easier than ever for us to scroll right past an ad and completely ignore the message a company is paying to show us. With immersive marketing on the rise, advertising in 360° means the people who used to scroll past your ads quickly will now stop and look at your content (and your message).
It’s more important than ever to create distinctive content. Why? Because something that stands out is more likely to grab someone's attention and stop their scroll.
A Leg up: Facebook 360° Ads
360° photos on Facebook and 360° videos on Facebook offer a sparkling chance to stand out from your competition. By nature, 360s are more immersive than traditional media and have the power to immediately stop someone from scrolling. This unique immersive content allows the presentation of brand ethos (and personality) in a new way - one that offers a deeper look into the spaces a business or brand might occupy.
Why? The answer isn't so cut and dry, as there many unique ingredients to a good piece of 360° content. After creating 360° VR content tailored for hundreds of unique applications, we think we've got a pretty good idea of how it works as a storytelling and advertising tool.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, Marketers spend 28% of their budget on content marketing. Use that 28% in the best way possible to give clients the highest ROI!
How do we know 360 works?
The stats are backed by big data: 360° content significantly outperforms standard 2D content in terms of reach, engagement, and return on ad spend.
Did you know, interactive content generates 2x more conversions than passive content (such as 2D photos)?
No matter your field, people are looking for richer engagement in the world and on social media platforms like Facebook. With 360° content, you can give someone that wow factor for the same ad spend.
Check out the charts below to see what we mean:
Advertising on Facebook
Facebook recently introduced the "Info and Ads" section on Facebook business pages in response to transparency concerns with the upcoming 2018 elections. (Twitter and Instagram have both launched similar transparency plays too.)
This means people can now see ads on Facebook that a business is actively promoting. This provides an opportunity for brand transparency, plus it's a chance to show off your company's distinct creativity to curious Facebook users.
It is one thing to say as a business that you are cutting edge. It is another thing to be cutting edge, and to give people a fascinating experience in a platform they're already familiar with. 360° media on Facebook creates new opportunities to engage users, but it's pretty clear to the Beaumonde team that brands are still looking for the right solution to launch programmatic/bespoke 360° ad campaigns on social media platforms.
incorporating 360° content into marketing campaigns
As it stands today, there are unique ways to incorporate Facebook 360° content into your ad campaigns. But 360° photos on Facebook and 360° videos on Facebook cannot be stand-alone ads just yet.
The solution: post them on your timeline then boost the post as an ad. To prevent clutter, you simply can hide these from your timeline. We expect a more robust 360° ad option to emerge on Facebook's platform in 2018, but for now you can still get incredible lift on ad campaigns with the existing solutions.
(Also: You don’t need any fancy technology to post and share 360° photos or 360° videos on Facebook. A laptop or smartphone works just fine. Or a spaceship, but, shh!)
Using Ads on Facebook with 360° Media
You can do all the same things with 360 on Facebook that you can do with traditional content. You can choose the amount of ad spending, target markets, tweak demographics, view current promotions with business pages, promote posts, etc. Plus, you can track analytics in the same way, too; in addition to being able to see heatmaps of your 360 of where people most frequently spent time interacting (see more below).
If you’re pressed for time/budget then this is great news. It's also means this is a good option for you even if you are not very familiar with Facebook ads.
One additional insight that Facebook 360° videos can provide is a unique heatmap of where a viewer's attention is focused. This is great because it can offer you very real feedback on how a customer is visually interacting with your product or space. You can get real first-hand data on how audiences spend their attention with your brand for a fraction of the price you would pay to have a marketing strategy firm run in-depth audience analysis with case studies and similar extensive processes.
360° content for social media Campaigns
360s are versatile and fresh, and incorporating them into your social media campaign is just like adding a new type of content. It's deceptively simple.
When you work with content creators that offer photography, social media graphics, and video, you have to consider what marketing strategy will align this content with your organization's goals. The process is similar with 360° content.
Using this content as part of a holistic strategy is no different than adding a video or regular graphic! The professional you are working with will ideally help guide you towards the best marketing strategy for this type of content. (Pro-tip: 360° marketing & content strategies evolve quickly, and major social platforms add new features that support immersive media every month. Pick the right pro when you make your move into 360 😎)
In short, you are not limited in your advertisements because of 360° content. In fact, 360s offer more possibilities and have greater success at driving ROI as well as a higher CTRs compared to 2D media.
360° VR Media is dynamic, and successful
You can do a lot with 360° content. Event coverage, interviews, as a marketing piece, for interactive brand experiences, virtual tours, to give behind-the-scenes peeks, for personal announcements, and more.
Live 360° Videos
Pretend you are the promoter for a music festival company. You deliver hot performances and fresh content to audiences across the country. Lately, you're under pressure to draw larger crowds, to increase engagement in social media campaigns, and to create more results with a static or shrinking budget.
As a cultural promoter, you’re probably already familiar with regular Facebook live video and Facebook stories. Now you can get even more engagement doing the same kind of content – 360 style!
You decide to go live on Facebook in 360° once per week. It doesn't have to be crazy fancy like doing handstands on top of a skyscraper. Just something friendly, and relevant. Before you know it, your audience will be tuning in weekly for your 360° live videos.
Facebook Mobile Ads
Let's talk about these.
According to IAB, Ad spend on mobile hit $49.9 billion in 2017, a 36% increase from 2016 ($36.6b). By 2021, mobile’s share of digital advertising will rise to 79.2%.
Let that sink in. Facebook is becoming more competitive every day, and is on track to become the definitive place that brands will be using to engage customers. It's more important than ever to create content that is innovative, authentic, and engaging to cut through this clutter.
Engage Customers on Mobile
...By leveraging their phone’s gyroscope to immediately spark curiosity.
Combine this experiential interaction with some creative 360° content and you’ll see why digital marketers are seeing insane lift in mobile click-through and mobile conversion rates.
The current average is 10x improvement on click-throughs, with mobile click-throughs going as high as +1300% for 360° content (Source: Omnivirt).
Facebook Content in 3D VR
Recently, Facebook announced that their platform now supports 3D-180. This means Facebook users can actually go into VR viewing mode and truly immerse themselves in your content.
According to the official Facebook 360 blog:
Facebook 3D Photos
Update: October 11th, 2018: Facebook just announced that they now support the posting of 3D photos. What used to be a phenomenon mostly limited to shiny books and movies about killer sharks seen through flimsy red & blue glasses has now become a technological reality on one the world’s most popular social media platforms.
Now, hold your applause because, according to Facebook, “At this time, 3D photo creation is only possible on iPhones with dual cameras including the 7+, 8+, X and XS. However all devices and platforms will be able to view 3D photos posted to News Feed.”
Will 3D photo creation be possible from desktop computers? From non-iphones? From tablets? The world awaits breathlessly. Stay tuned for updates.
How 360 Impacts your marketing campaign, business, & Strategy Overall
Immersive media like 360° photos and videos, VR, and AR, are the future of content.
This field is expansively growing, which means more amazing options for marketers to choose from. Adding VR 360° content into your content budget shouldn’t be an impossibility – it should be a smart spend that supports your overall strategy to engage users and delight them in new ways.
Facebook 360 in your Social Media Strategy
Whether you are launching a social media campaign for your business or simply looking to generate more engaging posts, 360° media can help.
Facebook 360° content cuts through the clutter of timelines, increases reach, boosts ROI, and create engaging experiences for your audience.
Interested in getting started with 360° on social? We're here to help. Send us a message or comment below and let’s build something together.
Andrew Cheek is the Head Writer and Content Coordinator for Beaumonde. He graduated from NC State University and is in process of polishing the manuscript for his children’s novella. With a background in literature and film, and a taste for half-marathons, Andrew’s inspirations range from Virginia Woolf to Wes Anderson to his Adidas running shoes. You can find Andrew on Twitter and LinkedIn.