Here’s Why VR Content and 360° Photos are Your Best Investment in the Next 5 Years.

You've probably heard a bit about VR content, and how it's revolutionizing how we communicate and understand our world of experiences. 

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This article will:

  • Explore the many fields in which people, and businesses, are using VR content and 360° photos to distinguish themselves.
  • Highlight what makes 360° virtual content unique both as a marketing tool and as an art form.
  • Demonstrate the longevity of VR and 360°.

 

 

VR Content and 360° Photo Basics

Interactive content, such as VR and 360° interactive media, are widely applicable, versatile, and extremely successful.

We ran a Facebook 360° photo ad for Ambleside Art Gallery and, compared to a similar 2D ad with the same ad-spend, we saw: 9x Photo Clicks, 1.5x Reach & Post Engagement, and 3.6x Page Likes. 

360° interactive content works great to increase brand transparency, for social media campaigns, content marketing strategy, and even as an art form.

 Who is Using VR and 360° content?

Currently, 360° virtual tours are most popular for real estate, local businesses, museums, art spaces, and public spaces. (And many businesses are on Google Street View via 360° tours.)

A business chooses this content because they value the direct engagement they can get with their market via 360° VR interactive content.

360° content increases brand transparency while driving engagement online, which of course is great news for you if you are an event promoter, advertiser, or business owner.

 Virtual Tour of Art of Cool Festival in Durham, NC

Virtual Tour of Art of Cool Festival in Durham, NC

Applications

360° photos and VR content work great and integrate seamlessly into:

 
  • social media campaigns,
  • a business' content marketing strategy,
  • on websites,
  • and as part of a content mix. 
 

From brand activations, marketing pieces, and advertisements, to virtual tours and event coverages, 360° photos offer unprecedented originality. For example, we attended Durhams' Moogfest this year and created dynamic 360° interview and live-performance pieces. 

Social Media Marketing

As I wrote in a blog post last week, there is a lot of clutter on social media: more than ever, businesses and artists need to create unique content to cut through the clutter.

Interactive advertising (via 360) is more successful than passive, 2D ads. For example, a Beaumonde hip-hop event client saw +800% increase in organic sharing on Facebook with our interactive media.

As it stands right now, 360° interactive content works best with Facebook and Twitter. Both platforms support 360° photos, 360° videos, 360° live stream, and 360° advertisements. (Instagram doesn't support 360 in any form... yet.)

This is great news for marketers looking to reinvigorate their ad-campaigns, get more for the same or less ad-spend, engage audiences, and to be cutting edge.

P.S., VR and 360° media works great on mobile! In comparison to traditional content, mobile click-throughs are going as high as +1300% for 360° content (Source: Omnivirt).

 

What Makes 360° Photos Unique

360° interactive content offers further possibilities in how we engage with and remember experiences... Like going to hear your favorite hip-hop artist live in concert.

Share-ability for businesses

With so much content on social media, it is important to be able to share with potential customers the genuine pith of that which is advertised with greater clarity and speed. At the same time, while retaining authenticity. 

360° interactive content offers a quickness, and clarity, of messaging; while also grabbing people's attention on websites and social media. In turn, proving highly compelling content that people want to share.

According to an Ion Interactive survey, 88% of marketers said that interactive content is effective in differentiating their brand from their competitors.

Additionally, 93% of marketers agreed that interactive content is effective in educating its buyers.

Stand Out from the Crowd

As millennial spending on experiences increases every year, marketing campaigns for these experiences must adapt to stand out of the crowd online.

 
 

It is becoming more important than ever to bridge the in-person experience with what potential fans and customers are seeing online.

360° content bridges this gap seamlessly between the in-person experience and the screen. In turn, consumer decision-making can be quicker and less fraught with apprehension.

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What's in a 360?

Check out this 360° photo we got of two musicians at Moogfest:

 
 

Notice the clickable sound-bites over the artists' heads where they introduce themselves? And the music-note icon that lets you play their music directly in the 360?

We also added streamlined integration of captions, hyperlinks, and event information, so that people can more directly access the artists' music alongside sponsor information.

A Hypothetical Case Study

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Imagine: a brewery could feature, on their website, and on Facebook, 360° tours of the farms where their ingredients are sourced, of their kitchens, factories, offices and processes.

Little things like seeing beer being brewed in large vats can become a part of peoples' experiences online.

Then there's the chance to 'meet' the staff. Like the sound bites incorporated into the RaundHaus 360° photo we saw above. Participants can hear the voices those pictured, see their faces, where they work and what motivates them to wake up every day - their purpose.

360° Photos are an Art Form

There is a huge opportunity here for artists. Take a look at this 360° photo we snagged of the sunflower fields at Dorthea Dix park in Raleigh, NC. In only four days online, it has almost 33 thousand views on kuula. (Update: 2 weeks after posting it has over 76k views. 76,738 to be exact.)

 
 

360s are great for spaces and vistas, for landscapes, for cafés, for skylines, and even showing off art studios.

Maybe it's just me, but I'm surprised that 360° photography isn't being taken as seriously on a larger scale by photographic artists. 360° photos aren't being framed and hung in galleries just yet, but framing a revolving photograph in 360° and letting visitors interact doesn't seem so far fetched. (Harry Potter, anyone!?)

 

 

Artists are also using 360° virtual spaces for animated designs, like cartoons. Check out this phenomenal take on Star Wars by artist Matthew Gallman.

Longevity of VR and 360° content

VR content and 360° photos are not just a fad.

Last year, the global VR/AR content market grew 72%, reaching $3 billion. And according to BusinessInsider.com, "the global VR market is forecast to grow at a nearly 81% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2016 to 2024, according to Global Market Insights.”

 Source: Social Media Examiner:  Social Media Marketing Industry Report

Source: Social Media Examiner: Social Media Marketing Industry Report

 

 

In an industry report released by Social Media Examiner, statistics overwhelmingly pointed to the increases in spending and resources on interactive content.

360°interactive content will soon be a common & multi-purpose tool for content marketers, artists, activists, promoters, and many others alike.

This is not about jumping on the bandwagon. This is about exploration and the discovery of something worthwhile. 

 

Why This is your Best Investment in the next 5 years

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Incorporation of interactive advertising and 360° virtual media into brands already is seeing vast successes.

Event promoters are selling more tickets, people are engaging more authentically online, artists are discovering new ways to express themselves, gaining more fans, and creating beautiful content that converts online.

This is owed in part to the simple nature of 360° content being interactive. For businesses, marketers, and artists alike, this is a great opportunity to try something unique that is low risk and relatively inexpensive. 


Interested in getting started with 360° content? We're here to help. Click here to learn more.

 
 
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Andrew Cheek

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.