How Brands Should Use 360° Video In Their Customer Journeys

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Interest in 360° video and virtual reality is on the rise among brands who want to create an immersive storytelling experience. Marketers aren’t alone; consumers are just as intrigued.

According to eMarketer, 53% of consumers find 360° video a positive and memorable experience, and more than ⅓ say they would be more likely to engage with a 360° video versus a traditional video ad. With Twitter’s launch of 360° streaming support for Periscope, Facebook’s 360° video support, and the popularity of products like GoPro, awareness for this content type is likely to rise and the format will become more mainstream.

In this post, we explore how brands should use 360° video for their customer journeys:


1. Use a Multi-Phased Targeting Approach

360° video seems great. But is it right for every customer?

Use a multi-phased approach to find the right audience for your campaigns. During Phase 1 of the campaign, distribute the video to a control audience. Collect audience insights on the most engaged viewers according to your campaign’s KPI’s. Then, during Phase 2, target viewers with similar attributes.

2) Craft Your Content Plan With Data

Trying a new type of creative doesn’t have to be a shot in the dark.

Place Sentiment Survey Engagement Cards at the end of your videos. Use these end screens to ask questions about purchase intent, brand affinity, or product preference. This insight reveals viewers’ feelings about your brand and their likelihood to purchase as a result of their engagement with your ad.

This is how you can use media to spark a two-way conversation with consumers and use learnings from that dialogue to inform future campaigns.

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 3) Use 360° Video to Drive Awareness

Because of its multi-dimensional qualities, 360° video works especially well for feature-rich content (car tours, hotel tours) that appeals to viewers who are lower in the purchase funnel. However, 360° video can be used for even more than that.

For instance, look at the Cherry Marketing Institute’s recent campaign. It turns out that cherry juice is an effective sleep aid. The Cherry Marketing Institute’s video created awareness for cherry juice with a 360° bedroom tour. Throughout the video, the viewer gets tips on how to set up the ideal sleeping environment. Drinking a glass of cherry juice before bedtime is one of the tips they feature in the video.

4) Drive Deeper Engagement

A recent study by Google revealed that 360° video ads don’t necessarily outperform standard video ads on traditional metrics like completion rate. However, 360° video can drive better interaction with viewers in other ways.

For a retail brand, Google tested a 360° video against a traditional video. The 360° video drove 41% more earned actions than the traditional video, including social shares. This led to better cost-per-view in the long run.

Both ads had CTAs that drove to an extended version of the content. Although the 360° video had a lower completion rate, it had a better click-through rate. In other words, viewers didn’t need to see the entire ad to know they wanted to learn more from the brand.

To take advantage of this effect 360° video has on consumers, try using a Video Explorer Engagement Card. These custom end screens feature additional ads in a video carousel at the end of each video, helping drive additional views for your video.

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 5) Connect Content to Purchase Points

360° video puts users in the driver’s seat and allows them to manage their experience. When viewers can interact directly with videos, it gives the ads context and helps drive purchase intent.

Many brands are finding ways to connect participatory content to purchase points. Last summer, Lowes launched a series of instructional DIY 360° videos. Rather than shooting the content on a 360° camera, the brand stitched together individual frames for each step of a project. This way, viewers could go back and review a step if they wanted. Each video featured a home improvement product. To drive purchases, Lowes offered viewers the option to click through to a landing page where the products could be bought.

With a unique 360° video experience and eCommerce tie-in, Lowes closed the loop between participatory content and sales. Another way to do this is through a Rich Media Engagement Card using the ViralGains platform, which you can customize to feature an eCommerce landing page that matches your campaign.

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When it comes to video advertising, it can feel like there is always pressure to jump on a new trend. But 360° video stands out. Its multi-dimensional attributes deepen a user’s level of product knowledge immediately. Plus, 360° video gives viewers control over the video so they can decide what they learn from each content touchpoint.

Although we are still somewhat early in the 360° video game, some best practices have emerged for marketers who want to give it a try:

  • Map your 360° video to the customer journey to maximize ROI.
  • Test and target your audience with a multi-phased approach to see who responds most positively to the ad.
  • Use your video to drive a specific action, like landing page click-throughs or leads.
  • Use videos — 360° and traditional — to start a two-way conversation with viewers that enables you to collect additional targeting and creative data through surveys.

Over to you. How is your brand using 360° video as part of your customer journey? Let us know in the comments.  

You, Me, and the Medicis

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Ever notice that people always thank “the Academy” when they win an Oscar?

I happen to know someone who is a member of the Academy — my brother Nathan. He created the technology for characters like Shrek, Dragon, Donkey, Kung Fu Panda, and many others at Dreamworks. A thoughtful observer of culture, art, and technology, he recently wrote something to me that got me thinking:

“The pace at which our culture is absorbing and building on new technology for artistic and cultural expression makes the Renaissance look like a knitting circle. And advertising is inseparable from that today, just as the great masters of the arts of the past depended on their benefactors.”

He’s right. We live in a time of dizzying change in journalism, art, and cultural expression, and of dizzying change in the advertising technologies that support and enable our means of expression. Continue reading “You, Me, and the Medicis” »

5 Ways to Nail Your Digital Video Advertising Strategy

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According to eMarketer, digital video ad spending topped $10 billion in 2016 and is on track to approach $18 billion by 2020. This anticipated growth shows that video is a popular medium among marketers. But, it’s still somewhat of a new frontier.

Issues like ad blocking and fraud complicate the space, and marketers are still working to keep up with this quickly-evolving industry and develop their play books for success.

Luckily, some initial best practices have emerged. Use these tips below to shape your digital video advertising strategy: Continue reading “5 Ways to Nail Your Digital Video Advertising Strategy” »

How to Build a Customer Journey With Video

Video enables brands to tell a captivating story. Combine this with the power of paid amplification and real-time feedback from viewers, and your brand has the opportunity to achieve massive ROI through this compelling content format.

The trends driving digital video advertising growth align with a surge in digital video consumption.

eMarketer estimates that the global digital video audience will grow 8.2% in 2017. Corresponding with an increase in video consumption is growth in advertising consumption, leading to a distracted consumer base and fragmented customer journey.

Between all of the distractions cluttering the customer experience today, some say the traditional customer journey is broken, or irrelevant. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. It is because of these distractions that it’s never been more important to guide potential customers through the buying journey with relevant messaging. Continue reading “How to Build a Customer Journey With Video” »

7 Best Practices for Live Advertising Campaigns

According to eMarketer, US digital video ad spending surged to $10 billion in 2016 and is on track to top $18 billion by 2020. With this type of growth, video is proving itself to be a core part of the marketing toolkit. For many reasons, live video is a format brands should consider.

Adweek reports that live video has 76% better brand recall than other commercials, and according to Facebook, users watch live videos more than three times longer than other types of video content. People also prove to be more engaged when watching live videos, commenting ten times more than they would on regular video content.

Live video enables brands to connect with viewers human-to-human. It allows consumers to participate in brand storytelling, which enhances the customer experience. With such a variety of options to choose from—everything from product tours to red carpet events—there is no shortage of offerings to create a touchpoint with consumers along their paths to purchase.

As marketers continue to learn how to use live video, here are seven tips that should kept in mind: Continue reading “7 Best Practices for Live Advertising Campaigns” »

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