360 Video: Before You Join The Revolution

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By Samy Simorangkir

When Facebook announced the support of native 360-video last fall, brand marketers got excited, and for good reason. This new feature allows for a kind of immersive storytelling on social media that cannot be achieved with static or regular video content. But as with all superpowers, with great emerging technologies come great responsibility. You have the responsibility to create engaging, relevant content, and not disrupt your audience’s experience. Here are four things to keep in mind to make sure you’re doing 360-video right.

1. Quality

Are you able to produce the 360-video at a high quality, or are you sacrificing quality for the novelty of a 360 experience? Even with the highest resolution and top notch equipment, in 360 video you won’t be able to avoid the fisheye-effect that warps the image. Is this something that will adversely effect the way the user experiences your content? Is it displeasing to the eye? Maybe not, but it is something to consider.

In addition to visual quality in videos, you must also consider audio quality. It is especially important when trying to create an immersive, almost virtual-reality experience that the audio isn’t off-putting and drives your audience away.

2. The Payoff

The truth of the matter is, you’re asking a lot of a user when you present them with a 360 piece of content. Instead of just viewing something as it comes up in their feed, you’re asking the user to take action and either click and drag through the video, or actually turn their mobile device. Whether it’s a strong call to action in the post copy, or a striking visual in the initial view, it’s imperative that you get the audience’s attention from the get go. And once you get their attention, your content needs to have been worthy of the effort they put in. Is there anything of value being provided as they explore the video?

3. Audience Comfort Level

Since a 360-video requires a user to control the view, it’s probably a good idea not to have too much camera rotation and movement added to that, lest you induce unwanted nausea, which is perhaps the last thing you want your social media content to evoke.

4. Relevance

Above all else, the most important thing to consider before you choose to create 360-video is if it’s the best way to deliver your message. It’s a great way to insert your viewer into a room, place, or situation they wouldn’t otherwise be able to experience. If this isn’t your goal, or isn’t relevant to your brand, another means might be more appropriate. If you need to control your narrative, and have each viewer experience the same thing, maybe a standard video is the way to go. But if you have a creative idea in the choose-your-own-adventure vein that will provide your audience with a memorable or interesting experience that is relevant to your brand, this is a great way to do it.

Have you used 360-video for your brand? Leave your thoughts for the Likeable Media team below!