Gene Cao

Senior Marketing Manager at Insta360

Gene Cao has nine years of IT, marketing research, and consulting experience, primarily focused on B2B software (both application software and infrastructure software), cloud, customer analytics, and digital marketing. He also does research on financial models and business performance measurement. Cao joined Forrester Research after its acquisition of Springboard Research in May 2011, where he spent four years as a Research Analyst. Now, he works as the Senior Marketing Manager of Insta360, North America.

It’s Time To Take Your Brand Into 360

In the age of peak distraction, immersive 360-degree stills and video are an ideal format for marketers looking to make an impact. By allowing brands to transport consumers into new worlds, 360-degree content offers a uniquely powerful tool to deliver a message and leave a lasting impression on the viewer.

  • Leading social media platforms now support 360 content. Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, and Twitter all support the upload and sharing of 360 content. 360 video and stills can also be incorporated into your website to create engaging and memorable experiences.
  • Customers interact more with 360 ads than standard ads. According to a recent experiment on Youtube by Columbia Sportswear, 360 video advertisements drove 41% more earned actions than standard ads (Habig, 2016). Within the same budget, marketers can achieve more exposure using 360 content. Columbia’s experiment shows consumers are more willing to share 360 content on their own social channels.

360 Campaigns Are Already Succeeding

Forward-thinking companies are already proving the potential of 360 content to differentiate brands and make an impact on viewers with fresh, fully realized experiences:

  • Hyundai wins hearts and minds with its immersive Super Bowl ad. Hyundai used live 360 video to transport US soldiers stationed in Poland right into the Super Bowl stadium with their families. The ad deftly used cutting-edge 360-degree technology to share a message of love and connectedness. As a result, Hyundai caused a well-deserved buzz, racking up millions of views and achieving a solid media impact in Q1 2017 (Gerard, 2017).
  • Hilton Hotels will bring customers to their dream vacation homes with exclusive 360 experiences. Hilton Hotels is planning to give customers a preview of vacation homes with an immersive 360 experience. Presenting a far more persuasive experience than a standard video demo, the 360 experience center will significantly cut customer acquisition cost for vacation home sales.
  • Transported VR brings realtors powerful sales tools. Transported VR provides realtors a turn-key solution to create a virtual “open house” experience, allowing potential buyers to take immersive home tours remotely. In the real estate industry, 360 content brings both cost and time efficiencies.

Get Started: Create Your 360 Marketing And Advertising Content

The time to start learning the ins-and-outs of 360 creation is now. But, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Filming techniques for 360 are different than for standard photos or video, and it’s an emergent form — even the most seasoned creators only have a few years’ experience. Here are several tips for marketers who are ready to help pioneer the new form:

  • Shortlist and rank 360 platforms where you want to promote content. Customer viewership, interactive index, and willingness to share 360 content are different among platforms. For example, Vimeo users have higher willingness to share 360 content, while users are more interactive with 360 content on Facebook.
  • Start experimenting with consumer-class cameras. Costly gear isn’t necessary to start making impactful 360 content. Marketers can get started with consumer 360 cameras that put a focus on ease of use — with functions like real-time stitching, stabilization, and integrated social sharing. Cameras like the Insta360 Nano offer an intuitive experience and full Facebook integration, allowing creators to live-stream in 360 straight from their phones. They are an excellent way to share engaging behind-the-scenes content that will stand out on a news feed.
  • Work with a VR production house. 360/VR producers with 2 years’ experience in the market already have an edge on the industry. Working with a professional VR production house, like the pioneering Radiant Images, will give marketers key advantages and creative resources.

To bring 360 content into the marketing blueprint, marketers should start with the best practices in the same industry. Marketers must figure out the core message, target audience, and visual strengths and apply them into the 360 content. This immersive customer experience will be added to the brand story in the right way.

Written by Gene Cao, Senior Marketing Manager at Insta360
Edited by Xintong (Joy) Zhou, 
Medill IMC Class Of 2017

Sources:

Habig, J. (2016, July). Is 360 Video Worth It? Think with Google. Retrieved from https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/advertising-channels/video/360-video-advertising/

Gerard, S. (2017, April 3). Love Conquers All in Ace Metrix’s List of Top Breakthrough Ads of Q1. Business Wire. Retrieved from http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170403005526/en/Love-Conquers-Ace-Metrix’s-List-Top-Breakthrough

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