Ready or not, here it comes. Even if the medium hasn’t quite worked out the kinks or yet found its place among consumers (and producers), the future is here for 360 video and virtual reality. The popularity and potential of immersive content only continue to climb.
It’s a train you shouldn’t just want to climb aboard, but get ahead of.
Whether you have access to the necessary tech or not, today’s as good a day as any to start thinking about how you could use it. Flexing creative muscles now can keep you ready to explode off the blocks when an omnidirectional camera inevitably finds itself in your hands down the road.
Here are just four ideas to get started thinking about the role 360 and VR video can play in how, and why, you tell stories or push content.
Immersive video can help fundraisers. In fact, non-profits are already doing it to great success. Organizations are even making “Virtual Reality Screenings” a regular part of their annual galas. It makes your issue personal, and it imparts a certain urgency and empathy that can be hard to shake. Inserting potential givers into your story allows them the opportunity to become the hero. Do that, and your odds of parting dollar from donor have just gone up.
Social Media / Organizing
Use immersive video to engage social media followers in a new way. You’ll give them fresh content and they’ll feel more personally involved with your work. In the same way standard photo and video can feel like a filtered secondary source, immersive media gives consumers an organic opportunity to be there without, well, being there.
-Rallies and protests
-Far off lands or access-restricted venues and locations
-Virtually (see what I did there?) whatever else you can think of
Why tell journalists what they ought to know when you can show them? Using virtual reality to supplement a press conference is a creative way to tell your story and help reporters see the life behind your words. Doing so can help lend a new layer and visual angle to the usual post-presser write-up. “Here’s what we’re doing, now let me show you why that matters.”
Can’t host a physical press conference this way? Try a virtual one. Getting a 360/VR video out to reporters ahead of a conference call achieves the same end.
Ad blockers and stale content have turned the digital advertising landscape into a minefield and a gamble. Only the best ads can survive – those that hook viewers from the first frame, and ideally through the last. Immersive video offers a new hope to give viewers something they haven’t seen before, capture attention, and hopefully bait more browsers and scrollers, Facebookers and Tweeters to give you a click. Real-world campaigns are already finding immersive ads have the potential to yield significantly greater engagement rates.