The last great revolution in video introduced sound and color in the 1930s. Almost a century later, technology is evolving again with the arrival of 360 video, thanks to lower creative costs and the ability to scale fast.

While the entertainment industry may not fully 360 videos for some time, brands are spending more money on it each year to create compelling content for their audiences.

Why is content marketing so important? A recent study found that content marketing leaders experience 7.8 times more traffic than non-leaders. So not only is such marketing necessary, but it’s also important to be a thought leader. That requires knowing and using the most recent technology to tell the stories of your brand.

Google did a case study comparing videos with and without 360 functionality. The findings were surprising. While traffic was relatively the same across both types of video, engagement and clickthrough with 360 were higher. Ability to control the point of view encouraged additional engagement, and more users wanted to continue to the webpage to view the full video.

Knowing 360’s importance and effectiveness as a marketing tool, let’s look at the increase in 360 video examples in recent years at these major brands:

HONDA

Last year, the Japanese vehicle manufacturer sponsored the Red Bull Global Rallycross, a high-octane race that lends itself to a unique experience. A 360 video cuts from inside to the outside of one car while allowing the user to control the camera view. Honda used this video to engage rallycross enthusiasts across its marketing channels. Take a look at the video here:

GOOGLE

For the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Google produced a short documentary highlighting lives of residents there. Striking imagery from drone footage and a 360 camera allowed a user to decide what to see while the beauty of the entire city was showcased. Teaching an audience via 360 video is memorable and educational.

SONY PICTURES

Entertainment companies are exploring ways to use 360 content in their marketing. Last year, Sony produced a 360 video before release of the horror-thriller movie “Don’t Breathe,” creating a terrifying scene and allowing viewers to navigate it on a mobile phone.

The content is more immersive than in a standard video and likely more entertaining. While the entire film was not shot this way, the 360 release was a great way for the studio to sell more tickets before the premiere.

Sony debuts Snapchat’s new 360 video ad feature from Marketing Week on Vimeo.

Here’s a look at which major brands are using 360 video in their content marketing strategies.

Companies that use 360 video

Some of the largest brands in the world are included, and many are logging major audience views as a result. If you still need to be persuaded to add content marketing to your campaigns, consider these three of 10 stats from the Content Marketing Institute:

  • Content produces brand recall, which drives engagement.
  • While content marketing costs 62 percent less than outbound marketing, it generates more than three times as many leads.
  • Content marketing drives higher conversion rates.

The startup cost is decreasing. Not long ago, creating a 360 video was technically difficult and impossibly expensive. Today, several brands of cameras capture high-quality videos at lower prices. Shooting with any of them is a great and inexpensive way to start testing 360 content for your communities.

360 video has proved to be an effective form of content marketing in recent years. Data suggest that shooting 360 is worth the time and effort involved, especially when matching it to your marketing goals. While skeptics may believe that 360 is a marketing fad, data also suggest that it’s not going away anytime soon.

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