360° Video Performance and VR Statistics

Benchmark performance metrics and engagement for 360° Video / VR.

  • Understand how brands are using 360° video and what performance statistics look like for these campaigns.
  • Learn how measure performance metrics, such as engagement and conversions from using 360° Video, 360° Photo and other VR content.
  • See a comparison of 360° video VS. regular video performance and benchmarks.

In this article, we will show you how to benchmark performance metrics and engagement for 360° video / VR. Unlike reports from other sources, OmniVirt’s report is based on real campaigns that have been verified through 3rd Party Validation Tools. These tools include platforms such as DoubleClick, DoubleVerify, IAS and more. Such a process can be verified through your ad platform as well.

Whether you are a brand, an agency, a creative, or even an individual content creator. If you have ever been asked by your clients or have been wondering yourself what performance metrics and engagement looks like when using 360° VR videos, then this article is definitely for you!

 

Summary:

  • Compared to regular video and content, 360° video / VR received higher engagement. This can be measured by the number of video completions, clicks and overall engagement rate. See summary table below.
  • Brands using 360° videos / VR are spread across all verticals. Content quality in this industry has dramatically improved every year. And distribution is a critical part to determine campaign success.
  • Different distribution channels require different metrics and KPIs that need to be measured. We have found a way to measure these metrics across all channels. For ads, you can leverage existing 3rd Party Ad Validation to verify the performance.

360 Video VR Performance

 Performance uplift in VR marketing campaign

 

How brands are using 360° video / VR

Over the past two years, more and more brands are using 360° video / VR as a new medium for storytelling. Unlike regular 2D video, 360° video / VR provides a new way to immerse audiences in story. The 1st person 360° view puts the audience right in the action will full control over where to look. Initially we believed that these VR experiences would make sense for the Travel and Real-Estate verticals. These product by their very nature align perfectly with a 360° experience. In reality however, we have seen a brands in every vertical take advantage of VR content for their campaigns. At first, you may not think VR would be straightforward for companies selling insurance, alcohol, kitty litter, or even fast food, but we have seen amazing creative from all types of brands using this immersive media format to engage their audiences.

Below are just some examples:

IBM, Morgan Stanley, Honda, Infiniti, GE, Toyota, Google, Microsoft, NASA, Uber, Cartier, Coach, United Airline, Farmer Insurance, Ford, Mercedes, Cadillac, Maxis Telecom, Chevron, Volkswagen, Johnny Walker, Caudalie, KIA, Clorox, RYOT, Samsung, Lexus, Netflix, Fifty Shades, Chick-fil-A, Jack-In-The-Box, Herbalife, Tourism Australia, Hitachi, Porche, Time-After-Time, US Army, and American Home Insurance.

See live examples: Our case studies of brands using 360° video / VR by OmniVirt.

After these brands have developed this immersive content, the next important step is to get distribution for its content. If you haven’t checked out our previous article “All possible ways to do VR marketing today”, don’t forget to review it. In a nutshell, there are many ways brands can distribute their VR experiences, included but not limited to the channels below:

All ways to do VR marketing


 

Complete list of VR metrics to measure engagement

And once this 360° video / VR content has been distributed the next logical question any marketer or agency would ask is: “How did it perform? Was the campaign a success?” So without further ado, here are the metrics we track and the analysis that we have performed.

 

Metrics for 360° video playback

Analyzing 360° video is no dissimilar from the way we analyze regular video. For 2D video we often look mainly at Video Views, Video Completion Rate (% VCR), Average Time Spent and Quartile Video Completion. In addition to these standard video metrics, 360° video comes with Heat-Map reporting which you can use to identify which object / which part of the video is getting the most attention from the viewer.

Below is the full list of 360° video metrics:

  • Video Views
  • Video Completion Rate (% VCR)
  • Average Time Spent
  • Total Time Spent
  • Quartile Video Completion
  • Engagement (VR Headset and Gyroscope movement, Click and drag)
  • Heat-map
  • Heat-map Coverage (% Coverage)
  • Hotspots (Interaction) — See more info in hotspots tracking section.
  • Conversion tracking — See more info in the conversion tracking section.
 

Metrics for Call-To-Action (CTA) links

Most brands also want to drive action or conversion from the experience. For every campaign we run, we ensure to include a Call-To-Action link as a way to create even greater ROI beyond delivering video viewership. Since clicking or tapping on the video is used as a way for the viewer to control 360° experience, it is mandatory for 360° videos to have a dedicated space to put a Call-To-Action link. At OmniVirt, we call this a “Clickable Label” as seen below.

360 Video VR CTA

Below is the full list of Call-To-Action link measurements:

  • CTA Link Impressions
  • CTA Link Clicks
  • CTA Link Click-Through-Rate (% CTR)
  • Conversion tracking — See more info in the conversion tracking section.
 

Metrics for 360° photo or 360° display ad

The concept of 360° / VR is not limited to only video consumption. For marketers that are more DR (direct response) focused and may not have invested in a full 360° video creative, we see 360° photos providing a lighter-weight way to take advantage of this new technology. We have helped our clients convert their 360° photos and videos into 360° display ads that drive directly to a landing page or website. To benchmark 360° photo and 360° display ad performance, we can measure it by comparing performance with regular 2D photo. Hence you can find the full list of 360° photo and 360° display ad measurements below:

  • Impressions
  • Viewability
  • Engagement
  • Clicks
  • Click-Through-Rate (% CTR)
  • Hotspots (Interaction) — For 360° photo, see more info in hotspots section.
  • Conversion tracking — See more info in the conversion tracking section.

 

Tracking conversions from 360° VR experience

OmniVirt supports integration with 3rd party tracking providers. One of the most common tracking methods is to trigger a tracking script. Impression / Click / Conversion tracking pixels are easily integrated into VR content with OmniVirt and allows for 3rd party verification of all these metrics.

To make this even clearer, when someone views or clicks on your 360° VR experience, we fire your 3rd Party tracking code in the background. The 3rd party service then generates a unique ID to remember each individual viewer. Once the business transaction has happened back on your website / app, the 3rd Party tracking service will know whether the transaction was sourced from someone that came from the VR experience.

Whether your transaction is a Sign up, Mobile App Install, Purchase, or something else, this is process of 3rd party conversion tracking is the same standard commonly used through other performance marketing channels.


 

Comparison of 360° video VS regular video

Now that we have described what you can measure and how you can measure it, let’s get to the good stuff. How does 360° video actually compare to 2D video. That is the reason that you have made it this far, isn’t it?

To make a fair comparison, there are two factors that we have to control for in any comparison or benchmark.

  1. Video placement — If you are comparing the performance of two different ads it is critical to ensure that you measure their performance in the same environment. Not only does the same environment ensure that a similar user is being exposed to the creatives, but the placement on the page can impact performance. For example, it would not be a fair to compare how an ad above-the-fold on The New York Times performed relative to an ad below-the-fold on a different website.
  2. Video length — Since the length of the video will highly correlate to VCR (video completion rate) it is important that we compare videos of the same length to each other. It is not surprise that people are more likely to watch more of a 15s video than a 30s video (in terms of % viewed). So for an accurate comparison, we must compare videos of the same length.
 

Benchmarks For the Average Campaign

360 video measurement

For every campaign we ran last month, we identified a 2D video of similar length. We selected Super Bowl commercials of comparable length to the 360° video. We can all agree that Super Bowl commercials are some of the best and most engaging creatives, so “bad creative” cannot be a reason for any difference in performance.

To establish a valid experiment, let me walk you through how we set up these campaigns to benchmark.

Placement: We targeted skippable pre-roll video inventory across the same set of targeted websites for both creatives.

Measurement: We evaluated Video-Completion-Rates, Cost-per-Completed View and Cost-per-Conversion.

Tracking: We used OmniVirt’s in-house analytics and DoubleClick tracking pixels to evaluate performance.

And the findings were clear. For the same video placement and same video length, 360° video out-performed regular 2D video against the metric that every agency and marketer looks at when justifying performance of the campaign. On average, we saw an 85% VCR (Video Completion Rate) for 360° video creative. This was a 46% improvement over the 2D videos which had an average VCR of 58.2%. The specific performance varied by creative and length, but the results were clear. This new 360° video ad experience engages audiences better than standard 2D creative.

 


 

Comparison of 360° photo VS regular creative

We have also also evaluated and benchmarked performance of 360° photo relative to standard creative. And our findings here both for specific campaigns and when looking at average tells a similar story…360° photos are better.

 

Benchmark Under The Same Campaign

Looking at the same placement and creative message, 360° photo always performs better than regular photo. In this experiment we also demonstrated that it performs better than panorama photo which has animation unlike standard creative. As such, we can conclude that 360° photo does not just perform perform better because of its animation. In this analysis we had the following criteria:

Placement: 300×250 placements on multiple trade publications.

Measurement: Click-Through-Rates, Conversion Rate, Cost-per-Click and Cost-per-Conversion.

Tracking: We used OmniVirt’s in-house analytics and DoubleClick tracking pixels to evaluate performance.

OmniVirt marketing team’s campaign metrics using 2D, Panorama and 360° photo to drive sign ups.

 

Benchmark Under An Average Number

While performance for any creative will heavily correlate to the placement where it runs, on average we have seen that for the same placement 360° photos can have at least a 4X increase in CTR performance.

Average 360° Display ad campaign CTR: 1.5%

Average regular Display ad campaign CTR: .35%

In average, using 360° photo as a display ad banner increase CTR by 300%

In average, using 360° photo as a display ad banner increase %Conversion by 410%

For marketers, looking to use 360° creative for performance marketing campaigns this data is very exciting!


 

How to measure performance benchmark by yourself

While we have done this analysis to be helpful, please don’t just take our word for it. If you would like to run a similar experiment here is all you have to do.

Step 1: Setup control — If you already have your 360° video/photo, simply find a 2D video/photo that you want to compare performance to.

Step 2: Setup your experiment — Make sure you have all the tracking in place and that you have set-up a fair experiment (same placement, same length). If you want, OmniVirt can definitely help you here. Below is an example:

VR DoubleClick and 3rd Party Validation / Verification Tools

 

Summary

In summary, from 1000+ campaigns that OmniVirt has powered for its clients, we have consistently seen 360° video and photo outperform 2D creative across every metric.

Over the past 2 years, marketing organization and advertising agencies have continued to invest in 360° video / VR. And technology platforms like Google, YouTube, Facebook, Samsung, Microsoft and many more are investing in the platforms to enable massive consumer adoption of this new media format.

But with so much being invested into the space, as marketers it is critical that we understand the ROI on these investments. Should I invest in this new 360° video / VR creative? Once I have the creative, should I invest more in distributing it? From the data we have shared in this post, hopefully that answer is clearly yes!

If you have any questions about this data or want more information on 360° video / VR benchmarks or performance statistics, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at contact@omnivirt.com.

Author: Brad Phaisan, OmniVirt CEO.

Visit our website at https://www.omnivirt.com.
See some of our 360° VR marketing case studies.
Also published at OmniVirt Medium.

 
 


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