360° VR Video is a compelling format that has emerged in VR marketing over the past year. Unlike traditional 2D video, 360º content immerses the audience in the experience, involving viewers as part of the film. The result is better engagement, increased brand recognition, and a more intimate connection to the viewer.
Given both the massive promise of this emerging format and its complexity, many VR production companies now facilitate the creation of 360° VR videos for brands and agencies. Our core focus is distribution, the final roadblock to a mass market VR audience. OmniVirt Ad Campaigns allow marketers to seamlessly distribute their 360° VR Video campaigns across an otherwise fragmented market. As many marketers are less familiar with the various channels that can support VR distribution, we have provided a summary of best-practices below:
1. Launch Standalone VR Apps
A VR App will allow you to launch your owned and operated VR experience. With the rollout of Cardboard, Daydream, Oculus, HTC Vive, and Sony Playstation multiple fragmented platforms and app stores now exist to distribute your experience, but those involved in VR marketing should be wary of the costs in developing a new app and the friction in getting audiences to download new apps.
- Pros: Apps provide unparalleled customization opportunities for your VR experience (custom call-to-actions, etc).
- Cons: They also require user installation, an arduous process: potential users must search for your app from inside a siloed app store, download, and launch it – all before they can ever interact with your content.
Additionally, building VR apps requires technical skill and non-trivial post-launch maintenance. The app must support multiple features, including video hosting, streaming, content management, and analytics. For each additional launch, code-debt and versioning becomes increasingly complex requiring significant investment.
Our suggestion: Use OmniVirt to launch your VR app. OmniVirt provides a full stack (hosting, upload, embed, multi-platform) turnkey VR App SDK with Open Source examples. Translation: we take care of the technical stuff so you can launch across all platforms in minutes at a fraction of the cost.
2. Build a Website with an Embeddable Virtual Reality Experience
Embedding your VR content in a custom-built website allows you to control and promote your audience’s experience in a familiar way with your VR marketing content front and center.
- Pros: Build a rich destination dedicated to a specific campaign and enhance it with immersive VR content.
- Cons: Many embeddable 360º players are plagued with device limitations and bugs. For example, marketers often embed YouTube and Facebook’s 360° Video players into their websites only to discover that these players only work natively within their respective social media platforms. The result? External viewers must abandon your website, navigating to YouTube or Facebook to see the content.
Our suggestion: Embed your content with the OmniVirt VR Player. Because we specialize only in web streaming 360º VR Video, our player works across all websites, browsers (including iOS safari), and devices. Yes, this includes all Social Media platforms, including Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter.
3. Run an Advertising Campaign
As with other creative formats, when working with Virtual Reality you should consider owned, paid, and earned media. Don’t simply create 360° VR Video content and hope the world will see it. Promote it!
- Pros: You gain access to unlimited scale for your VR marketing content. Advertising technology today is very advanced and can leverage almost any type of targeting to hit the right audiences.
- Cons: Unlike organic discovery, there is cost involved in promotion.
Our suggestion: Use OmniVirt Ad Campaigns to tap into the largest premium 360° VR Video distribution inventory. We reach over 500M uniques per month and work with our clients to put together promotional plans that address campaign and budget needs.
4. Upload to Social Media
Major platforms like YouTube and Facebook have invested significantly to support 360° VR Video content. If you are creating 360° VR Video, uploading to these social platforms allows you to take advantage of your fans already on these platforms.
- Pros: Leverage your existing audience on social media.
- Cons: For larger publishers and brands, small / siloed social media audiences often just supplement primary audiences elsewhere. Additionally, several social platforms don’t natively support 360° video.
Our suggestion: Don’t limit your VR marketing content to just social media – upload it to OmniVirt! We provide full mobile support on your websites and applications, and the OmniVirt VR Player works across all social media platforms, including Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter!
5. Grow your audience with an email list
Leverage your existing email marketing channels to drive viewership of your 360° VR Video content.
- Pros: Drive additional viewership to your content through existing communication channels – at no additional cost to get up and running.
- Cons: Distribution will be limited to how large and successful your email marketing channel currently is.
Our suggestion: Take advantage of every communication channel you have to drive engagement with your 360° VR Video content. By uploading to OmniVirt, you can easily integrate your VR marketing content into existing email marketing efforts and drive users into the experience with just one tap.
At OmniVirt our goal is to make the process of launching 360° VR Video marketing campaigns simple and seamless. When you upload your content to OmniVirt, we frictionlessly connect your amazing content and eager audiences with OmniVirt Ad Campaigns and the OmniVirt VR Player. We hope that these 5 ways to distribute and market your 360° VR Video content provide some insight on how to get started.
As always, feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.