360 Isn’t Just a Cool New Tech Toy, It’s the Future of Advertising
There was a time, not too long ago, when a few photos posted to a Craigslist ad would be enough to entice potential renters to step through the doors of your apartment community and take a tour. **cue laughter** Needless to say, those days are far behind us as the integration of technology allows renters to experience nearly everything from mobile devices, shortening attention spans, and greatly upping the competition. Consequently, the days of selling the space and amenities are long since gone; welcome to the world of selling the experience.
Creating experiences online is a multi-faceted approach from media creation to strategy, but for now let’s discuss the role of 360 video in multifamily advertising. 360 video is a stunning and captivating way for content creators to share stories, allowing future renters to step inside your property for an immersive experience. Imagine the benefits both the community and future renter enjoys when they are able to tour without stepping foot on your property.
With the ability to create worlds instead of scenes, the potential for storytellers is groundbreaking, but with this ability comes a challenge: focusing a user’s attention where you want it. New thinking is required to create 360 videos that tell your community’s story. As mega-tech nerds and advertising geeks, we’ve had our eyes and ears perked to 360 for a while, and here’s what we’ve learned about creating compelling 360 video for multifamily:
Help Your Viewers Follow Your Story
Remember that 360 is a new concept for many, so giving your viewers time to understand how to navigate the video and where to move next is up to the filmmakers. Good 360 videos guide the viewer with the story, so whether that’s visual queues, text, or VO, these queues should help your viewers follow the story.
Instead of focusing on the ‘cool, hip, everyone is doing it’ reasons, we’re interested in giving renters the best possible virtual experience that will allow them to explore the in’s and out’s of the community. Facebook has added a way for anyone operating a Facebook page to post 360-degree videos, including editing the initial camera angle and verticle field of view, mainly as a way to attract more people who want to create and post 360 video. Though these editing features are helpful in some minor tweaking, great 360 video is a result of highly premeditated shooting. So no, we’re not holding an iPhone up and spinning around, or slapping a camera on our heads (though both sound like fun).
360 must be shot with finesse, details are at the forefront. After all, what renters seek from a virtual experience is not just a continuation of the online photo galleries — being able to click, pause, and explore details and amenities with coinciding information makes 360 video just like a real apartment tour, maybe better because you need not leave the comfort of your own home!
Perhaps 360 video will even surpasses traditional tours with the added opportunity to infuse personality and a touch of fun. The benefit of 360 video is that they are essentially produced with a story in mind, so if you want to lead the viewers through the video with fun queues and attract them to stop and click on a single amenity, you can and should! Adding in layers to the 360 experience transforms ‘video’ to an interactive story, and when you shift your thinking from tour to experience — you win every time.