I have been wanting to try the workflow of 360° video for quite some time now. So, obviously, when my Theta S camera arrived it was long waited.
Now I just needed to find an appropriate scenery for a video and test the workflow. In Denmark the Daisy Route is a special route that takes you through the best looking landscape and to the best attractions and museums. It´s almost 3.600 kilometers and more than 1.000 attractions, so I thought: That does it! And I began with the first part of the tour.
360° is not that bad to work with. The camera is absolutely working in a decent way, but if I needed something high end, I would have to struggle with the composition-heavy workflow with more than one camera that had to be “stitched” and that seems a lot more inaccessible.
With the Theta S I imported a clip (don´t use Photos if you are on a Mac – it does bad things to your file. Use iPhoto). I converted it in the software that comes with Theta S. Edited it in FCPX. Used Googles meta data handler to add data to make Youtube handle my video as 360° and uploaded that file to YT.
It is slightly more complicated than regular video – but it is absolutely worth it. 360° can offer so much involvement and playfullness to a video, that even though it needs a lot of attention it gives so much more to the experience.
There is no way around it. Sophistication and complexity are bedfellows.
If you want to have a better quality of response to your content and advertising, you will need to embrace more complexity. As an example I recently helped my good friend Svend, with some pro bono work. His Dojo had set up a concert with the Japanese traditional Taiko drummers from KODO in Copenhagen and now they needed to spread the message.
I did a recut of an existing video, that the tour provided. And then we seeded it. But to seed it right, I think any video will need at least three versions and at least three platforms to be seeded from.
1 – Youtube.
YT is an incredible strong platform, that just delivers across a lot of parameters. Right now I am testing for another client how we best move their TV-budget to YT, and it makes so much sense since YT is delivering a great quality of contact and lots of it.
2 – Facebook/Instagram.
The spread is equally good as Youtube – but the quality is way lower. Viewing of a video (which is the scrolling window=aka 3 seconds or more) is low and the click through is even lower. The price is low as well – and then it makes sense, cause the price of the same amount of real views (30 seconds) are roughly the same as YT, but you can focus on a better material of insights on Facebook. Therefore FB is more of a cheap precision tool than YT, that works really great for gaining broader reach.
3 – Vimeo.
The perfect platform for embedding anything on your own platform/website is Vimeo. Here you can control the complete experience, from player to end of play – which makes it perfect for embedding video and controlling the experience to the very end of the play and after.
Quick and dirty examples
But you don´t only need three platforms – you also need three versions of the video. So here are a summation of the three versions of the video and the three platforms they were published on and spread from. Just to give you a hint of how to version and where to focus.
Youtube is a great marketing tool. It delivers steadily on a great number of parameters. But you have to be sure to weigh the main communication in to the first 5 seconds to secure a lower skip rate, since Trueview is the only form of campaign you would ever want. When you pay for views you can enhance the video with in-screen clickable areas, that can lead viewers outside Youtube to external websites. This is great for a lot of stuff – and also when selling tickets for a concert.
Facebook is equally a great tool for marketing products and spreading videos. Where Youtube does great on certain aspects of a campaign, f.e. securing reach, Facebook does great on securing connection. Since Facebook makes autoplay – but without sound! Here you need to focus on the visual for the first three seconds – and since the clickable areas are outside the window, you will need longer burnt in call to action. The difference seems subtle – but it makes a world of a difference. (This example is embedded from YT – but it is the version for Facebook).
Lastly I have found that the best platform for embedding video to your website is Vimeo.com. First of all, you can make a completely clean experience. Here´s no advertising from other brands, no forced play after end – you can even control what happens after the play is done – and then you can easily define important parts of the player. I use Vimeo Pro to secure that embedded videos on own web platforms are hot linked at the end, with relevant link to relevant services. Like this ticket provider.
So do you really need to make three separate version of a video and seed them on three separate platforms? If you want high quality traffic, then yes! Absolutely. And why not? Better versions and seeding makes better contact!
I´m kind of old. At least old enough to remember 3D being a big dome that we could visit once a year when the traveling fairground came around. Not really being what was promised on the big posters outside the cinema. Since 3D has had this sticky feel of someone trying to sell tickets to something not great about it.
Later I have lived through many rebirths of 3D. Recently and rather suddenly I found myself with a Google Cardboard and being totally excited. I bought a lot of them for my birthday party and 6 guys spent 45 minutes in silence, just exploring the exciting new possibilities. The only sounds where the occasional WOW!
I love the VR Cardboard. It´s a democratization, it´s enough of an experience of VR to make me feel what VR does and most of all – it´s a movable product, that makes me want to buy in to the real deal.
I´m in awe of the Cardboard because it´s so easy to use (you must remember to be careful when you unwrap it though, it´s sensitive – especially the velcro – it goes of from the base very easily). I love the idea, that this makes storytelling so much closer. And really, so much more audible as well.
It´s a brilliant experience. You have to see what New York Times have done with VR and you have to see U2s fanvideo. Lot´s of people and brands are already working with VR in new and exciting ways. But you do not need to se Audi, they did´nt really make an effort and kind of miss what VR can do, in the usual “advertising agency want to test new technology” half hearted way.
Dive in – look around and listen… this will be another way our storytelling is changing fast.
On the (card)boards VR looks like it´s here to stay.
Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start writing! Or rather, start reading…
How many times haven´t we looked at a post that starts exactly that way. Just to erase it or overwrite it? Deleted the comment from Mr. WordPress and begin a blog of our own words. In my case it´s been more than you can count on a hand – or two. But I have never stopped to think about the effect the new tools gives us.
Of course I have joined the early choir of “democratization the debate” and the later of “anyone can be a media outlet” and the current of “you can make a living out a blog”, but I have never looked behind the new narrative tools.
So I decided to let the placeholderpost and Mr. WordPress be this time. Keep it as a small reminder of the essence of this blog: To explore what the many tools, options and endless possibilities we are given right now does to the stories we tell, how we tell them and what we expect from a story these days.
This blog is NOT about content marketing. This blog is about original digital content and how the way we think, produce and consume original digital content are changing how we tell stories on all media, from print over radio and television to digital storytelling.
Our tools are changing and with them the way we tell stories and our expectations to how they are told, are changing as well.