Imagine zip lining thru an exotic tropical forest; monkeys hanging in the tree branches below you. Birds chirping above you. Behind and below you is a thatch roof hut. You cross a small stream and see a family fishing on the banks. All of a sudden a huge monkey swings right in front of you landing on the next tree branch.
Wow! How exciting!
All this while sitting in the comforts of your local travel agent’s office. Or while shopping at the mall.
This is the world of 360 video and virtual reality.
Are you ready? Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, Instagram and Snapchat are 360-ready for YOU!
Travel Oregon is fully immersed in 360 video usingit on their social sites and website. In talking with Emily Forsha | Content & Community Manager, Global Integrated Marketing she shared how Travel Oregon is using it. Here’s the inside scoop:
- Imagine taking a tour of the vineyard, barrel room, bottling room and even the tasting room. All this while touring with the wine maker and learning the inside scoop from the expert. Travel Oregon teamed up with a winery to make this happen.
- Jet boating is a hugely popular sport. Wouldn’t you love to experience it? You can with the miracle of 360 video and brought to you by the Travel Oregon team.
Are you thinking this may be too techy or expensive? Guess what, it’s simple. Emily and the team use a Cannon 360 camera and a tri-pod. Many of the 360 cameras start at about $100 and a tri-pod is probably in your photo or video tool kit already.
Tourism Calgary finds that their 360 video gets more attention and engagement on Facebook than on You-Tube. Kyle Russell | Manager, Content Marketing is so thrilled with the success they found with these stories;
- Capture the moment in a penguin feed at the Calgary Zoo, a rodeo event at Stampede or a hay ride at Heritage Park.
- Imagine riding the log-ride at an amusement park, being in the middle of a concert, experiencing a ballet from the middle of the performance stage or careening down a halfpipe on your snowboard.
Kyle finds that one-shot experiences gain more engagement than a mash-up of events. This means that in-the-moment experiences gain more viewership and shares. These key factors have increased viewer retention and maximized the minutes viewed.
The goal of the Tourism Calgary 360 video is to inspire people to visit Calgary, not click thru to other info. Creating a fun story that’s shareable is key. When you check out their 360 videos you’ll see that some of them garnered nearly 300,000 views and 1000 reactions.
Did you know; In the new Facebook algorithm higher priority is given to video so any form of video; slideshows, Live, 360 or quick 10 second video will get you way more reach.
Other tourism leaders diving into Virtual Reality and 360 video include:
- Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA).
- Rockefeller Center in NYC
- Tourism Australia
- Qantas Airlines
- Hilton Hotels
- EF Tours
- This list is nowhere near complete and is growing daily
Whether you’re looking for a 360 camera that attaches to your phone or a separate device, prices start around $100. Here’s a list of some of the top choices.
Understanding how you’ll be using the camera may influence your purchase. A couple of questions you may want to ask:
- Where will it be used? Kyle mentioned wanting to attach the camera to a ski helmet and having to use duct tape to make that happen.
- Will it need to be attached to a tri-pod?
- How will you edit the video? Some have on-board editing capability.
- Are you interested in plug & play?
Opportunities and Ideas
Are you brimming with ideas to incorporate 360 video into your marketing? Here’s some opportunities you may consider.
- Capture the excitement and beauty of your next fam trip
- Immerse your fans in your next ship site inspection
- Showcase a short clip of adventure on your next group tour
- Immerse your fans in ‘a day in the life’ of a tour group
- Short clips of events, attractions and festivals in your area
- Showcase unique adventures provided exclusively for your guests
Hoteliers & Resorts
- Capture the essence of your property at the pool, restaurant or culinary event
- Imagine immersing people in resort activities
- Go behind the scenes and capture excitement in the kitchen
Next time you’re viewing the excitement of 360 or virtual reality, jot down some tips that work for you. Here’s some that make the list:
- Keep it short
- Focus on the unique experience
- Tell your story
- Advertise to a target audience to share the love
- Know your audience
- Understand your goals
- Stay nimble
Virtual Reality and 360 video helps us tell our stories and ramp up the excitement. Whether you’re new to the game or honing your craft, I bet you’ll find the reward as amazing as the cool new ways to get creative in your marketing.
Catherine Heeg, international speaker and trainer, focuses on social media marketing & communication for the travel and tourism industry. Join the conversation and connect with her at www.cmsspeaking.com and socially.
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