How to hook your Facebook fans with 360 video

Next time you sit down in a marketing meeting, play a spot of buzzword bingo and see how often you cross-off ‘engagement’, ‘resonate’, ‘outside the box’ and ‘results-driven’.

Of course it’s vital to chase higher ROI, (and these hackneyed phrases become so for a reason – they make sense), but I’ve been surprised by the relatively slow uptake of a platform that allows you to satisfy them while creating experiences that truly ‘move the needle’: Facebook 360.

In June 2016, Facebook’s Nicola Mendelsohn revealed that the social network was moving toward a video-first future and predicted that 360-degree video would feel very common. One year on, however, it’s bewildering that so few brands have tested the waters with this immersive technology, as nothing can match its ability to ‘transport the audience’.

What makes Facebook 360so credible is its accessibility; with two billion users, the potential audience is huge, and there’s no need for Virtual Reality headsets as mobile users simply tilt their device in any direction to ‘look around’ and immerse themselves in the action, while desktop users ‘click and drag’ the screen to achieve the same effect.

This almost literally takes you ‘outside the box’, because you’re no longer limited to fixed viewpoints, meaning people can take control of their encounter, ‘resonating’ in ways that traditional video can only dream of. YuMe research states 53% of US adults aged 18-54 think 360 videos help create ‘engaging’ experiences, while a Google study that A/B tested two versions of the same ad – one shot in standard vs. one 360 video – found that the 360 version resulted in 41% more ‘earned actions’ (click-through rates, shares and subscribes).

So if you want a ‘results-driven’ campaign, 360 is certainly the way forward. Here’s a cracking example of what can be achieved:


There’s something innately appealing about the ability to spin a full 360 and take in the majesty of a glacier, before zooming down the highway and then jumping off a canyon, looking down as you hurtle toward ground. It certainly gets those tummy butterflies flapping.

360 video has the power to move audiences like never before, and I’m convinced that businesses of varying sizes will soon see the bigger picture and start jumping on the bandwagon.

Here’s a few 360 video production tips guaranteed to keep your followers engaged:


The best 360 videos are those which create interactive experiences that lead viewers through rich environments with something to tantalise from every angle. This is why 360 excels as a travel marketing strategy, because you can tempt viewers to make bookings if you whet the appetite and invite them to try before they buy, enabling them to get a feel for your destination from the comfort of their sofa.

If you’re a different kind of business, a software company for example, perhaps conducting a presentation on Facebook Live would be better suited to your needs, or you can still give the world a behind-the-scenes glimpse into office life with a 360 photo.


Facebook has a handy publishing feature called Guide, which, as the name suggests, allows you to automatically guide your audience through your film, ensuring they’re not looking the other way at key moments.

While the inherent beauty of 360 is the freedom to explore, some users have reported a certain fear of missing out if they’re not facing the action, so Guide allows you to keep them on track. If users prefer to navigate their own journey, they can easily ‘tap out’ of Guide and continue down their own interactive pathway.

You can also use 360 audio to alert viewers to face the right direction if something exciting is happening out of their line of vision.


If you’re going to have an on-screen presenter, or you’re just panning past a crowd of people, you’d naturally point the camera at their head. However, with 360 recording, this will create way too much headroom, as you’ll also be capturing all the empty space above head height. Thus, it’s advisable to point your 360 camera level with the chest, ensuring the head remains in the top third of the picture.

360 allows you to generate a certain “wow factor”, so if you have a product or service that naturally lends itself to being showcased in full panoramic glory, make the most of the world around you and start shooting.

There’s no doubt the medium of moving pictures is dominating the Internet, and you can definitely reap the rewards with the right video marketing strategy.

Jon Mowat is the MD of video strategy agency, Hurricane. You can connect with him on LinkedIn and follow @HurricaneMedia on Twitter.