In one survey, researchers discovered brands using 360-degree videos had higher engagement than regular video and other types of content. Even though the incidence of 360-degree posts grows each year, it is still a relatively new feature your competitors may not use.
A 360-degree image adds a lot of interest to your website and benefits your business in the following ways:
1. Engage users
Engaging website visitors is vital to keeping them on your page. A 360-degree video pulls them into the experience of your business by requiring them to click and drag to see the full image. As they explore the inside of your store, the angles of a product you released or view the inner workings of your business, they interact with the image and take specific actions.
Martell is a cognac house that’s been around over 100 years. When you land on their website, you receive an option to view a 360-degree image. You can then move the mouse to see the cognac house from different angles. As you rotate the image around, you hear birds chirping and background noise.
2. Add an immersive experience
Immersive experiences, such as virtual reality (VR), are growing in popularity as screens come with higher resolutions and mobile devices add augmented reality (AR) capabilities. A 360-degree image adds an immersion type experience to your site, bringing it into the twenty-first century. Adding immersive content helps your business stand out and shows you understand current trends.
3. Create a stellar hero header
Hero images in the header of your website capture user attention from the minute a visitor lands on your page. Take your hero image a step higher by making it a 360-degree image. Your header then inspires the user’s imagination while also engaging the user by encouraging action.
Playworld uses a hero header and makes it the 360-degree interactive experience. You can zoom up, down and around to see the playground equipment from every different angle. Flip the image around to see what is behind the image when you first land on the page and even get a close-up view of the ground material.
4. Make a strong first impression
It only takes users milliseconds to form an impression of your website. Grab them from the first moment they land on your site by offering a 360-degree image. There is something about a 360-degree photo that stands out from static photos. The richer images appear almost three dimensional.
5. Show a series of images
Do you have a number of different images to show and you aren’t quite sure where to start? One idea is creating a 360-degree video which rotates from different photos and angles of those images. A series of scenes creates an overall effect that makes an impression on the viewer and tells a story through the various photos.
The Assemblage is a community work and living space in New York City. The video rotates through different images of the working, living and community space and shows the property from various angles. While the user has less control over which angles the images move, the overall effect is still powerful and builds a story about what it would be like to work and live at The Assemblage.
6. Offer a free tour
Building trust between your business and your target audience isn’t easy, particularly in e-commerce. However, you can give potential clients a tour of your offices or manufacturing facilities with a 360-degree photo. Put those doubts to rest about the way you put together your products or if you’re a legitimate business. Offer a tour of your facilities even if customers never visit in person.
Sprinkle in immersive content
Use 360-degree images in moderation but use them to enhance other content on your website. Every element of your page works together to keep users engaged, informed and hopefully turn browsers into leads. There are many different places on your page where you can integrate interactive elements. Hopefully, the samples above offer a few ideas for ways of using 360-degree images on your site.
This is a guest article by Lexie Lu. Lexie is a web designer and UX strategist. She writes for Marketo, Creative Bloq, Manta, Website Magazine and Cats Who Code. Check out her design blog, Design Roast, and follow her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.