Facebook 360 For Luxury Property Developers
With the release of the Oculus Rift and the company's subsequent purchase by Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg is taking a big stake in the emerging virtual reality industry. While still in its infancy, VR is making new inroads almost daily into our lives as an education tool, a way to see the world without leaving your home, and a business tool that is being used to transform the luxury property market.
In the past year, as the technology to create virtual reality videos has improved, the 360-degree video has become one form of VR that is gaining popularity. 360 advertising is popping up all over!
While not exactly a “true” immersive VR experience, a 360-degree video is viewable on all manner of devices from tablets and laptops to smartphones and headsets like the Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR or Google cardboard. Users can “walk” around within the space by using a mouse on their laptop, or be dragging a finger around the screen on a tablet or smartphone.
How Does it Work?
Facebook 360 is powered by Oculus, the application designed for use with the Samsung Gear VR. Today, there are more that 25 million 360 degree images and 1 million videos on Facebook.
With the availability of 360-degree cameras like the Nikon KeyMission 360 or the GoPro 3D Hero System, the hardware is there for social media use. Until the Oculus app, there was no specific software application for exploring 3D on Facebook. Using the Oculus app allows you to open up the possibilities using Facebook 360 as an interactive advertising medium. Facebook allows files of up to 5GB or up to 30 minutes of video, more than enough space to create a 360-degree virtual walkthrough of your home.
The Power of Facebook 360 Advertising
Right now the two biggest libraries featuring 360 adverting are YouTube and Facebook. While there are some limitations on Facebook (you can only view them using a Samsung Gear VR and the appropriate phone) Facebook 360 advertising is already changing the way brands interact and engage with consumers.
The technology, from the cameras to the lighting and sound, from the narrative to the specific 360 post production techniques, is an entirely new way of telling your story. As a result, you really need to approach creating 360 ads with a different mindset than traditional video. The viewer has complete control over the user experience and can look anywhere they want to. Up, down, left, right, backwards and forwards.
360/VR allows you to present your property or product in a unique, effective and emotionally bonding way. This makes the technology perfect for selling luxury properties.
Justifying the Costs
While most of the current content that has been created was done by amateurs (showing that there is a potentially huge market for this technology) when using 360 video in an advertising context, it's best to work with professionals to create content. You need to be aware that the costs of content creation can be more than regular video. 360/VR videos use special cameras (they are expensive) special lighting, special post production and editing techniques and complicated logistics.
The big question for businesses considering this technology as a sales tool is, do the benefits outweigh the costs? Let's look at the evidence.
Recent studies have found that compared to traditional advertising, 360/VR ads are getting higher click through rates, more views, better, more measurable engagement and a lower cost per impression than traditional advertising. Additional studies have shown that consumers, especially hard to impress millennials, view brands that engage viewers with 360 and VR content in a more positive way.
This is not surprising considering that Facebook 360/VR ads engage users in ways that are impossible in a traditional context. There's no denying that Facebook 360 advertising offers plenty of benefits for real estate agents, developers, and sellers.
At Village Features we help our clients to create 360-degree videos and VR content that provides them competitive differentiation and makes their brand stand out from the crowd. Now is the time to get involved. Early adopters will reap the greatest benefits from this new technology. If you'd like to learn how we've been helping clients like Kiawah Island Resorts experience double-digit sales growth give us a call. We're always happy to answer your questions. Better yet, schedule a no-obligation consult and let us show you the benefits of VR advertising and Facebook 360!