Why you need to be using 360° photography in your international recruitment
“360s are a brilliant online tool for international students to use in helping them make the right decision for their education needs”
Ash Burling is a senior photographer at Revolution Viewing – the sector’s leading provider of rich media solutions. In this blog, he explains why viewers like 360° images so much and why you should be using them in your international marketing.
If a picture says a thousand words, how much is a 360° one saying? Well to be honest: a lot more. 360s get the international viewer right into the heart of a university environment so they have a completely immersive experience of viewing it.
Imagine you’re a student in Dubai looking to study at the University of Hull, but you’re unable to visit. No worries, just check out the 360 tour we made for them! You get to explore the full campus and the facilities from the comfort of your own home.
In a 360 the viewer gets to focus on their own area of interest
Image composition is usually an important part of photography but 360s differ because the photo is literally everything. Audiences have complete freedom over what they want to look at, which is particularly useful to international students having to make their decision from across the world.
Dwell times on 360s are much longer than on stills, probably both because students can focus on what they want to see and because the interactive element of ‘showing themselves around’ keeps people interested for longer.
In addition to this, most marketing teams prefer 360s due to their authenticity, meaning people don’t feel like the images have been photoshopped beyond reality as some stills can be. However, that doesn’t mean 360s can’t be changed later down the line should clients require any tweaks to be made!
Audiences prefer 360s to stills
In the past few years, RV has been doing more market research so we’ve got more data to back up what we think we know from anecdotal evidence. We thought that audiences were loving 360s so our Client Services team did a bit of research to double-check.
In some recent focus groups, our Commercial Director Vicky found that every group of prospective and current university students (both UK and international) she spoke to preferred 360 photography to stills. Compared with stills, they said 360s were more authentic, clearer and more informative.
You can use 360s to create immersive virtual tours
It is more engaging to allow your viewer to be at the heart of an image and to be able to interact with and explore a picture. So when it comes to an international audience, it goes without saying that use of 360 tours on university websites is a natural decision to engage this section of the market by giving them the opportunity to look around a full university campus.
In this Newcastle University accommodation tour we produced, which is also virtual reality compatible, viewers start outside a building but can then get a good sense of space and place by going into different areas of the accommodation.
So to conclude, while stills have their place, particularly in printed material (although 360s can even be used there too), for any online marketing using images to advertise a space 360s are likely to be the first choice. They are a brilliant digital tool for international students to use to help them make the right decision for their education needs.
About the author: Ash Burling is a senior photographer at Revolution Viewing