How to Successfully Tell a Story With 360˚ Content

The aim of this series is to provide 360˚ video top tips to teach you how to shoot in this immersive, user controlled format to the best of your ability. 360˚ video and user controlled content creators can apply these tips and tricks to any future productions. In Episode four we explain how to successfully tell a story with 360˚ content.

“There is no greater power on this earth than story” ― Libba Bray

The art of storytelling is an ever evolving concept and thanks to the rapid development in technology, we now are able to capture, create and consume 360˚ content, the perfect medium for storytelling, like never before.

Whether you are viewing a crisp panoramic still of a breathtaking mountain range on your desktop, using a VR headset to place you right next to your favourite artist on stage, enabling you to finally live out that duet you’ve been practising in the shower for years…or even using your mobile phone to activate that weird meme that made you innocently navigate up to an enormous middle finger on a post your mate tagged you in…the world of immersive and user controlled content is slowly becoming the norm when it comes to digital content appearing in our social feeds.

As a 360˚ content creator, working with spherical environments suggests an element of visual freedom, however, this new found transparency leaves you with no place to hide. Producing spherical content is by no means an obstacle though; this exposure inherently introduces a number of challenges for storytelling in new and exciting ways.

360˚ content provides an alternative perspective to storytelling which increases the audiences level of curiosity and appreciation for the format.

The gradual transition in my career from traditional Film & Television production and working on digital brand campaigns, right through to recently joining Blend Media, producing dedicated 360 VR content, has really shown me that the massive increase in demand for 360˚ content allows a tremendous amount of opportunities to break new ground with 360˚ storytelling, and we are very much at the cusp of it all.

“Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell” – Seth Godin

As a creator you have to have in the back of your mind that brands are increasingly incorporating 360 VR tools into their content marketing strategy. Therefore, it is important to apply new skills to make your content brand friendly and shareable.

To kick off my first article in this ‘360˚ Video Top Tips’ series, I will be sharing four practical tips I have acquired along the way, which demonstrate how to successfully tell a story with 360˚ content . I hope that these tips will be food for thought and will challenge how you produce and share your 360˚ content.

Tip 1:

Grab the attention of your audience before they even begin watching.

“At its very core, marketing is storytelling. The best advertising campaigns take us on an emotional journey – appealing to our wants, needs and desires – while at the same time telling us about a product or service” – Melinda Partin

It’s an undeniable fact that we live in a very visual led society and as a result it’s natural to judge a book by it’s cover, and when it comes to 360˚ videos, there is no exception.

Having a great thumbnail for your video is the first part to telling your story, as well as being a fantastic way to grab the attention of potential viewers when your content appears in their feed.

Even though you are producing 360˚ video content, the still image you use to represent your video doesn’t have to be spherical. As long as the video thumbnail is very clear, eye-grabbing and relative to the content, you are on the right tracks to successfully tell a story with 360˚ content.


During your production process, think about capturing a great still image to use as your video thumbnail which reflects the true essence of your 360˚ video or story. Take multiple shots so you have a selection to choose from when it comes to uploading your thumbnail.

Refer to Facebook’s thumbnail instructions or YouTube’s thumbnail specifications for more information.

Other important factors when it comes to grabbing the attention of potential viewers are your video titles, descriptions, and tags but we will save this for another day.

Tip 2:

Take your viewers on a journey.

“There’s always room for a story that can transport people to another place” – J.K. Rowling

A policy that I follow when it comes to successfully telling a story with 360˚ video is that I should aim to capture low access, high interest content to ensure that it is meaningful. When planning a shoot, having this balance sets you up to successfully tell a story with 360˚ content.

Having low access footage means that the content you are capturing is not easy to come by and makes the viewing worthwhile because few people have experienced what is being captured before. Capturing high interest content could result in you telling your story to an online community like never before, appealing to an audience which you may not have been able to reach prior to the production.

Additionally try to incorporate more than one shot in your video to take your audience on a journey.

Having a fantastic continuous shot is great but at some point your viewer will disengage. In order to sustain their attention try introducing elements such as music, voice overs and additional scenes.

A great example which incorporates all of the above and got shared around our office is visitjapan’s tourism video below:

JAPAN – Where tradition meets the future”]


Think about your existing content. Did you get more than one shot on a shoot? Can you tell a story using these 360˚ clips? Why not try adding narration to a continuous shot, telling us how you captured it and the challenges you faced.

Tip 3:

Provide more than one reason for your audience to interact with your content.

“Purposeful storytelling isn’t show business, it’s good business” – Peter Guber

Whilst working in the 360˚ industry, one of the most difficult decisions when it comes to film production or photography requests has been: ‘Shall we capture this in the traditional way, or in 360˚?’. If it is the latter then there should certainly be a strong enough reason for the viewer to want to explore the full field of view otherwise the experience would be redundant and may render as pointless or distasteful.

If you plan on shooting 360˚ video in an environment where the core focus or action is happening in one area, think about adding complimentary graphics or visual assets that the viewer can interact with or benefit from. This will certainly help you successfully tell a story with 360˚ content.

Action or adventure shots are great as the audience is given multiple reasons to look around and explore. One of my personal favourite clips is by Blue Planet as I don’t think I will ever get to experience this, especially from this point of view. Also, the voice over just keeps me engaged and provides so much context to what is happening on screen.

“A story has no beginning or end: arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead” ― Graham Greene


When preparing your scene or shot, try to minimise ‘dead space’ as much as possible without making the 360˚ experience redundant. Avoid placing props in the scene just for the sake of it, ensure that you capture footage with meaning, with purpose and the viewer will appreciate it.

Blend Media’s 360° Stories is an amazing way to successfully tell a story with 360˚ content. The platform brings your 360˚ experience to life with interactive elements allowing you to guide your audience from scene to scene.

Try the M/Y Khalilah superyacht 360 Story below.

Tip 4:

Create shareable 360˚ content.

“A story has no beginning or end: arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead” ― Graham Greene

Traditionally a great story typically has a clear beginning, middle, and end. A number of films prove that storytelling doesn’t necessarily have to follow this format.

As a content creator, I think it is extremely important, not only for your brand but for the industry as a whole, to make the effort to ensure that the person who has invested their time into diving into your content, leaves your experience with a sense of gratification. Telling a story by simply adding context can make it all worthwhile.

The 360˚ video below, by Blend Media creator Emotion360, is a fantastic example of how to successfully tell a story with 360˚ content. Check it out!

Even if your content has no clear beginning, middle, or end, an active way to conjure up a positive resolution to your story is to encourage your audience to be active beyond the realms of the 360˚ space. This could be in the form of a ‘comment’, a ‘like’ or a ‘share’ on multiple platforms which would increase your digital presence organically.

Platforms with active online communities, such as Facebook, are great for uploading your 360˚ content, as it’s almost second nature to react and share content with friends after viewing it, especially if prompted.


During the production process, spend time thinking about what would make anyone want to share your content. This will challenge you to produce content that will work well without having to say too much about it.

I hope you have found these 360˚ video tips useful, and now have a better understanding of how to successfully tell a story with 360˚ content. If you have any questions or comments feel free to contact our team ( and we will be more than happy to help.