It’s time to call virtual reality out for what it is – a reality. Virtual reality is no longer cutting its teeth but is, instead, growing exponentially in terms of market share with nearly untapped reserves when it comes to digital marketing. Virtual reality (VR) quickly ingratiated itself across industries by affording training technologies, testing procedures, and product development applications that are difficult to duplicate – or rival. Let’s dig in.
VR and Marketing Pair Well
Virtual reality marketing is a thing, and it refers to a marketing strategy that melds VR technology with marketing campaigns that bolster brand engagement and allow you to connect with your target audience at a whole new level. Consider the following basics that you’ve no doubt encountered:
- Overlaid filters that enhance photos and videos
- VR headsets that teleport wearers to a 3D virtual world they’re able to move through
Within these parameters, there is a lot of space for VR marketing innovations.
Bolstering Your Business
VR allows businesses to connect with potential customers like never before. With VR in place, your potential customers can take you out for a virtual spin without ever leaving home, and that’s a great way to build brand awareness, hype your products or services, and strengthen your empire.
You Have a Story to Tell
People turn to film and television for storytelling, and VR marketing allows you to engage in some up-tempo storytelling of your own. For example, consider the New York Times’ masterful use of VR in their piece on how children are affected by war – weaving their own powerhouse brand through a strikingly modern approach to telling a poignant story that is as old as time. The work is as powerful as it is informative.
While you may not be cranking out Pulitzer Prize-winning journalism, you can put your own spin on VR. For example, remember how much you loved going on field trips as a child, which afforded you a giddy glimpse behind the scenes. That kind of magic continues to resonate with your potential customers out there, and VR is your opportunity to pull back the curtain and allow participants to engage with your brand behind the scenes, including glimpses of the following:
- How your company gets down to work
- How the magic happens during the design process
- What goes into your product development
VR packs marketing power – not only in terms of conversions and brand loyalty but also in terms of generating valuable data.
VR opens a world of possibilities that allows current and potential customers to explore what you have on tap via a curated experience in real time. This immersive approach fosters more memorable experiences that, in turn, foster loyal fans.
Putting the Wow Factor Back in Advertising
If anyone doubts the impact of innovative tech like VR, take a peek at the vampire springing to life on a movie billboard in Milan, which has been called Sony’s scariest marketing effort to date. VR affords endless opportunities for pushing advertising’s boundaries into previously unexplored territory.
Strutting Your Stuff
Virtual reality is a virtual goldmine when it comes to opening up avenues for exploring your products and services more fully – letting potential customers know you’re there to fill a need or solve a problem. Consider Ikea’s Ikea Place app, which allows all those Ikea lovers out there to arrange 3D full-scale product models – in their own living spaces – opening up a world of solutions in the process. Aligning yourself with VR marketing innovations earlier rather than later can help you stay ahead of the technological learning curve.
The Zillow Revolution
You probably never envisioned a weekend spent curled up on the couch taking virtual tours of homes way outside your price range, way outside your geographical location, and way outside your comfort zone, but Zillow’s VR insight made this practice a popular hobby. Not everyone that Zillow tempts to its virtual playground is in the market for real estate, but when they inevitably do enter the market, they turn to Zillow. There’s a lesson here for those in every industry.
Influencers Are Gonna Influence
While online influencers are gonna influence, there’s nothing stopping virtual influencers from joining the fray, and the blending of these worlds is gearing up to unite and conquer. Building brand awareness – in the end – is not limited to real life, and virtual reality is pushing the envelope.
Retailers are on board with VR, and some are already exploring ways to connect with consumers on a deeper level through virtual participation in brand marketing. Some standouts include:
- The Excedrin Migraine Experience allows users to experience the visual symptoms of a migraine – helping those who don’t experience migraines better understand the plight of those who do.
- Walmart has trotted out virtual technology for trying on clothes remotely. Online customers choose the models who most closely resemble them in height and weight and then get busy playing dress-up.
- Many of the top online eyeglass retailers have been using VR tools for a while now – allowing online shoppers to try endless pairs of glasses on live feeds of their own faces.
Journalism is also exploring the experiential. The Guardian offers Welcome to Your Cell, which provides a virtual experience of solitary confinement in a 6 x 9-foot cell – highlighting the deleterious psychological effects of this practice in a way that wouldn’t be possible without VR. While this may not sound like the most enjoyable use of VR technology, it certainly highlights what’s possible – and what the future may hold for how organizations reach the people they want to connect with.
Explore VR with a Real-Life Digital Marketing Professional
Virtual reality is real, and the digital marketing pros at The Web Guys are here to help you explore the endless possibilities. Whether you’re ready to revamp your current website design, begin social media marketing, or simply want to learn more about us, don’t be shy – contact or call us at (317) 805-4933 today.