The world of digital marketing is constantly changing, with more innovative and even more technologically advanced products and services. For analysts and experts of the digital media space, virtual reality is the latest example of how rapidly the digital world is rapidly changing.
Virtual reality, often touted as technology of the future, is now on its way to change how businesses advertise their products; moreover, it is also expected to make a massive change in the way customers interact and engage with brands. The growth and possibilities virtual reality offers is simply staggering, with the industry set to exceed the $5.4 billion mark by the end of 2016 and almost $80 billion by 2025.
Through storytelling and experiential marketing, virtual reality has the potential to advance the content marketing efforts of brands the world over.
Major Brands Have Already Hopped On The VR Bandwagon. A number of major brands have already started using virtual reality to offer unique experiences and attain even higher levels of consumer engagement that could have never been achieved through conventional marketing channels.
Famous marketing campaigns that became largely successful and celebrated for their use of virtual reality include Marriott Hotels’ “tangible experience” of traveling to one of its popular hotels for customers to experience and get a feel of the destination in a way that no amount of research could ever do. A similar use of virtual reality helped Lexus provide its potential customers an opportunity to experience the Lexus NX by driving the car virtually through a headset. In another campaign, IKEA enabled shoppers to virtually explore a living room and its interior décor instead of just looking at the sets in stores.
Contrary to common perception, you can also use virtual reality quite effectively for purposes other than marketing; exactly like businesses use content to meet various goals other than just marketing. Education and recruitment are two industries that have initiated the use of VR to effectively progress towards their goals.
Things To Consider Before Investing In VR
Virtual reality is adaptable and depending on your audience, brand, and goals, different VR strategies can work effectively for you. However, there are certain things that you may want to consider before you invest in VR.
The first and foremost factor that you should take into serious consideration is the cost of production. Devices like Oculus Rift are a little expensive, but usually provide a much better experience. However, devices such as Samsung Gear and Google Cardboard are less expensive than the former and can be used with a smartphone.
The next most important thing would be to determine whether the type of content you decide to show to your audience is relevant. If the use of VR has no impact on the delivery of your content or does not sit well with your target audience, then maybe it’s not the right time for you to use VR. Most brands make the mistake of rushing into new technology just because it is new and exciting only to find out that all it did was increase the costs.
Thirdly, you need to understand how your target market engages with your brand and what they expect from it. If your audience isn’t open to an experience as unique as this, how do you plan on meeting their needs?The prospect of creating unique content and interacting with your audience through VR can be an exciting one. With such endless possibilities, it seems almost impossible to fail. However, for all brands and businesses, it is important to note that promoting irrelevant content just for the sake of using the latest technology can have far-reaching consequences on the brand equity and image.
All in all, VR is a great tool to use for marketing, regardless of the type of business you run or the industry you operate in. What’s important is that you understand your target market and the type of content they expect from you, and VR will do wonders for you.
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