Technological innovations continue to impact digital marketing, and one of the most intriguing tools to enter the landscape in the past few years is virtual reality (VR).
VR refers to an artificial, computer-generated environment that uses high-end graphics, as well as audio and aural sensations, to make users feel as if they are in a real world where they can interact with - and sometimes manipulate - what's around them. Most VR experiences are generated through the use of specialized headsets that fully immerse a person in the virtual world.
Although the use of VR in digital marketing has not yet gone mainstream, some brands are experimenting with this technology to create more personalized and engaging experiences for their customers. VR bring about a new platform for businesses in the world of marketing, especially for companies when it comes to engaging their clients. Generally, marketers and companies are often looking for better approaches on how best they can package their goods and services, an event that brings the VR into perspective.
The capability of VR in creating immersive experiences proves to have many potential uses in marketing. Check out these five reasons that support the use of virtual reality in marketing and why business should care.
01. Experiential marketing is the key
Experiential marketing is the practice of encouraging consumers to experience the brand and participate actively in the campaign. With virtual reality, it is now easier to create an engaging campaign that consumers are more likely to interact with. A VR headset set submerges an individual into the virtual world that a brand creates. This provides an opportunity to not just make consumers a part of the campaign but revolve the entire campaign around their experience.
02. Make it stick
Virtual reality comes in handy where traditional advertising fails to leave its mark. Since VR brings an immersive experience, consumers are more likely to remember the brand and spread the world. When Virgin Holiday chose to leverage virtual reality, they didn't just create an experience, they made it stick. Their "Virgin Reality" campaign allowed customers in waiting to do a virtual tour of Virgin Holidays' destination. This makes the irritable wait time a pleasure.
03. Come out as an industry leader
Virtual reality is an evolving technology hence many companies are reluctant towards using it in their marketing. While some see it as a risk, we see it as an opportunity. If others are lazy then there no need for you to replicate. By leveraging virtual reality, a company can easily come out as a thought leader and innovator in its respective industry. Marriott for instance, gained massive attention when it brought the VR experience to the comfort of hotel rooms.
04. Media coverage
Ain't anybody got time to cover yet another campaign on display advertising? Virtual reality campaigns, on the contrary, turn out be press worthy. Volvo, a US car company, made great use of VR during the release of its new SUV, the XC90. Their understanding of the consumer's need to feel the ride encouraged them to create a "Volvo Reality". Using Google Cardboard, anyone could experience a test drive of their new car.
This helped them gain 238 million PR impressions, 19 million social media impressions, 24 earned news stories, half-million web page views, up to 4 million views on video and a lot more. What more you ask? XC90's first edition was sold out in less than 2 days.
05. Bank on Early Adopters
According to the theory of 'Diffusion of Innovation', the 13.5% of the world population consists of early adopters of a technology. This is the audience that makes an effort to experience innovative technologies. A VR marketing campaign directly appeals to the audience of early adopters and thus gains traction with comparatively less media effort. This group of people will help you spread the word easily and gain tremendous publicity.
Virtual reality is rapidly gaining momentum. While it is yet to be mainstream like augmented reality, it has many practical use cases. Being an evolving technology, it has a tremendous potential for creating distinguishing experiences. It is up to you to get the creative juices flowing.