With all of the time we’ve spent online during lockdown, brands are looking for innovative ways to reach and engage their target audience. Virtual reality is building a new and exciting framework for marketers and consumers to connect.
Your branding strategy has the power to set the tone for your entire enterprise. If you want to expand your business in 2020, keep these VR digital marketing tips in mind.
What is Virtual Reality?
Virtual reality (as well as augmented reality) are predicted to generate more than $29.5 billion in revenue this year. This exploding industry is taking over, allowing people to experience brands in a completely new and exciting way. In short, virtual reality is a combination of software, apps, and devices that allow the user to immerse themselves into the digital world.
VR, as a platform, can be accessed via mobile devices, auxiliary headsets, projections, and more. There are a variety of different ways to incorporate this tool into your digital brand strategy, including:
Co-branding and cross-company partnerships using video games, mobile apps, and online programs 360-video and image ad campaigns “Holoroom” product and service testing Headset-enabled immersive presentations and interactive media
Depending on the level of “reality” you’re looking for, you can use a noise-cancelling headset that provides complete audio and visual immersion. Or, you can opt for a hybrid experience using a 360-degree digital projection.
Virtual reality can transport you to a digitally created vacation, or it can help you to alleviate pain and stress using adaptive technology.
VR is expanding into a wide range of realms and industries, and digital marketing is taking advantage of the boom by tapping into the consumer desire to obtain an “experience.” The best part of this revolutionary tech is the flexibility it provides, making it an adaptable strategy for any type of business or brand. No matter what you’re offering or the type of products you’re selling, you can use VR to help your brand stand out in 2020.
How Can VR be Used in Social Media Marketing?
Social media has taken over the digital marketplace, especially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, virtual reality is perfectly adaptable for most of the top digital networking platforms.
360-Degree Photos and Videos
Have you ever scrolled past a Facebook post that shifted with the movement of your hand? This eye-catching social media tool has been around for a while, but it’s a useful tool for keeping social media users on the page for just a bit longer.
Using Oculus technology, users can view a 360-degree video or image by moving their phone to see the entire image. This allows them to experience the content on their feed from the poster’s point of view.
Filters are everywhere, adorning profile pictures and direct messages. But, they’re more than a fun way to spice up your newsfeed. Businesses are using custom filters to promote and increase visibility for their brand.
Face filters cross over into augmented reality, since they superimpose an image onto the user’s face without replacing existing “real” features.
This tactic is an extremely useful way to amuse your audience AND promote your business, especially among Gen Z. As the world’s first “truly digital” generation, this group is becoming one of the most powerful consumer demographics. Attract this audience by speaking their language (and tapping into their love of experiences over material products).
Virtual Product Testing
Wouldn’t you feel more confident about making an online purchase if you could try it on first? Whether you prefer online shopping or are simply staying out of stores during the pandemic, this feature provides potential buyers with a way to see what they’re getting before they buy.
From glasses to clothing to makeup, brands are using this tool to help buyers solidify confidence in their purchases. Increased buyer confidence can easily translate to improved brand loyalty, which can fast track the growth of your enterprise.
The use of VR tech to help customers try out product inventory also increases the shoppers’ tendency toward impulse buying. Since more than 80% of shoppers do some online research before they buy, this is an excellent tactic for brands to pad their consumer pipeline.
Did you know that VR is making it easier than ever for brands to jump on viral trends? Staying relevant is key for social media marketing, and virtual reality is another way to bring pop culture and hot topics into your branding campaign.
As we saw with the success of the Lexus Quantico 360-degree ad campaign, virtual reality is just another avenue for achieving internet fame. Now is the time to jump on the bandwagon and increase your brand’s social networking base by adding another dimension to your marketing plan.
Stunning imagery, high-quality graphics, and fluid usability are critical if you want to achieve viral fame with a VR ad. The more exposure the better, so this great tactic for businesses and brands of any size or scale.
Is Virtual Reality Accessible for Everyone?
While you might opt to choose from the range of tools and programs that are compatible with a VR headset, there are ways to create a virtually immersive experience for every customer.
Despite the costs associated with auxiliary VR equipment, providing a shared set can also pose health and safety concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic. But, there are few ways to use this technology in a way that’s accessible for everyone.
If you want to use virtual reality to improve your marketing efforts in 2020, some simple solutions include 360-degree video advertising and virtual walkthroughs.
VR marketing methods can also be incredibly affordable for advertisers, as many platforms are app or browser-based. Instead of building a full apparatus to provide customers with an immersive experience, marketers can simply tap into their audience’s social media feeds via targeted advertising. Or, brands can offer a digital experience to customers via login code or app download link.
Many popular VR methods and programs only require a mobile phone, with or without affordable add-ons like Google Cardboard. Customers can assemble their own viewing devices, and this is a method that allows everyone to obtain the same experience. This method is ideal for VR apps or optimized videos that show off everything your company has to offer.
What is Interactive Advertising?
Interactive advertising incorporates a variety of user-driven actions, including quizzes and QR codes. But virtual reality tools have opened up a completely new, untouched landscape for marketers to reach their target audiences. Using VR, brands can create advertising that’s truly interactive and fully immersive.
As important as it is for brands, advertising is a hit-or-miss topic for many consumers. The standard American shopper’s attention span is becoming shorter and shorter, which makes it more important than ever to grab your audience’s attention immediately. Just like video marketing grew to supersede still imagery, virtual reality advertising is adding another layer to advertising efforts that’s proven to increase brand growth.
The goal of advertising has always been to create a sense of need or want in the target consumer. To do this, marketers often use videos and images to create an idyllic scenario to lure in potential buyers with happy, positive energy.
Brands can use virtual showrooms, stages, and digital scenarios to paint a picture their audience would want to become a part of. In this environment, every audio or visual element can be tailored to fit the specific goals of your marketing campaign.
Using virtual reality, you can truly build an environment that makes each and every consumer see your product or service in the best possible light. They can imagine themselves as an active user of your brand, which has been proven to influence shoppers both in brick-and-mortar stores and online.
Virtual Reality Marketing and Telecommuters
Did you know that pay-per-click advertising increased by more than 35% during the COVID-19 lockdown? More people staying home has equated to more time spent online, and this means that there’s never been a better time to try innovative digital marketing techniques.
As offices continue to move to a remote business model, teams are required to adapt to an increasingly digital marketplace. Even prior to the lockdown, more than half of all companies around the world provide some telecommuting flexibility for their workers. VR is giving remote workers and managers an easier, clearer way to communicate and collaborate during conference meetings – no matter there they’re based.
Remote educators are utilizing immersive experiences to teach their students, while healthcare workers are using holographic projections to practice procedures. The possibilities are endless, and remote workers are at the forefront of this innovation.
Whether you want to sell a furniture set or you’re trying to reach a younger demographic, virtual reality is becoming one of the fast-growing digital tools for marketers. Build the perfect campaign for your business and your target audience by creating a digital world that consumers will want to be a part of.
Give your marketing plan a facelift and expand your company’s reach by integrating VR into your digital branding strategy.