According to the Digi-Capital, virtual reality (VR) will be a $30 billion market by the year 2020.
If you’re a marketer, it’s definitely the time to take notice because the future is now for the use of VR as a marketing tool in order to achieve brand objectives.
The digital world is ever-changing and the evolution of VR is just the latest example. VR has received a lot of attention from a marketing perspective because it has the potential to solve challenges marketers have in terms of engagement and awareness. It is on its way to not only reshaping how companies advertise, but also to greatly shifting how consumers engage with the brands.
Which leads to the next question…How?
First of all, it is immersive. We should all know by now that to use VR, we have to put on a headset. Same with the customers! Users wearing one are completely engrossed and immersed in the content with fewer distractions thus paying more attention to the message. This leads to the more impactful experience VR has to offer. It has stronger potential to generate greater emotions for its users which are linked to real behavior change. Moreover, we have to admit that VR is pretty memorable. There is scientific proof that human brains are built to remember events linked to locations. That means VR experiences should leave longer traces in the audience’s memory. And lastly, because VR is still considerably new and innovative, there is a high level of public and media interest. VR early adopters will have a competitive advantage and can benefit from favorable media exposure.
“We see qualities in VR technology that can take this from niche-use case to a device as ubiquitous as the smartphone.”
Not only marketers are looking forward to seeing the VR role in marketing campaigns, more consumers are expecting to see the power of reality too! According to Greenlight Insights, 62% of consumers say that they would feel even more engaged with a brand that makes use of VR experience and 71% of consumers think a brand is forward-thinking if it utilizes the technology.
I personally think VR has the potential to change the future of content marketing and poses the ability to possibly be a powerful tool in selling products and experiences. Think about this for a second. All the famous writers learned early on to compel readers to suspend their disbelief and immerse themselves in another world through verisimilitude – a reality they constructed through the five senses: touch, smell, sight, sound and taste. By making a compelling story with dramatic conflict as real as possible, writers can successfully hold the reader’s attention.
The same principle applies to virtual reality. People don’t just watch a VR story, they feel it. Story combined with VR is definitely a powerful tool. With virtual reality, the viewer is in control of the frame, not the storyteller and this fact brings content marketing and storytelling to a whole next level. It is very consumer centric.
However, there are some things that need to be taken into account. As of today, VR is still in its early stages and is still fairly expensive to produce. Therefore, the first and most obvious factor is the price of production. Also, as crucial as the price factor, marketers have to determine whether the content produced through VR would actually be relevant to their target consumer. Most importantly, we have to understand how our target audience interacts and what they are expecting from the brand. Is VR the best tool to reach the customers? Is it something that will meet their needs? Will it generate a better user experience and lead to buying decisions later on? These are just a few sample questions worth thinking about before coming close to any decisions.
VR is yet relatively new, has a long way to go and I am sure the best is yet to come. It is definitely here as a tool waiting for people in various industries to make the best use of, including us marketers. Through clear goals, objectives and consumer segmentation, marketers have a duty to find the best way to communicate to the customers via big data, valuable content and best user experience. When considering whether VR is the best way to go or not and will it help elevate your campaign, there are data and consumer insights to be acquired and we should consider them from as many angles as possible. Just because VR is new and exciting doesn’t mean it’s automatically the best way for the brand to connect with its audience.
With the right usage, VR has strong potential to change the future of content marketing and with it, brands now have more exciting opportunity to leave stronger yet more lasting impressions on audiences, be more engaging with unforgettable experiences.The world is no longer flat. The internet is fast-becoming a place you step inside. With the right handling, I believe VR could be part of the future and worth keeping an eye on.
For now, off to play this awesome guitar VR game and if you have not try VR yet, you should!