Virtual reality has become a huge topic amongst tech fans and innovators in recent years, and marketers are trying to come up with ways they can fully utilize it to further expand the presence of business brands. While marketing for VR is still in its early stages, several pioneers have come up with some very interesting ways to do it well and support their unique value propositions.
VR as a communication channel differs from other forms when it comes to the immersion it offers it users. In a way it’s actually a new unique way to market your product or business. What’s the point of always following traditional marketing strategies, when you can take advantage and step in ahead of time on new strategies such as VR.
For instance, VR offers its users to be completely immersed in the experience. This causes a reduction in the number of other stimulus from the environment since vision is solely focused on the content found in the VR glasses. The best part about this whole thing is the fact that consumers are already aware of what VR is. This leads to them becoming interested in trying out a VR marketing campaign and trying to utilize the product presented to them in VR.
Various conducted studies have shown impact caused by VR due to reactions and emotions. In a recent study conducted by researchers, they’ve discovered tendency of VR causes an increase in emotional responses. Other studies has indicated that one of the main factors facilitating emotional responses is presence.
Traditional Marketing and the Ad Blind
Over the years many of the average consumers have developed what we call “ad blind.” This is where most people start to ignore display ads because we see it so often and we already know it’s an ad. With VR this is different. Virtual Reality is still a new space and the average consumer will be more than likely to be attracted to VR marketing campaigns.
Now, I’m sure you're wondering why this may seem important? Mainly due to VR currently being the only option enabling presence for every type of product or service. Emotional responses needed in order to experience the usage of a product or service can happen through VR. With the persuasive power of virtual reality, customers will be able to sell the product to themselves. The marketer must be able to facilitate the sale with an application, 360 video and branded cardboard glasses. As an agency or marketer, you can’t just throw a VR campaign and expect it to go viral.
A good example of a VR campaign is The Volvo App. The Volvo app has been downloaded over 28,000 times and has gained over more than 173 million impressions. The most important part of these results is the 51,000 inquires for more information. As you can see, VR and Google cardboard have provided even more than a successful marketing strategy for introducing upcoming vehicles to a new generation of potential customers.
51,000 inquires is not a joke for any business given the modest budget. Those are outstanding numbers and considered to be excellent results.
How to Start.
First of all, you will need to decide which part of the consumers journey you’d like to use VR for the immersive experience. For this consideration stage the main goal for a virtual reality marketing campaign is immersing the brand experience.
For those who don’t know what the consideration stage is, its when the buyer is refining their understanding of their pain and is looking for information to determine the best solution.
Normally, VR and branded cardboards are the first point of getting a customer familiar with either the service or product once they’ve pinpointed the problem they wish to solve.
Take Volvo as an example for virtual reality marketing during the consideration stage. Another fantastic example would have to be the VR experience offered by the hit series Game of Thrones. HBO has allowed their amazing fans to climb The Wall. This experience was done through the power of virtual reality glasses and special effects for complete immersion. Most of the fans wanted to watch Games of Thrones after going through this experience.
When devising a virtual reality marketing strategy for consideration, think about the main features the product or service you’ll be creating. It can be a simple experience such as holding the product or seeing some pictures. Map out some features with a plan on how to introduce them. Can they be filmed with a 360 camera or will animation be needed? Regardless, opt for a mobile application that can be utilized with branded cardboard glasses. This way, you’ll hand out experience and glasses to be reminded of the brand.
Next Use Case
The second use for VR marketing when it comes to your consumers journey is for decision stage. Both uses for virtual reality is pretty similar but mainly focused on different stuff. Utilizing VR for consideration, you want to make all the features more eye catching with elements of entertainment.
The customer should be amazed by your creation. During the decision stage, the use of virtual reality marketing is more on the technical end.
This is the final step, where you we are one of the candidates for purchase and customers are making last minute inquiries. For this part you want to show them everything they’ve asked from a product and it should be more technical. For instance, show them how their home interior is going to look like once they’ve installed a new rug or specification for a particular vehicle. That would be an excellent way for a real estate agent to market their business online through the power of VR.
After Identifying the Buyer's Journey
Now that yo