Virtual Reality (VR) is a computer technology that mimics the physical presence of a user in an artificial environment. This environment is generated by software and the user can interact with it in many different ways, offering a complete sensorial experience where the sight, the touch, auditory, and even the olfactory senses can be used.
This is one of those domains that has developed at great speed in the past few years, and will, without doubt, continue to do so in the next decade. So far, applications of virtual reality mostly cover entertainment —you might have heard of the famous gaming headset Oculus Rift. But you’ll also find some uses of technology in the education domain, for instance in medical or military training.
And as a technology where all the user’s attention is yours, virtual reality could also be your next marketing tool. In fact, VR marketing has recently emerged as an innovative way to communicate using the possibilities offered by this new technology. In this article, we will tell you all about what it can do for your marketing.
Give a fresh touch to your brand
Virtual Reality is different, engaging, and innovative. Many brands have already taken the bigleap and added virtual reality to their marketing strategies. According to a study conducted by ORACLE in 2016, 78% of the brands surveyed had already declared their intention to use virtual reality and chatbots in their customer relations by 2020.
So, whatever use of VR you do, it will help you give a fresh touch to your brand. In itself, the novelty of this technology is an asset. Since virtual reality is an emerging technology, most consumers have not yet experienced it. As a result, companies that choose to use them for marketing improve their brand image by giving the impression of being an innovating brand that uses the latest technologies. So no matter how it is used, if your brand is associated with virtual reality, it can only be a plus!
Just imagine. You are part of a trade show and you want to stand apart from the crowd. VR is the way! For instance, Marriott Hotels gives its customers the chance to visualize their destinations 360-degrees. Doesn’t being immersed in a paradise beach stimulation sound much more convincing than listening to a salesperson?
A new space to promote your products
It also turns out VR is also a new marketing space. According to data collected byWebPageFX, virtual reality ads are much more effective than mobile or desktop ads. The success rate is 29.8%, compared to 1% for mobile ads and 0.4% for desktop ads. Similarly, installation rates from VR ads are 12.5% against 0.5% on mobile ads and 0.2% on desktops.
The Orea chocolate cookies brand was one of the first to start VR campaigns. Recently, to promote the launch of a new range of biscuits, the brand pushed it through VR headsets where the user finds himself immersed in a colorful 3D world showing the process of manufacturing the new cookie “Wonder Vault”.
Many brands followed the suit. As part of the Super Bowl 2018, Pepsi partnered with Google Zoo to create one of the most successful VR marketing experiences to date. The user embarked on a trip aboard the Delorean from the movie Back to the Future. The vehicle would allow the user to travel back in time to… live again the various mythical ads of Pepsi in virtual reality.
A virtual showroom
The technology is still at a nascent stage, but we can believe that it could replace shopping malls in the future. Down with boring strata body corporate management to manage your retailers. Down with the never-ending search for land and search for farm succession planning.
Virtual reality allows for a whole new purchase experience! With Volvo Reality, Volvo has created the first test drive in virtual reality. Available on any VR headset, this experience allowed users to try the XC90 SUV in virtual reality. The figures that follow are impressive. The initiative was shared 19 million impressions on social media, drawn 4 million video views, and… 500 000 visits on their website! The XC90 got out of stock in less than two days. It revived the brand in a context where Volvo has been losing market shares in the United States for almost 10 years.
The main characteristic of virtual reality is immersion. The VR user gets to feel physically present in the virtual world, and it’s precisely this immersive potential that can be valued in your marketing. If television and video advertising were the evolution of written advertising or image marketing, then virtual reality is undoubtedly the next step! For the first time, the viewer not only observes advertising content from the outside but experiences from the inside.
Improve your e-commerce experience
You might be scared that all this VR would be expensive. You’re wrong! If you have an e-commerce website, don’t call a web design company, you can find some VR themes on your WordPress. But if you want something tailor-made, just know than plenty of web design companies can help you take your marketing to the next level.
With VR, the content is more tangible, and the experience is more engaging to the viewer. The immersion gives rise to strong emotions, which makes it possible to take the audience by their feelings. Just imagine. Instead of browsing the web, let your visitors sit in an artificial shopping mall with café chairs, live music on the piano, and the smell of tea. Let them watch your collections in 3D. Then let the freight forwarder do his work. And don’t bother about the returns, we’re sure that the product will be a hit!