Considered as the next big thing in the technology sphere, Virtual Reality (VR) has already accumulated enough attention from the tech geeks and industry experts. There have been mixed reactions with some referring it as a revolutionary technology that will redefine the existing paradigms for the betterment of the society while others feel that it’s just another technology fad that will fade away with time.
However, considering the numbers gathered by market analysts and researchers, it seems that VR is here to stay. The pace at which this technology is being adopted around the world reflects the positive interest of the users.
According to a research, the global search interest in VR grew 4 times over the past year, which means VR opportunities are yet to be discovered and thoughts are yet to be transformed into actions.
Stats show that by the end of 2017, total VR users in the world would cross the 90-million mark, which is twice than what was recorded at the end of 2016.
A hefty sum of amount has already been put in by the tech giants like Facebook, Google, HTC, Samsungfor producing out-of-the-world experiences for the audience. And with the power these leaders have, it won’t be a surprise if we see VR going mainstream in a few years down the line.
What does VR have in store for marketing professionals?
With the ever-changing technology landscape, marketers have always been on their toes to learn and strive for new ideas to keep their customers engaged. VR being one of the hottest topics, professionals have been hunting for related ideas that can spice up the realm of marketing.
The next step in the field of marketing in accordance with VR is likely to be VR ads. VR offers an immersive experience to the users and keeps them glued, untilit ends. It is assumed that even the ads won’t let the headsets off because of the strong desire of the users to live the virtual experience completely.
The point to address here for advertisers is that how to make your customers like the ad that halts their entertaining experience unwillingly. For serious virtual reality app development companies and marketers, this is a daunting question to figure out the answer for.
There are two popular VR advertising companies namely VirtualSky and Immersv that are continuously working on how to improve VR ads. Ad formats offered by them range from short pre-roll ads that play before the VR app unfolds to longer ads that play between the levels of a game. Presently, there are no ad blockers for VR, which makes the opportunity for advertisers more lucrative to step up to the task.
It is important for advertisers to create ads that are viewed with a smile rather than making people watch it forcefully. With the headset on and absorbing app being played, the users won’t like a boring ad to invade their viewing territory. And with VR, you as an advertiser can’t get away showing a dull ad because users can’t click away in order to avoid it like in the case of other platforms. Plus, your stale ad can ruin the entire VR experience.
Considering the other side of the coin, VR can be revolutionary in uplifting the user engagement provided the content is interactive and users don’t shy away from viewing it.
Tips to produce ads that don’t annoy
To make most of the opportunities on offer by VR, you need to be innovative and at the same time productive to produce and present content ads that not only captivate users but also encourage them to view it without annoyance.
Let your customers experience before they buy
VR grants you the power to make things work virtually in the exact same manner as in reality. This is such a powerful tool when it comes to marketing. You can actually drive your customers to experience your product or service before they commit to buy it.
Users would love to know how it feels to be on a cruise or to step inside a renovated home of their dreams or to drive a BMW. It could be anything. By leveraging users to feel it, you make their desire to own it even stronger, which is what you want as a marketing head. The stronger the desire, the more are the chances of conversion.
Storytelling can help you win the day
Storytelling is a regular phenomenon when we talk about ads. An ad visualizing a story that connects to the viewer usually wins. Same is the case with VR ads. Ensure that you connect with your viewers in an interactive way by telling them a story which is visually pleasing and gripping at the same time.
Immersive marketing campaigns
If you want to win the VR advertising race, you need to make immersive advertisements just like what New York University did during their student recruitment process. Students enrolled for engineering were sent a link to download an app along with a cardboard VR device that would take them to a virtual Mars tour. The images and visuals shown in the app were directly sourced from NASA and students could drive a rover across the Martian terrain or into a galaxy.
It allowed the university to showcase their potential, an example of what’s available and what students could gain by joining NYU.
Offering the right form of content to right audience
It is important to address your customers with apposite content based on their interests and likings. Just like you do it with conventional methods you need to do it for virtual reality domain as well. Analyze your audience before you put efforts in devising a marketing campaign for your product or service. Make sure you are reaching out to the apt audience.
Make ad experience fun
Unless your ads add that fun element to the users’ lives, they won’t perform the way you’d want them to. VR empowers you to make anything fun ranging from a virtual reality app, game or even an advertisement. People love it when they are immersed in a sea of enjoyment and fun. Letting your customers try before they buy with interactive 360-degree content can help you achieve the desirable.
According to the leaders, virtual reality would be a mainstream in the coming years especially with the possibilities it brings to the table. Hence, irrespective of your business you’ll need to make it a part of your marketing scheme soon if not early. Start thinking of how can you use it in an interactive and effective manner without hampering users’ exorbitant VR experiences.
VR is a powerful medium to market your products or services in future as it makes the message more impactful. However, the only thing restricting the growth of this unbelievable and potential rich technology is its mass adoption. There might be sections of society and geographical regions where it’s quite popular and used as well but in other parts of the world it is yet to prosper. But, it is believed that once this mass adoption begins, there would be no looking back and early adopters would rejoice the time then.
It is recommended to start early and think of ways of improving your marketing and advertising strategies keeping in mind the level of experience a VR device offers to the users. Inside these early days, you can research more, look out for compelling options and partner with a digital media agency for formulating a strategy that can help you stand out.