Your next international trip may be planned with virtual reality. You might test drive the car of your dreams, not from the actual car but from a VR headset. You may finally sit front row for Adele without leaving your house. This is just a glimpse into what the future of VR promises to deliver. Now, you are wondering, should virtual reality be a part of your marketing strategy?
The answer is, it depends.
Virtual reality, or VR, is a type of video content that allows the viewer to feel as though he or she is really “there.” Rather than experiencing a video frame by frame, VR delivers presence – the feeling of participating in the experience, not just watching it happen.
While best viewed with a VR headset (Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Samsung’s Gear VR and Google Cardboard – made of real cardboard – are already available), this type of content can also be viewed by tilting your mobile device or dragging your finger or mouse over the video screen. You can see what is happening in front of you as well as behind, above, below and side-to-side.
Whether or not you appoint virtual reality for your next marketing strategy depends on if this type of content makes sense with your product or service. Can you increase college submissions if prospective students can take a virtual tour of the campus? Will you sell more kayaks if your viewers can experience what it’s like to use one?
Typically, VR content enhances the buyer experience. By putting the viewer “in” the video where they can get a 360-degree view of the landscape, you have more opportunity to tell a story and draw on the viewer’s senses. If your buyers’ behaviors tend to be emotionally driven, this medium can intensify these tendencies. For proof, check out Discovery Channel’s Mega Coaster 360 Video, exciting enough if you don’t own a VR headset and downright mind-blowing if you do.
Virtual reality is already a “thing,” with more than 1 million monthly active users on the Gear VR headset. The medium is opening up more opportunities for brands to immerse viewers in their world. The way we see it, if interactive video content can extend your reach and influence your audience then it could just be your next great marketing strategy.
What are some awesome VR videos you have experienced lately?