Virtual reality (aka VR) has been in the works for many decades. You all remember this, right?
Image Source: gonintendo.com
But now, in 2016, VR is finally as good as we always hoped it would be. It’s attainable too, with over 43 million active users worldwide and counting. Studies have predicted that by 2018, the number of people with a VR headset will reach 171 million!
That creates a lot of potential for marketers, now and in the future.
But, can VR go the distance?
Or is it just a passing craze?
Let’s find out…
There are three main selling points of VR that we think will increase the longevity of the platform as a video marketing tool for a long time into the future:
1. It’s Immersive
VR is the next best thing to seeing a product in person. This fact alone makes VR a huge contender in the online shopping market. In fact, one poll cited by eMarketer found that 64% of smartphone owners would like to use VR to “see items in real size and form” when they shop online.
This can stretch to different industries. Imagine the marketing potential that VR can bring to a travel company! Australian airline company, Qantas, are already taking advantage of just how immersive VR can be. They have created a short series of videos that allow users to visit popular destinations without ever having to leave their living room. It’s the perfect ‘try before you buy’. Check out their tour of Hamilton Island:
Virtual reality allows marketers to finally advertise to their customers in an environment that is completely immersive and free of distractions. We all know that people scroll past banner ads and skip pre-rolls, but while wearing a VR headset, the user’s attention is completely fixed on the message.
2. It’s Memorable
Did you know that our brains are built to remember events linked to certain locations?
While VR headsets don’t actually transport you to another location, they give you the experience that you are somewhere else (just like the video above) and this makes the memory last longer and create a better impression.
VR gives viewers a much more intense experience than traditional video marketing. As such, it can evoke stronger emotions and therefore has a better chance of encouraging users to complete the action that you want them to, whether that’s buying, signing up, or downloading.
With VR, you can experience things that you may never be able to experience, such as space travel, and even time travel! You can also get a taste for activities that you might like to try in the future, like skydiving:
3. It’s a novelty
As VR is relatively new to consumers, there is still a high public interest in it. This elevated interest means that early adopters of VR can benefit from a large amount of media exposure. You may think that being a novelty will not necessarily increase the longevity of a marketing strategy, but in the marketing world a novelty can last a long time. Take video as an example. Video marketing is considered relatively new to the marketing world — even though it is a good couple of years old – and yet it is still one of the most favoured marketing tactics around.
This idea of ‘novelties’ goes even deeper. Within video marketing, shorter content (like pre-rolls) are the latest novelty. Last year, Microsoft found that the average digitized brain only pays attention for eight seconds, and, as such, 10 second video ads tend to have greater appeal and persuasion potential than longer ads.
VR Video Examples
If anything sets the bar for the future, it is the awesome VR marketing videos that are already out there. Here are just a few:
Coca Cola’s Virtual Reality Sleigh Ride
A Walk in their Shoes by AT&T and Toms
So, the marketers that are taking advantage of VR marketing right here, right now, are definitely seeing a benefit from it.
But, is VR really the future of video marketing?
Our honest answer?
We predict that VR will definitely secure a place in the future of marketing, and it seems you guys do too!
— Wyzowl (@wyzowl) August 15, 2016
Us marketers like to tag-along. We find out where the biggest, best party is happening and we make sure we’re seen there. VR is the biggest party in the video marketing world right now, and in the future it looks like it will only get bigger!