Let’s get one thing straight: virtual reality is not the future.
It’s the present. It’s already a huge market, on track to break $100 billion by 2021.
And within the next two years, virtual reality is predicted to disrupt every major industry on the planet – including yours, most likely!
So: what exactly will happen, and how can you prepare for it to stay competitive and grow your business, no matter how the rest of the market reacts to this disruption?
That’s what we want to discuss in this week’s article. We’re going to talk to you about virtual reality animation marketing:
- What it is, and why every expert on the planet thinks it’s such a game-changer.
- How it will transform the way you interact with your target customers.
- What you can do today to take advantage of it.
Sound good? Read on!
What is virtual reality marketing?
At the risk of sounding obvious, virtual reality marketing is just that: marketing that uses a virtual reality environment to deliver a message to an audience. That environment could take multiple forms. For example:
- Millions of people have access to affordable virtual reality solutions that use a cell-phone and a VR headset like Google Cardboard. They can use it to watch 360-degree videos, play games, or go through interactive VR experiences.
- A powerful PC and a high-end headset like HTC Vive can deliver a more ambitious VR experience: for instance, a computer game with high graphical fidelity.
- Finally, there is “room-scale,” walk-around VR that allows for an even more immersive experience. All sorts of exciting developments are happening at this level. Some of them seem like science fiction: full-body suits that capture your every movement, and gloves that let you “touch” the images you see.
But perhaps a more important question is: why is VR marketing such a big deal? How come that so many experts, including Goldman Sachs Research and others, predict that virtual reality will disrupt every major industry within 2 years?
To answer this question, let’s look at the dictionary definition of virtual reality… We know – we’re so edgy! But we promise that it’s actually quite insightful.
So, if we look up “virtual reality,” one of the definitions that pop up goes like this:
“An artificial environment created with software and presented to the user in a way that makes them suspend disbelief and accept it as a real environment.”
We emphasized that last part because it explains why virtual reality marketing is almost certainly the next big thing for business owners and professional marketers alike.
The biggest challenge faced by all brands, great and small, is that customers have become desensitized to most forms of marketing and advertising. Every day, people see and hear thousands of calls to buy this, or download that, or subscribe to this… On a daily basis, we are tuning out or ignoring almost all of them.
But what if you have a marketing message that people don’t just see or hear… but feel and live through?
When you are experiencing something as if you’re physically there, and your brain perceives it as real, it’s much easier to stay engaged and interested all the way through – even the same experience in “2D,” or even in real life, wouldn’t feel very special!
You don’t have to take our word for it, though. Here are some stats that illustrate the appeal of virtual reality, and its rapidly growing potential for the next several years:
- According to this report by Nielsen and YuMe, going through a VR marketing experience increases a consumer’s emotional attachment to a brand by 27%.
- 41% of adults would give virtual reality a try, according to a survey by YouVisit, a virtual travel company. That was two years ago – right now, the figure has likely increased.
- Sales for VR headsets are projected to grow by more than 800%, based on this forecast by CCS Insights.
Bottom line is, virtual reality marketing is poised to become a vital tool for every forward-thinking brand. It will inject new life in those industries that are having a dry spell right now (travel, hospitality, retail) – and supercharge the growth of industries that are already booming (gaming, entertainment, health care).
Right now, we can see two massive opportunities for business owners:
- Creating virtual reality experiences to promote a product or service.
- Advertising in a virtual reality environment.
Let’s discuss them in a little more detail.
Opportunity #1: VR marketing as a new way to experience products and services
Virtual reality has one quality that makes it a godsend for marketers: immersion. That feeling of being physically present in a non-physical world is what makes VR experiences so powerful, even if they don’t look like much to an outside observer.
This opens up a world of possibilities for savvy entrepreneurs. For example:
- “Show, don’t tell” becomes a lot easier. If you’ve ever tried to sell something intangible – an experience or a service – you know how hard it is to “make it real” for a potential customer. With virtual reality, it becomes a cakewalk. For instance, a travel agent could send a potential customer on a virtual tour of their hotel or destination… without having to leave the office! And sure enough, it’s already a thing.
- It feels hands-on, even when it isn’t. In a way, VR marketing brings back the old-school approach of letting people browse and test a product before they buy. Only this time around you don’t need to haul inventory around, or go door-to-door, or be physically present to walk every customer through the process. They can just experience your product in a virtual environment.
- Conversion rates go up. Because of immersion, virtual reality marketing helps you create a compelling experience that sticks with your customers. For example, 13% of people who go on a virtual “vacation” later go on to book expensive trips. That’s a great conversion rate for a high-ticket offer… that normally takes a lengthy face-to-face sales process!
Based on these insights, VR marketing is the “next best thing” to selling your product or service in person – except it’s more appealing to potential customers, and can be done at scale. Win-win!
Opportunity #2: Virtual reality marketing as cutting-edge advertising
Of course, not every brand can, or should, put together a fully interactive VR experience. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore virtual reality altogether!
Remember our earlier stat that 41% of adults are interested in giving VR a try? That’s only going to get more prevalent as time goes on. The prevalence of inexpensive technologies like Google Cardboard makes it ridiculously easy to experience virtual reality with just your cell phone.
Tens of millions of people are already using virtual reality on a regular basis – and that number is growing fast. Virtual reality environments are becoming a fast-growing space to advertise your products or services in a more traditional way.
And if you’re considering virtual reality marketing as a way to grow your business, that’s a great opportunity to try it out and see what kind of ROI you get!
Kickstart your virtual reality marketing today
Now that you know how virtual reality marketing can benefit your brand, we have a question: would you like to give it a try?
If so, we would love to create a high-converting whiteboard virtual reality video for you.
If you want to learn more about virtual reality animation marketing and how it fits into your business goals, we would love to show you what kind of magic we can work for you in VR!
Contact us today to book a no-cost, risk-free pow wow to discuss your idea!