When done right, virtual reality videos can grab your viewers by the brain like nothing else.

But if done done poorly… the best-case scenario is boredom – the worst-case scenario is motion sickness and maybe even vomit (gross!).

That’s why in today’s article we’ll show you a simple two-step process on how to create virtual reality video content that engages your potential customers from start to finish.

Let’s dive in!

How to Create Virtual Reality Video, Step One: Preparation

If you want to know how to create virtual reality video that’s going to grow your business, you will want to lay some groundwork before you create it. It starts with answering a few vital questions:

  • What the topic is
  • The goal you want to achieve
  • How long (or short) your video should be

Now, chances are you already have a good topic in mind – so let’s discuss the other two important elements…

Determine the goal of your virtual reality video

Broadly speaking, your virtual reality video should pursue one of two goals:

  1. Engagement – developing a stronger relationship with your customers. You can educate them, entertain them, or do a little bit of both! Either way, you want to create an engaging experience that doesn’t focus on what you sell, but addresses what is important to your target market.
  2. Conversion – getting the viewers to take a specific action after watching the video. This could be a micro-conversion, like clicking through to your website, or something more substantial: booking a free consultation, or buying your product or service.

If you want to get some more ideas on how to create virtual reality videos that enhance your marketing, read this post on the topic. It will give you 6 actionable tactics to implement.

Estimate the length of your virtual reality video

The length of any content – especially virtual reality content – is far less important than most people think… but it still matters. You don’t want the viewer to get bored halfway through and quit. Similarly, you don’t want the experience to be so short that it fails to get your message across.

The general rule of thumb is, the more complicated the topic, the longer your video needs to be. And in the same vein, the bigger the request you’re making of your customers, the more information they will need to make an informed decision.

If you want to read a guide about the ideal length of your marketing video, we made one a few months ago – feel free to read it and determine just how long you want your virtual reality video to be!

Engagement is not the only measure of success when it comes to your marketing video. Its ability to convert viewers into paying customers is just as important! Learn the 10 essential elements your marketing video must have to be high-converting:

Grab our free checklist: “10 Things Every Marketing Video Must Have to Convert”

How to Create Virtual Reality Video, Step Two: The Video Itself

Now that you know the goal of your virtual reality content, and have a rough idea about the length, it’s time to construct it in an engaging, attention-grabbing way.

There are two primary strategies you could use, and we’ll talk about them below.

Direct the viewer’s attention with video and audio cues

Chances are, you don’t want your virtual reality video to be entirely aimless and freeform (as we’ve discussed in Step One). You want people to pay attention to certain elements in the frame and experience your message just the way you want them to.

But it’s really hard to do when you don’t control the camera!

Or rather, you could – but it defeats the point of a VR experience, and could induce motion sickness. And more importantly, the viewer can override it at any time.

So instead of trying to control where everyone should look, it’s better to be subtle and direct them to move the camera themselves. You can do it in a variety of ways:

  • Have a narrator who navigates the virtual reality space and invites the viewer to focus on something pertinent. For example, here’s a tour of an outrageously expensive NYC penthouse where the narrator shows you around and points out interesting things about the property. One thing we dislike about it: the camera persistently follows the guy around, which is slightly motion-sickness-inducing – please don’t do that in your virtual reality content!
  • Use other ways to attract attention: narration, animations, pictures, audio cues, etc. For instance, this 360-degree interview with Michelle Obama makes sure that the viewer always has something to focus on besides the former First Lady: there are animated snippets, “picture-in-picture” type videos, images, text, and narration to engage them.

Maximize distractions

That’s right! You didn’t misread. Here’s what we mean by maximizing distractions…

As we’ve said before, a virtual reality video doesn’t have a fixed perspective. Your viewers will be in control of the camera, and will be choosing where to look at any given time. That means lots and lots of opportunities to get distracted and miss out on a big portion of your message.

But that’s OK – because you will plan for it, and create your virtual reality video with those distractions in mind.

So what we really should have said is that you want to make the most out of every time your viewer’s attention wanders. Only it didn’t sound as catchy and intriguing.

Here’s what you can do to make sure your virtual reality content is engaging no matter where the viewers choose to look:

  • Set the scene in such a way that, no matter where the camera is pointing, there’s something interesting there. It’s easy to do with some types of videos where the environment is gripping to begin with (like this 360-degree rocket landing) – and difficult with others, where the scene is mostly static (like this short film of two people in the desert).
  • Scatter your visual and narrative cues throughout the virtual reality “space.” Animations, text, sound, static images, and even other video snippets could work for re-capturing attention and making sure people stay engaged. For example, check out this 360 music video by Grayson Gilmour that uses both spatial audio and engaging visuals to keep you listening.

Wondering how to create virtual reality video for your brand? Let’s talk!

Every industry can use virtual reality to attract more high-quality leads, increase conversions, and accelerate your marketing research process.

We hope that this week’s post has inspired you to think of how this new medium can serve your marketing strategy!

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!