If reality sometimes gets too dull for your liking, there’s always the virtual version. Brand marketers already have discovered the virtues of virtual reality (VR). As they view it, the simulated experience is hitting grand slams with a swelling number of enthusiasts. According to research, a sizeable chunk of users feels more engaged when devouring a healthy dose of VR.
Major players have felt the vibe. And they’re moving quickly to capitalize on the phenomenon. Facebook, for example, recently snapped up virtual reality company Oculus. The partnership is cobbling together Space, a virtual reality social media destination with unlimited potential.
Not to be left in the woods, Apple has created ARKit, a division taking augmented reality boldly forward. Other high-end developers are leaping in, too. With plenty of big brass technology decisively on board, the writing clearly is on the screen – VR is charging into the mainstream.
Now some great thoughts from the venerable VR guru, wisest of the wise — scoring points with users requires more than sensational graphics. A good and necessary first-step to be sure. But what really soars is content.
In that sense, virtual reality content is no different from other types. Only it is fine-tuned and tailored for the dazzling new medium.
The first order of business for virtual reality marketers is to come to terms with this fact of life — with VR, the medium is not the message. Unfortunately, many well-meaning digital strategists don’t grasp this eternal truth. So instead of prioritizing the message, they emphasize technical fireworks. Don’t stumble into this mudhole. Fine-tune the message, then unleash the spectacle.
Once messaging is etched in stone, brand marketers should supercharge the VR experience with a robust narrative. Even short-duration pieces benefit when hand-molded into a story. Not only does tale-telling create riveting anticipation, it holds attention through sheer entertainment value.
Finally, remember that VR creates an immersive experience. More than two-dimensional theatrical movies, the medium’s 3D quality invites viewers into the ‘you-are-there’ dimension. Therefore, marketers should develop virtual reality messaging that pulls viewers in and encourages participation.
No longer idle bystanders, VR users now have an admission ticket to an exciting new realm of audience involvement. Aside from the in-store experience, nothing will bring them closer to your products or services.
If you have questions or comments about virtual reality marketing, or about any other brand-related topic, feel free to send them our way.