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Remember the days when virtual reality was just a thing of sci-fi movies? More than just an entertainment item virtual reality and content marketing go hand in hand as part of your integrated marketing strategy.
Moving the industry toward VR shifts the tide into developing virtual reality and content marketing into an immersive experience. In fact, a Greenlight Insights survey found that 71 percent of consumers view a brand utilizing VR as “forward-thinking.”
Just by putting on the VR headset, you’re putting your users into your world. Take them to Spain or inside your headquarters — the possibilities are endless but within your control.
Even if VR marketing still has some room to grow, it’s always the right time to join in a trend this influential. Whether you’re an established business, or a small business looking for more exposure, our tips on creating a virtual reality and content marketing strategy should definitely be considered.
Aim for an Immersive Storytelling Experience
Virtual reality allows you to offer a remarkably different way of presenting your brand in the market. Virtual reality and content marketing take owned media many steps further into engagement with an immersive storytelling experience.
One of the most striking VR campaigns that have defined the standards of immersive storytelling is UNICEF’s Syrian refugee film, Clouds Over Sidra. It follows the story of a 12-year-old girl living in a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan, the Za’atari. It’s her typical day in war-torn Syria, showing her current living situation, socializing, going to school, and how she still manages to enjoy life in such conditions. Virtual reality has amplified the emotions felt throughout the film as it places its viewers in the camp through the eyes of Sidra.
What could be our key takeaways?
- It has been remarkable on how receptive people have been to this combination of virtual reality and content marketing. VR puts your viewers in a new perspective, a more engaging, immersive perspective. VR content shows a familiar world with a striking unfamiliarity that piques the interest of the viewers.
- Your VR content strategy should emphasize more on storytelling rather than hard-selling your products or services. Tell a story that will touch or pique the interest of your audience.
- Marketers need to think native. It’s no secret that traditional marketing strategies are not as effective as they used to be. That being said, a VR experience should place priority on emphasizing both context and creativity in a non-invasive way. Doing so will be instrumental in promoting organic engagement.
Leverage User Generated Content
While the virtual reality trend hasn’t set in with user-generated content, we are watching out for new technology that can help develop user-generated content in the future.
One of the most successful content marketing that used user-generated content is GoPro. Previously, we mentioned that immersive storytelling can help capture the audience’s attention. Instead of creating their own immersive marketing paraphernalia, they made the most out of their community. With a GoPro, it’s truly possible to capture those unforgettable moments — that has been the core of their content marketing strategy.
In the future, people will be able to create their own VR experience with proper cameras. With the use of 360-degree cameras and tools like Insta360, people can now shoot advanced content.
Some companies may show hesitation in bringing VR user-generated content, but it has been proven over time that user-generated content helps in building brand awareness and engagement.
There are numerous ways of using user-generated content, but take note that there’s always a different way of initiating or forming a community. It’s not too late or too early to come up with a campaign that encourages user-generated content for VR.
Revolutionize their Shopping Experience and more through VR
The defining factor that separates e-commerce from brick and mortar stores is that consumers prefer to “feel” and “see” the thing they have to purchase. The problem of tangibility has been the perennial dilemma of e-commerce stores, but despite this fact, more and more users are now shopping online.
Virtual and augmented reality has helped in breaking this barrier through various companies making the most out of these technologies and bringing in customer satisfaction right in the comfort of their homes.
With their AR product catalog, IKEA can help you shop through their app and use your phone’s camera to help you bring the product to life, right in the comforts of your home. Shoptical, eBay and Myer’s brainchild, is your VR department store. Via Shoptical, you can have the best of both worlds; seeing the product, and getting suggestions on related items that you can add to your cart.
Photos can only show so much through an e-commerce store. Experiencing it through virtual and augmented reality can help in encouraging the users to proceed with their purchase, decreasing changes of cart abandonment.
There’s so much more than VR can do aside from enhancing shopping experience; Google Cardboard can bring you to different virtual tours in various places in the world. The opportunities are limitless, regardless of the industry you’re in!
From a marketing standpoint, virtual reality is still in its early stages of development. We still don’t have enough data to help us gauge on its effectivity as a marketing tool. Virtual reality isn’t as accessible as having your own Facebook page or even your own website.
As great as VR sounds, there are several pressing obstacles standing in the way of widespread usage in marketing. The number of VR users are currently at 6.3 million in 2016; so much time has passed, and that number will only grow.
However, with the cost of these headsets, the demographics of the target audience is limited. It may be expensive and time-consuming to produce content for this if you are in an industry that relies heavily on a different type of audience that has little to no exposure to VR.
The challenge here is to think futuristically. VR is set to step up the standards of marketing in the future; find a way that your brand can adopt an economic strategy to incorporate VR into your content marketing strategy.
This article originally appeared in Wax Marketing Blog.