Marketers are always looking for new ways to grab their audience’s attention. Through showing off their products or services in new and exciting ways, marketers can create brand awareness, push sales and create lasting relationships with customers that will keep them coming back.
One of the latest shifts in marketing involves using virtual reality (VR) to help sell a product. We typically think of VR used for things like video games or entertainment. However, its use in a marketing campaign can offer amazing benefits.
How will using VR in your marketing campaign work? Here are five things to keep in mind.
1. Bring Your Audience Into Your Story
Storytelling is a major part of today’s marketing. A company’s audience wants to know who is behind the company, what they value and how they got there. Storytelling allows a company to connect with their customers on a deeper level.
Before virtual reality, marketers were limited to traditional video or text to share their message. While this can effectively show a customer what it’s like to work at that company or what the founders went through to get it started, it doesn’t bring the customer into the story. They are still an outsider looking in.
VR can allow a marketer to pull their audience into the world of the business. Using it to tell a story, a customer will feel like they’re a part of the company’s story, creating more loyal customers and stronger relationships.
2. Allow Your Audience to Try Something New
Many people get excited about VR because it allows us to do things we probably wouldn’t be able to do otherwise. Virtual reality has the ability to put us in places we’ve never been before..
If you’re a brand that is connected to one of these limited experiences, virtual reality can help expand your brand awareness. You’ll bring a larger audience into your world. For example, NASA has been working with virtual reality to show their audience what its like to walk on Mars. While we may never experience Mars, NASA is helping us understand what it may be like. Not to mention it encourages kids to get involved in space.
You don’t need to create a completely unique experience like NASA to use VR to transport your audience into a different world. Put them right in the middle of an experience or area they’ve never been before and they’re sure to remember your company’s name.
3. Give Your Audience a Total Demonstration
Demonstrating how a product works is nothing new. You typically see infomercials on late night TV or live demonstrations at trade shows and events. They can be great for showing how your product works, but they don’t allow the customer to try it themselves.
Some companies allow for customer demonstrations in their stores or at a trade show. But other companies, such as those that sell large or expensive equipment, may not be able to let a potential customer test the product.
VR gives you the ability to let a customer of any age, experience level or familiarity with the product give it a try. This removes the safety hazards or training that may come with allowing a customer to try the actual product. VR can give your audience a feel for what you sell before they ever make a purchase.
4. Build New Excitement with Your Audience
Sometimes all you need your marketing campaign to do is build new excitement around your brand or product. Regardless of the size of your customer base, virtual reality is sure to create some buzz.
One of the best examples of using VR to invoke excitement with an audience is when Game of Thrones created a VR edition of their opening credits. While the opening credits were already iconic and interesting, experiencing them in virtual reality allowed the audience to explore the Game of Thrones map on their own time.
Fans were excited as they explored the many different angles of the map through virtual reality. This particular example shows us that your VR marketing campaign doesn’t need to sell a product. It simply needs to spark conversations.
5. Education Your Audience in a New Way
Educating your audience is one of the most important steps in transitioning them from a lead to a customer. Typically, educating a potential customer on what you can provide is limited to blog posts, eBooks and other online sources. While they can be useful for the right audience in the right setting, they don’t always drive the message across.
Virtual reality allows you to educate your audience in a way that will keep their attention. When trying to provide educational resources to your audience through text, you need to keep them engaged if you want them to eventually make a purchase.
Try to find new ways to introduce virtual reality into the education portion of your marketing campaign. When you can turn traditionally boring information into something new and exciting, you can convert even more customers into long-term, loyal customers.
As VR continues to grow in popularity, more and more companies will begin to take advantage of the benefits it can provide. To get ahead of the curve, look for ways you can introduce virtual reality into your next marketing campaign. Remember these five lessons when developing your strategy.
About The Author
Eleanor Hecks is the Editor-in-Chief of Designerly Magazine, an online publication dedicated to providing in-depth content from the design and marketing industries. When she's not designing or writing code, you can find her re-reading the Harry Potter series, burning calories at a local Zumba class, or hanging out with her dog, Bear.