While virtual reality is certainly a trending topic, many people view this phenomenon primarily in terms of virtual reality games. In the last few years, however, virtual reality videos have jumped into the realm of video marketing and taken hold. Find out the many ways to utilize this hot trend in your video marketing plan to make your ads immersive, original and memorable.
Since Facebook bought Oculus, the leading virtual reality tech company, back in 2014, tech giants Sony, Microsoft and Samsung have made multi-billion dollar investments in this technology. We will be seeing explosive growth in the next few years. The VR industry within video marketing is really just in the first stages of creation. But those businesses that are already using it are seeing massive success and viral-ability. These 11 ways to use virtual reality for marketing purposes represent only the tip of the iceberg.
1 – Storytelling
In May of 2016, the New York Times sent 300,000 Google cardboard glasses to its longest standing online subscribers. Along with the VR goggles, they were sent a link to NYT’s latest virtual reality movie, Seeking Pluto’s Frigid Heart.
The Times have successfully integrated virtual reality for storytelling within their brand – that of being a top news source. Also, they cunningly targeted their most tech-savvy digital subscribers with a story found nowhere else.
2 – Viral Videos with Virtual Reality
Many video marketers are ever in search of the one video that will go viral and bring mega attention to their product or service. Luckily, virtual reality, at its tender age, is the perfect platform to use creatively. Take your unique idea, and make a virtual reality video using YouTube or Facebook 360. Cardboard VR goggles can easily be obtained online. You’ll get instant attention because so few businesses are doing it.
3 – The Fitness & Dance Industries
Choreographer expert Matt Steffanina achieved over a million views on his YouTube 360 video demonstrating Dubstep Dance in his virtual reality video. He understands that dance and fitness enthusiasts respond well to the immersive quality of virtual reality. Imagine how nice it would be to watch a yoga video without all the distractions of seeing and hearing everything around you. With virtual reality, you truly immerse yourself in one thing only.
4 – Virtual Reality for Gamers
This article would not be complete without mentioning gamers and game developers. In April of 2016, over one million people used the Samsung Gear VR headset in a partnership with Facebook and Samsung. This massive growth hints at the potential success for game developers and gaming YouTubers alike. According to SocialBlade, there are currently hundreds of YouTube gamers with over one million subscribers.
This successful niche is ripe for virtual reality marketing videos. An article on Nanalyze.com suggests that in twenty years, there may be no video games left that are NOT using virtual reality. Companies like Ubisoft and Epic Games have already successfully used VR in their games and are spending a high percentage of their development dollars on this technology.
5 – VR Job Simulation
Businesses can use virtual reality technology to show potential employees exactly what their job will be like. It’s good for job seekers because it gives them a clear idea of what they will be doing. Employers benefit because they won’t waste time on people who start a job and end up not liking it. Virtual reality job simulators can also help as an effective means of job training.
6 – Real Estate Virtual Tours
An early member of the virtual reality marketing club, realtors know that home buyers want to know the feel of a house or condo before taking the plunge. They may not always be able to see a place in person. This is where virtual reality steps in and offer realtors a new and awesome way to show potential customers the perfect home.
7 – Entertainment Destinations
Amusement parks, roller rinks, ski resorts – these are just a few of the many businesses that could benefit from virtual reality video marketing. Show your audience exactly what it’s like to enjoy your establishment, like this Theme Park Review video which takes you for a frightening ride:
8 – Mobile Marketing Apps for VR
Mobile VR combines smartphone technology with special optics that will lower the cost and increase accessibility of virtual reality to the masses. However, there are challenges to virtual reality apps for smartphones. For example, taking up too much CPU power, running battery life down, and limited graphic quality. Fortunately, all these issues are being worked on as we speak. Mobile phones offer an even more freeing and immersive experience than those using stationery desktop applications.
Free mobile apps like Jaunt VR (for Android and iOS), make it possible for customers to immerse themselves in cinematic virtual reality videos. Additionally, another popular app is Orbulus, which gives an all-encompassing perspective of places we are unable to visit in person, right from our smart phone (also free and for Android and iOS).
9 – Virtual Reality Videos for Events
Whether it’s a technology symposium, a brewery showing off its new equipment, or an airline introducing a new business class and lounge, virtual reality makes any event a memorable experience for event attendees. The NBA created a 25-minute virtual reality video so fans could immerse themselves in the high energy games between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors after the 2016 Finals. The exciting virtual reality experience is available only at NBA and Oculus stores.
10 – Retail: Marketing a Lifestyle with VR
Northface, a brand featuring rugged outdoor clothes and accessories, wanted to excite their shoppers. As a result, they now offer a virtual reality experience in their Manhattan store. It’s used to demonstrate the excitement of rock climbing and base jumping. Even if their target audience does not partake in these fun outdoor activities, they can still feel the thrills. And, of course, relate those feelings back to North Face.
11 – Attracting Top University Students
Not surprisingly, virtual reality videos are helping many schools and universities. For example, The Savannah College of Art and Design used VR to bring in and engage potential students. Recently, they mailed out 5000 branded virtual reality goggles to students who had been accepted to the school, but who had not yet enrolled. It allowed them to “visit” the campus to help solidify their first choice of schools.
Be the Future of Virtual Reality Videos
We expect gads of VR headsets to hit the market at relatively cheap prices in the next few years. Virtual reality videos and their ever-evolving technologies are growing at a rapid pace. But right now, be one of the businesses that are getting in now. You will be viewed as the trendiest and most creative company within your niche.
Virtual reality videos may seem too complicated or expensive for some video marketers. That’s why Valoso provides an international pool of professional videographers experienced in all the latest video marketing trends. Sign up below to receive a free quote as you begin your journey with virtual reality video marketing.