Many experts predict that virtual reality is the future of content marketing. The technology is sufficiently new to be exciting, and sufficiently cheap to reach the wider public soon. But what does it take to succeed with VR in your marketing?
Every new technological advancement affects marketing and sales. Internet did it, the smartphone did it, social media did it. Now, VR is up next. Many marketers currently equip themselves with new knowledge on how to create communications projects with the help of virtual reality, artificial intelligence, augmented reality and mixed reality.
There are already a few successful content marketing cases where VR is used effectively, and Marcus ”The Sales Lion” Sheridan recently suggested that the technology ”will change the world”.
Fredrik Frank works as the CCO at the Swedish VR studio Odd Raven. He claims that businesses have a lot to gain from testing VR in their communication, but that there are also some pitfalls to be aware of.
What should marketers consider if they want to test a VR project?
”The most important aspect is to integrate the VR project into the full content marketing mix. It shouldn’t be a stand-alone project. It’s also important that different forms of expertise collaborate at an early stage in the project, to take advantage of the opportunities as well as realising the limitations of the project. At the beginning, it’s better to invest in a small, well-defined project to test the result than it is to create an exhaustive and expensive project straight away.”
Is it an advantage to be the first one to make use of VR now that it’s hot?
”Of course, there are advantages to being early in adopting new technology. There is always something exciting with new technical communications possibilities. At the same time, we’re currently in a phase where the initial hype is over. It’s more important to consider how a VR experience can contribute to a communications project, than to focus on the new technology. It is, however, always educational to test new technology at an early stage. Those who are early adopters tend to gain the experiences and insights necessary to succeed in the long term.”
Which pitfalls are there for companies that want to try VR?
”That you, as a client, don’t truly understand what the new technology means for yourself as a client but also for the recipient. There can also be misunderstandings between creative agencies that don’t yet fully grasp the VR technology and production agencies that are more technology-focused. It’s also essential to try and produce a scalable experience that can be applied in many channels and at different levels in a company’s communication. In other words, integrate VR with other communication and activities.”
Can you give us a few examples where VR has contributed to increasing or strengthening the impact of a company’s communication?
”A good example is companies that have used VR to launch products that aren’t physically available yet. The car manufacturer Jaguar for instance chose to launch its new electric car concept entirely in VR.”
“As an emotional enhancer, VR is an exceptional tool. There have also been fundraising campaigns, where they’ve used VR instead of traditional media to communicate about children’s exposure and thus created increased engagement among the target group, which resulted in more funds.”