A study revealed that more than 170 million people will use VR technology by the end of 2018, and that figure is about to get much higher in the next few years. In such circumstances, the question isn’t whether or not VR will change today’s advertising industry but rather how it is going to happen. In this post, I will show you how VR will impact modern advertising.
Why VR in Advertising?
Advertising has always been tech-driven. From simple newspaper to social media, entrepreneurs always used the latest technology to improve advertising and win over target consumers. VR is the next natural step in this process. There are three reasons to use VR in your advertising campaigns.
1. It Allows Full Immersion
VR creates a 360-environment that eliminates all distractions and forces consumers to focus on the content exclusively. No matter how you design content or which type of VR ambiance you create, it will completely occupy them. This also means advertisers get more brand awareness and more influence over consumers.
2. It Boosts Interaction
VR technology makes 3D simulations, so it’s up to the consumers to find their way through the content. Johnny Marchant, an IT specialist for Essay on Time, recently noted, “VR is a genuine booster of interaction and engagement because no one would stay in one place while checking out the 3D environment. Consumers are practically forced to be proactive and discover each segment of the content”.
3. It Promotes Social Integration
Although it raises concerns about alienation, VR will not completely isolate individual consumers. On the contrary, it will become a major segment of social media and enable digital friends to communicate through content much more actively. This is exactly why Facebook is investing in Oculus Rift technology —the company wants to create groundbreaking social media technology and take the content consumption to the next level.
You’ve probably figured out by now that VR has a huge potential in the advertising domain. But the question is how exactly does it influence advertising?
How VR Is Changing Advertising
As a concept, VR definitely raises eyebrows and inspires entrepreneurs to think about the ways to use new technology. But have you seen any real-life case studies or examples of VR advertising? Can you find your own way to use it for brand promotion? Although it’s a relatively new technology, it already has a number of practical purposes. I will explain the most common examples here.
VR makes it easy for consumers to test products or services before purchasing. It’s a big privilege because they can immediately learn about product advantages or shortcoming. Consequently, mistakes and post-purchase problems are reduced to the minimum.
For example, the automotive industry exploits this system to advertise the latest models. Using VR, Renault crafted the ultimate 360-degree test drive to present the new Koleos model. It gives people a realistic impression, so they can feel what it’s like to drive Renault Koleos.
At the same time, the travel industry is taking advantage of VR technology to promote attractive destinations all around the globe. The logic is simple but extremely efficient—allow consumers to get the first impression and choose a destination that suits their personal preferences.
Amadeus IT Group is also one of the pioneers of the VR booking and traveling. It doesn’t only enable customers to look for the best places to go, but it also allows them to search for flights, walk through a plane to select their seats, check out different rental cars, and pay for their entire trip, all without leaving virtual reality.
Retail stores can do the same thing for their customers. VR can help potential buyers try clothes and order products that suit them perfectly. No wrong numbers, no waiting in lines for the dressing room, everything is available instantly.
Providing Product Tutorials
Some products require more than a simple testing, especially in the IT industry. Things like mobile devices, software and apps, design tools, and similar inventions demand more knowledge, and it’s good to have enough material to learn from.
VR product tutorials fulfill this purpose. They allow consumers to see how something works before taking things into their own hands. It’s also a perfect chance for marketers to create interesting content and promote their brands online.
Enhancing Customer Relations
Customer relations has become one of the most important brand differentiators recently, which is where VR content can help as well. Namely, all companies are talking about their vision or values, but it’s much easier to prove it through realistic content.
Using VR technology, you can organize guided tours through the company, explain its origins, and tell people what makes you so good. This is a great way to boost consumer interest, show the human side of your business, and strengthen relations with your customers.
The Challenges of VR Advertising
VR technology opens up new perspectives on social media advertising, but it doesn’t come without its fair share of challenges. Here are the biggest issues that burden VR advertising.
It’s Hard to Predict the Reaction of Users
A study showed that 60 percent of consumers report they feel “virtual reality is only for gamers.” In such circumstances, it is hard to say how consumers will respond once VR technology is fully integrated into advertising.
It’s in the Early Stages of Development
Despite big expectations, VR is still in the early stages of development, although itt promises a lot. No one can tell for sure when VR will become a regular part of social media advertising.
User Adoption Is Slow
At the moment, VR requires a substantial amount of equipment, including headsets, microphones, and other gadgets. Today’s consumers are not willing to jump over so many obstacles to enjoy the VR experience, making adoption slower than expected. It will take cheaper and more practical equipment to convince the majority of consumers to embrace VR experiences on a daily basis.
Is VR the Future of Advertising?
VR is one of the latest social media advertising trends. It’s a game-changing technology that opens a variety of new opportunities for advertising your products or services online. In this post, I showed you VR’s changes to the advertising industry and some of its challenges. Will VR take advertising to a higher level? Will it help you grow your business anytime soon? Only time will tell.