How to Get Started with Virtual Reality Marketing

This post is an excerpt from our Digital Growth Summit event in Sunnyvale.
Here are the digital marketing experts who contributed to this blog:

Jacquelle Amankonah How to Get Started with Virtual Reality Marketing

Jacquelle Amankonah
YouTube Mng
Google

Jodi Schiller How to Get Started with Virtual Reality Marketing

Jodi Schiller
Founder
New Reality Arts

Ned Atkins How to Get Started with Virtual Reality Marketing

Ned Atkins
Marketing Producer
UploadVR

Robin Kim How to Get Started with Virtual Reality Marketing

Robin Kim
Practice Head
Ruder Finn

Dale Carman How to Get Started with Virtual Reality Marketing

Dale Carman
Executive Creative Director
Groove Jones

 
How to Get Started with Virtual Reality Marketing

How to Get Started with Virtual Reality Marketing

Here are some key takeaways from the Virtual Reality Marketing panel:

  • Virtual reality takes marketing to a new level
  • Users perceive what they’re seeing as real, so your campaign becomes experiential and has greater impact.

  • The quality of VR applications you invest in will depend on your goals and expectations
  • Everyone has access to YouTube 360 and Facebook 360, so more people will experience what you’ve created. But for things like special events, experts recommend investing in tools like Oculus and Vive. The audience might be smaller, but the wow factor is huge.

  • No matter how exciting the technology, content remains important
  • Always test market the experience you’ve created before you launch it—preferably with people who have experience with different kinds of VR. Make improvements if you’re not getting the response you want.

How does virtual reality work? What are some examples you have seen where virtual reality is highly effective?

VR is a first-order experience. It affects you as if you are there. –Jodi Schiller

Presence is a key part of VR. There is a sense that you are actually there because your eyes are so powerful. Our power of sight convinces us that if we are seeing something, it is real. Another key component with VR is that when we see something on the screen or read a book, it is a second-order experience. It’s something we’re watching rather than experiencing. VR is a first-order experience. It affects you as if you are there. For example, they are using it a lot to treat PTSD because they can put people back into a traumatic experience and help them work through it. That’s a great example that highlights how powerful this technology really is. —Jodi Schiller

The ability to do dramatic things in VR is a wonderful example of the way VR works. –Dale Carman

The ability to do dramatic things in VR is a wonderful example of the way Virtual Reality marketing works. I created an experience with Guillermo del Toro for Pacific Rim where you get to be a Jaeger pilot in one of the giant robots. You feel like you are there, and it is a super cool experience. We also did a piece for GE for their factory tour, and it wasn’t exciting to me at first, but the VR element takes the tour from boring to captivating. Immediately, you become engaged. —Dale Carman

What is the best way for brands and companies to get started with practical applications and virtual reality marketing?

Any time you get people to be creative with your brand it will increase the value of the experience. –Ned Atkins

The one that I always show people for the first time is Tilt Brush, because the learning curve is pretty short and intuitive. They stand still and then create and draw. The creative element is so strong in this game. Any time that you can get people to be creative with your brand it will increase the replay value of the experience, and they want to share the experience with their friends. —Ned Atkins

On the low end of the VR spectrum you have YouTube 360 and Facebook 360, which you can view on any phone and everybody can participate now with that. The next step up is Google Cardboard and then Samsung Gear followed by Oculus and then Vive. For brand activation, a lot of times we will have brands that want to avoid using Vive because they want more people to be able to have access to their Virtual Reality marketing tool. Our strategy is that if the client is going to have an event, we will use Vive because the opportunity to really impact people is incredible. If not, we will go with one of the more accessible VR tools. —Dale Carman

The technology really allows your brain to be at work and immerse itself in VR experiences. –Jacquelle Amankonah

Tell a story. The technology really allows your brain to be at work and immerse itself in these VR experiences. —Jacquelle Amankonah

If you are trying VR for the first time, there is the technology and then there is the experience. They are not mutually exclusive. As the technology gets better and better, the cost goes up. If you are looking to explore VR for the first time, be aware that you could have a less-than-stellar technology experience because the viewer may be low end on the phone, but it could still be a quality experience. The story that the experience is telling is really important. —Robin Kim

What are some “Do’s and Don’ts” for virtual reality marketing? How do people get started in actually creating VR content?

My favorite VR experiences have three elements: the creative freedom element where you can create something new and novel every time, the social element where you can interact with others in VR, and the storytelling element where the VR experience includes a great interactive story. As far as creating VR content, UploadVR is starting a VR code academy to help developers learn VR code and make it easier for brands and companies to hire people who can create VR content for them. —Ned Atkins

If you have created something, get people to try it first—preferably people who have seen VR before. –Robin Kim

The biggest failure point that I have seen is that people are so in love with the technology and so in love with the first time response, they actually forget about the experience. If you have created something and are getting ready to put it out into the world, get people to try it first—preferably people who have seen different kinds of VR before. —Robin Kim

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