You’ve probably heard the words virtual reality (VR) a lot lately. It’s a huge buzz word flying around the tech community. But for this post, we’re focusing on virtual reality’s use in marketing, especially social media.
First, let’s define VR. According to Webster’s, virtual reality is, “an artificial environment which is experienced through sensory stimuli (such as sights and sounds) provided by a computer; also: the technology used to create or access a virtual reality” That’s a lot to take in, so let’s summarize it. Virtual reality is a technology that allows a user to experience an artificial (fake) environment, usually through a headset and controls.
VR’s Effect on Social Media
Gone are the times users log-in to Facebook or Twitter on a desktop. It has overwhelmingly shifted to a mobile first digital landscape. The next wave will be virtual. It’s the platform companies and investors are betting on to emerge as the next tech revolution. Don’t believe me?
Facebook has Oculus (Which it acquired for over $2 billion), Microsoft has HoloLens (AR), as well has HTC Vive and VIVE Pro, Google has Daydream and Google Glass (Google Glass was rumored to be back), Samsung has Gear VR, and Sony has PlayStation VR. Big bucks are being thrown into the VR/AR landscape from big companies.
When it comes to virtual reality content, many of us think about video games. Facebook thought otherwise. Facebook launched Facebook 360, it’s attempt to intertwine the real and virtual worlds of Facebook with a dedicated app.
Picture this: You’re sitting on your couch relaxing. Both your phone and tablet are off and to the side. You’re wearing an Oculus headset, completely immersed in the experience. You’re not on a wild jungle safari ride or playing a first-person shooter game. You’re actually scrolling through your Facebook feed and browsing content from friends you follow.
A joystick will come back from the grave and serve as the new form of “scrolling”. There are even Oculus Rooms where you can hang out with your best buds in virtual reality.
VR as a Marketing Tool
Virtual Reality will give markets a brand-new tool to utilize in their marketing stack. And the thing is, the time for that is now. VR and AR are going to become completely mainstream in the next year or two. Apple is investing heavily into their ARKit, and the tech giants Microsoft and Google are right behind them. So how can marketers use VR?
Real Estate Relators beware. VR will replace you and give homebuyers the access to view hundreds of homes in a simplified, more efficient process. And they can do this from their own living rooms.
Home Improvement If you’re debating purchasing that $1,299 sectional, you’ll probably want to see how it looks at your place first. You can utilize VR to browse through sectionals, and AR to place them in your home.
Tourism Are you sure you want to travel to Madagascar? Why don’t you throw on these VR Goggles first! This will be a vacation planners new best friend.
Retail Hmmm, is that outfit going to look good on you? Let’s see a model try it on first. These pictures aren’t doing it justice.
Entertainment (Video Games and Movies) Not sure about getting the newest Call of Duty? Try it out on for free on the Sony PlayStation VR, or watch this short clip! Oh, and for movie stars; don’t worry if you can’t recall the last scene, just watch it in VR to jog your memory.
Virtual reality allows marketers to demonstrate product attributes and features, help consumers make more informed decisions, and add a new, more immersive and exhilarating dimension to traditional print and video story-telling.
Virtual reality clearly adds a new dimension to social media marketing. It also effects social media in ways barely imaginable. But don’t you worry. VR and social media are right around the corner.
Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this article, please share it with a friend!