HOW TO MAKE VIRTUAL REALITY MARKETING WORTH IT

by | Feb 13, 2018

Virtual reality is shiny. It’s new. And more and more marketers want to use it.

That’s because VR creates an immersive consumer experience. Among other benefits, VR can shift the way consumers think about a brand, product or service.

But virtual reality marketing is an investment. So, before you embark on a journey into VR, check out these tips to make it worth your money.

Align Objective with Customer Journey

Every marketer wants to try out VR. But it’s only worth the money if it meets business objectives and shows ROI. Set a clear objective. Then, meet it by using VR in where it’s strongest in the customer journey.

VR is most effective in Awareness and Consideration. It builds brand affinity in Awareness. In consideration, VR allows consumers to try a product or service. For example, VR for travel brands allow users to check out a destination before actually going.

Every VR experience must have a purpose. It should appear at the right time with the right message. Plus, provide value to consumers and motivate them to act. Understanding that journey is the first step towards fulfilling needs and influencing decisions.

See What Gets Consumers to Interact

It’s important to understand what your audience interacts with most in VR. This allows you to optimize the experience by answering the following questions:

Did your viewers interact with one specific VR feature more than others? Did they have a clear opportunity to “Buy Now” while the product was in their hands? Are people leaving during non-interactive dialogue sequences?

Opt-ins, signups, conversion rate, bounce rate, and session duration are relevant. But, they only tell part of the story. These metrics are contextual to overall performance. New ways to receive and respond to customer behavior will only get more sophisticated.

Measure and Adapt to Increase Brand Lift

Virtual reality marketing research proves campaigns are successful at inspiring action. In fact, the first-ever Virtual Reality Ad Effectiveness Study shows that 360° video results in higher brand recall and intent-to-share compared to traditional video.

Measure the impact your VR campaign has on creating interest in your brand. This determines the effectiveness of your marketing strategy. Results show which components need improved to make your campaign more successful.

Develop an Integrated Strategy Around Virtual Reality Experiences

It’s important to test how virtual reality is going to fit into your marketing strategy. To start, evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the technology against your marketing goals. This may vary depending on the project.

Your goals and KPIs affect your creative, targeting methods. When you establish clear KPIs before developing VR content, you can build a better experience and provide a clear path to understand virtual reality and consumer behavior. Success is measured on how effectively the campaign achieves business and marketing goals. Use your key metrics to develop an integrated marketing approach based on those goals. Then, measure return on investment.

Let’s say you shoot 360° footage to create a unique VR trade show experience for your product. You’re excited about the creative. But, how does it perform? Does it meet specific business or marketing objectives? Does it drive sign-ups or sales? Is it shared or discussed on a particular platform? What actions do your viewers take after the experience? How does participation change over time?

Metrics like views, unique users, view-through rate and watch time show how your audience experiences your VR content. It’s important to make the process to conversion natural. The measurements you focus on depend on your marketing objectives and the intended audience actions.

Virtual Reality Marketing Example:

United Nations’ first VR film, ‘Clouds over Sidra’, tells the story of a young Syrian girl living in a Jordanian refugee camp. The film premiered at a fundraising event in 2015 where the UN exceeded their expected donations by over $1 billion. This film paved the way for others to embrace 360° video and experiential content because of its unique ability to build empathy.

Virtual Reality Advertising Example:

Google put together an interesting experiment around 360° video and Columbia sportswear. They produced two videos — one standard and one in 360° — and presented their findings:

• 360° in-stream ads DON’T get more views
• 360° in-stream ads DO drive more engagement
• 360° ads get more clicks in less time
• 360° ads are more likely to build loyalty
• 360° ads encourage URL sharing on other channels

Using immersive technology, tracking the right KPIs and understanding your audience and their journey maximizes benefits of a virtual reality marketing investment.

What it Comes Down To

Immersive technology is changing the face of digital marketing. Consider bringing your marketing strategy to life by investing in VR. Gather your team. Then, discuss how virtual reality can accomplish your marketing objectives. Virtual reality can enhance consumer experience and mold your brand into the one that everybody’s talking about.

To better understand how to use VR, AR and other immersive technologies as effective marketing tools, contact us.

Tom Madrilejos

Tom Madrilejos, UX/UI Designer

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