Successful marketers are always looking for new ways to reach consumers and increase engagement. YouTube and Facebook video are still the most popular distribution channels among marketers. Therefore, it appears that online video is still the top choice.
However, technologies like AR and VR have the potential to make a significant impact in the future of experiential marketing. Partnering with a YouTube or Facebook advertising specialist is one way to ensure that your company is able to leverage these platforms to their full potential.
The Appeal of AR and VR
There are many advantages to using AR and VR as tools for marketing. The most obvious benefit is that they offer a form of marketing content that can stand out. Campaigns that are based on static images and video can still be effective. However, consumers are exposed to this type of content often throughout the day.
As an additional benefit, AR and VR both offer interactive elements. Instead of passively viewing the content, the user is invited to participate. This makes for an engaging, memorable experience that can leave a lasting impression on viewers.
Finally, you have to consider that AR and VR can provide users with a more “in-person” or “hands-on” kind of experience. Incorporating this technology means customers get more than just looking at pictures and reading descriptions. AR and VR can provide an accurate simulation of what it is like to hold the product in their hands, test it out, or see it in their real world environment.
A good example of this is the IKEA augmented reality app. With the app downloaded on a phone or tablet, users can view furniture products through the camera and screen on the device. The app creates a to-scale representation of the piece of furniture and places it within the image of the room on the screen. With this feature, consumers can test furniture to see what it will look like in their home.
How Will it Be Used?
The aforementioned IKEA app is one excellent example of how AR is going to be used to market to customers. Some AR apps allow users to see digital representations of products in real world environment. Now, 360 degree videos in AR apps are also starting to have an impact.
With 360 video, marketers can create immersive experiences that provide consumers with something close to a first-hand look at a location. This technology is already being used by hotels and resorts to sell travel packages. It’s also being leveraged by realtors that want to showcase homes.
Currently, the main issue slowing down the adoption of VR is the need for equipment that is both bulky and expensive.
If users want to be able to interact with VR content, they need to invest in a headset that isn’t easy to transport and can costs several hundred or thousand dollars. For most consumers, this can be a barrier that is difficult to overcome. However, as the technology develops, the price should come down and the equipment should become more convenient and accessible for everyday use.
The Role of Tech Giants
Tech industry giants like Google and Facebook are set to play an important role in the development of both AR and VR technologies. You can see this in the investments both companies have made in these technologies. It’s also visible through some of the efforts they are making to bring these technologies to the public.
With Facebook buying Oculus Rift and developing the Facebook 360 service, it’s clear that the social media giant is committed to a future where VR plays a significant role on the platform. You also have products like Google Cardboard, which is a step toward developing a VR headset that is more accessible to the average consumer.
For the most part, AR and VR still remain in the category of future technologies when it comes to marketing. Some companies are already using them to great success, but these technologies are seen as more of a marketing novelty rather than a necessity.
However, that is going to change. The brands that are already experimenting with these technologies are the ones that are going to have the advantage when they become more widespread.