With traditional digital marketing channels such as blogs and social media, it’s difficult to imagine the shift into Augmented and Virtual Realities (AR and VR respectively). However, these technologies are already a part of our everyday life, whether it’s through games such as Pokémon: GO or specialized VR training apps.
According to Facebook, 54% of users agree that VR will mean people never have to miss an important event again, with 47% who agree that VR is becoming a natural extension of the physical world around them. A similar study published by Tech Jury reveals that 67% of marketers want to see more ad spaces in VR and AR applications as an extension of digital marketing, while 70% of consumers believe AR can help them learn new personal and professional skills.
Whether you already have a digital marketing strategy in place or are looking for ways to integrate your content into disruptive channels such as AR and VR, there’s no denying the potential of these technologies. However, knowing how to use them to their fullest extent is a matter of perspective and creativity, which is why we are here today. Let’s take a look at the main differences and growth opportunities related to AR and VR, as well as several ways in which we can expect to see their integration in day-to-day advertisement going forward.
The Differences and Opportunities of AR and VR
In order to best understand how AR and VR will affect the marketing industry in the near future, it’s good practice to compare the two in greater detail. Augmented Reality technologies represent an extension of our reality without taking the viewer out of it – think social media camera filters. They can be used to deliver marketing content effectively without relying on third-party peripheral devices apart from the consumers’ own smart devices. Contrary to that, Virtual Reality does require a peripheral such as a now-classic headset which will “transport” the viewer into whichever environment your marketing pitch dictates. Discussing what the future holds for these technologies and their wider implementation can be challenging without looking at them as two sides of the same coin.
Instead of discussing which one of these will prevail in the long run, it’s best to see them as complementary tools which can be used in tandem, depending on the occasion. Mark Sinclair, Head of Content Department at Studicus spoke highly on the matter recently: “I believe that AR already represents a viable delivery channel for businesses with an established mobile market presence. While not at all less flexible or interesting, VR is still in its early adoption days when it comes to widespread consumer appeal, making investment in VR-exclusive marketing content a hard pitch to sell – for now.”
- Brand Engagement and Storytelling
One of the biggest challenges of brands across the globe revolves around the humanization of their businesses – potential customers will remain just that if they don’t identify with the brand. As such, AR and VR technologies alike can be used to engage customers and humanize brands via marketing content. Marketing efforts such as brand storytelling can seamlessly be integrated into any form of virtual advertisement and effectively introduce potential consumers to what it is that your business can do for them.
For example, customer support can be conducted via VR with real-world agents acting as assistants to existing or potential customers. AR, on the other hand, can be used to demonstrate different services or explain the business’ goals and vision through real-world objects. These activities would effectively humanize a brand and make it more likely for consumers to pitch in and try their products and services as a result of their engagement and identification with the business.
- Product and Service Onboarding
Whether you operate as an e-commerce platform, a cloud-based service provider or work in a localized business such as a restaurant, demonstrating what you can do for your customers can be difficult. Onboarding new customers to try out your products, especially if they are overseas, can be nigh impossible due to obvious reasons. However, both AR and VR technologies can be utilized for demonstration, testing and Q&A sessions with potential customers no matter where they are.
In tandem with writing platforms such as Trust My Paper and Evernote, you can efficiently create guided tours, virtual FAQ rooms or training scenarios in which consumers can try out your goods and services without monetary obligation. You can make the model self-sustaining by introducing native advertisement into the demo program, ensuring that no loss of revenue occurs while still taking full advantage of a more hands-on demonstrative process.
- Controlled Environment Feedback
Setting up a reliable communication channel with your audience should be of utmost importance regardless of your current revenue streams. As such, utilizing AR and VR technologies can facilitate higher quality feedback, critical suggestions and objective comments.
You can create dedicated chat rooms and virtual spaces for your customers to interact with and submit their questions, concerns and suggestions without relying on hyperlinks, forms and manual input of any information. This will allow for much more tangible, demonstrative and effective feedback to be generated, ensuring that your QA team and developers have a better sense of where to take your products and marketing efforts going forward.
- Streamlined Growth Over Time
Lastly, delivering updates, changes to your products or services, as well as news announcements to your customer base can be tricky depending on the type of business you run. With so many different communication channels available, pinpointing the right one for your audience is nigh impossible, especially for international brands.
Luckily, implementing AR and VR technologies into your marketing strategy can significantly reduce the downtime and costs of delivering updates and upgrades to your follower base. Combined with writing platforms such as Grab My Essay and Hemingway, you can write content marketing pieces, deliver updates to existing virtual rooms or AR apps or simply establish stable communication with your audience at the press of a button. This would effectively eliminate downtime between your brand and consumers, facilitating a much more personal Customer Experience (CX) in your business model.
Marketing a Better Reality
Whether you’re dipping your toes into AR and VR as of this moment or if you already have a stake in the technology, there’s no denying its potential as a marketing trend of the future. The question remains however as to how well these technologies will be utilized beyond their baseline implementation.
It’s true that AR can deliver camera filters to consumers and VR can help bring the customer closer to your brand through virtual rooms – but what else can they do? Discovering the best ways to integrate these communication channels into your marketing strategy is the name of the game in 2020 and beyond. https://studicus.com/
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Angela Baker is a self-driven specialist who is currently working as a freelance writer at writing services such as Best Essay Education as well as Pick the Writer and is trying to improve herself and her blogging career. She is always seeking to discover new ways for personal and professional growth and is convinced that it’s always important to broaden horizons. That’s why Angela develops and improves her skills throughout the writing process to help to inspire people. Also, she writes for LiveInspiredMagazine, rounding out her professional writing career.