Will VR become the Content Marketing Trend of 2017?
This year CES featured a huge collection of VR technology and with so many of the technology giants investing in VR products during 2016, Sony launching their PlayStation VR, Google VR and Samsung’s VR gear, it’s clear that virtual reality is here to stay.
So what does this mean for Content Marketing in 2017? Will we see mass adoption or is the world not quite ready for VR yet?
A few brands tried in 2016
Last year, Jaguar created a virtual reality experience to help Jaguar promote their Wimbledon partnership as the 2016 official car. Fans could join Andy Murray on centre court and find out what it felt like to be in the British champ’s shoes.
Ever wanted to visit Yosemite National Park? Well now you can. National Geographic teamed up with President Obama of all people to promote the centennial year of the national park.
Whilst these are great and it’s exciting to see the future potential in this technology, there are a handful of problems with virtual reality. The first, in my opinion, is the price of the technology and the second is a lack of content.
Whilst we as an industry can’t influence the cost of the tech, we can look into the content that has already been created in readiness for the time when VR is common in every home. We’ve already seen big entertainment players partner with VR companies, so why isn’t VR already in our content marketing strategies?
The problem with VR is content
We’re currently in this awkward chicken and egg phase. Consumers don’t have an incentive to buy the tech as there simply isn’t enough content to justify doing so. It’s no secret that today’s technology still has a number of kinks to iron out. But the truth is, that before VR is really ready for mass market, potential customers will need to know that there is content available for them to consume. VR has the opportunity to completely change the way that we engage with consumers, providing us with an exciting new way to tell stories and interact with potential customers – the opportunities are endless.
What could VR content look like for you?
Virtual reality content will allow us as marketers many different ways to engage with audiences. Whether that is sitting in a new car without visiting the car lot, to trying on some new clothes before you make a final decision or exploring a room, hotel lobby or perhaps whole resort. There will be lots of opportunities to tell new and exciting stories through VR.
I’m sure you’ll agree there are exciting times ahead. I am certainly awaiting the day that I can order a product online and try it on before I commit to the purchase. The question for me isn’t if VR becomes a content marketing trend but when. Realistically I don’t see this being possible before the later part of this year, maybe even early 2018.But, what we do know is that VR crept up on us quickly and I believe it’s now almost at the point where all brands will have to sit up and take notice. My advice would be to get thinking and planning, as your first piece of virtual reality content could be a lot closer to today than you previously thought.
Andy Edmonds, Head of Engagement, iProspect