5 Stats You Need to Know about Virtual Reality Marketing
Virtual reality is clearly gaining traction across all sectors, from marketing to gaming to television and journalism. There is a lot of hype surrounding the medium, but not many are reporting on the cold, hard facts. If you’re on the fence about creating VR content for your company, here are five facts you need to know. They may just change your mind.
The total number of active virtual reality users is forecast to reach 171 million by 2018.
As VR becomes more accessible to the average consumer, it will gain more users. That much is obvious. But that also means that if you’re not using virtual reality by 2018, you’ll be missing out on a huge audience on a platform that really makes an impact. If you’re one of the first brands to innovate a VR experience for this growing audience, you’re more likely to be breaking ground and developing a dedicated group of followers who are interested in your content. That’s really important.
60% of Consumers Report they feel “Virtual Reality is Only for Gamers”
Yes, at this point in time, virtual reality has a niche with gamers. But it’s up to brands and content creators to break that niche.
Right now, marketers have to be more innovative with the virtual reality experiences they grant users. That way, they can break past this barrier and deliver relevant content to their fans and potential customers.
This fact also means that a huge audience for consumer grade VR is those interested in Tech and Gaming. How can you entice your audience to join you on a VR or 360 experience, even if they’re not interested in these groups? It’s a question you’ll really have to consider.
On the flip side, a marketer might not want to fight that sentiment and create a VR game instead. You’ll have to keep your product placement subtle, and your entertainment value high.
Just over 50% of viewers showed some increase in their likelihood of purchasing or using VR technology after a brief informational experience.
Here’s the key to the problem posed by VR’s niche. Gamers are more interested in the technology because they’re more familiar with it. When viewers have a VR experience and have more information about VR, they’re more likely to participate in it again.
That’s why the New York Times gave out Google Cardboards to bring people to their VR app. They were helping their already dedicated audience jump into their new VR offering. When NYT decides to monetize their VR, how much money do you think they’ll be able to make?
Nearly 1.3 million people subscribe to the YouTube 360 channel.
If you want to experiment with creating a more casual VR experience, lean towards creating 360 video instead. And, there’s a perfect platform for doing that: YouTube. Over 1.3 million people show they’re ready and willing to explore and share 360 videos much like they already browse youtube for makeup tutorials and cat videos.
You’ll be able to test your content. How do people react to your 360 environment? Do people stick around to watch? Where do they look most often? Take that back when you’re developing your true VR.
360 video is also a great medium for narrative content. Documentaries make a huge impact in 360. For example When ‘Clouds over Sidra’ was shown to people on the streets of Auckland, New Zealand, Unicef doubled donations. The empathy that documentary VR inspires is unprecedented.
30% of consumer-facing companies in the Forbes Global 2000 will experiment with AR and VR as part of their marketing efforts in 2017.
Big brands are going to be leading the charge here. Will you sit back and let them make the mistakes, or will you be one of these ambassadors to reach customers with an innovative VR experience? It’s up to you, but the facts are clear: people who tap into the VR audience soon will be making a splash.
Leah Eder is Green Buzz Agency’s Marketing Coordinator. She reports on the latest trends in Video Content Marketing and Virtual Reality. She’s planning her next move in VR.