Why 360° VR marketing is the most effective way to reach audiences
We are being bombarded by advertising every day, it’s getting consistently harder for brands to stand out through all the noise. 360° VR provides an innovative way of marketing. It might be a cliché, but compared to “old school” still images and traditional video, immersive content has the ability to convey a much bigger story.
A study by Nielsen research group, for example, found that 360° VR is up to eight times more effective for content recall than traditional ad units, since 360° content carries strong emotional engagement for brands. 73% of consumers feel that brands using VR are “forward-thinking and modern" and 61% prefer buying from a brand that uses VR over a brand that doesn't. These figures clearly demonstrate how 360° content is currently the most effective way to stand out and garner brands the attention they deserve.
360° performs better
360° content is outperforming “normal” content in pretty much every metric. In a study comparing 360 video and traditional video ads, Google have found that the 360 ads get more views, shares, and subscribes. In total, 360 ads drove 41% more earned actions and had a higher click-through rate than the standard ad as well as driving more engagement. In addition, 360 images were proven to be an effective format on their own, as users spend as much time engaging with the 360 images as with 360 videos.
In short, 360 content drives engagement, increases shareability, and can position businesses and brands as industry innovators and leaders. This has vast implication for marketers who are seeking new ways of connecting with their audience.
But there’s no reach and it’s too niche!
So, we’ve established that 360° is unique, less costly and more effective. Nonetheless, many people still have the misconception that there’s no reach and it’s too niche. Although access to VR systems is still in its infancy, 360 content nowadays can be served in many social networks. In addition, WebVR offers cross functional browser compatibility that can be viewed on desktop, mobile, or enhanced with a headset (Google Cardboard, Daydream View, etc…).
Mobile is where 360 content really shines. In my FootballStadiums360 project I’ve found that 360° content on the Facebook page has a 20x higher interaction rate and is 350% more effective than standard content. Since at least 3 billion people have a smartphone, and when you factor in the number of people with desktops and tablets the reach of 360 VR content becomes astronomical. Does that still seem too niche for you?
So what content works best?
Users love VR content that extends admission to places, sights, and experiences they would have never accessed otherwise. A recent study also found that content which provides a new perspective is just as compelling as the more exotic (and expensive to produce) fare people usually associate with virtual reality. Since 360 content encourages viewers to get in on the action and control their experience, this alone is driving engagement in promising new ways. The novelty of this viewing experience not only makes people want to watch 360 videos, it also makes them want to share.
But you can’t REALLY leverage 360° content to convert, right?
I believe that giving value to users is key, and at 4Bridge we try to focus on connecting people with things that they are interested in, creating a situation that is win-win and exciting for all involved. The only thing that’s left for marketers to do is to break out of the mold of traditional “flat” marketing and to use 360 content as a “bridge” for giving potential customers that little bit extra value they’re expecting.
Our strategy at 4Bridge is combining 360° content with traditional marketing tactics:
Producing 360 video and images that people can relate to
Enhancing brand awareness with influencer marketing
Creating lead generation campaigns through viral competitions
Raising intent to purchase with social media content strategy
Designing 360 ads with various data collection points
In conclusion, brands using 360 marketing can expect to be perceived as innovative forward-thinking industry leaders, as well as enjoying tangible results in the form of significantly higher engagement rates, click through rates, and conversion rates. Learn more about 360° campaign options here.