Technology has changed how customers find and interact with businesses. The internet has made it incredibly easy for people to search for and find products they are looking for. This gives customers the opportunity to look for things on their terms. They get to be in control.
If you want your business to be found, you have had to change how you advertise and market. As a business owner, you know full well the work that went into developing a website, creating content, and then making sure that content was search engine optimized. You no doubt have social media pages and interact with customers using those platforms.
You know how to use technology to your advantage, and you may feel pretty confident in your marketing plan and tactics. However, just when you are starting to get comfortable, the game is going to change—and once again, technology is going to play a role. This time, you’ll need to figure out how to use virtual reality to connect with customers.
What Is Virtual Reality?
In essence, virtual reality is the creation of a digital world that can immerse a user. When a person is in this computer-generated world, they can explore and interact with the elements there. This act is usually accomplished with specific hardware and software, such as virtual reality goggles and computer programs.
Virtual reality is often associated with gaming, but other industries have successfully used this technology to interact with people, including museums, education, and NASA, among others. The great thing about this technology is that it gets people involved and interacting, and that is how virtual reality will help your business.
How Is Virtual Reality Utilized?
What virtual reality can be used for is only limited by the imagination and the constraints of technology. With the most common application being gaming, this technology is used to create worlds and places that allow the user to explore and interact with the environment, often in an entertaining fashion to achieve an objective—essentially winning the game.
However, in other industries, virtual reality can be used as a training tool. For engineers or mechanics, this technology is a great way to immerse employees in work that will need to be conducted every day at the job site without needing to spend the money to send them to the job site or to create a replica of the workspace.
Law enforcement and military training also rely heavily on virtual reality for their people. This is beneficial because it allows individuals the opportunity to be put into dangerous situations without actually being in trouble. It’s an excellent way for them to figure out how they would react and act in dangerous situations so if they encounter it in real life, they have the necessary skills to be successful.
When it comes to museums, virtual reality allows visitors to check out their collections and displays from the comfort of their own home. People who don’t have the opportunity to fly to Paris (or don’t want to deal with the crowds) still have the ability to see the art that is housed there. This could be a great way for students to experience history and culture without having to leave the classroom.
Virtual Reality and Your Business
When trying to attract new customers, you have to offer them something more than a great brand or products—although this will ensure you’re successful and stay in business. You have to connect with them. You have to relate to them on a personal level, as well as teach them something about your business.
Social media is a great platform for the connection part because it was designed for conversation. If you’re just posting links and ads and hoping that the customers will come, you’re doing it wrong. You have to offer them something they want. You have to engage them in some way.
Virtual reality gives you the opportunity to be engaged with your customers. It gives them a way to interact with your company and be involved. Of course, developing a program that is beneficial to your company and customers might not be as easy as it sounds.
The Limitations of Virtual Reality for Your Business
There is the cost to think about. Virtual reality is gaining in popularity, but it’s still pretty pricey to develop an app and then get customers interested in the app. Your business would have to carefully weigh the cost of development against the prospective return of investment and decide if it’s worth the investment.
In addition, for people to experience virtual reality, they have to have a headset and be connected to a computer. This hardware will add to the cost of developing a virtual reality program, and not everyone has headsets sitting around their house. Supplying it for customers would also add costs to the plan, perhaps making it out of reach for a lot of smaller businesses.
The program that you develop also has to be interesting and attract people. This will probably take some research to discover exactly what things people are interested in and how you can make it work to highlight your brand and products. If you create a long, interactive commercial, it’s doubtful people will find it engaging or exciting. You want your message to be engaging and clear.
As the technology becomes more advanced and headsets evolve (currently, wireless sets are being improved so that wires don’t interfere with the user’s experience), it’s possible that virtual reality will be more widespread and used by more people around the world. This could be beneficial to businesses and the worlds they create for customers to interact with.
Other Technologies That Could Be Used
In addition to virtual reality, augmented reality is also a technology that is used to interact with customers. Unlike virtual reality, this technology does not require the person to be connected to a computer or use a headset. In most cases, all they need is their phone.
Augmented reality superimposes digital information onto the real world. Again, the most common use of this technology is for gaming, but it could be adopted and modified for your business.
Like virtual reality, developing an augmented reality campaign would require coming up with something that customers would want to interact with that still gets your message across. The goal is to connect and create lasting relationships with people who are or could be customers and finding the right way to do that has its challenges.
Virtual Reality Is Worth a Shot
Virtual reality may have some limitations at the moment, but no marketing plan is perfect. There is the potential that any ad campaign, blog post or social media post could fail and not attract or interact with customers the way it was intended to. That doesn’t mean you should give up on any of these ideas.
If a lot of businesses aren’t currently using this technology to interact with customers, then the frontier is wide open. You could lead the way and develop ideas and worlds that no one else has seen before and push your business and brand to the front of the pack with your innovation. Is it risky? Maybe a little, but the results and sales could be beyond imagination.
At Glint Advertising, we have the expertise and professionals who can help you with these needs. Contact us today at 817-616-0320 or firstname.lastname@example.org to see how we can develop a virtual reality campaign to increase your business and sales.