How Virtual and Augmented Reality Can Help Your Business
Consumers (that includes you) absorb and retain any given content 3X better when communicated in visual form. It's no wonder virtual and augmented reality devices are really starting to peek interest from a marketing standpoint. That said, we're going to let this infographic about what makes VR and AR technology so cool and successful speak for itself.
What's the Difference Between Virtual and Augmented Reality?
All this VR, AR alphabet talk is confusing, so we want to clarify exactly what is meant by "virtual reality" and "augmented reality" and help you understand the difference. Although they are often discussed together, they can accomplish very different tasks which can be utilized for your business marketing strategy.
The idea of virtual reality is to generate the feeling and experience of being a situation that you are not actually in. The concept as it is fulfilled today is a computer-generated simulation of a real-life scenario. VR is most often simulated with a headset, like the one seen in the featured image of this blog post, so as to limit what the wearer can see to only what is on the screen.
We really like this definition of augmented reality from Augment.com: "a technology that layers computer-generated enhancements atop an existing reality in order to make it more meaningful through the ability to interact with it." Beautiful, right? Augmented reality is often used as a tool for different kinds of design software to showcase architecture and constructed landscapes, but its applications are endless.
How Do I Use VR and AR For My Business?
Now that you understand why it is so important to start incorporating virtual and augmented reality into your marketing strategy, the next step is to develop that strategy. What is the best way for your business to implement the visual wonder that is VR and AR tech that makes sense for your unique audience? We have some ideas on different tactics to employ this new technology for your business:
One of the biggest struggles in marketing and sales is getting consumers to participate. A car company may offer the most luxurious ride, but how can they showcase it without getting people to take a test drive. Virtual reality can be the test drive to show potential clients what they’ll be gaining with your services. Installing an in-ground pool? Show your customers what it will look and feel like to swim laps in their new pool. The more they can experience it, the greater connection they’ll feel to the product you can provide them.
VR and AR technology can give the consumer the opportunity to look behind-the-scenes at the creative process of your business. People don’t want robotic companies that keep their inner-workings a secret. They want genuine people who enjoy their profession, and they want to see how you do what you do. For a hardscape business this might be a Go-Pro style film of a complex job site, showcasing progress and the hard work of your team. For a beer company, an up-close look at the distillery and fermentation process would has the potential to look really cool. Providing exclusive peeks into your business’ process qualifies and validates you as an expert in your trade, building the trust so crucial to successful sales.
Build Your Team
Naturally, an essential part of your business is your employees, and your staff must be supplemented every now and then. How do you make working at your business appealing to job-searchers? You could interview them, tell them what it’s like to work for you, and see if they want to. Or, you could show them what it looks and feels like to work for your company by using virtual and augmented reality devices. Hiring an architect? Use augmented reality to show them the design software they’ll have access to and virtual reality to show them the potential projects they could complete. This technology has the potential to WOW job-searchers, encouraging more people to apply to work for you and increasing the value of the people you choose to hire.
Tug at the Heart Strings
Testimonials from previous clients can do wonders to help build that emotional connection between you and your future clients. Now take this concept, and apply it with VR and AR, and you’ve developed an even deeper emotional connection. Immersing potential customers in a VR experience with customers you have already satisfied with your services will help establish that trust and emotion we love to emphasize so much. Also, if you partner or work with any charity organizations or have done local community work, this is another great way to evoke emotional response from potential clients. Did you donate some materials or services to a homeless shelter or youth center? Or did you help a Boy Scout complete his Eagle Scout project? Perfect, include it all in virtual or augmented reality experience, and drive home the connection between you and the consumer.
It’s Worth it
We understand that investing in something that is still beginning to grow in popularity seems like a risk. But the real risk would be waiting until it has become more popular to start looking into virtual and augmented reality for your business marketing. The emotional connection, the immersive quality, the authority of your work – these pros of VR and AR tech all stem from its uniqueness. Being unique from your competition is what will lift you above the others so that consumers can see you better and experience your products. If implemented properly, virtual and augmented reality have the potential to enhance all facets of your business, so don’t waste time waiting for it to become more popular. Take advantage of its early popularity now, and watch it elevate your sales and your business as a whole.