Using Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) in Marketing

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02 Feb 2024

Using AR and VR in Marketing

The future of marketing is here, and it's remarkably immersive.

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are ready to redefine how you connect with your target audience. From interactive AR packaging to interactive VR product demonstrations, we explain how you can captivate your audience, boost brand engagement, and achieve a competitive edge.

What is AR and VR?

So what is Augmented Reality? AR spices up reality by adding digital elements like images, videos, or 3D models to our physical environment using smartphones, tablets, or smart glasses.

Virtual Reality takes it up a notch by plunging us into an entirely virtual world where we can move, touch and interact with our surroundings using VR headsets and handheld sensors.

Whichever you choose, both offer a host of business benefits, including increased brand awareness and engagement, more sales, and improved customer service.

How to use AR and VR in marketing initiatives

So, how are AR and VR used in marketing? The possibilities are endless, but here are five of the most popular, plus an honest look at their pros and cons.

  1. AR advertising

Imagine a customer pointing their smartphone at a poster or product package and seeing it come alive with additional information or interactive features. It's a powerful way to engage customers and drive sales.

  • Pros

AR ads let customers interact with products virtually before buying, sparking interest and boosting conversion rates.

  • Cons

Developing AR can sometimes be costly, and you need a user-friendly app or platform for the magic to happen.

2. VR product demos

A huge 79% of consumers are interested in using VR to ‘handle’ products. Transport customers to a virtual showroom that lets people try before they buy. Think retail, estate agents, car dealerships, tourism, leisure etc.

  • Pros

VR lets customers experience your products in a lifelike environment anywhere, anytime.

  • Cons

VR may need an initial investment in hardware, and creating content can take a lot of work.

3. Interactive AR packaging

By animating their packaging, manufacturers can provide fun facts, recipes, or interactive games. This encourages audience engagement and increases the chance of conversion…

  • Pros

Surprise and engage customers by bringing your product to life and making it stand out from the shelf.

  • Cons

You’ll need customers to install an app, which might put some users off…

4. Brand storytelling

Create immersive experiences that transport your customers to the heart of your brand. Whether it's exploring your history or experiencing the product journey, VR can help make an emotional connection.

  • Pros

VR can make your customers feel a part of your business, raising awareness and building brand loyalty.

  • Cons

It can require investment in resources and development expertise.

5. Gamification

AR games on products can encourage people to solve fun challenges and puzzles to receive special offers, rewards or discounts.

  • Pros

Gamification creates engaging and memorable customer experiences, encouraging them to come back for more.

  • Cons

Designing engaging games can be challenging and may not fit every brand's image.

If some of those cons are a little daunting, remember any marketing campaign takes time and money. And the returns from investing in AR and VR can be eye-opening. In fact, VR in marketing can increase customer engagement by 19% and click-through rates by 15%, while there was an amazing 94% jump in conversion rates when customers used AR to interact with products.

Tips for using AR and VR

  1. Understand your audience

What do they need? What devices do they use? How do they find content? Once you know the answers, you can create VR and AR experiences that really hit the mark. Start by researching and understanding who your target audience is and where you can reach your customers.

2. Identify the need for VR and AR

Always consider if VR or AR marketing matches your goals and brand identity. If you want to increase brand awareness, VR and AR tick the box. If you want to generate leads, traditional methods might be a better bet.

3. Keep brand messaging consistent

Keep your brand messaging consistent. This means using your established brand guidelines – tone of voice, fonts, logos etc. across your VR and AR marketing for a seamless customer experience. Just like with omnichannel marketing, you want to make sure your brand messaging aligns across all channels, including VR and AR activity.

4. Consider costs and budgets

AR and VR are investments, so ensure your budget covers the initial costs, ongoing maintenance, and content creation. Always ask a qualified development company for an accurate estimate.

5. Make it accessible

Make sure your AR and VR experiences are user-friendly, visually appealing, and optimised to work well on various devices, so you can reach as wide an audience as possible. A great way to ensure your AR and VR activity is accessible is by testing it with real users. Quality Assurance (QA) testing is a crucial part of software development throughout the lifecycle, even before a working product is made. By getting feedback from people across a variety of different backgrounds and abilities, you’ll have an easy understanding of the usability, functionality and accessibility of your content.

6. Test and learn

Track the results of your activity so you know what’s working and what isn’t. The digital world moves fast, and AR and VR tech are no different, so test and tweak your campaigns, listen to your audience and adjust as needed.

Now you know how to transform your marketing activity with AR and VR, you can be sure to take your strategies to the next level, enhancing your customer experience and elevating your brand.

Want more advice on how AR and VR could help your business? Speak to one of our V-Hub Digital Advisors to find out more.

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