The Future of Communicating With Your Audience is Here—And It’s VR | Stephanie Burns
Virtual Reality first appeared on the scene in the early 1990's with clunky headsets and pixilated games. Thirty years later, the global virtual reality market is expected to hit $35 billion. The tech has evolved and the world is now adopting it. VR isn't just for gamers anymore. YouTube’s VR channel already has more than three million subscribers that are hungry for content—and that number is growing.
Walmart has used VR to train 1.2 million of its employees—and found that it’s a huge time-saver.
I reached out to Tiffany Neuman, a visionary brand strategist for mission-driven entrepreneurs, to ask her how VR will impact audience engagement and what it can do for you and your customers.
Tiffany outlined three easy ways we can begin to leverage this tech and grab more customers while getting ahead of your competition.
1. Reimagine How You Communicate On Video
While everyone else is still doing Facebook lives in 2D, purchase a 360° camera and start doing them in 3D. For the viewer, 360º video has a much lower barrier to entry than full VR, requiring only a mobile device to experience the virtual world if they don’t have a VR headset. You’ll stand out on the platform, create a more immersive experience and get more attention from potential clients and customers. Get your feet virtually wet by practicing outdoors—not indoors. It allows for great panoramic shots that will engage your viewers. Just make sure you have a tripod or a selfie stick to stabilize the device. 3D Facebook Lives are best for documentary-style videos, so consider them when you're on the road or want to show a behind-the-scenes view of your workplace for brand awareness. You could also use it for educational purposes, like a yoga class or remote training.
2. Reimagine How You Meet Virtually
Thanks to VR, you can feel like everyone’s in the same room when you hold your investor meetings, mastermind calls, or interviews with clients or employees from around the world. Virtual Reality allows global teams and individuals to have the best of both worlds - the ability to meet and communicate in a shared space while maintaining the advantages of remote work. Current software like MeetInVR enables activities which are impossible or very hard to do remotely such as to present and review products and 3D models (from every angle), brainstorm, sketch, mind-map, prototype and have team-building activities. VR meetings remove all distractions and allow participants to be fully focused in the meeting - and have a proven 25% higher attention in comparison to video conferencing.
3. Reimagine Your Events
Incorporating VR into your next conference, trade show, or exhibit will help you make your brand presence more memorable, engaging, and profitable. Virtual reality will open the doors for those who are not typically able to attend and double your ticket sales with only the cost of a small crew capturing the event.
Sporting events like the Rio Olympics and Super Bowl LI have created buzz already around implementing VR into events. The virtual event space also brings with it plenty of opportunity for partnerships and co-branding, and a deeper level of engagement. This level of adoption is a bit more intensive, so it’s best to hire a team of experts to come in to capture, stream and make the experience evergreen. You’d be surprised how many VR companies are in existence simply for events, many whom travel. Shooting in 360° will allow virtual attendees to feel like they are there live. The real money is in them interacting with other virtual attendees - and still get their networking in. Selling from the stage just got MUCH more profitable. The other option for virtual events are interactive educational spaces. Last year, Tiffany worked on projects for BP gas and NeoCon in which 3D images and video of the events were turned into immersive experiences that allowed virtual attendees to experience the event from the comfort of their home. This option is best for showrooms, training environments and brick and mortar businesses to extend the life of their live events.
And as hardware, content, and mobility improve, more and more businesses will be actively pursuing VR technology. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, Fortune 500 or startup, you can leverage the power of VR to engage your audience.