Virtual reality is no longer the stuff of science fiction—it’s here and it’s gaining traction fast. With a 2022 market size of more than USD 28 billion, virtual reality is expanding at a steady rate and it’s expected to have a compound annual growth rate of 15% within a 10-year period (2022 to 2030).
While virtual reality isn’t a new piece of technology, itsl use is expected to grow with time, along with other digital technologies like augmented reality. PwC predicts that by 2030, VR and AR can potentially boost the global GDP to USD 1.5 trillion.
More brands across various industries are adopting such technologies for training their employees, testing new or existing procedures, and developing new products.
Aside from improving efficiency and enhancing operations, businesses are seeing virtual reality as an invaluable tool for marketing. Industries, such as tourism and retail, are using VR to showcase their products to consumers in a novel, more engaging way. Additionally, the entertainment industry is leveraging virtual reality to offer more immersive, interactive, and informative experiences to their target audiences.
Where does marketing fit into all of this? How can virtual reality alter the way brands interact with their target market while opening up opportunities for growth? What does virtual reality marketing have in store for influencers? In this article, we’ll do a deep dive into virtual reality marketing and look at its real-world applications, as well as its benefits for businesses.
The Ultimate Guide to Virtual Reality Marketing in 2023 for Brands and Influencers:
- What Is VR Marketing?
- How Can VR Help Businesses Grow?
- Marketing Opportunities With VR
- VR Marketing and Influencers
- How Virtual Reality Marketing Is Changing Brands and Consumer Interaction
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Is VR Marketing?
Simply put, virtual reality marketing is a marketing strategy that incorporates virtual reality technology in marketing campaigns. It can be used to connect with your audience and build better brand engagement. For example, instead of consumers reading content on the screen, they can interact with a virtual persona.
Branded collectively as immersive media, along with augmented reality, virtual reality marketing offers notable opportunities for businesses to promote their brands, drive sales, and enhance customer loyalty and retention.
Virtual reality creates a realistic, immersive simulation of an environment that plays on multiple senses, which users can access through VR headsets or applications. For example, VR is used to overlay a filter onto a photo or video. Think of Instagram and Snapchat filters. Meanwhile, VR headsets can “transport” users to a 3D virtual environment, enhancing the experience of the simulation. The headset responds to the user’s movements, allowing them to have a good look at the virtual environment (360-degree view) and interact with the various digital elements within the simulation.
How Can VR Help Businesses Grow?
Virtual reality allows businesses to reach out and connect to their potential customers beyond traditional media like TV and magazine ads, presenting limitless opportunities for promotion.
Given that customers’ needs and expectations are constantly evolving, virtual reality technology, or the latest technologies, in general, can help bridge the gap and allow brands to have the means to address their customers’ changing pain points.
Through virtual reality marketing, businesses can create branded digital worlds where they can showcase their products or services. Brands can offer digital experiences in lieu of physical ones. This allows consumers to virtually experience a product or service, taking it for a virtual spin in the comfort of their own homes. By building a realistic digital environment, you’re allowing consumers to interact with your brand, which can help with brand awareness and retention.
Using VR to tell your story
Traditional media like TV and films are great storytelling mediums. However, VR takes storytelling capabilities a step further.
Businesses can use VR to tell their brand stories and market their solutions in a more engaging way. For example, the New York Times used virtual reality to tell the story of how wars affect children in The Displaced.
Through this multimedia experience, users were given an in-depth look into the devastation caused by wars and what it’s like to be a child displaced by such life-changing events. The experience allowed the NYT’s readers to see what’s really happening, making VR and the documentary potent storytelling mediums that provide not only emotional intensity for readers but also a connection with the brand.
Additionally, you can use VR to create novel experiences that allow consumers to view your company in a new light. For example, you can use virtual reality to take customers on a virtual tour of your facility, giving them a rare, intimate glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes. You can show them how you work or what goes on during the design or product development process. This gives a more human angle to your brand and what you’re doing, while helping establish trust and transparency, which can encourage brand loyalty among customers.
Furthermore, because VR tracks a user’s movements, companies can use this to find out how customers might interact with their brands or products in real-world settings. VR can be a valuable resource for data, allowing marketers to create more compelling brand stories.
Creating more memorable experiences
Virtual reality helps consumers better visualize your products and how they can add value to their lives. Instead of merely looking at samples, consumers can use VR to access a digital environment that you’ve curated, allowing you to showcase what you have to offer in real time and how it can potentially be a solution to their needs.
With VR, you can build immersive worlds that provide your target audience with memorable experiences, which can help convert them into warm leads or loyal customers.
Putting the fun in advertising
Traditional ads can get boring fast. They don’t create memorable experiences and some ads, such as pop-ups, can feel spammy and even drive away potential customers.
Volvo, for example, leveraged VR to showcase the Volvo XC90. Through the Volvo Reality app, users can enjoy a virtual reality test drive of the model and get a firsthand look at the car’s interiors.
While it’s not exactly using VR technology, Sony’s latest marketing effort with the Morbius 3D billboard in Milan is a good example of how innovative tech can push the boundaries of advertising and reinvent consumer experiences.
While the potential of VR in ads hasn’t yet been fully explored, brands can still incorporate the technology to create better, more memorable experiences for their target audience.
Showcasing your products in a new light
How can you communicate to potential customers that your product is the best solution for their needs? With VR, you can show customers exactly how your product or service can be a part of the solution.
One of the best examples here is Ikea’s Ikea Place app, which lets users try out true-to-scale 3D models of Ikea products and see how a particular piece could work in a given space. The VR-based app allowed Ikea to make solutions more accessible to its clients, allowing them to virtually try out a product before making a purchase.
Virtual reality is an impactful tool that can drive real results when done right. It can help businesses stand out from the competition, while letting them stay at the forefront of the latest innovations. By becoming early VR adopters, businesses can stay relevant in light of recent technological developments.
Marketing Opportunities With VR
Virtual reality marketing can help marketers craft powerful, engaging campaigns that can best communicate your brand story and what you can offer.
Through VR, you can showcase not only existing products but also how new products are being developed. This allows consumers to get a more intimate glimpse of your creation process and can thus be a valuable resource for feedback.
Virtual marketing can help drive emotional engagement.
VR also heralds the advent of improved content marketing strategies and the creation of more intuitive and immersive content. With VR, marketers can reinvent how they deliver experiences by allowing consumers to virtually try on products before purchasing them.
One popular application of virtual reality in the real world is in the real estate industry. Real estate companies and agents can conduct virtual tours, helping buyers to virtually be transported to property and inspect the place for themselves, making them feel as if they’re really there. VR can also be used to showcase a property that’s still in development, which can help buyers see what it could potentially look like once it’s completed and fully furnished.
VR is also making its way to the metaverse with virtual real estate. Metaverse platforms like Sandbox and Decentraland allow users to purchase virtual property and have early access to the metaverse.
Other industries that extensively make use of virtual reality include retail, tourism, healthcare, and product development.
- Top 12 Virtual Reality Agencies for 2023
- The Ultimate Guide to Metaverse Virtual Real Estate
- Creator Earnings: Benchmark Report 2022
VR Marketing and Influencers
Influencers are making a huge impact on current marketing strategies and trends. How will emerging technologies like VR affect influencers?
As VR continues to gain traction, it will undoubtedly affect digital marketing strategies. We’re already seeing the rise of AI-powered virtual influencers, which are digital avatars or 3D models that can be found on various social media platforms. These virtual influencers are built by creators and act like their human counterparts.
Many brands, such as Prada and Alibaba, are using top virtual influencers to enhance their campaigns and drive more engagement. Virtual influencers also help brands stay on top of the latest innovations and tap into the interests of their younger audiences. Moreover, like their human counterparts, virtual influencers can help with building brand awareness.
Where does this leave human influencers?
Human influencers are already embracing virtual reality and augmented reality through app filters, creating branded content in the process and virtual concerts. The advent of immersive technologies will propel influencer marketing to newer heights. This will drive influencers to change up how they create content, taking into account VR and AR technologies through content like livestreaming digital reality interactions or creating 360-degree live content that still allows their followers to interact with them.
How Virtual Reality Marketing Is Changing Brands and Consumer Interaction
Virtual reality connects brands and consumers on a whole new level. It allows businesses to create high-impact product presentations that are tailored for their target market. Brands can incorporate VR into their campaigns to showcase their research and development processes to potential customers. Furthermore, VR allows consumers to actively participate in a brand’s marketing campaign, which can improve brand awareness and recall through deeper engagement on both a mental and emotional level.
Below are some examples of real-world applications of virtual reality:
Immersion as an educational tool
Some companies use virtual reality as an educational tool.
GSK’s “The Excedrin Migraine Experience” shows users what daily life is like for individuals suffering from migraines. The migraine simulator recreates the visual symptoms of a migraine attack, such as auras and light sensitivity. For those of us who haven’t experienced a migraine, it can be difficult to imagine what it’s like. The campaign puts non-sufferers in the shoes of individuals who experience migraines, giving them a glimpse of what migraine sufferers go through, which can help cultivate greater empathy for them.
Another example of using virtual reality for immersion is The Guardian’s 6x9, a VR experience that places users inside a solitary confinement cell and relays the story of how solitary confinement can affect incarcerated individuals.
To create the experience, the guardian interviewed individuals who were formerly incarcerated, giving them an avenue to share their experiences with the world and paint a compelling portrait of the psychological effects of prolonged solitary confinement.
Reinforcing the “try before you buy” concept
Allowing users to try on a product before a purchase helps them make more informed decisions. Companies are using VR to let users try on clothes, makeup, accessories, and even furniture without going to a physical store.
Walmart is using an AI-powered virtual try-on technology for consumers who are shopping for clothes online. This feature uses AI technology such as real-time image processing ad deep learning to create a simulation that helps buyers see what clothes would look like on them. Users can select a model that closely matches their height and size and use that to virtually try on a range of Walmart’s clothing offerings.
Glasses are also big on the virtual try-on trend. EyeBuyDirect lets users virtually try on a range of eyeglasses and sunglasses using their phone or by uploading their photos (if they’re unable to use their phone cameras).
Similarly, SmartBuyGlasses also has a virtual try-on feature that lets customers find the perfect frame by taking a selfie video or visiting the website and searching for glasses that are available for virtual try-on.
VR is redefining user experience
As we’ve previously discussed, VR can be an invaluable storytelling tool.
HBO, through VR, transports Game of Thrones fans to an immersive simulation of Westeros by giving them two unique VR and mixed reality experiences—The Dead Must Die: A Magic Leap Encounter and Beyond the Wall: A Game of Thrones VR Experience.
In The Dead Must Die, fans don a Magic Leap headset that transports them to a simulation of the icy North, giving them the opportunity to confront a White Walker and try to defeat it using a dragonglass dagger.
In Beyond the Wall, fans wear an HTC Vive headset that allows them to see and feel what it’s like to be a Night’s Watch ranger stationed at the Wall. To complete the experience, fans step into a replica of the Wall’s elevator.
Virtual Reality Marketing Here and Now
Virtual reality isn’t just for games and entertainment. It’s a powerful and versatile tool that has made its way to the marketing industry. Early adopters are already using virtual reality to deliver new ways of promoting content, allowing them to create engaging and memorable content for their audiences. While we have yet to see its full potential, how virtual reality is currently being used by different brands and industries can give us a preview of what this emerging technology is capable of.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is virtual reality marketing?
Virtual reality marketing is simply marketing that makes use of emerging virtual reality technology to offer new experiences to consumers.
How can virtual reality marketing benefit brands?
Virtual marketing can help businesses stay relevant, keep up with the latest technological trends, and maintain a competitive edge. It’s a valuable tool that can grab the attention of your audience, while allowing you to offer personalized experiences. It’s a piece of technology that’s scalable, which means that even companies with limited budgets can use it for their virtual marketing campaigns. Moreover, virtual reality improves not only consumer engagement but also team productivity by reducing the workload of your sales team, for example, because VR can help consumers examine and learn more about a product without the help of sales associates.
Which companies are already using virtual reality technology in their marketing campaigns?
Many global enterprises are already incorporating virtual reality into their marketing campaigns, such as:
- The New York Times
According to a report by Vnyz Research, the AR and VR market will see a 48.8% growth CAGR during the projected period 2020 – 2025. It will reach 161.1 billion in revenue by 2025. The market will grow due to increasing acceptance of AR and VR, and responsiveness about the technology.What will VR market be worth in 2030? ›
|Market Size by 2030||USD 859.35 Billion|
|Growth Rate from 2022 to 2030||CAGR of 46.03%|
|Forecast Period||2022 to 2030|
That's not all—this number is expected to increase further to 23.22 million in 2023, and further soar to 32.76 million in 2024. By 2025, experts estimate that 43.87 million devices will be shipped worldwide. This will represent an impressive increase of more than seven-fold from 2020 to 2025.What will VR be like in 2030? ›
It's possible that by 2030, VR headsets will become smaller and more compact, resembling a pair of glasses or even contact lenses. With the rapid development of miniaturized components such as microdisplays and batteries, it's possible that the bulky form factors of current VR headsets could be significantly reduced.How virtual reality is changing marketing? ›
VR gives marketers the opportunity to create branded virtual environments and experiences that expands a brand's influence to more 360º digital customer experiences. The accessibility of these experiences can vary from web-based to app-based allowing for customers to engage without using typical VR headsets or devices.How advanced will VR be in 10 years? ›
By 2030, the latest VR screens now have 8k resolution, which has 4 times the number of pixels as 4k screens. When you view character models and objects up close with these devices, there is zero visible pixilation resulting in breathtaking detail and realism.Is Oculus worth it 2023? ›
Verdict. The Quest 2 is still definitely worth it in 2023. Although occasionally a bit buggy, it offers both an unrivaled experience as a standalone headset, and as a wireless VR headset for your PC.How many people will use VR in 2025? ›
According to NewGenApps, by 2025, the worldwide user base of AR and VR games is expected to increase to 216 million users.Will VR ever be popular? ›
Deloitte Global predicts that the VR market will generate $7 billion in revenue globally in 2023, an impressive 50% increase over 2022's $4.7 billion. Ninety percent of that revenue will come from headset kit sales, of which 14 million units averaging $450 each are expected to sell in 2023.How many VR units are projected to be sold worldwide by 2026? ›
Shipments of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) devices will increase more than sixfold worldwide over the next four years, from 14.3 million this year to 87.7 million in 2026.
The rising use of virtual reality headsets in consumer and commercial applications is driving its market demand. The segment's growth is attributed to the assortment and type of HMDs, for example, tethered, hybrid, and wireless HMDs.Will AR or VR be the future? ›
The latest AR/VR market forecasts say that the industry will earn $13.8 billion in revenues for 2022 and grow to $50.9 billion in 2026, a five-year compound growth rate of 32.3%. This projected growth is significant, building on the multiple ways AR/VR technologies are already being used by a wide range of industries.What is in the metaverse? ›
The metaverse is the emerging 3-D-enabled digital space that uses virtual reality, augmented reality, and other advanced internet and semiconductor technology to allow people to have lifelike personal and business experiences online.Will we live in VR in the future? ›
The potential applications for VR are virtually endless, and it is clear that this technology is here to stay. As VR continues to evolve and improve, we can expect to see it being used in even more industries and applications in the future.Will virtual reality replace reality? ›
Whilst current and potential future developments in the virtual reality field could go a long way to providing a convincing and realistic experience of such things, there are some events that virtual reality simply cannot and never will be able to replace.Is the VR market growing? ›
Revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2023-2027) of 13.72%, resulting in a projected market volume of US$52.05bn by 2027. The largest market is AR Software with a market volume of US$11.58bn in 2023.Why did VR fail? ›
Lack of Content. Mediocre responses and insufficient resources being devoted to the industry currently could keep Virtual Reality content confined to a novelty.What is the metaverse marketing? ›
Metaverse is unlike any other marketing strategy. It allows you to create a world specifically for a product or service and take your customers through an immersive experience. However, it is also essential to note that immersive marketing campaigns require time, effort, and large capital.What is the current barrier to using virtual reality marketing? ›
As per recent data, 46.2 percent of extended reality (XR) professionals surveyed regarded the price of head mounted displays (HMDs) to be one of the biggest barriers to the mass consumer adoption of virtual reality (VR) worldwide as of the third quarter of 2019.What are the disadvantages of virtual reality in marketing? ›
On the negative side, VR marketing can create false or misleading impressions about products or services. It can also exploit people's fears or desires to sell them something. Overall, VR marketing is a powerful tool that can be used for good or bad, depending on how it is used.
But from the perspective of the human experience, one development stands out above all others: extended reality (XR) technologies. These include virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and brain-computer interfaces (BCI), which together position themselves as the next computing platforms in their own right.What are the 3 types of virtual reality? ›
- Non-immersive VR. A non-immersive VR is fashioned to impart a computer-generated environment where the user can control activities without direct interaction. ...
- Semi immersive VR. ...
- Fully immersive VR.
The global VR market is projected to reach $26.9 billion by 2027. There are 65.9 million VR users in the U.S., which is 15% of the country's population. There are 110.1 million AR users in the U.S. There are over 171 million VR users worldwide.Why is Oculus dying so fast? ›
Lithium Ion batteries like in the Quest 2 degrade over time, resulting in them running out faster. Yep, actually having the battery at full charge is bad for it. A Quest 2 that's kept at 100% charge will end up with worse battery life (after a year or so) than one kept at 80%.Is Oculus go obsolete? ›
We'll continue to maintain the system software with bug fixes and security patches through 2022.Is Oculus Quest 3 coming out? ›
Since then, though, Meta has confirmed the Quest 3 will be arriving in 2023, but we're not entirely sure when. Meta dropped the news during its third-quarter earnings report, which came with another interesting bit of info: Meta had lost $3.67 billion, with expectations for bigger losses in 2023.How to start a virtual reality business? ›
- Writing a business plan. An executive summary. ...
- Register your business. Hiring a business attorney.
- Choose a location.
- Planning the financing. ...
- Building your business premises.
- Decide what you want to contract out.
- Hire and train your staff.
- Set up a marketing plan, and launch your website.
|Augmented Reality (AR) And Virtual Reality (VR) Market Scope|
|Growth momentum & CAGR||Accelerate at a CAGR of 46%|
|Market growth 2021-2025||$ 162.71 billion|
According to Industry Research Firm MarketsandMarkets™, The Mobile Augmented Reality (AR) Market is anticipated to witness significant growth, surging from USD 7.6 billion in 2020 to USD 29.5 billion by 2025, at an impressive CAGR of 31.1% from 2020 to 2025.Who uses virtual reality the most? ›
12. Recent stats show that China was the largest AR/VR spender in 2020 at $5.8B. The US was the second biggest spender with $5.1 billion, followed by Western Europe at $3.3 billion. More than that, virtual reality market statistics indicate that China accounted for over 38% of the global AR/VR share in 2020.
An estimated 64 million Americans used virtual reality in 2022. According to experts' predictions, there are 32.7 million people experiencing VR within the United States. Of these, 31.3 million are doing so via virtual reality headsets.What age group uses virtual reality? ›
In other words, children under 13 years of age can use VR headsets, but some risks are involved. Here are the benefits of using VR for each age group, including children over 13, adults between 18 and 65, and seniors over 65.Is VR a niche market? ›
The actual reality though, is that VR headset ownership is still a very niche (and expensive) venture for consumers and, as forecasts from Statista's Advertising & Media Insights show, it's set to remain this way for the next few years at least.What is VR market size 2028? ›
The Global Extended Reality Market size is expected to reach $161.6 billion by 2028, rising at a market growth of 29.7% CAGR during the forecast period. Extended reality or XR is a term to refer to Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).Why is Meta investing in VR? ›
Meta invests more than $10B annually on the Metaverse in the hope that VR and AR become the next big computing platform and that the company leads it. Mark Zuckerberg thinks that Meta can thus free itself from Apple's and Google's stranglehold and their ecosystems.What is the biggest problem with VR? ›
VR Sickness Among Consumers
A new term has cropped up in the VR community — VR sickness. Essentially, VR sickness is a term that describes the negative physical effects some users experience while immersed in a VR world. Common symptoms include eye strain, nausea, dizziness, disorientation and motion sickness.
The target audience of a VR venue
According to a study carried out by us last November, the age groups that come the most in VR gaming rooms are 12 - 15 years old and 30 - 40 years old. The representations of the sexes are 50% for women and 50% for men.
Google LLC, Oculus (Meta Platform, Inc.), Sony Corporation, Unity Technologies, HTC Corporation, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Microsoft Corporation, and others are the top players in the market. North America is expected to hold the highest market share.What is the future of metaverse? ›
By 2030, we could be spending more time in the metaverse than in the real world. People will be applying for jobs, earning a living, meeting with friends, shopping, even getting married using the virtual capabilities of the metaverse.What are the 8 pillars of metaverse? ›
The eight key technologies in Metaverse are – Extended Reality, User Interactivity, Artificial intelligence, Block Chain, Computing Vision, Internet of Things, Robotics, Edge and Cloud Computing and Future Mobile networks that are relevant to Metaverse.
- Set up your Oculus Quest 2 first. Download the Oculus app onto your phone and create an account.
- Download the virtual reality applications of your choice.
- Click on “App drawer” in the menu. All of your apps will appear.
- Choose a platform and immerse yourself in the metaverse.
In the case of the Facebook Metaverse, it is owned by the company founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. Decentraland was created by Ari Meilich and Esteban Ordano for a company called Metaverse Holdings Ltd., which and a number of investors own the rights to the digital universe.What is Zuckerberg's metaverse? ›
The Metaverse Promise
Zuckerberg presented the Metaverse concept as the “successor to mobile internet” in his Connect 2021 keynote. The firm has built upon its vision in recent years, predicting that headsets may take over laptops as the world enters the web3 and spatial computing era.
For now, the metaverse is a great way to interact with people and experience things that you would not be able to experience in real life. However, it is still too early to tell if the metaverse can truly replace real life. Only time will tell.Will everyone be in the metaverse? ›
Virtual worlds and immersive online spaces will continue to develop in significance, but 500 million people won't be living in 'the metaverse' in any more meaningful way in 2040 than 2022.Is virtual reality good for marketing? ›
Marketing is always looking for new ways to present information. And with technology becoming such a dominant feature of our everyday life, using VR is a great way to boost your campaigns. Just seeing a VR headset in your store will attract customers.How will VR affect future industry? ›
In the future, companies will be able to offer simulations and experiences to their customers that could improve their safety habits and decrease claims. Additionally, insurance companies could cut down the cost of sending people into the field by only sending one person with a 360-degree camera.Who is the target audience for virtual reality? ›
56% of headset owners are men and 44% are women. The age demographic over 18 most likely to own a high-end VR headset is 35 – 44.How big is the VR market? ›
Revenue in the AR & VR market is projected to reach US$31.12bn in 2023. Revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2023-2027) of 13.72%, resulting in a projected market volume of US$52.05bn by 2027. The largest market is AR Software with a market volume of US$11.58bn in 2023.What are 3 advantages of virtual reality? ›
- Learning can become fun. ...
- On-the-job learning made possible. ...
- Speed up the learning process. ...
- The “try-before-you-buy” concept. ...
- Remote training made possible. ...
- Trigger an emotional response from the learners.
Virtual Marketing is the use of online or digital techniques to achieve strategic marketing and sales objectives without resorting to traditional in-person marketing strategies such as networking at live events, face-to-face meetings, seminars or trade shows.Which two features are most important for virtual reality? ›
Explanation: Immersion and Interaction are most important for virtual reality to provide a smooth and enjoyable experience for the user.Is VR dying or growing? ›
VR has been a work in progress for decades. It will slow down, but not die. The reason it feels VR is so massive is because of meta, going in and out of VR push.