Virtual reality (VR) is here now – and in a big way. Analysts in the financial and tech sectors have cited VR as one of the biggest trends for 2016, with huge growth anticipated in the years to come. VR cameras and headsets are being brought to market by everyone from established major CE brands to unique new start-ups.
Production companies and movie studios are developing innovative new approaches to VR content from video games (think Pokemon Go) to live streaming or recorded VR video content (this year’s Sundance Film Festival debuted a variety of extremely interesting titles).
With affordable, easy-to-use 360-degree VR cameras from companies like IC Realtime, immersive VR video content can be created by consumers and businesses. And social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube have now made it possible for people to view 360-degree videos on their Smartphones, tablets and even PCs without needing any special equipment — or to view on VR headsets for an even more immersive experience.
Many integrators are selling gaming (VR PC’s, PS4, etc.) and Virtual Reality devices (360-cameras, VR headsets such as Oculus Rift, ZEISS VR ONE Plus, etc.) as standalone solutions or as part of their home entertainment packages.
But there’s more to VR than that; you have a huge opportunity to use it to your own marketing benefit. Here are three reasons why you'll want to use VR to promote your own business.
1. Sell VR Headsets … Attract Millennials
Millennials are defined as folks ranging from 19 to 35 years old today (2016). It has been reported that more than 80 million exist in the U.S. (that’s a quarter of the population), are anticipated to spend $200 billion annually by next year, and have big buying power.
If you think about it, Millennials grew up in an electronics-charged world (Internet, HDTV, smartphones, tablets, social media). Given their maturing age, thirst for tech products that bridge home and office, and development of their careers, chances are good that you’ve begun to serve the older of the Millennials now, with the rest ripe for the taking.
The ability to create personal VR videos, along with its integration with social media and home automation, can be key attractions for you to use to your advantage. At the very minimum, making VR headsets available for your customers and on your website can draw the Millennial crowd.
2. Make Your Website Killer by Incorporating VR
Be the first to create a Virtual Reality section to your website. Install a 360-degree video camera in your facility to catch overall activity, a dedicated home theater room, or whatever area of your facility that you want to show-off to potential new customers.
Given the popularity of VR, consider setting up a dedicated demo room that incorporates the 360-degree camera, 3D gaming systems, and VR headsets.
From your website, customers can view these immersive videos in 360-degree x 360-degree fashion via their PCs, Smartphones or Tablets – and without needing any special playback equipment since you can easily stream videos to YouTube.”
This is a great way to show examples of how the cameras integrate with YouTube and Facebook to share video ranging from personal events to security footage.
3. Use VR to Show-off Your Design & Installation Prowess
Leverage a 360-camera to show impressive installations that you’ve done as well. Perhaps you want to strut-your-stuff for that awesome SunBrite TV and outdoor speakers install; or feature a nighttime video of the vast landscape lighting system throughout the yard, or perhaps the multipurpose entertainment room inside the home.
Place the camera in the center of the action to briefly record and then share the video. Creating a 360-degree video portfolio of your work is a great way to WOW new customers.
“Because they satisfy fields-of-view that previously took several cameras to achieve, they have struck a chord, says Patrick Carter, IC Realtime AV Sales & Training Manager. “The next logical step is for dealers to use them to their marketing advantage. Once we float the idea they love it; it’s a tremendous tool to help keep them competitive.”
Carter notes that IC Realtime provides a demo program for dealers using 360-cameras to promote their businesses, as well as guidance on how to best to deploy cameras for marketing purposes. Dealers can opt into a video-sharing program offered through the ALLie channel hosted by IC Realtime