Updated: Jan 24
Over the last few years, the VR (Virtual Reality) market has experienced ups and downs, but it is poised to take center stage in 2020 and onwards. In the next two years, VR will drive growth in both commercial and consumer segments. Due to COVID 19, the market may still face some challenges, but there are just as many opportunities before it. According to the latest data, 100 VR apps have passed the coveted $1 million revenue border.
Virtual reality (VR) is part of our present and will grow in popularity even more in the future. If you want to draw and engage a larger audience this year and to convert your audience into paying customers, you need to embrace it.
Future Content Should Focus on User Experience
Nothing beats VR when it comes to delivering great user experience. Thus, in your efforts to keep up with future content trends, you should consider embracing VR technology.
What’s so special about this technology? According to its definition, it is interactive software (and user experience and interaction should be your main goals) able to place the user in a three-dimensional environment that is not really there.
Imagine visiting the Louvre without actually going to France, skydiving without leaving the ground, and, why not, sharing amazing adventures with celebrities you will never meet! That’s virtual reality.
Why Should You Include VR, AR, and MR in Your Content Strategy?
In 2020 and beyond, consumer spending is expected to reach seven billion U.S. dollars according to Statista. Global AR/VR spending is estimated to reach 18.8 billion U.S. dollars this year. Internet traffic associated with VR and AR is expected to grow 12-fold by 2022. Most of this traffic will be associated with VR content downloads. Consumers are actually expected to spend over $8 billion on AR content and apps, and over 2.8 billion on VR content and apps in 2021.
Moreover, according to DAN:
81% of those who try VR consider it captivating and worth telling their friends about it
73% of Gen Z members expressed their interest in VR
66% of consumers want VR shopping experiences
53% of adults would buy from a brand offering VR functionality
If people are willing to spend money on VR content, imagine how impressed they would be if you offered it for free. Just imagine what it would be like to have:
80% of your audience thrilled with your content and ready to share it with their friends and social media contacts
53% of your target audience ready to choose you over your main competitor because you offer something they don’t, in this case, VR content
The above stats should be more than enough to convince you that it is time you took VR seriously and found ways to embed it in your content strategy. The burning question now is how to do that while keeping up with trends. Let’s review some of the content marketing trends you should follow in 2020 and beyond and see how you can fit VR in.
Predictions show that virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality markets are all growing. The three markets combined are expected to exceed $30 billion by 2030.
Using AR and MR Effectively: Examples
One major trend is augmented reality print flyers. It is always an impressive feat to create a digital channel from the ground up. Doing it in a useful and practical way is borderline ground-breaking. AR enables users to engage with printed text on a deeper level while giving the brand back-end analytics on the interaction performance.
A recent Research and Markets report shows mixed reality (MR) might just be the segment to make the most noise this year. By 2025, the MR market is estimated to reach $3.68 billion worldwide. MR brings digital text and the real world together by integrating video, sound, and 3D graphics. It becomes possible for users to view their digital content and physical environment at the same time.
4 Future Content Trends and How to Keep up with Them
If you want to grow and engage your audience, you need to bring something new and different to the table, to set yourself apart from your main competitors. I’m willing to bet most of your competitors haven’t embedded VR in their content strategy, so take the lead!
1.Content Uses are Changing Rapidly
Most users’ first experiences with AR, VR, and MR have been in entertainment and gaming. This tendency is changing rapidly as research shows that industrial solutions are overtaking consumer ones. According to VR Intelligence’s XR Industry Insight report in 2020, just under two-thirds of the AR companies surveyed stated they were developing industrial apps. A bit over a third was working on consumer software and products.
AR can be used to provide critical information to the user directly about their immediate surroundings. This will reduce the time technicians, engineers, and other staff spend looking up information online or leafing through manuals. On the other hand, VR can be used for content relevant to simulation of work with expensive, easily damaged equipment and tools or in dangerous environments.
2. Deeper, Closer Connection with Your Audience
VR is often referred to as immersive technology. It can help you place your audience in your shoes and show them your business and products from your own perspective. It can be a way to reach out to your audience through visuals, sound, written content, and product placement, all at the same time. If that’s not connecting, I don’t know what is.
On that note and unsurprisingly, VR, AR, and MR are taking off in the healthcare sector. There are some obvious applications of this technology. A lot of these will transition from pilots and trials into general use. Mental health professionals are now treating patients with anxiety disorders and phobias using virtual reality. In combination with biosensors that monitor perspiration, heart rate, and other physiological reactions, therapists’ understanding of how people react in stressful circumstances improves. They do not actually need to have their patients exposed to these. Instead, treatment can be offered in a safe virtual environment.
The adoption of AR in medical care is projected to increase even faster, with market value rising by 38% each year until 2025. Surgeons can use AR both in training and in the theater.
Content that integrates this technology and targets health providers can lead to lower costs of treatment and better patient outcomes. It’s time to jump the bandwagon now as VR and AR are already becoming popular and widespread. This trend will continue throughout and beyond 2020.
3. More Immersive Educational Experiences
Educational experiences in AR and VR will continue to become more and more common. VR’s immersive nature means people can engage with learning in new and interesting ways. AR, on the other hand, will lend practical training some much-needed flexibility.
Students can now travel in space and visit other planets or take a trip through time to see what the Middle Ages were all about. Technology is moving away from niches and into everyday life and education and we are about to see development into problem solving.
Soon, VR and AR won’t be limited to providing experiences any more. AR training assistants can provide constant access to information required to complete a task. Content can be adapted to distance learners, who can be educated in VR classrooms. They will not miss the advantages of learning in the context of cooperation and collaboration.
The Educational Potential of Long-form Content
There have been doubts regarding the future of long-form content, but not anymore. Audiences appreciates long-form content because it shows commitment and knowledge and provides value. With traditional content, whether written, audio, or video, length could become problematic.
Imagine reading a 3,000-word post or watching a one-hour video to learn something you’re interested in from a mobile device.
Now imagine having the same information presented to you in VR. If the amount of information is important to your audience, using VR to deliver it and keep up with future content trends is a must. With traditional content, you risk losing audience, but VR can help you leave everyone wanting more!
4. Webinars and Influencer Marketing
Everyone loves them, and many sources have made them part of future content trends but few manage to do them right. You can’t fail when you use VR technology. If influencer marketing worked for you in the past, imagine the impact of placing your influencers in a VR environment your audience can experience first-hand.
Now you have a better understanding of where VR fits in your content marketing strategy. All that you have left to figure out is how to create VR content. According to Hubspot, it is easy to get started if you have access to a 360-degree camera.
You can use it to create immersive video content. Not sure what type of VR content to create? Here are a few ideas that serve immediate needs and will help you keep up with future content trends:
Hands-on demonstrations – Let your audience experience the creation of your products and services rather than describing it through text and photos. Such demonstration could successfully replace manufacturing process presentations, instruction guides, and how-to tutorials.
Show results – Why spend a fortune on commercials when you can use VR to give your customers a taste of what using your products and services would be like? It’s easy and more convincing when you use the latest technology to create immersive experiences.
Facility tours – Do you occasionally invite customers or business partners to visit your facilities in order to show transparency and boost their confidence in your business? You could extend the invitation to anyone interested without worrying about disruptions and unforeseen incidents if you record a tour of the facility with a 360-degrees camera.
Product and service presentations – Imagine how easier to convert your audience would be if they got a closer look at your products in an environment of your choice, while your best sales representative or even an influencer highlights its strengths.
As you can see, embedding VR in your efforts to keep up with future content trends is an excellent strategy to take over your competitors and expand, engage, and convert your audience. It may be a little challenging in the beginning, but if you take your time and work with the right people, you can do it.
We’re always here if you need help with your content, so feel free to contact us or leave a comment!