Video is the buzz for marketers, with the next generation absolutely obsessed with YouTube, Facebook Live, Snapchat and everything else that’s visual and in the moment. But most marketers are still running two steps behind, and with virtual reality and augmented reality on the horizon, those “couple of steps behind” are about to become a couple of miles.
Making the most of your promotional videos should be second nature at this point, as it’s really an industry standard. You should have mastered email 10 years ago, your website should be on point as of 5 years ago, and today you should have video basics down. What video basics, specifically? You should know how to manage and promote a channel, as well as how to:
You’re not doing those things? Well, get on that yesterday because you now have to start planning ahead for augmented reality.
At the Collision Conference that happened May 2 - 4 in New Orleans, tech startups and investors were planning for the future, and many aren’t wasting their time with virtual reality, labeling it “limited” when compared to the really exciting technology offering limitless potential, augmented reality.
What’s the difference? Cramer.com puts it best in a piece speaking to just that:
“Virtual reality is able to bring us someplace else, through closed visors or goggles, VR blocks out the room and puts our presence elsewhere... . Augmented reality, however, takes our current reality and adds something to it. It does not move us elsewhere. It simply "augments" our current state of presence, often with clear visors. The real difference? Think scuba diving vs. going to the aquarium. With virtual reality, you can swim with sharks. And with augmented reality, you can watch a shark pop out of your business card. While VR is more immersive, AR provides more freedom for the user, and more possibilities for marketers because it does not need to be a head-mounted display.”
To describe it another way, remember the movie Minority Report (see below), where Tom Cruise can see virtual information by making gestures in the air?
Augmented reality moves a step beyond that where “screens” are obsolete (or an accessory) and you can program devices to augment the reality around you. It’s true; there’s a company called Hayo.io that’s bringing augmented reality to an Alexa-type device, where the hand signals you make in the air will control all kinds of things in your smart-connected home — lights, sounds, temperature, even automated online activities. And that’s just the beginning.
But what does this have to do with you not having video marketing tactics up to snuff? Visual marketing is an essential element in augmented reality, as it involves interacting with your environment and adding to what you can already see or do. If you’re not ready today with a solid one-way video connection to your audience, you’ll struggle greatly when competitors level up and take advantage of the many augmented experiences headed our way, particularly around video. They’ll be capturing leads with hand gestures, while you’re trying to sort out ways to attract an audience.
Planning ahead is key. Understanding what virtual reality, and more importantly, augmented reality offer in the not too distant future, and implementing new technologies first is where you should be directing some of that marketing spend. That whole “wait and see” approach is for companies like Polaroid. Don’t be like Polaroid. Be the disruptor instead of the disrupted.