Last year was a massive year for influencer marketing, as we saw the field get the credibility it’s long deserved. However, the achievements in the world of influencer marketing are just the tip of the iceberg. In 2016, Snapchat launched smart spectacles, which received a lukewarm reception but set us up for the next phase of influencer marketing: virtual and augmented reality.
Social media users don’t just want content, they want experiences as well. There is an overwhelming demand for live streaming, VR and 360-degree videos, which draw the viewer into the experience. After all, a virtual reality experience is much more immersive than a simple video. Right now we’re standing on the edge of a boom of VR & AR headsets.
As such influencers will increasingly be keeping us posted on their escapades through VR and AR. The pursuit to live vicariously through social media influencers is driving content in one direction; towards immersive experiences.
Live Streaming VR Sessions
One of the main things we’re going to see more of, is influencers using VR to live stream their day-to-day lives. Whether they’re standing at home or travelling from cities to mountaintops, influencers will be providing viewers with a deep window into their lives. As is characteristic of VR, followers will be able to keep track from viewing rooms (we’ve even had VR networks pop-up like Vtime).
Live streaming in 360-degrees would turn viewers not only into spectators but walking participants. Fans using VR headsets will stand beside their favorite influencer’s and get a different perspective of their lives. In terms of marketing, this means a much more vivid depiction of products and events than traditional content could ever bring.
Live AR Sessions
Of course many followers will want to get even closer to their idols, and it looks like AR will be able to provide a solution. In future influencers will be able to host AR hangouts and invite subscribers to talk with them in a simulation. Putting on a VR headset will allow the influencer to walk amongst their followers and communicate with them personally.
Social media is extremely limited in terms of communication, so live AR hangouts offer a chance to communicate directly and instantaneously. Communication isn’t limited to text, photo and video posts, but live interaction. We’ve seen this start to be developed with AR platforms like Catxy cropping up.
Living Breathing Content
Streamed content has only scratched the service of the future possibilities, but it has wet our appetites for more immersive content. Now consumers want to watch and connect with influencers in the flesh, and VR/AR will provide that opportunity. In addition, social media is in its infancy, so there will be a new wave of networks emerging with VR in mind. Because it’s easy to contact your influencers when you work with Join, you can easily set up VR and AR collaborations with them. Request a demo here.
Whether we’re communicating in person or online, face-to-face communication is preferred. As more barriers are taken down by the development of technology, influencers will have a much more personal role to play. Real-time content that you can almost reach out and touch is going to be the next step in the influencer marketing revolution, and will change the game as we know it.