Our Favorite Brand VR Experiences

A woman wearing a VR headset. In our last blog post, Where Will Marketing Be In Five Years?, we predicted VR experiences will be big by 2024. Some big-name brands have already developed some amazing VR experiences, so to give you some inspiration and a jump start, here are our favorite branded VR experiences.

Google Earth VR

This is an incredible app to download if you’d love to travel the world, but don’t have the means to do it right now. In Google Earth VR, you are able to go anywhere in the world in just a click.

Google Presents Inside Abbey Road Studios

Who wouldn’t love to step inside the world’s most famous recording studio? The record studio that has not only recorded every single Beatles’ albums, but the music from Queen, U2, Lady Gaga, and more. Go on a guided tour of Abbey Road from Giles Martin, son of the Beatles’ late music producer, Sir George Martin.

Netflix VR

Did you know you can now watch your favorite streaming service in VR? In Netflix VR, users can choose between two modes: a living room viewing experience or Void mode.

When you watch through the living room mode, you are planted in a living room that has a TV above the fireplace and a view of the mountain range. You are able to watch your shows on the TV.

Void mode removes the living room but allows users to watch a show in whatever position they’d like, even sitting down, which isn’t something you can do in the living room mode.

It is possible Netflix will offer VR programming in the future.

The New York Times VR

The New York Times VR app immerses users into some of the publication’s biggest news stories. Users can stand alongside Iraqi forces during a battle against ISIS or walk on a planet 3 billion miles from the sun! 

Volvo XC90 Test Drive VR

The car brand, Volvo, has created a VR app to give consumers a feel for its XC90. This VR experience puts you behind the wheel as you take the scenic route through an idyllic area with a mountain range. Forget a car dealer, when you can download the app for your headset.

IKEA Virtual Store

With IKEA Virtual Store, IKEA has created a store that never closes. IKEA was one of the first retail companies to launch a VR site that has e-commerce. If you are up at night thinking about your new home project, you can pop into the store without leaving your house.

TOMS Virtual Giving Trip

TOMS isn’t just a fashionable shoe brand, but a charitable one too. For every new pair of TOMS purchased, TOMS gives a pair of new shoes to a child in need. In TOMS Virtual Giving Trip, consumers get to watch TOMS employees give away shoes to the underserved in Peru. It has nooks in its stores where potential customers can view the VR experience.

Savannah College of Art and Design

In 2015, the Savannah College of Art and Design mailed 5,000 branded VR headsets to students who were accepted into the school but hadn’t yet enrolled. The VR experience immersed users into the college’s campus.

Do you have an inkling for an app idea for your company? Let us know. We love taking our clients’ ideas and developing them into reality.

Where Will Marketing Be In Five Years?

Girl working on a laptop with a soda can next to the laptop.Before the technology revolution in the twenty-first century, marketing was mostly done through print advertising, direct mail, and traditional media (e.g. TV, radio, and publications). Now, most businesses are only marketing on the Internet. Technology has shown marketing is one industry that isn’t going to stay constant. SEO is one sub-section of digital marketing that changes every day! With that, it can make you wonder just where marketing will be in five years time? So today we’re going to give you our predictions for where we think marketing will be in 2024.

Voice Search

People love using their smartphone’s voice assistant, be it Siri, Alexa, or Cortana. Our phones’ voice assistants make it easy for us to go about our day while still obtaining information from the Internet. Many leading digital marketers are expecting a rise in voice search over the next five years. Some estimate that by 2020, more than half of searches will be conducted using voice search.

There is a difference in keywords when we type a search versus using a voice assistant. People use more keywords when they use their voice, so those types of searches tend to be more conversational. In the future, businesses will have to create specific web pages geared toward the questions people ask their voice assistant in order to rank well in search engines.

Ethical Brands

We believe in the next five years people will still support brands that are ethical. Millennials and Generation Z are two generations that are conscious about they who buy from. They are passionate about issues such as climate change, income equality, and diversity. To cater to these buyers, companies will need to make sure they are contributing to improving society.

TV Ads

In the campaigns we run for our clients, we’ve noticed amongst the devices used are TVs. We speculate in the next five years popular streaming services will start utilizing advertisement, but instead of commercials like on cable TV, they will mirror the ads you see on social media. Most people aren’t fans of commercials, except for maybe during the Super Bowl, so with that in mind, streaming services will have to do quick video ads or interactive ads that users can click out of if they don’t meet their needs.

Consumers Will Want Control Of Their Data

From the GRPR to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, 2018 was a year consumers really came concerned with the usage of their data. Now more than ever, people are cautious with who they give their information to. We believe in the next five years consumers will take more action to seek control over their personal data in an effort to avoid breaches, phishing, and hacking.

Virtual Reality

Did you think virtual reality (VR) is just for video games? Think again!  In the next five years, VR will become the next big form of content marketing. It’ll be a new way for companies to offer value to their audience, but businesses that do decide to utilize VR should get creative and come at VR from a storytelling angle. Give your target audience an experience they will treasure that also fits with your brand. A great example is when North Face developed a VR experience of California’s Yosemite National Park and the Moab Desert in Utah. This worked well for North Face as their cozy apparel is popular amongst nature enthusiasts.

Storytelling Marketing

To piggyback off the last point, storytelling is a major theme you will find in marketing in 2024. Marketing will always change as technology does, but one constant will be content that people can resonate with and enjoy.

Struggling with new ways to boost your marketing? At Sperling Interactive, we love collaborating with our clients to create marketing strategies that support their goals. Call us today at (978) 304-1730.

Habits of Creative People

A person using a drawing tablet and laptop. All organizations need creativity to prosper. When you’re being creative, you’re able to come up with new ways to improve your business and differentiate yourself from your competition. According to findings from an Adobe/Forrester Research study, companies that encourage creativity are 3.5 times more likely to achieve 10% revenue growth goals and are 50% more likely to report a commanding market leadership over competitors. If you’re someone who’s never dabbled in creative endeavors before, here are some of the most common habits of creative people to get you going.

Creative People Take Breaks From The Internet

There’s no denying the Internet is amazing. It enables you to gather information on anything you fancy, shop from the comfort of home, meet new people, and correspond with friends and families with just a few clicks. But the Internet can also suck up our time, be noisy, and become a big echo-chamber since algorithms feed us content based on what we’ve looked at. As a result, the Internet has made it harder for us to prioritize our creativity and truly listen to ourselves. Say no to the Internet when you wake up and an hour or two before you go to bed. Take that time to daydream or work on a creative project and not interact with a screen. By doing this, you’re able to re-connect better with yourself and have more creative thoughts.

Creative People People Watch

Creative people see the world as their oyster. They know creativity can come from anywhere. Writer Joan Didion kept a notebook with her at all times. She wrote down her observations as a better way to understand the world around her.

Creative People Keep A Journal

What do Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, Mark Twain, and Thomas Edison all have in common? Besides being brilliant innovators, they all kept journals.

Journaling has countless benefits. It’s cathartic, helps the brain regulate emotions, brings forth clarity, and can help people process and generate new ideas. Remember, journaling is just for you. There is no right or wrong way to journal. When you write about whatever you want, you’ll be surprised by the ideas that come to you. Creativity is all about connecting the dots.

Creative People Embrace Being A Beginner

When you started your business, did you expect yourself to be Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, or Elon Musk right away? No. If you’re trying out a new creative project to foster your creative muscles, you can’t expect yourself to become an expert overnight either. You’re not going to become the creator you desire by placing high expectations on yourself. Creativity should be fun. Embrace being a beginner and enjoy the process.

Creative People Talk About Their Ideas With Others

Talking to other creative people about your projects/ideas gets your energized. Another awesome thing that comes from talking with other creative people is they can serve as your sound board and unofficial accountability buddies. Don’t have a creative friend? Join a creative MeetUp group, go to a networking event, or strike up a conversation whenever you see someone doing something creative be it a person painting a mural in your community or a person playing music at an open mic night.

Creative People Know When They Work Best

Creative people know the hours when they work best and stick to it. They recognize having a schedule supports their creativity. If you’re a morning person, carve out time in the morning. If you’re a night owl, utilize night time. It doesn’t matter what time of day you work best, just as long as you stick to it and work towards recreating the same routine every time. Try to work in the same environment with the same simulations around you, be it coffee, calming music, alongside other people, etc.  

Does your company encourage a creative culture? What are some ways you foster your creativity to improve your business?

Travel & Tourism Marketing Tips

A picture of the Boston skyline. At Sperling Interactive, one of our largest specialized markets is the travel and tourism industry. Some of our clients include the Salem Witch Museum, the House of the Seven Gables, Hawthorne Hotel, Destination Salem, and the North of Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau. The travel and tourism industry is one of our favorite industries to serve as we love traveling and are proud that we get to promote some of Massachusetts’ gems.

Summer is coming up, and it is the busiest time of year for most businesses in the travel industry. Below you will find the best travel & tourism marketing tips to boost engagement and increase awareness” or something like that.

Create A Travel Guide

Put together a travel guide, be it print or electronic, of your favorite things to do in your area. Nearly every traveler loves receiving recommendations from locals. You could do two guides: one guide about the area and the other about your business.

We draft and design travel guides right now for Destination Salem and the North of Boston CVB. The guides are downloadable and we have found running them through Google Ads, Facebook ads, and display ads to be quite successful.

Write a Travel & Tourism Blog 

We always advise our clients to blog as it’s one of the pillars for SEO, but it’s always a way to engage your audience and pursue them to come to your location.

If you’re an agency or hotel, you could always feature a customer. You could have a customer write a guest post or you could start a series where you interview customers.

Schedule Social Posts

Scheduling social media posts is something we always encourage our clients to do, but it is especially important for travel companies expecting to be busy this summer. Jot down some photo ideas and on the first nice day of the year, go out and take some photos. Try scheduling posts 2 weeks to one month in advance.

Creating meaningful and interesting blog topics, and then sharing them on your social profiles is essential. In addition, sharing other blogs or articles from businesses you highlight helps boost engagement. 

Utilize Influencers

Are there content creators who create content about your area or fit well with your brand? While influencer marketing is on the rise and has been found to work, you want to find someone who caters to your industry or is in your target audience and set up an exchange. A good example would be having some food bloggers come to a new restaurant and/or brewery opening and giving them a behind-the-scenes. Or having a travel YouTube vlogger stay at your hotel or inn.

Produce Local Community Videos

With video marketing continuing to rise, you can’t go wrong with shooting a video. By going out and taking 1-2 days to shoot some content, you can end up with a few videos’ worth of footage. If you don’t have one already, you could have a video for the homepage of your website to capture travelers’ attention. The other videos that come out of the footage could be videos you post on social media and YouTube that primarily promote your city. These videos could provide fun facts, recommendations to other businesses, and tips.

Run Location-Based Ads

Combining Google Search, Google Display Ads, and Facebook Ads, build awareness around your target audience, whether it be local or areas where you see a lot of travelers come from. Run an ad driving people to a specific blog post or a free guide. 

There are many avenues to pursue. Geo-targeting with user-input targets specific ads to the user based on what kind of ads they want to receive. In geo-fencing, you target potential customers within a certain radius of your business. And then there are geo conquest ads, which is when companies lure perspectives from competitors.

Want some tailored advice for your travel business? Call us today at (978) 304-1730 to schedule a free consultation.