Whether this is your first time launching or you've published multiple titles already, marketing your VR application is an ongoing process that is constantly evolving. As a platform that sees a variety of app marketing strategies, from none to extremely creative, we recommend starting with these five tips to kickstart your app marketing strategy today.
#1 What is my app's story?
Before you even create your Store cover image, screenshot, and app description, take the time to articulate the value proposition of your app. Ask yourself these questions:
- What's compelling about my app? When I tell my friends to download it, what do I lead with?
- How is this application making the most of VR?
- What are the top three use cases or features within the app?
- How do I represent my app in only one cover image that makes a person want to click in?
- Do I include VR in the name even though it's an app on a VR platform?
By narrowing down your app into the essential value propositions, you can focus your marketing assets and message. Now that you have your clear value proposition, your job in marketing will be to use all the available channels to get this story across to your audience.
#2 What type of visuals match my app story?
Think of the Oculus Store as one of the main channels to reach your potential audience. Now that you understand your app story and how you will tell it, spend time creating convincing and clear visual assets like the cover image, logo, and screenshots. Focus on:
- Text legibility:
- Is the writing of your app name large enough? Your logos and images will be viewed on many different devices, including mobile. Think about text size and composition of a cover image on a smaller screens to make sure your app remains legible and stands out on the Store.
- Avoid busy patterns and images that make your name hard to read. Less is more!
- Contrast: We recommend that text be light if the background is dark, and dark if it is light.
- Brand building: All of your visual assets should have one similar identity, in terms of color palette and imagery. Try to have that brand resonate with the design of the app itself.
- Screenshots are a powerful way to tell people what features they should be excited about. Do not repeat very similar images, or show a simple menu button.
Double check our Oculus Store Art Guidelines for additional specs and information about creating visuals for your app.
#3 Did you see our update?
An app update is a new opportunity to reach new consumers but also a chance to re-engage consumers that may have lapsed. Improve your chances of both by optimizing your Store assets for:
- New update-related cover images: For one week, create a unique cover image with a nod to the new update. This is also the best way to show off the latest versions of your app, especially if you have a major update.
- If anything significant has changed about the experience, make sure to take another look at description and screenshots again. Has the major premise of why someone should download your app changed?
Check out the developer center for more information about how to upload new builds and updates to your published app.
#4 How can I share more?
A cool way to feature your mobile content even more is through Explore: the Oculus Home Feed. Explore is a personalized feed recommending interesting content and experiences to VR users. It is the first thing people see when they put their headset on. Creating stories for Explore is a great opportunity to help people discover or re-engage with your app. Here are two ways you can use Explore to share your app story:
- In-App Content stories: With In-App Content stories, you can surface content from inside your app directly to people. This lets people discover your most compelling content in their Home feed and get excited to download your app. If people already have your app, seeing an engaging piece of content from your app entices them to jump back in and re-engage. Here is an example of an Explore story from the Inception app sharing a 360 video about a Salvador Dali exhibition.
- Rule of thumb: This type of story is best for apps with individually consumable pieces of content. If you’re a media app, it could be that you have standalone videos, photos, movies, trailers, or even episodes from a show. Or, you might have a collection of games or interactive educational content in your app.
- Story Creation: All you need is to fill out a form following the instructions here. We'll let you share the story's title, description, thumbnail image, and video URL. If you have a lot of in-app content and want to create stories at scale without the manual work of filling out forms, you can request access to our API at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Depicted: Inception for Gear VR and Oculus Rift
- Events: Events allow you to drive people into your app at a specific time. This is a game changer for apps that have timely content (e.g. live streaming of a show, concert etc.) or need people to be online at the same time to play or interact with each other (e.g. multi-player games, VR gatherings, VR classes.). Once people express interest in attending an Event, we send push notification reminders leading up to the event so they’re ready join as soon as the event starts. Here is an example of an Event story in Explore from the Samsung VR app (asset 2: the Coldplay concert). This Coldplay concert was incredibly successful and drove almost half of all people online in Gear VR at the time into the app.
- Story Creation: All you need is to fill out a form following the instructions here. We'll let you share the event's name, description, thumbnail image, start time, and end time.
#5 How can I make the most of mixed reality?
Using video to showcase your experience is an extremely powerful way to engage people with your app - both while they browse the Oculus Store and on social media. When you are showcasing your experience, consider mixed reality capture as a way to give people outside of virtual reality a better understanding of what it's like to be immersed in a VR space.
Mixed reality merges real-world people and objects in VR to provide a unique opportunity for developers, creators, streamers, and marketers to share VR experiences. To get you started, we've pulled together a Mixed Reality Capture Set Up Guide as well as a full list of recommended hardware, specs, how to set up VR objects, and more!
Tips to keep in mind:
- Be sure to double check your system configurations. Mixed reality capture requires a more performant system than is typically needed for regular VR. Before you get started, double check your set up against our system configuration guide.
- Some of the most dynamic and compelling mixed reality capture involves attaching a tracked VR object to an external camera. This will allow you to move around the scene during filming. Our Mixed Reality Capture Mount Guide will help you set up your camera and more information about dynamic vs static mixed reality capture can be found here.
- Additional more detailed specs can be found in our platform specific guides for Unity, Unreal, and Native VR applications.
With these five tips you are well on your way to maximizing the impact of your app marketing strategy!
- The Oculus Team