Perhaps nowhere is the mass acceptance and adoption of virtual reality more evident than in the Pokemon Go craze.

In less than a week, it's been installed on twice as many mobile devices as Tinder and one infatuated millennial has even  quit his job to play full-time.

But outside of its entertainment value (for the fun-loving and the obsessed alike), what utility might virtual reality apps like this have in marketing? Here are the top ways VR is a game-changer for marketing:

1. VR is More Accessible to the Masses

For any technology to  prove useful for marketing to consumers, you're going to have to eventually get consumers used to using it (or, if they're not using it directly, to having it used on them as with purchase tracking, etc.).

VR has overcome a huge hurdle in the last year by winning huge interest and support from consumers. Google has shipped millions of their Cardboard AR viewers and says that over the last year, search volume about VR has increased four-fold.

Consumers are rapidly becoming accepting of virtual and augmented reality, so marketers using it in campaigns now aren't feeling as much pushback as they were even six months ago.

2. VR Experiences are Becoming Easier to Create

And that's great news for marketers.

Content creation is challenging; it can be time consuming and expensive to come up with engaging, interesting content on a regular basis. If you wanted to offer something cool and cutting edge like a VR experience a few years ago, you'd have been looking at hiring a professional video production company to pull it off (IF you could afford it).

Now, a setup like Google's Jump with 16 GoPros will run you about $15,000--not pennies, but not an outrageous sum, either.

Brands are getting on board with the VR trend and developing their own branded content to give consumers more immersive experiences. Take this zodiac cruising video from polar tour company Quark Expeditions, for example:

Now, it's important to note that on its own, 360° video isn't a true VR experience. But when you add depth by pairing it with  Google Cardboard or a VR viewing app, you're able to give your customers and prospects a deep dive into the way your product looks and sounds from all angles.

3. VR Offers Massive Marketing ROI Boosting Potential

Imagine spending virtually the same amount of money on your company's conference this year, but giving 10,000 more people access.

How would you manage that?

Fashion houses like Hugo Boss are using VR to draw people to their real-world events in an online environment. That additional "attendance" costs only the expense of production and, in using the clickable URL space available to you, can help drive traffic and convert users to take another prescribed action.

The above video was a bit of a missed opportunity, in my humble opinion, as it's still live on YouTube but the URL in the description is now a dead link. Once your campaign is over, that space could still be used to drive traffic elsewhere. Once you've paid to produce and publish a VR video, keep using it to drive people to your landing pages!

Virtual reality has long held the potential to be a game-changer, but 2016 is really the year we're seeing it explode.

Has your company experimented with VR? Share your experience below!

Published on: Jul 20, 2016
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