Top 50 Virtual Reality influencers of 2017

“Influencer”: it is actually a world that I hate. Some people say that their job is being an influencer, but IMHO it means nothing. If your job is influencing people minds and opinions, I immediately assume that in your life you are a hypnotist, a magician or something like that :). Furthermore, this word is often overly abused: too many people claim themselves of being influencers, just because there are no official criteria to be met to be considered like that. So, when I read someone defining him/herself an influencer, this is my reaction

VR influencers
Sarcasm at its best (Image from a Make a meme)

Anyway, apart from the word overuse, knowing the true “influencers” of your industry is very important. This is because usually the so-called influencers are people that:

  • Are experts in the field;
  • Say interesting things;
  • Have a good amount of followers;

Every point of this bullet list is a consequence of the previous ones: being experts in the field, they tell interesting things on the social media and so a lot of people follow them. So, why should you know who these interesting people are? The reasons are mainly two:

  1. To keep yourself updated on what is happening in your field of interest. Influencers are usually journalists, entrepreneurs, bloggers. These people publish news in preview, organize events, showcase products, etc… and for you can be interesting knowing all these information. You can usually read the Twitter feed of a VR influencer to know all the latest news about virtual reality. Furthermore, if they’re also entrepreneurs you can maybe establish some business collaboration with them;
  2. To boost your resonance in your industry. This is the main reason why people want to get in touch with “influencers”: the word “influencer” means that these people are able to influence the behavior of other people. This is particularly evident in the fashion business: if some fashion blogger starts talking about some T-shirt that she defines as “cool”, for sure in the following days you’ll start seeing a lot of people wearing that piece of clothing in the streets. Influencing power of those people is given by their expertise and charisma. That’s why in the latest years it has born the so-called “influencer marketing”, that is marketing made through influencers. Big brands pay a lot of money to make influencers use their products so that all the fan-base will start using them as well. In certain context, this kind of marketing is even more powerful than TV commercials! The reason for such power is that the interaction is more personal: an influencer is a person and we are programmed to trust other people.
Virtual Reality top 50 influencers
Influencers can give you a worldwide visibility

Virtual Reality is still a tech niche, but influencers are very important in this field as well. For instance, I’m sure that Samsung and HTC have used influencers relationships to help to spread their GearVR and Vive products. Even if you’re not Samsung, you can still “use” them for the above reasons. Especially if you’re going to launch a product and you need a marketing push, apart from writing all the VR magazines out there (you can find a list of the 50 best ones in a previous article), you may also consider contacting all the various influencers and ask them if they’re interesting in reviewing your product on their platforms. As for cold-emailing the blogs, some of them won’t answer, while other ones will be very kind and some of them will give you some visibility. Just to understand how this can be powerful: when I got a single retweet from the CEO of Razer, my tweets views in that month doubled!

Returning to the title of the article… where can you find a list of the top influencers in virtual reality? Onalytica can help us in this. This is a company that is focused on influencer marketing and influencer relationships management… so, basically, in helping your brand to shine thanks to influencer marketing. It has recently published a detailed report on Virtual Reality industry, highlighting the top brands, magazines, and influencers. Clicking that link you may read a lot of interesting information about the virtual reality business from a marketing standpoint. And for free you will be able to find a list of the top 50 influencers, brands and magazines in VR market. Then, if you choose to download the full report clicking the link at the end of the page (it is free if you provide them your contact info), you may read the complete list of top 100. My sincere advice is to download the full report, I did it myself.

Reading the report you may discover a lot of interesting things: for instance that, while the headset selling stats say that the top headsets are:

  1. Gear VR
  2. PlayStation
  3. Vive
  4. Rift
SuperData research VR market
Sales of virtual reality headsets according to SuperData (Image by Wall Street Journal)

From a marketing standpoint, the order is reversed:

  1. Oculus
  2. HTC
  3. Samsung
  4. PlayStation

This is one of the reasons why in my opinion Facebook has not removed the Oculus brand after the acquisition. This brand is very powerful… in various business stats out there, it comes out that among non-VR people, the name Vive is poorly known, while Oculus is something people have already heard about.

Another interesting thing is that when talking about VR, usually people talk also about AR (there’s a lot of debate around these two techs and which one is better), Oculus, but also AI. Me too have recently published a post where I talk about Virtual Reality with AI and Brain Computer Interfaces. VR/AR combined with AI can create something really magical and people are talking a lot about this.

VR influencer marketing words cloud
Word cloud relative to VR tweets (Image by Onalytica)

Read the report to discover more. My advice is taking the list of top 50 influencers (or 100 if you download the report) and start following all these people on twitter (and maybe also Linkedin). Some of these people will follow you back, and this would allow you to have some precious retweet that can increase your audience. Furthermore, it is great if you start having a human relationship with them: so start commenting what they say, tagging them in some valuable posts and so on. This way, if you get them to know you, it will be more probable that they’ll help you in spreading the word about your business. But be sure to not be fake: no one wants to be used just for his/her influential power. So connect only with people with which you have pleasure in be connected to, and that have pleasure of interacting with you. Your purpose should be the one of having more VR friends… friends that can give you a helping hand with visibility. One great example of a company that has a nice way of interacting with influencer is Luden (the company behind the ARKit game ARrrived), that, for instance, after having read this report has immediately complimented some of the top influencers:

and this has immediately created a thread where important people thanked them and made compliments to them. They really know how to be friendly and once in a while they love interacting with influencers in a natural way. This is the right approach everyone should have. Be awesome as Luden. If you’re not able to do that, ask a professional company like Onalytica to help you in building influencers relationships.

Maybe from the above tweet, you may have recognized my twitter handle. Because yes, it seems that this year I’m entered this magicians’ high scores table at position #34. I honestly don’t think I deserve that (especially considering that I have a score higher than people like Brendan Iribe!), but I really wish to thank you all for having let me reach this interesting result. It is because of all your retweets, comments and your love in general that Onalytica has recognized all my efforts on social media. Really thank you. But don’t call me an influencer, please… I’m a developer, a blogger, a PR, a startupper, a terrible Starcraft player, or just simply Tony 🙂

(Header Image by Onalytica)

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AR/VR developer, startupper, zombie killer. Sometimes I pretend I can blog, but actually I've no idea what I'm doing. I tried to change the world with my startup Immotionar, offering super-awesome full body virtual reality, but now the dream is over. But I'm not giving up: I've started an AR/VR agency called New Technology Walkers with which help you in realizing your XR dreams with our consultancies (Contact us if you need a project done!)

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