With the US market for AR & VR (virtual reality and augmented reality) technology expanding to nearly 20 billion dollars in 2020, immersive content marketing should be on the radar for major companies that want to remain competitive in their industry. Immersive content, which includes both VR and AR content, empowers your audience to interact with your brand “in person” without coming through your doors.
Immersive Content Brings Your Brand Stories to Life
Virtual and augmented reality have already made a huge dent in the video gaming industry. With these technologies, gamers can virtually “live” within storylines that include fantasy worlds, travel through outer space, or historical scenarios.
Whether your brand sells designer fashion or software solutions for business, your customers all have problems they need to solve to point their life’s story in the direction they want to go.
For example, a teenage girl might want to see how a gown looks on her before she buys so that she can impress the boy of her dreams. An immersive look at new marketing software, on the other hand, can help a company’s CMO “see” how the tool will help her scale her marketing campaigns.
Giving your customers stories with happy endings that they can experience beforehand is a game-changer for corporate content teams.
What Is AR and VR Content?
If you’re new to the technology, you might be surprised at just how real today’s AR and VR content can make experiences for your audience. An enhanced sensory experience that puts your customers at the center of the action can help them visualize the perfect way to conquer their challenges.
They become the hero of the story – and that’s every bit as exhilarating as shooting your way into a den of enemies in Call of Duty. More so, actually – since it’s a real-life challenge they need to solve.
Augmented reality superimposes interactive images over the actual environment, such as those real-looking lines TV sports broadcasters use to “draw” lines on the field during a football game. With augmented reality, for instance, you can see how a new sofa will look in your living room.
That prom gown? You can see exactly how it would look on your daughter from fifty miles away through the power of AR.
Virtual reality immerses one’s senses in a computer-generated virtual environment that you can interact with. It’s not quite Star Trek: The Next Generation’s holodeck, but it’s getting there.
Using gloves, all-direction treadmills, headsets, and other devices, you can give your customers the opportunity to explore the working parts of your new gadget from the inside out, learn how to operate it, and envision how it will help them save time and money.
Leverage the Advantages of Multi-sensory Learning
Studies show that people remember more about a topic after a multi-sensory presentation. If that topic is a piece of marketing content, there’s a better chance that your audience will remember the content that immerses more senses in the experience.
Since AR and VR can engage not only the visual and auditory senses but also the tactile and kinesthetic senses, they can reach your audiences on at least one of their favorite learning channels. While there will still be people who prefer to read a piece of content, you’ll have better results with a majority of your audience if you engage more of their senses.
A recent PwC report confirmed that exact hypothesis. The study tracked students as they learned soft skills, separating the students into two groups: one learning in traditional classrooms; the other, learning with VR.
The results speak for themselves. Those students in the VR program were quicker to learn, had more confidence and focus, and connected with others emotionally better than those trained in a classroom setting.
Combine Immersive Content with Storytelling for a Stellar Experience
Imagine stepping into your favorite TV series to experience all the adventure for yourself. Instead of watching the story play out, you would drive the plotline.
You’d have the element of control in your hands. Partnering with the other characters, you would solve problems, fight off the enemy, and win the battle at the end.
Similarly, when you allow your customer to partner with your brand by interacting with your content, they, too, will feel that sense of control. Your brand will simply serve as the wise guide that steers them toward conversion.
Storytelling comes alive in immersive content. When you put your customer in the driver’s seat, they can steer their way through the information you provide to come to a conclusion. It’s intrinsic motivation – and it’s a powerful tool in the hands of your customers.
Repurpose Existing Blog Posts and Videos with Immersive Content
A few years ago, we sat down to chat with SAP’s Senior Director of Influencer Marketing, Amisha Gandhi. She suggested that content teams should create different versions of (basically) the same content to reach diverse audiences.
We heartily agree. When you provide the same information to people in their preferred learning channels, it creates a welcoming vibe in your content that all too many companies lack.
Alternately, you can insert VR or AR content into existing electronic media, such as ebooks or white papers. Research shows that content that your audience can interact with converts more people to the next stage of the buyer’s journey than non-interactive content.
Those numbers make perfect sense. Since they’re retaining more information through engaging more senses, more of your audience will be likely to remember to move on to the next stage in the sales funnel. Try it yourself – and see if your own content analytics reveal the same results.
So, leave your older content – or refresh it if it could use an update – in its current form. But plan to offer an interactive alternative during your content planning. Your audience will appreciate your thoughtfulness, and you’ll appreciate all the new business it brings you.
Having a central hub where you can update your content with immersive features allows your teams to collaborate with each other and your technology teams. DivvyHQ is a content marketing platform that enables you to plan, collaborate on, publish, and measure the results all in one place.
And, you can take it on a test drive of your own with our 14-day free trial. Start yours today!