Maximizing exposure and conversions is the ultimate goal of creating content. However, many content teams still do not take advantage of the technologies available that deeply impact customers and keeps content fresh. The first thing any innovative content creator will want to target is social media and its AR integration.
Experimenting with emerging technologies gives your customers a stronger connection to your brand story. As such, you have more control over your brand narrative and your relationship to your customer base with immersive and engaging tech like augmented reality and virtual reality.
Why content marketing is still evolving
You may believe that augmented reality is some kind of sci-fi technology that will be leveraged properly in an everyday application until some distant future. But augmented reality is already in many of the applications that you know and love. Augmented reality has been effectively implementing it in most major social media platforms, especially those that promote the image and video content.
Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat are using augmented reality to create a more immersive, entertaining, and creative social space. Photo filters, video effects, and interactive designs make user-generated content more interesting and engaging.
Augmented reality and interactive branded apps
Social media platforms are not the only ones who have jumped on augmented reality tech. Advertisers have already started to experiment with engaging technology. Augmented reality is easily understood and manipulated by users, despite its novelty.
Brands have had success with AR apps. They allow users to meaningfully engage with branded content. For example, makeup companies have used VR to help users try out digital looks, home decor companies have used AR to help users redesign their spaces, and video game companies have used AR to help bring their characters to life.
Making immersive content with VR
Making engaging content is one of the most difficult activities marketers participate in. While creating an advertising campaign that targets a certain market requires just some marketing experience and technical knowledge, creating useful, insightful, and original content is a labor of love that takes time, dedication, and passion.
Even if you’re marketers are overly zealous about making real and engaging content, it’s not always certain that this content is going to resonate with your audience. But when you leverage immersive technologies like virtual reality, your chances of seeing a great return on investment are much higher. Immersive content with virtual reality is far easier to create than standard video content as it actively transports the user, demanding undivided attention.
Virtual reality is so effective because it makes stories, both fictional and real, feel more relatable and visceral. Instead of simply stating a story in your mind’s eye, or passively consuming a reality presented on-screen, virtual reality takes the user straight to your created world. It literally surrounds them, replacing their sensory reality with an entirely fabricated one.
As such, it’s easier for your audience to connect with your content on an emotional level with virtual reality. Why? Because virtual reality is far more in pathic storytelling media because it requires the user to be an active agent of the story and an active participant in the overarching experience.
Content marketing is key in modern digital marketing campaigns as creative and useful content keeps customers engaged and focused on your brand. There are luckily several technologies on the market today that can take your content marketing to the next level.
There are hundreds of filters and placeable avatars to be found in the AR marketplace through social media. Users flock to AR because it is a unique technology that can alter graphics in real-time which is incredibly useful for companies like Sephora and IKEA that rely on the try before you buy policy. VR is an altogether different package that is used by content creators.
Just like using artificial intelligence has completely revolutionized how we analyze our marketing efforts and how we make sales decisions, VR and AR have completely changed how we present our brand stories. Your customers will appreciate your willingness to create novel, original, and cutting edge content with emerging tech. While experimenting can be scary, it’s worth the risk to keep your content fresh.
Why AR Still Has Massive Potential
AR is transforming also web design through social media as well, appearing on Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram. These technologies focus on AR as a social tool that allows multiple users to experience mind-altering entertainment at the same time.
Augmented reality gives designers the ability to design three-dimensional spaces, making their job much easier.
While some technologies like virtual reality can have quite a steep learning curve, augmented reality is immediately recognizable to users. It simply makes sense. AR is a powerful technology that is capable of interacting with the consumer in an incredible amount of ways.
AR presents a new challenge that is both sensible and practical. Designing products in AR environments makes more sense for the designer as it can mirror the real-world application of a design without the risk.
Some apps are much simpler such as makeup and costume AR apps that overlay graphics onto people’s faces and spaces. AR technology is now so commonplace in the social media sector that it is frequently used without a second thought.
Many users utilize AR technologies to touch themselves up in a live video or to add wild decor to their environment. Of course, there is the gaming side of AR that drives the technology home for users as something truly new and exciting.
In addition, AR games and interactive apps engage customers and keep them interested in the future of the brand. The arts are also deeply impacted by AR technologies because it gives artists the free reign they need to create truly special content.
With AR, there are no limitations to what can be dreamt up or built allowing creators to fully express themselves without fear which in turn yields great designs and better campaigns. AR technologies allow businesses to interact with users in an entirely different way that allows for a mutual transaction of value while still providing a ton of entertainment and interest.
Augmented reality is not only immediately recognizable to users, but it’s also incredibly intuitive, making AR interfaces easy to understand and manipulate.
Unlike VR, augmented reality needs no manual, guide, or training to use effectively. Users on social media, from all walks of digital life, can leverage AR to make intriguing content, beautify their online pictures, and add some dimension to homemade gifs, videos, and loops.
Social media content has changed how we interact. It’s changed our social reality. And, as such, it’s completely altered our perception of the boundary separating digital social life and real life, blurring the distinction between the two.
Augmented reality has recently become another layer of unreality that has become superimposed onto daily life. Filters, assets, and film effects can easily be applied to any photos, videos, and user content generated on social platforms.
Why VR Still Has Massive Potential
Developing virtual reality apps is an exciting proposition, but one fraught with pitfalls, much like trying to order French cuisine for the first time. However, just like ordering French food, it’s dazzling and satisfying, even if it’s a bit disorienting and intimidating.
VR has found enormous success in its beautified reinvention as the ultimate home entertainment experience — despite its obscure and esoteric beginnings. The results show that VR has been a massive hit, but it still has much more to offer right around the corner.
The development tools are open-source
Luckily, the VR community has made entry into the long-awaited sci-fi technology a little bit easier. Toolkits, engines, and assets for virtual reality development are often free or very competitively priced.
Meaning, with a free download of Unity (a popular IDE and 3D rendering engine), the open-source VR toolkit, and some scripts borrowed from GitHub, you’ll be well on your way without spending a dime.
Why are so many tools open source? Simply because it encourages open engagement, allowing more developers to try their hand at creating amazing VR experiences, helping the industry as a whole grow, innovate, and prosper.
Although, it’s important to note that while there is plenty of free (or very inexpensive) VR development software, the hardware can be relatively expensive.
VR development kits (in terms of hardware) run at least a few hundred dollars and routinely pass the thousand dollar mark. As such, it’s crucial to consider these costs before investing any extra time and money into marketing, sales, and development and design activities.
The VR market on PC is solid
While it seems the VR bet has yet to pay off, there are several signs that this dog will soon have its day. Firstly, the PC VR market is rather solid, considering how new VR is as a consumer technology. Steam, Valve’s gaming platform, and the marketplace has seen a sizable adoption of VR technologies with a steady slew of virtual reality apps and games lining its digital shelves every month.
While the cost to the consumer is still rather high, Valve’s hardcore video game community has embraced virtual reality. These early-adopters have eagerly integrated virtual reality into their gaming routine and the demand has no signs of slowing anytime soon.
There are 43 million VR users worldwide. Facebook seeks to make that number larger through its social VR platform. With over two million PlayStationVR consoles sold, it doesn’t seem too lofty of Zuckerberg and company. VR apps are already being implemented in social apps and with Facebook’s acquisition of the hottest VR headset startup, they are sure to make good on their promise to make VR a social technology for everyone.
Gaming consoles are integrating AR/VR tech
The HTC Vive and Oculus rift are two of the most powerful sets in the industry, each capable of producing truly awesome sensory experiences the fully transport the user to another world. These technologies are constantly updating too, ensuring that they will stay powerful for years to come. Most importantly, it is the gaming console market that has truly propelled VR into the mainstream headspace as Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo all make their push into the market.
Sony’s PSVR has seen truly remarkable success with unit sales of more than two million, effectively giving the VR market secondary propulsion. Combined with the efforts of the mobile market, gaming VR has seen the most engagement by far and continues to drive audiences toward the technology.
This benefits developers and marketers alike as it gives them both clearly defined product rules for success and engagement. Even with all of this success, VR has still only broken through the tip of the iceberg as new iterations of the technology wait just around the corner. The new generations of technology will incorporate VR and AR on a larger scale than ever before.
The first sign of its potential is the availability and simplicity of the VR development tools that make developing phenomenal VR experiences simple for even the least technical developers. This open inclusion has created a boom of creativity that has produced apps like Accounting Plus and PaintVR that offer unique experiences that can only be accomplished in VR.
However, since the tools are open and powerful, more and more apps are created each month that seek to transform the VR space yet again. This inventive and creative cycle makes the VR community inclusive and welcoming which is fortunate for newer developers or group-oriented developers.
Community members are more than happy to assist fellow developers in their quest to create memorable experiences that can transform and inspire audiences. However, even with the open development and supportive communities, VR kits can be expensive so it should not be attempted unless your team is very serious.
However, this cost can easily be offset once the market is analyzed at a greater depth. The PC market, for instance, is incredibly strong for VR and consistently committed to supporting the hardware through its many evolutions. This is great for developers who want to try something new in the VR space and reach out to audiences in a unique way. Additionally, the power of the PC kits far outweighs other headset units.
Romy Catauta works in the marketing field and is passionate about writing on web design, remote talent, business, interior design, and psychology.