Virtual experiences leave more of an impact on customers than other types of content, experts say.
By 2024, the augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality market is expected to be worth around $300 billion, according to Statista, and the number of AR users should surpass 1.7 million.
While AR has always wowed customers, marketing experts say that until the Covid-19 pandemic began in 2020, it wasn’t considered essential technology.
Then, stay-at-home orders and social distancing required companies to use digital tools to create as many true-to-life experiences as possible — including AR and VR content.
Brands across various industries began implementing this technology, including retail, education, travel, and healthcare, and according to statistics, customers appreciated the experiences AR and VR provided them.
Shopify found that interactions with products with AR content had a 94 percent higher conversion rate than products without AR.
And according to a Nielsen study, 51 percent of consumers said they were willing to use these technologies to check out products.
Examples of AR and VR experiences include virtual tours, virtual shopping and try-on, and interactive maps.
Experts say that including interactive features in content can make it stand out, and allow a deeper connection with the audience.
For example, MIT neuroscientists found that the brain can identify images seen for as little as 13 milliseconds, because these images go into our long-term memory.
As a result, including more visual storytelling into a brand’s content strategy can leave more of an impact on customers, experts say, and encourages audience participation.
Additionally, according to AdWeek, consumers are much more likely to interact with AR-based advertising than traditional ads.
Some real-world AR examples include:
- Home Depot’s Project Color app, which shows what a paint color would look like in a customer’s home
- Sephora’s Virtual Artist app, which allows customers to apply makeup virtually
- AMC Theaters’ app, where customers can scan a movie poster in a theater and receive information about the movie
Experts acknowledge that while not all brands have access to these types of technology, it can be helpful to brainstorm how similar features may be implemented in the future.
Brands also should brainstorm more accessible forms of customer interaction, experts say, since more engagement is the ultimate goal for this type of content marketing.
This might include QR codes that customers can scan for more information, finding more opportunities to use video, or embedding more images and maps into content, marketing experts say.