Is AR Content Marketing Worth It? Examining Current and Future Opportunities
By Jason Norris, Head of Media
Everywhere we look today, we see traces of the rapid onset of the metaverse, with more brands, businesses and media companies embracing the power of Augmented Reality (AR). From movie studios incorporating AR effects into their tactical marketing campaigns prior to the release of the next big blockbuster, to gaming franchises tapping into its potential to bring their most famous video game characters to life, AR has been catching fire within the entertainment and technology spaces as of late. Meanwhile, other company leaders are now wondering how they, too, can infuse AR into their content marketing in an effort to better connect with their audiences and deliver the immersive, engaging experiences those customers are coming to expect. So, is it really worth giving AR a try for yourself? Here are some reasons why we believe the answer is absolutely, yes:
A New Way to Engage, Connect & Convert
An endless flow of pop-up ads and push notifications is causing more and more people to distrust and ignore them. Our society has become so deeply immersed in the constant content we stream, game and scroll through that any unsolicited interruption to our focus feels like friction. The key, in this case, is to transform those same ads into the immersive experience itself. If done cleverly, the infusion of AR into sponsored content can make them feel less like ads and instead turn them into something consumers want to engage with and attach themselves to.
Take, for example, an ad that pops into view while a user is streaming a zombie flick on their iPad. A traditional 2D ad would disconnect the user from the experience they are having, which can frustrate them and cause them to reject the ad outright. But, if AR is applied to the ad itself, and that ad manifests in the form of a zombie crawling through the screen, which the user can place in his living room, then he will be more drawn in. And that is because the content matches and meshes with the movie experience they chose to initiate. A fun experience like that could then lead the user to a promotion on the Walking Dead app. This kind of AR-powered advertising meets the customers where they are, with the technology and equipment they are already using to deliver actual value.
Increased Dwell Time & Shareability
One huge upside of incorporating AR into content marketing and advertising is the proven uptick it provokes in one of the most important metrics for modern marketers: dwell time. In fact, recent reports reveal that AR-enhanced content can organically earn almost 83x more dwell time than a traditional marketing touchpoint can. Thus, savvy marketers who keep AR technology in their tool kit can count on their customers spending substantially more time with their targeted, sponsored content than those who are just maintaining the status quo.
Beyond better dwell time, brands can also increase their chances of that same sponsored content going viral when they employ AR. In the earlier example of the crawling, branded zombie, the entertained user is much more likely to share the unexpected experience with their own social networks, thereby amplifying brand awareness and buy-in organically with net new audiences via word-of-mouth (on steroids).
A More Memorable Brand Identity
Integrating AR into marketing content can also enable marketers to provide branded experiences that, in addition to being immersive, are also more relevant, personalized, and memorable. This allows businesses to build a stronger brand identity in the minds of their audiences by the context and moments in which they connect with them.
Imagine a group of spring breakers taking pictures on a Florida beach that a brand wants to reach. Using a service like Mobilize, marketers can serve more contextually relevant content that consumers would find useful as they look to enhance their photos. For example, a brand like Corona could serve those spring breakers AR filters of galvanized beer buckets with cold Corona beers inside them. Because its relevant to where they are and what they are doing, many of them would want to overlay those filters onto their pictures. Those spring breakers would then want to share those pictures with their friends on social media, further amplifying Corona’s brand reach. What’s more, they will be seen as a fun, spring-loving brand in the minds of those younger consumers.
We Are in the First Inning
Although AR as a marketing channel is still in its nascent phase, marketers can get a head start in integrating it into their content. Many brands are still not convinced of its effectiveness, but those who embrace it now are laying the foundation for more successful brand recognition and engagement in the near future. Eventually, AR experiences will become a part of everyday life. Those brands already starting to dabble in the space will be way ahead of the game.