What is immersive content and what we can do with it.
Funnily enough, for someone working on immersive applications for years, but I find it hard to give a comprehensive definition of immersive content. It’d be easy to simplify the whole matter to “panoramic, spherical images, and videos”, but that would take something away from what immersive content really is about and from its potential.
As for now, my favourite definition is that of “a multi-sensory experience, in which the user is immersed, and with which they can interact“.
So, does a 360° image that the user can explore through a VR headset qualify as immersive content? Strictly speaking yes, but there’s more to it: interactive elements, embedded textual information, connection to social media can all be added to make the experience more fully immersive.
Also, it’d be reductive to restrict the mean of delivery of such content, to Virtual, and Augmented Reality devices, as its powerful impact is by no means weakened on more traditional media, such as laptops, tablets, and mobile devices.
Now to us: How can immersive content be effectively used to convey a message?
It’s become a platitude these days that our digital society suffers from chronic attention deficit disorder, and everyone in the marketing and advertising industry knows how difficult it is to engage the audience for more than a second. Even more so now that most ads can be quickly dismissed.
There is a need, then, for inspiring and developing innovative digital experiences, keeping in mind that the key is to involve and entertain. And entertaining today is about creating a world in which people can immerse themselves in whatever way pleases them most.
And here comes immersive content to the rescue.
Although definitely not a panacea, experiences that are placing someone in the heart of the narrative and letting them be able to control it is one of the ways that have proven effective in increasing engagement times and conversion rates.
But, in practice, how can a brand leverage the potential of immersive content and applications?
There is not a specific solution for including immersive experiences in a marketing strategy, and companies in the most diverse markets (Sky Cinema, Scandinavian Airlines, BMW) have found success in that. Nonetheless, we can outline three major “traditional” applications:
- Product showcase with interactive elements: whether it’s showing a buyer the interior of a new car on a tablet screen, or enriching the visit of an exhibition by adding carefully-placed text to a 360° virtual tour, having a spherical view of a product, integrating useful content, can improve the client’s knowledge of it and support their choice.
- Advergaming: treasure hunts and other interactive minigames provide the right amount of challenge to engage the user. Only creativity is the limit, as all sort of industries can benefit from this type of applications.
- Event photography: social media sharing is a pillar of contemporary online marketing, and recreating the atmosphere of an event through immersive imagery allow its partecipants – through a tagging mechanism – to involve their social networks and spread the word.
This, of course, is just a brief, and even simplistic maybe, introduction to the opportunities that immersive content give to business communication. In future articles, we will have a deeper look into common applications and related studies.
In the meanwhile, if you are curious about how a web development agency specialized in immersive content, like immercode, can help you in integrating immersive elements in your projects, contact us, or visit our website.