With billions of people on social media, it’s fair to say that a great deal of the Internet’s marketing activity now takes place on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The continual improvement of the tools available on these platforms are making them even more salient. The climb of social technologies is almost nowhere more apparent than in the rise of augmented reality.
Here’s how the biggest social media websites are using AR:
Snapchat - When it comes to AR, Snapchat blows the competition out of the water. According to Evan Spiegel, the average Snapchat user interacts with the AR side of Snapchat about 30 times a day. There has been a surge in the number of brands creating filters to boost exposure and engagement.
Instagram - Following in Snapchat’s footsteps, Instagram has added AR features for users to post on Stories. This has been useful for not only brands, but also social and environmental campaigns. Not so long ago, the ‘save the planet mask’ became a popular filter among users.
Facebook - Facebook has worked with filters, but it went a step further with games on Messenger. The Don’t Smile game pits two players against each other using the camera. As soon as one player starts to smile, they lose. On the eCommerce side, customers can use AR and the cameras on their devices to get a virtual ‘try-on’ experience before purchasing.
Today, we’re discussing the importance of AR and why businesses and marketers should adopt this technology. So far, we’ve spotted the following trends:
Social media has long been a marketing tool, but with the help of AR it has also become an eCommerce platform. Remember the days when we wouldn’t purchase a piece of clothing without seeing it in person and trying it on? As the world moved online, so did our purchasing habits. Now we don’t have to worry about spending money based on images alone because AR is helping consumers virtually try on clothing, glasses and makeup all from the comfort of home.
Why should marketers care about AR? With this technology, every consumer gains a more in-depth experience with your products. If the competition doesn’t offer this feature, this could be one of your competitive advantages. People tend to prefer a brand which offers virtual try-on experiences over those with images alone.
At this point, we fully expect 3D content to surpass 2D. Why? Because 3D content is interactive, engaging and more enjoyable. It is engaging consumers in a new way and has the potential to reshape the way we consume content on social media.
Social connects us all in a myriad of ways, and the possibilities are still expanding. We can buy products without leaving a social media app, see reviews of products and services in seconds and share with friends, family members and colleagues.
In the past, missing an event meant missing out on an event. These days, we can feel as though we’re in the room even while we’re at home. With an AR app, we can enjoy the event as if we’re there in person (which is convenient given the circumstances of 2020 so far!). In the future, this alternative experience will only improve. While events might have a physical capacity of 200, there could be thousands experiencing it virtually.
Why are these trends so important? Why is this technology a good investment? We’ll take a look at the biggest reasons. Even if AR is out of your budget at the moment, the ubiquitous nature of the technology means that the price will only come down.
Even today, traditional print advertising comes with a hefty price tag. AR is more affordable, engaging and interactive than any print campaign. Although it depends on quality and other factors, we’ve seen companies pay $5,000 for a simple AR ad. The more sophisticated you get with the graphics and details, the more you’ll pay.
There are two main types of AR ads:
When you pay for a traditional print ad, you need a bestselling magazine to gain exposure, and that can get expensive. AR offers a cheaper alternative—one that is entertaining, engaging and exciting.
There is no shortage of benefits to AR ads, and one of the most important has to be the emotional connection it creates for viewers. Rather than relying on banners and images, we can create something engaging and interactive.
Let’s say you’re releasing a new product and you advertise with an AR billboard. Whenever people pass by, all they need to do is turn on their camera and point it towards the billboard. Suddenly, they see your new product in action. Which do you think is more engaging, a simple image on a billboard or an AR ad?
With AR ads, we can encourage purchases by engaging with consumers and creating an emotional bond. People might not remember a simple poster of your brand, but we’re certain they’ll remember an AR experience.
Targeting with AR ads is one of the most valuable advertising techniques. Because of machine learning, algorithms conduct deeper analysis of consumer interests and behavior. Hyperlocal ads suggest products and services to consumers and let them know when they are near a store location. If you want people in the vicinity to visit, these ads are invaluable; it can attract people who didn’t even know your business existed.
The greatest benefit AR can bring to your business is of course, sales. Many brands gain increased ROI from this form of advertising. With the virtual try-on experience, we want consumers to fall in love with our products and feel confident enough to buy them. Because they can do this without leaving the social media platform, it’s now easier than ever for consumers to purchase products from ads.
With a conventional ad, consumers see a picture of a hat that looks appealing. They click through to the product page and have to imagine what the hat would look like on them. With this, there’s always a risk that the hat won’t fit as it should or as the customer imagined. With AR, consumers can try the hat on virtually and click through within seconds to make the purchase if they like what they see.
It’s important to follow the AR trends because of the many benefits we discussed in this guide. All marketers and businesses have an opportunity to use this new marketing technique. Plus, AR is only going to grow. Consumers are embracing the technology as brands are implementing it, and meanwhile providers continue to improve the available features.
Even before the implementation of AR on social media, IKEA announced that it would be adding AR features to its catalog back in 2014. Because of this trend, consumers can now use their cameras to try out certain pieces of furniture in their homes. Since then, Pepsi, Lacoste and other brands have gotten onboard too. As adoption increases, now may be a good time to look into applying this feature in your current marketing strategy.
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