The Role of Augmented Reality (AR) in Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

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The Role of Augmented Reality (AR) in Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

If you’re looking for ways to take your social media strategy to the next level, look no further than augmented reality (AR). Quirky, novel, and fascinating, AR is more than a fancy gimmick – it allows you to present your products in new and immersive ways, with the potential to drive sales and brand engagement. 

What’s augmented reality?  

AR is a form of technology that superimposes content (i.e. moving images) onto physical products and environments following input from a mobile device, phone cameras, or wearable devices like AR smart glasses. It makes use of inputs like graphics, video, sound, and GPS overlays in digital content that responds in to movement and other real-time changes in the physical environment.

The mobile game Pokemon Go makes use of AR to bring its characters into app users’ physical surroundings. 

AR shopping, also called augmented shopping, allows consumers to use AR technology to make purchases. The most popular products purchased AR augmented shopping may differ depending on whether the consumer is shopping online or in-store. In both instances, however, clothing was the leading product followed by accessories. 

A short history of augmented reality

AR dates back to 1901 with the term first appearing in L.Frank Baum’s illustrated novel The Master Key. Computer scientist Ivan Sutherland and his students laid some groundwork for AR in 1968 with the creation of a head-mounted display (HMD) system. 

The AR technology we know today wasn’t developed until 1990 with Boeing researchers Thomas “Tom” Caudell and David Mizell designed tech that could help the company’s workers visualise aircraft systems and assemble wires for a 777 jetliner.

The benefits of AR for marketing 

The main reason for incorporating AR into your social media strategy has to do with the novelty of this technology and Australian consumers’ interest in using it to shop.  

  • 17% of Australian shoppers have used AR to shop online (source: GetApp)
  • 49% say they’re interested in using it to shop online or in-store (source: GetApp)
  • 11% have used it in stores (source: GetApp)
  • 51% think AR can make online and in-store shopping experiences safer (source: GetApp)
  • 72% of consumers purchased items they had not planned on purchasing because of AR (source: Smart Insights)
  • 68% spend more time on products with AR (source: Smart Insights)
  • 61% prefer retailers that use AR (source: Smart Insights)
  • 55% say it makes shopping fun (source: Interactions Consumer Experience Marketing)
  • 40% will pay more for a product if they can first experience it through AR (source: Interactions Consumer Experience Marketing)

There are other compelling reasons to use AR, including: 

AR makes product visualisation easier. The main appeal of AR is that it helps consumers visualise products in their proper context. For example, AR can help shoppers see how a certain paint colour might look on their walls or how a couch might fit into a room full of décor. It also helps them try on products like clothes, makeup, and accessories before deciding to buy. 

A GetApp survey confirms this – 65% of consumers saying that it makes their ability to visualise a specific product in the right place much easier during online shopping.

It holds people’s attention for much longer. According to The Drum, AR can hold consumers’ attention for 85 seconds. It can also improve click-through rates (CTR) to purchase by 33% and increase interaction rates by 20%. This suggests that internet users are likely to pay attention to and engage with AR experiences regardless of campaign quality because of its sheer novelty. 

However, as AR becomes more ubiquitous, businesses will have to find innovative ways to use the technology.

It helps you generate buzz around your brand. AR can be used to boost indirect sales and enhance brand status. It works by enabling you to add a fun, novel, and unexpected element to your digital campaigns. If done right, this potentially create significant buzz for the brand, product, or business. A well-designed AR brand experience can get consumers talking and help them associate your brand with fun and excitement. 

It boosts engagement.  AR encourages brand engagement by providing consumers with novel and immersive experiences that can keep them interested for longer than a static image or text. AR gives brand followers the opportunity to interact with products and ads at various stages of the buyer’s journey. You can incorporate AR into the presale, point of purchase, and post-sale phases. It can also be used for gamification and branded apps to engage consumers.   

How to incorporate AR into brand experiences

Create unique and engaging content

AR lets you create and shape content that is unique to your brand. Incorporate AR content posts and ads into your existing content strategies and social media plans to make the user experience more compelling and multifaceted. 

Create sales presentation material 

AR also has its place in your marketing and sales strategies, enabling you to give consumers unique and memorable experiences with a single tap or click on mobile. That makes it a fantastic tool for driving sales and boosting brand value.

AR lets you upgrade the sales experience and create powerful messages to persuade consumers to tap the “Buy Now” button. When executed properly, AR can lead to increased sales and other business opportunities.

Offer AR tours of your physical stores

Create an immersive AR experience by offering a tour of your physical store. This is a great way of piquing consumers’ interest in your physical location and potentially increasing foot traffic. If you’ve just opened a new location, an AR tour might help drum up interest in your store. AR tours can also help consumers recreate the in-store experience, encouraging them to make purchases from the comfort and safety of their homes.   

Add a digital component to branded materials

AR lets you upgrade branded materials like product packaging, business cards, and brochures when you a virtual element. For example, consumers can scan print material with mobile to access a range of AR features that provide more details on your business and how to get in touch with you. 

Work with a digital agency today

Contevo is passionate about using the latest in tech for digital marketing. If you’re interested in AR and other novel approaches to social media marketing, give us a call. We’d be happy to discuss ideas and make recommendations. Our experts have over 15 years’ experience in digital marketing. 

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