Do you remember how the Pokemon-go fever took the world by the storm in 2016?
You’d spot not only teenagers but game- addict adults as well, walking down the streets with their gaze fixed on the phone, almost as if they were on a hunt for big treasure. This game integrates augmented reality features into its user experience. Unlike typical video games that feature animated, 2D graphics for its design, Pokemon Go offers a 3 dimensional experience. To put it simply, the game screen works like a camera screen with the game characters super imposed on it.
Pokemon Go is just an example of the augmented reality features integrated into a digital platform. The scope and opportunity that augmented reality provides is vast and unprecedented.
What is Augmented Reality?
Augmented reality is a technology that incorporates digital elements into the actual line of sight. As the name suggests, augmented reality is an effort towards enhancing reality with the help of digitally generated images and features.
Often considered similar to virtual reality, augmented reality does not replace the reality itself with a digital or virtual space. Instead, augmented reality lets you transform the current environment to provide a more stimulated and enhanced experience.
AR & VR in social media are examples of technological advances that are evolving the customer experience to the next level. Augmented reality, in particular, has the potential to take the social media game for your brand, to the next level.
How does augmented reality work?
Augmented reality is based on the technology of integrating digital features such as maps, icons, emoticons, filters, location tags etc. into the screen frames. It is by the means of your phone cameras and sensors such as the GPS, that an application or social media platform will display different digital components right on your screen.
With social media becoming a more and more competitive space for brands, every new trend is seen as a potential game changer. Augmented reality is an opportunity to provide customers with an interactive,out-of-the-box experience.
Many brands like Timberland and Sephora are perfect examples of augmented reality incorporated into marketing strategies. In fact, Facebook made an announcement on its plans to incorporate the features of augmented reality on their platform. It has already integrated masks and filters on Facebook messenger. Customers can use the messenger to try out the different products offered by Sephora. Nike and Kia motors are next in line to offer AR features to their potential customers.
When it comes to AR in social media, you can’t not mention Snapchat. This social media platform was one of the first ones to offer AR features of filters. Instagram followed suit and now offers a range of filters that can be added as stories or pictures.
But is augmented reality only about filters?
There is a lot that you can do with augmented reality features once these are incorporated into the different social media platforms. There is a huge user base for all the social media platforms and the competition for better brand awareness is a big challenge. Augmented reality, in this context, can give an edge to your social media campaigns.
What does the future of augmented reality hold for social media marketing?
Augmented reality is a relatively new technology that many brands are incorporating into their websites or apps. Soon Facebook and Instagram will also be providing full fledged AR features to different brands.
Going back to the example of Sephora, the brand has already activated its AR features for enhancing user experience on Facebook. A customer can try different products offered by Sephora on Facebook messenger and know if a particular product suits them or not. The customer may make the decision then and there itself, because of this feature.
Interactive, Unique Content
Augmented reality is one of the top social media trends to watch out for in 2019. Augmented reality will offer the opportunity to create content unique to your brand. You will have to shape your content strategies to incorporate AR content posts and advertisements into your social media plan. You can use AR to make the user experience more interactive and multifaceted.
Once the AR features have been put in place,half your job is done. You must take note of the fact that your audience today is composed mostly of tech savvy millennials and those from the gen-Z. Unique and novel content based on latest technological trends is what moves your audience.
Let’s say you have a home decor and style business. You can float Ads on different social media platforms with AR features. Let your customers try the different products that you offer and make a decision on how well the products go with your home settings. By offering this feature, you will evolve the customer experience, taking it to the next level.
There is enormous scope for creating unique, compelling content with augmented reality features. It is in your hands to develop the best possible content strategies that will provide consumers with a pleasant experience.
As a result, augmented reality will pave the way for novel content with technologically evolved features.
Speedy purchasing decisions
The augmented reality features allow customers to try out different products ahead of making the purchase. With augmented reality, customers can be relieved of the hassles of making a trip to the store and trying out different products physically. Nor do customers have to go through the pains of sending back products they ordered online, because they are not what they imagined them to be.
Augmented reality takes informed decision to another level by allowing the customers to try out the products right then and there. If a customer tries out a shirt with the AR features and likes it, he will not take too long before making the purchase.
Augmented reality, in fact, will help increase conversions through impulsive buying. Most customers will show an impulsive buying behaviour when a need is sparked right at the moment when they are viewing products.
In this sense, augmented reality has the potential to speed up purchasing decisions.
Augmented reality has the potential to change the face of marketing on different social media platforms. It will take the consumer experience to a different level altogether.
As a brand, it is necessary to keep up with all the new trends and changes in social media. Augmented reality is likely to take over the social media platforms.
Augmented reality is indeed a potential future of social media marketing. Make sure to keep your social media game up to the mark to make the most of this feature.
How will you put AR into practice for promoting your brand?