Augmented Reality Marketing Strategy
Augmented reality has been embraced by the marketing world, and its customers.
It is a uniquely strange experience, when dog ears or a shining halo are super imposed over your face for the first time on Snapchat or Facebook Messenger. But while these applications of augmented reality were recently a novelty on social media chat platforms, the technology is evolving into a lucrative and impactful tool for marketers.
What is augmented reality?
AR is an interactive experience that overlays computer-generated information onto the real world, such as placing virtual objects on real life surfaces to give the user or users an edited perception of reality. The use of the real world within the AR is what makes it feel so real and immersive.
Unlike virtual reality, which completely removes the user from their reality and shows them another, AR is characterised by its use of the natural environment. Another advantage that AR holds over virtual reality, is that it can be experienced by multiple people who are sharing the overlay, rather than virtual reality which limits shared interaction.
AR can be either constructive or destructive: embellishing or disguising the real world. For both, one of the most impactful elements of AR is the extent to which users can interact with it. This interaction often involves alterations to visual and auditory information but can also alter what the user smells or touches.
How to use augmented reality in marketing
AR is a great tool for experiential marketing. 3D interactive AR experiences are more engaging than traditional 2D alternatives. This can add entirely new dimension to your marketing campaigns.
One of the initial uses of AR in marketing is to create a buzz around your brand by using AR in unexpected ways and gaining PR coverage through people sharing their experience. A great example of this is Pepsi’s unbelievable bus shelter which many people filmed, photographed and shared as they were surprised by AR tigers, aliens and towering robots.
AR also plays a key role in improving overall customer experience. Augmented ‘try before you buy’ services are a great example of this. Brands such as Gucci, Ikea, Specsavers and Ray Ban use it for trying on glasses or testing if a sofa will fit into your house. These applications improve customer satisfaction and save companies’ time and money.
Best uses of augmented reality in marketing
It can be easy to focus on the ‘wow’ factor of AR. But that must be followed by a functional, optimised message that will change the customer’s actions and lead to further brand engagement. It is important that the AR has an authentic role in communicating with customers and does not simply become an unnecessary step to website content.
AR versions of products can be interactive and allow customers to view details and gain further information. By providing customers a way to conveniently interact with a product online, AR generates a 40% chance of purchase. But it also provides excellent post-sale care and information.
In the B2B arena, it allows complex products to be experienced in a simpler and interactive way. The increased ease of communication to customers helps you highlight the value of your product more efficiently.
Guaranteeing ROI on AR requires an integrated marketing strategy that delivers the campaign and brand messaging clearly and memorably. AR is a tool that can deliver a ‘wow’ factor. But you need to ensure that your content strategy allows you to utilise any momentum and engagement generated.
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