While Google Glass didn’t catch on and people aren’t sitting at home with augmented reality goggles on just yet, augmented reality (AR) is making its way into social media. Because of the seamless integration of AR and social media, businesses of all sizes and types can take advantage of this technology.
If the first thing you think of when you hear “augmented reality” is the mobile game Pokemon Go, you might be wondering how it could benefit your business. The truth is, there are a number of ways you can use AR to improve your social media marketing and grow your business, especially when it comes to e-commerce companies.
Here’s how augmented reality can boost social media marketing:
Improve Promotion With Branded Filters
Younger social media users love to play with face filters. Social media platforms like Snapchat offer AR filters that users can apply to transform their faces into animals or add elements like flower crowns or glasses to their images. But face filters aren’t just for fun and games.
Businesses can use branded filters to easily promote their brands on social media. For instance, Taco Bell created a branded Snapchat filter that turned the faces of Snapchat users into — you guessed it — tacos. This weird AR filter was a hit with users and had tons of people sharing taco-fied versions of themselves, all with Taco Bell’s logo in the bottom corner.
‘Try’ Before You Buy
Many consumers still prefer to shop in brick-and-mortar stores because they can feel the product in their hands or try it on to see how it will look on them. But thanks to augmented reality, those brick-and-mortar shoppers may soon do more shopping online. With AR, users can “try on” products while browsing items on social media platforms like Instagram.
As reported by Mashable, Instagram is testing an AR functionality for ads that will let users “try on” products from selected brands. For example, a user will be able to virtually see how a pair of sunglasses or a shade of lipstick would look on them.
Being able to virtually try on a product gives shoppers a better idea of how a product will work for them, which helps remove hesitations about buying. So, combining your social media ads with AR could boost sales for e-commerce businesses. In fact, by 2022, AR-based ads will be pulling in about $13 billion dollars a year, according to Tractica.
Increase Impulse Buys
An impulse buy is an unplanned, spur-of-the-moment decision to purchase a product, and according to a CreditCards.com poll, 80% of young people made an impulse buy online last year. With augmented reality, you can encourage even more shoppers to make impulse purchases and skyrocket your sales.
Augmented reality blurs the line between an imaginary world and reality. For instance, when a consumer sees an expensive sofa in an image of a model living room, they might think that it looks nice but that it’s out of reach for them. But with AR, the sofa can appear in the user’s own environment and reality. This blurring between imaginary and reality can make impulse purchases harder to resist.
Boost Engagement With Immersive Experiences
A static image or a standard video can only capture the attention of users for so long. Augmented reality, on the other hand, provides users with a truly immersive experience that can keep them engaged for longer.
For example, instead of creating a billboard or a regular ad on social media to promote your brand, you can bring it to life with AR. Snapchat did this for their Snap Original show featuring Bhad Bhabie (of “catch me outside” Dr. Phil infamy). They created an AR-enabled billboard that brought Bhad Bhabie to life. In the ad, she interacts with users as if she were talking to them in real life. These types of interactive, immersive experiences on social media could transform the way users engage with advertisements.
As social media platforms improve their AR features, businesses can make augmented reality a key element of their social media marketing strategy. Be sure to keep up with social media AR trends so that you can stay ahead of the competition and grow your business.