Most brands understand the importance of social media in their marketing strategy. For years, brands both large and small have used social media to increase their reach and engage directly with their customer base, but as more brands expand their social media footprint, innovation is a necessity to stay ahead of the pack. Enter augmented reality.
The use of augmented reality in the social media sphere is expected to increase exponentially through 2022 as 25% of major brands are interested in leveraging the technology in their social media strategies. AR is quickly becoming one of the most interesting fields with technology companies scrambling to incorporate more opportunities to enhance reality.
So, What is Augmented Reality?
Augmented reality, for all intents and purposes, is a technology that allows companies to enhance the real-life experience of their users, bridging the gap between the digital and physical world. Unlike virtual reality, augmented reality doesn’t aim to replace reality, but rather enhance it so the user can more readily interact with brands in their normal daily lives.
Augmented reality is currently being used by a variety of brands to make it easier for their consumers to visualize products on themselves. One example is Converse, which offers an app that allows users to see a shoe on their own foot via the user’s phone camera.
Another is Ikea, which released an augmented reality catalog that enables users to place furniture into their personal space virtually so they can get a better understanding of how the piece will fit in a real-life room. The app even sizes the furniture to the surroundings, so users get a true-to-size representation.
Shiseido, a makeup brand, has developed a mirror that uses a picture of a customer to feature new makeup products. Shiseido’s AR goal is to allow users to see how products will look on without forcing them to purchase the item first.
The Development of AR on Social
The above examples leverage augmented reality with dedicated apps or in-store hardware, but AR also has a place directly on social platforms. AR Snapchat filters quickly come to mind when considering AR and social. Users can alter their appearance or manipulate photos with geo-specific filters and tags.
Facebook has also made strides in this sphere, having developed an AR studio. Its studio is self-serve and allows developers to create augmented reality campaigns with tools developed and maintained by Facebook. These tools leverage smartphone cameras to ease interaction and engagement with published content.
With these tools (and more being developed every day) brands can create intoxicating content that opens a world of possibility to users and obviously places brands in an authoritative position in users’ lives.
Is Augmented Reality the Future of Social Media Marketing?
Although precisely targeted picture and video ads and engaging content are still driving huge results for social-savvy businesses, augmented reality should be seen as an important part of the near future for social media marketing.
Because AR is relatively new, especially in how it relates to social media, there’s a huge opportunity for brands to get creative and find new opportunities to share their message and build business. AR can increase engagement, build brand loyalty, and drive leads.
Although still a developing field, AR promises huge results to proactive adopters. With a constantly more seamless connection between the digital and physical, companies can capitalize on amazing technology to advance their unique mission and objectives.
Are you interested in learning more about augmented reality and how to integrate it into an existing social media strategy? Contact us today to discuss your marketing needs and learn more about cutting-edge technologies.
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