4 Ways Marketers Are Currently Using AR

It’s no secret that Augmented Reality reigns supreme now. While it may not be officially king yet, it sure is a promising prince. Imminently, AR’s true coronation as king will occur as we see its integration into a wider variety of fields. However, that doesn’t mean that this prince of a technology hasn’t already been revolutionizing a group of massive industries. Don’t believe me? Ask marketers. In short, marketers have been doing nothing but reaping rewards ever since they started using AR.

As part of their jobs, marketers onboard and abandon trends as fast as Tesla. Regularly tweaking their marketing strategies is essential to get and maintain a hold of prospects. Yet, there’s one common item between checklists of most competent marketing teams. It reads “Invest more in AR”. Actually, it’s more like “INVEST MORE IN AR!!!”.

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The reasons behind that are plenty. Perhaps, the most significant one for marketers (or their bosses) is that using AR produces tremendous results. One study has found out that AR experiences lead to almost double the level of attention from customers. Moreover, mirroring this stat is another showing that 50% of customers are more likely to buy from brands using AR.

What brings AR even closer to marketer’s hearts is its versatility. Quite simply, AR is for everyone. It doesn’t discriminate between campaigns of low and hefty budgets. Duly, using AR in marketing can serve different purposes. So long as you set on showcasing the essence of your brand, AR will deliver. Now, let’s take a look at some of the ways marketers are using AR.

1- To let audiences consume content in new interactive ways

Typically, print, social media posts, and blog posts make up the content most brands deploy in their content strategies. Less often, brands invest more and incorporate some video content too. That’s about it. Although all these forms of content could produce great results, they are all consumed passively. In other words, none of them offers interactivity.

Today’s customers aren’t content anymore merely sitting there and observing even if your content is of value to them. Instead, they want to be a part of the fun. And they deserve it! More and more brands are becoming aware of this and are acting on it. Actually, some have already found the perfect solution; AR! Well, that’s because AR simply is the epitome of interactive content.

Even the biggest of names understand the value using Augmented Reality adds to their content. Among these names is the New York Times. One of the most popular newspapers in history, the NY Times started publishing augmented articles last year. These features come with incredible AR models that give them souls. Features about everything from sports to tragedies have received the AR treatment to much success.

NY Times AR features
Credit: New York Times

More brands are leveraging AR interactivity…

NY Times’ AR articles are a new incarnation of an extant form of content; the good old newspapers. However, AR has led to the invention of new forms of content as well. Riddle me this! Everybody loves using them daily, but not all actually know that they are types of AR content. The answer is filters!

Yes, these adorable pieces of fun that almost define this current generation are nothing but AR content. Plenty of brands have been on a roll using AR in the form of filters. Speaking of rolls, Taco Bell absolutely hit the jackpot with its Taco filter for Cinco De Mayo. The filter was up on Snapchat for one day only but managed to snatch an astounding 224 million views. I’ll let the filter speak for itself:

Credit: Taco Bell

Marketers have also been using AR to rejuvenate printables as marketing tools. There’s a ton of creative ways to augment printables that we published a blog post for our favorite AR printables. Check it out here!

2- To facilitate ‘try before you buy’

Online stores are dominating brick-and-mortar in pretty much all areas except for one. Returns. A 2018 study found out that half of apparel online stores saw an increase in returns. For years, it seemed as if online stores would continue to suffer from returns. That is unless a miracle takes place that lets online shoppers try items before they buy them.

Well, that miracle is AR. Not only does AR affect returns, but it also encourages more customers to start shopping online. Of course, IKEA is the most famous for the use of this kind of Augmented Reality. The Swedish mogul allows customers to place items at their homes in AR through the IKEA app.

Credit: IKEA

More impressively, Sephora helps customers experiment with all kinds of makeup using the Sephora Visual Artist app. Even better, users can try all the makeup they want without having to remove it afterward. Thus, that’s a major advantage for shoppers who choose the app over the physical stores. Furthermore, another advantage is that now the app lets users see the effects of long-term use of Sephora skincare products. That’s truly an example of AR creating miracles.

Credit: Sephora

3- To catch eyes during events

Attending events and representing your brand is key to business success. Usually, though, brands simply being present at events isn’t enough. They need to make an impression in order to make attendance worth the while. Above all, marketers know they can rely on Augmented Reality to stand out and score big during events.

You’ll find AR activities in trade shows, product launches, pop culture conventions, and all other types of events. Just a few days ago, Game of Thrones captivated its fans using AR at SXSW. Promoting the slogan of season 8, Bleed for the Throne, GoT creators had huge banners for each character. As fans scanned banners, blood splattered everywhere in a horrific sign of things to come during the final season. The hype is real, ladies and lads.

4- To tell stories

Why storytelling is a crucial part of marketing strategies is a long interesting topic that needs its own blog post. Until then, let’s simplify that to storytelling being crucial for generating emotions and building bonds between brands and consumers. Recently, marketers have been experimenting with AR as a storytelling canvas. Surely, the potential is there for telling both real and fictional brand stories.

Credit: 19 Crimes

For fictional ones, Australian wine brand 19 crimes have done an excellent job using AR storytelling. The wine bottles showcase 19 fictional criminals. Scanning the bottles made the criminals speak and tell their stories humorously. The well-received campaign was reason 19 crimes won a wine brand of the year award.

While these may still be humble beginnings for AR storytelling, that won’t be the case for long. Some experts claim AR will be as disruptive as TV for the storytelling world. What’s more, we’ve already seen short movies that are fully augmented.

Well, this is what I have in mind so far about the uses of AR by marketers, but there’s more yet to come in our next blog post where I’ll be sharing more awesome use cases.

What is your favorite AR use case so far and if you are a marketer how are you using this disruptive technology? Leave us a comment and let us know!