Google Introduces AR Search; Are You Searchable?

Fun story: I got to pet a tiger in my living room today. Well, it may have been only through Google’s AR search. Still, it was wildly joyful!

It turns out tigers are quite adorable creatures. If you don’t believe me, you can give it a shot yourself. In case you own a smartphone with updated ARCore or ARKit, search Google for “tiger”. Right away, you’ll see a stunning 3D model of a tiger. After touching it, you’ll have the option to “meet a life-sized tiger up close”. And that’s where the fun starts.

What you will have experienced is the current version of Google’s AR Search. Last month, Google introduced the world to AR search at I/O’19. Till now, the feature is limited to animal AR models. However, Google promises to allow support for a much higher variety of AR models very soon.

Still, AR search has got the digital marketing world abuzz and for good reason.

For one, everybody knows how much Google is into AR. For the love of Nick Fury, they even recruited Earth’s Mightiest Heroes to promote AR to the world.

Credit: The Verge

Meanwhile, everybody also knows that Google controls one of the most sought-after infinity stones: SEO. Hence, as Google starts a wider rollout of AR search, SEO algorithms are surely to prioritize AR-compatible pages. In part, this will grant marketers a new mighty weapon to win the SEO wars.

Interested now, aren’t you? Then, we reach the important part; the how to be searchable by AR search part. Assuming you’re still not sure what AR is or got it mixed up with another reality-based tech, here’s AR in a nutshell. By definition, AR is overlaying virtual objects over a user’s view of the real world in real time.

In other more casual words, AR is like putting your smartphone on LSD.

I mean, that wouldn’t be illegal, right? Your phone can then show you all sorts of fun content through its camera. Except none of this content is actually in your real environment. So it’s the perfect merge of the virtual and physical worlds.

To get ready for AR search, you’ll need to prepare 3D models for your AR experiences. After that, according to Google, you’ll need to write “3 lines of code” to make your AR content searchable. And it’s really as simple as that pretty much to get on the AR search train. But, if you’re not fond of coding, stick around till the end of this blog post for a lovely surprise.

Now, you know what it takes to capitalize on Google’s AR search. How about some inspiration for the types of content that you can turn AR searchable. Here are 5 types of content which fit perfectly with AR search:

1- Products

So far, showcasing products in AR has done wonders for brands. For example, revolutionary Michael Kors became the inaugural brand to run an AR ad on Facebook. Last National Sunglasses Day, Facebook users received ads for the Lon Aviators which said: “tap on me to try”.

In quick fashion, tapping initiated users’ front cameras and allowed them to try the aviators on themselves. Further, users were able to move their face around freely and could easily switch between different colors.

Credit: CNet

While the ad is fairly simple, it amassed astounding success. Apart from captivating Facebook users, the ad was the subject of over 30 pieces by major press outlets. Of these, names like the NYTimes, Forbes, and AdWeek praised Kors’ brilliant use of AR. In addition, the ad won multiple awards, including a Shorty Award and Campaign of the Year by Mobile Marketer.

Realistically, we can expect the same kind of impact when Google makes products searchable via AR search.

The only difference, though, would be that the products wouldn’t be in ad form. Essentially, pages with AR products would get all the aforementioned perks without paying a penny via AR search.

Of course, the feature wouldn’t be limited to sunglasses only. All sorts of apparel, as well as cosmetics and furniture, would shine in AR search. Besides, AR is a great medium for how-to content. Thus, AR search could be your way of showing your customers how to install complex products.

2- Brand Mascots

For years and years, marketers have deployed the use of mascots to promote their brands. Literally, this ageless strategy gives their brands faces which customers can identify and remember.

Plus, mascots do an impeccable job of catching kids’ attention. And targeting kids in marketing leaves Mommy and Daddy no choice but to pay for products.

Today, as kids become more entangled in the digital world, showcasing mascots through AR search would be smart. For instance, say a young boy googles McDonald’s. He would then get a result that says “meet Ronald McDonald up close”.

Then, the boy could play with him and have all sorts of fun. Ultimately, this experience would build a strong bond between the boy and McDonald’s.

Credit: Know Your Meme

3- Infographics

Without a doubt, infographics are among the most valuable content marketing tools today. Being visually attractive and concise on the text side, infographics are easily digestible by our brains and memorable.

As a result, infographics usually have solid potential for going viral. Moreover, well-researched and well-presented infographics can help brands establish thought leadership.

But do you know what infographics could really use? Some extra interactivity. And AR can be just the right tech for that job. Imagine an infographic that launches in the readers’ real environment.

To access info, they’d have to interact with it, move it around, and chase it all over the place. That way the experience itself becomes more engaging and promotes learning. Basically, it gives readers a chance to channel their inner Tony Stark.

As infographics become searchable via AR search, everybody will be Tony Stark. And that’s never a bad thing!

Iron Man GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

4- Short Movies

In an era where ads are absolutely everywhere, brands always search for ways to be more humane. Chiefly, they try to put their brand stories front and center. That includes having brand stories as the first part customers see on websites.

But many brands utilize this tactic now that it may not be as resourceful anymore. Hence, brands should look for more innovative ways to tell their stories. On that note, an AR short movie telling a brand story would be nothing short of epic. Plus, eventually, it would be searchable on Google AR search.

Live Shot of AR Movie Snowbird. Credit: Stanford News

5- Maps

Along with its announcement of AR search, Google announced incoming support for arrow-based AR maps. This means that users could google certain shops and immediately get a map to help them reach their destination.

Also, such a feature would come in handy in exceptionally large shopping malls. Throughout the trip, brands could make use of the navigation experience to promote products or give rewards.

Credit: The Verge

Overall, Google AR integration is promising a lot for the future of technology, search and customer experience. The best thing about it is that it will all be on the web, without having users download an app to see their search results in 3D models or AR, something we’ve been advocating for at Augmania for years now and we are glad to see the huge search engine also opting for the WebAR approach to provide more value to users. Now is the time for brands to implement AR and revolutionize their content, else they’ll be missing out on many opportunities and mostly losing the SEO battle.

Remember the aforementioned lovely surprise? You can now create the AR content of your dreams without having to write a single line of code and publish it easily on the web! Check out Augmania for more information!