The job of marketers is not easy, it is necessary for them to always look for new ideas to promote their brands and of course ideas that work. One such idea that deserves its weight in today's digital marketing is the use of Snapchat and Instagram filters. Are you thinking that it is only for fun and has no relevance in the world of business? The answer is no, because augmented reality is much more than that.
An accessible technology made for professionals
Contrary to popular belief, augmented reality is not a technology that was created for entertainment, far from it! It was born in the facilities of the University of Massachusetts, the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), some 50 years ago. The technology was later adopted by the Air Force and NASA. It was not until 2016, with the arrival of Pokémon Go, that AR finally moved from the purely professional and experimental stage to the more widespread public and entertainment one. It is therefore appropriate to say, that augmented reality is a tool mainly aimed at professionals, until its popularization a few years ago has made people forget this fact.
If previously only high-tech companies had the opportunity to use it, AR is now accessible to all professionals regardless of their specialization thanks to Snapchat and Instagram filters. By 2021, it is estimated that the number of AR users via mobile technology is around 800 million.
While augmented reality can be used in many ways by brands, depending on their areas of specialization, there is one application that everyone agrees on: digital marketing. Indeed, with a number of users around half of the world's population, Facebook is a must if a marketer wants to promote his brand. Statistics speak for themselves, Facebook and its associated social networks (Messenger, WhatsApp...) have more than 3 billion monthly active users, with 1 billion to Instagram's credit.
If the importance of social networks is undeniable in the digital strategy of a brand, what about AR? Precisely, among the marketing actions that are available on these networks, filters have the best ROI. AR filters are very popular, as 8 out of 10 users spend at least one minute on an experience, and 5 of them over two minutes. Furthermore, more than 60% of Instagram users use AR filters, so if we introduce Snapchat and other social networks that use this technology the figure is simply huge.
The power of interaction: engaged users
The importance of augmented reality for a brand doesn't stop at its reach, but mostly at its user engagement. Indeed, a filter is interactive, it asks users to do something in order to see all the possibilities it offers (nodding, smiling, opening the mouth...). The user who is engrossed by the filter loses the notion of time, has fun and becomes more and more interested in the brand. In practice, a person spends 5 times less on a video than on an augmented reality experience. The use of gamification by brand, to maximize this effect, is not uncommon. Indian Super League's Let's Football filter asks users to overcome defenders before scoring goals.
What does this mean in practice? According to statistics, a marketing campaign based on Instagram filters would generate 20% more clicks than other formats. Moreover, the conversion can reach up to a third of the recorded clicks, if the experience is based on a brand's product. This shows how an interactive experience is a purchase vector that should not be neglected.
Answers to all types of objectives
Another advantage of augmented reality for brands is its flexibility. It is important to understand that it can meet all objectives, whatever they may be.
- Brand image: filter creators can create filters that will boost a brand's image. Don't hesitate to show with a filter that your company is bio, ecofriendly or carbon neutral.
- Awareness and conversion: As mentioned above, AR has a large audience and is a great format to communicate and convert prospects.
- Celebration: The recreational aspect of filters makes them a first choice to mark important company events. A filter commemorating an anniversary, a new product, a merging or other event is easily adopted. We can quote FC Bayern Munich who made the FCBChampion2020 filter to celebrate their victory in the Champions League 2020.
- Drive to store: Augmented reality is a very popular technology for a drive to store strategy by offering virtual try-ons. Once the virtual try-on is successful, the user will be less reluctant to buy. It is even advised to propose an option for online shopping, if the company does not want to lose this fleeting desire to buy.
- Training: as augmented reality is neither limited to filters nor to smartphones, some companies prefer a more specialized use for training, support and interventions through AR glasses.
Augmented reality being what it is, an accessible, innovative and flexible technology, it would be a shame for a brand not to embrace the digital transformation it promises. For the moment, it allows a brand to stand out, but this will not remain the case for long. In the very near future, all companies that do not integrate AR in their digital strategies will simply be outdated. So why not take the initiative now?