The world of visual media is in a constant state of development. A medium that was once restricted to printed imagery, it is now revelling in a digital age dominated by video. It is predicted that by 2022, 82% of all internet traffic will be in the form of video. So, if visual media is in a constant state of development, what could possibly be next in line to the throne? The answer more than likely lies in the form of augmented reality.
Augmented reality is an interactive experience that combines the real world with computer-generated imagery. Sound like something from Back to the Future? In truth, that isn’t far from the reality. Augmented reality can do anything from help you digitally sample makeup to bringing your child’s colouring book to life. It is still in its infant stages as a visual media tool, but companies are already using it as a means of making their brand stand out and adding an extra weapon to their marketing armoury. Nothing quite portrays you as an industry trailblazer like having one foot in the future.
Despite only emerging recently as a marketing tool, the benefits of utilising AR technology are already evident. Research has shown that AR can increase interaction rates by 20% and improve click rates by up to 33%. As well as this, it has been shown to capture viewers’ attentions for over 85 seconds. The magnitude of this statistic becomes more apparent when you consider the rate at which internet users flick through video content on social media etc. Holding your audience’s attention for such a period of time opens up a wide range of possibilities. No longer will businesses have to condense information with the same intricate efficiency.
However, if you want to appear as a front-runner amongst fellow companies as we stride towards this exciting new era of technology, then now is the time to invest in AR. Almost 80% of professionals believe that it will become a mainstream from of media in the next 4 years. We ourselves have also deemed it to be one of the most notable developments of video in social media in 2021. So, to help you dive headfirst into the world of augmented reality, we have outlined the best ways to use this new form of media to highlight your brand.
Here are our tips on how to incorporate AR video into your brand’s marketing strategy.
Product demonstration and visualisation
This is arguably the most popular way to use AR in this day and age. By downloading an app or visiting a website, visitors can look through their devices to witness their prospective purchases in action. Not sure a piece of clothing suits you? Try it on virtually. Like the look of a car but want to know about the specifics? Have a specialised app break its features down using visual aids.
Having the ability to learn more about how a product looks and operates without having to manually inspect it is a luxury that consumers never realised that they wanted. But they are beginning to. Given the option, 61% of shoppers would prefer retailers that offer AR technology over those that don’t. The appeal of this technology lies in the unknown. The notion that this futuristic tech is available now offers enticement beyond anything that basic video content can offer.
It has been shown to aid in customer conversion too. A 2016 survey in the USA revealed that 72% of shoppers purchased items that they had no previous intention of buying, because they were drawn in by the allure of augmented reality. This kind of drawing power will make AR an enviable tool for any that fail to make use of it. It is for this reason that large brands are already beginning to help demonstrate and visualise their products using AR.
One prime example is the app released by IKEA – IKEA Place. The app is simple in design and function, showing customers how the company’s furniture would fit in their home. With the notion of remedying the issue of ill-fitting furniture in the home, the app gained great attention when it was first released. Whilst the genuine profitability of IKEA Place is somewhat intangible, it was met with a great excitement that signified the popularity of using such advanced tech.
Creating exciting brand experiences
Because AR remains such a novelty in the current marketing climate, it has often been used as a means of creating hype around a brand. Nothing whips up excitement in consumers like something new and unexplored. And augmented reality is most definitely a new phenomenon.
AR can let you summarise your brand and its values in the most dramatic fashion. Since you are combining the real world with the digital, the only limit is your imagination. Want it to appear as though Aliens have arrived on earth? No problem. Or perhaps have your audience go on safari in their own home? Sure, why not? When using augmented reality, your content strategy can become more fantastical than ever (budget-dependant of course). With this creative freedom comes endless angles from which to approach your new campaigns.
Instead of following the trend and using an “About Us” or “Our Story” page on your website, why not tell your brand story using something gripping and attention-grabbing? AR allows you to broaden the horizons of your brand’s storytelling techniques. This is what US bourbon distillers Jim Beam did by using their “Message in a Bottle” AR experience. After aiming their phone at the bottle, the customer would be greeted with a series of animations that lead through the company’s history. This is a prime example of AR truly immersing the audience into the world of your business.
Some brands have taken this idea to the next level, setting up a physical arena in which their digital branding comes to life. One example of this is Rekorder Land, a campaign by Swedish cider maker Rekorderlig. Set up in London’s Southbank, Rekorder Land was a cider bar complete with an immersive AR experience that in essence allowed customers to stand amongst the flavours that they were tasting. This is an immensely enchanting and creative use of AR to promote a new product, seamlessly combining product and experience. This is a prime example of a video format that can drive new business leads.
Augmented reality has the wonderful ability to take the user wherever you want to take them. This could be anywhere from a shop floor to the top of Mount Everest. The world of AR is your virtual oyster. By taking your audience wherever you wish them to be, your brand experience becomes more immersive than ever. Every element of their brand experience is under your control. Thanks to this capability, AR is becoming increasingly popular as a platform from which to host tours.
Virtual tours became increasingly popular during the COVID-19 pandemic. With everyone – including the video production industry – having to adapt to a life with more restrictions, many saw this sort of pastime as an appealing outlet. This format of video media allows companies to show the audience what would otherwise have been out of bounds.
Augmenting branding materials
This is where brands can truly merge the real world with the digital. By using a physical item to trigger an augmented reality response from a device, you are bringing the brand experience to your audience. Rather than enticing consumers to come to you with a digital advertisement or equivalent, you are coming to them.
This can be anything from a QR code on a poster to a means of sprucing up your personal business cards. AR video content can bring a dynamic element to static text or imagery. What was once mundane can become an explosion of creative content. How you choose to utilise the technology is up to you. Take renowned Swedish distillers Absolut for a prime example. For part of their Absolut Truths campaign, the company included a tag on each of their bottles, which would take the buyer on a tour of Åhus, the town where the vodka is distilled.
This simple idea encouraged customer engagement and informed about Absolut’s origins through an innovative storytelling format. It shows how simple it can be for AR to literally bring your physical marketing assets to life (almost).
Presenting complex information
Video has a brilliant talent for breaking down complex information into more manageable chunks. This is one of the prime reasons for its frequent use in fields like the tech and health industries. Audiences find it far easier to consume information when they have visual aids to guide them, particularly in formats like educational films. This is why AR’s ability to transport a viewer into a different world can prove valuable when teaching new information.
Video has an array of possible uses in the tech industry, but what better way to establish your brand amongst the elite than by using technology that most companies haven’t yet considered. Using augmented reality simultaneously grabs attention and gives off an impression of technological advancement.
But AR also goes beyond a means of showing off that you are a tech-savvy company. Some healthcare bodies are looking into the ways in which doctors can use augmented reality during surgery on patients. This real-world application of the technology is a signifier of the future importance that it will hold in society in the near future.
Above are just a handful of examples of how AR has been used by other companies. But the reality is that there are no boundaries when it comes to making use of augmented reality. If you can imagine new ways of using this futuristic technology then go for it. For example, some companies have starting incorporating AR video into their customer service functionality. This inclusion has been shown to enhance both customer self-service efficiency and customer satisfaction.
Augmented reality is also becomingly increasingly popular as a mechanism for sending the interested party to a landing page. AMC Cinemas for example created an app that would send customers to a landing page, complete with video clips and ticket purchase options, when they scanned a movie poster in their cinemas. Streamlining the customer journey in this manner could see an acceleration in the merging of AR and functions such as shoppable videos on social media.
Still in the process of gradually being drip fed into society, AR remains a massively unexplored media format. Due to this much of this alternative video format’s true capability is sure to remain uncovered for now. We have seen some incredible applications of the technology, leading to customer immersion experiences that previously existed in sci-fi movies alone.
Augmented reality video content can be used at every stage of the customer journey funnel, from accruing new leads to making that all-important final conversion. For the time being, its versatility knows no bounds. And this only allows it to be even more of a draw for potential consumers.
We could be experiencing a foresight into a world more heavily reliant on technology, but not in a bad way. It is an exciting new avenue for the world of visual media to be heading down.
If you want to learn more about the world of AR and how we can help guide you through it, drop us a line.