The latest buzzwords in a long line of digital trends, or the next innovation that will change the face of the market? The jury is still out over augmented reality (AR), the technology that superimposes computer generated images over a user’s view of the world.
You’ll be familiar with AR if you’ve ever used animated filters on Snapchat, or used the IKEA app to work out whether that particular model of wardrobe will suit your bedroom. The most prominent and interesting uses of AR have reaped huge benefits for brands – one example is Nintendo’s monster catching game Pokémon Go, which was the most profitable app in 2016, with over 500 million downloads.
By 2020, it’s estimated that there will be one billion AR users around the world. The market is estimated to be worth around four times that of the existing virtual reality industry. AR for shopping is already being used to let customers imagine products in their own living space – and yet the technology is not industry standard yet.
There are several ways AR can be incorporated into your marketing beyond the IKEA use case above, where your products can be projected into a user’s way.
Another way is to bring products to life using AR-enabled adverts. A still, static advert on a page or advertising board could become an animated catalogue or interactive 3D demonstration of a product.
The benefits of offering all of the information about your products to your customers without a need for them to leave the house – or even look away from their smartphone – is priceless.
Though it’s relatively new in the marketing world, AR is already capturing imaginations, particularly when using video. Though you usually only have a few seconds to capture your audience’s attention, AR can extend this window to around 75 seconds thanks to its immersive properties. Therefore, producing AR video content already places you in front of the correct people for a significant period.
It’s also immediately shareable and social-friendly, so perfect for spreading on Twitter.
Finally, AR can give those impulse shoppers a gentle push to turn them into a certain buyer, thanks to the ability to actualise a life with said product.
In order to survive the changes to digital marketing, you must adapt to new trends. If the statistics are anything to go by, AR is here to stay.