How to Incorporate AR Into Your Marketing Strategy
Even if you’ve never heard the term Augmented Reality (or AR), you’d probably know it if you saw it. In fact, you’ve probably seen it many times without knowing there’s a word for it. In short, Augmented Reality is a technology that blends virtual objects with the real world. For example, the digital lines on the field during televised football games combine a real football game with digital lines that aren’t really there.
This kind of technology is no longer as advanced and out of reach as it might seem. In fact, most smartphones today can add filters like this to images captured by their cameras. AR has gone mainstream, and as such, the ability to leverage it as part of your marketing strategy is an authentic thing.
While such technology might seem like a toy with a limited shelf life, many companies have found new and innovative ways to use it to their advantage, suck people in, and maximize their potential as a marketing tool.
Let’s look at some of the most effective examples of ways you can incorporate AR into your own marketing plan.
Become interactive with gamification.
Pokemon Go was one of the most successful viral marketing campaigns ever to use AR. The game revolved around players using the cameras on their phones to “hunt” Pokemon which, once tracked down, were overlaid on the “real world” of what the camera was looking at.
Pokemon Go was hugely popular and showed that AR can create a fun and interactive experience instead of being limited to static enhancements of what’s on screen. Putting real people into virtual environments with virtual characters is looking to be one of the waves of the future of gaming.
Use lenses to virtualize product demonstrations.
Snapchat filters have become a fun and popular way for people to alter their appearance in unique (and sometimes downright bizarre) ways. However, they have the potential to do far more than take pictures of yourself with dog ears and noses to send your friends, because they can allow people to “sample” products like cosmetics, clothes, glasses, and more without having to try them out for real physically.
Help customers visualize how your products would fit into their world.
Ever seen a picture of a piece of furniture and had a pretty good idea of how it would look in your house, but weren’t sure if it would look right, or whether it would be too big or small for your needs? Well, IKEA, Target, and other retailers are using AR to help customers do just that, using it to literally show you what something will look like in your real world to help you decide whether to buy or not.
Take storytelling to the next level.
Imagine being immersed in an ongoing story that you can actually be within and move around? Well, you too can have the holodeck from Star Trek in AR form! Take part in interactive stories, walk through your favorite movies, and more with the power of AR.
AR may seem like a fun toy, but we just saw several examples of the possibilities this technology possesses. You don’t have to budget a bunch of money for cost of an Android app or the cost of an iOS app. Instead, as a marketer, focus on the above points to determine how AR can become a crucial part of your future marketing strategy.