In recent years, augmented reality (AR) has changed social media marketing as we know it. AR marketing seamlessly blends the digital world with the physical realm, elevating the ways businesses connect with customers.
But what is augmented reality? This technology focuses on delivering interactive and immersive experiences. Social media marketing experts can now overlay digital objects, filters and effects onto their real-world surroundings, allowing for captivating storytelling and increased engagement.
From Instagram’s delightful AR stickers to Snapchat’s iconic face filters, these features have breathed life into social media platforms. In turn, businesses now have the opportunity to enhance their content and provide more interactive user experiences.
In this article, we’ll define and explore:
• What Augmented Reality Is
• The Difference Between Augmented and Virtual Reality
• AR Marketing in Social Media
• Groundbreaking AR Social Media Applications
• How AR Elevates Your Marketing Efforts
What Is Augmented Reality?
Augmented reality is an immersive experience that merges the real world and digital content, such as images, videos or 3D objects. AR is typically experienced through devices like headsets, tablets, smart glasses and smartphones.
Building an AR experience involves the following steps:
1. Install the AR application on your smartphone or tablet.
2. Choose an image that will serve as your marker or surface over which you want to overlay digital content.
3. Overlay images, videos and 3D objects on images of your physical surroundings. Most AR applications already include thousands of digital content, but some allow users to create their own assets.
4. With the help of a social media marketing expert, you can publish and share the experience via embedded links, URLs and QR codes.
Augmented reality technology offers remarkable flexibility. Users can pinch to zoom in on the content and rotate to view the immersive experience from different angles. They can also control it through touch and voice commands.
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality: What’s the Difference?
Despite being powerful technologies, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) produce highly different experiences. Whereas virtual reality creates an entirely simulated environment, augmented reality enhances both the virtual and real world.
Augmented reality technology can be accessed with a smartphone, tablet or laptop, whereas VR requires a headset. In AR, users can control their presence in the real world, while in VR, the experience is controlled by a system.
|Enhances both virtual and real world
|100% simulated environment
|Accessible via a smartphone, tablet and laptop
|Requires a VR headset
|Users can control their experience
|Experience is controlled by a system
Fusing Social Media and Augmented Reality Technology
Augmented reality marketing in social media goes beyond mere entertainment. It has revolutionized how brands grow their online community and spark meaningful interactions. By leveraging AR technology, a social media specialist can create fresh and personalized content.
Additionally, AR in social media has not only transformed marketing but has also provided consumers with interactive and seamless shopping experiences.
Top AR Marketing Examples in Social Media
Over the years, various brands and social media experts have experimented with AR content. Discover how these businesses leveraged augmented reality technology in their marketing strategy.
Snapchat’s City Painter
In October 2020, Snapchat turned London into an AR experiment when it launched City Painter. This AR tool allows users to virtually spray paint and decorate pre-created murals above the street’s shops. City Painter boasts a shared augmented reality experience, meaning others see any changes someone makes in real-time using the tool.
Sephora’s Augmented Reality Shopping
Multinational beauty retailer Sephora launched an augmented reality feature called Virtual Artist. It lets users upload a selfie to virtually try on various products, from lipsticks to eye makeup. The feature is powered by advanced technology that allows users to view themselves moving in real-time.
Pinterest’s AR Try-On
Pinterest introduced “AR Try-On” to help users make their augmented reality shopping experience more enjoyable. By leveraging AR technology, users can see how different shades and styles are suitable for them.
Instagram’s AR Stickers and Filters
Instagram’s AR stickers can easily be added to posts and stories. From animated characters to interactive effects, their range of stickers allows users to create their own content. Because of its interactive quality, users spend more time consuming the AR experience than traditional static content.
Domino’s AR Pizza Filter
Domino’s launched its Instagram AR pizza filter campaign to promote its products and allow users to share fun content. The filter includes the company’s logo to improve brand recall and engagement.
TikTok’s AR Effects
TikTok features a wide range of AR effects that users can overlay on their videos. From interactive 3D stickers to face filters and background replacement, TikTok’s AR effects allow audiences to create unique and entertaining photos and videos.
The Benefits of Augmented Reality in Marketing
AR turns prospects from mere observers into active participants.
Here are a few reasons why an AR-powered interactive experience can help up your social media marketing game:
Augmented reality in marketing enables brands to grab their customers’ attention quickly. By overlaying digital elements onto reality, AR allows users to try virtual demos and interact with products. This makes the overall eCommerce shopping experience smoother and more memorable, leading to higher chances of conversion.
What’s great about augmented reality marketing is the endless customization it offers. A social media expert can create more tailored and interactive content that targets specific users, helping improve brand recall and customer satisfaction.
Better Product Visualization
Augmented reality in marketing helps customers visualize products without physically seeing or touching them. Augmented reality shopping technology enables virtual fittings and trials for products like cosmetics, eyewear, clothing and even furniture. This enables consumers to make more informed purchasing decisions.
Whether it’s trying on shoes and clothes online or virtually placing furniture in your home, AR helps reduce buyer’s remorse, attracts repeat purchases and drives greater profit.
Amid the sea of digital content, immersive experiences stand out because of their ability to evoke strong emotional responses, such as wonder, joy, fear and nostalgia. Content that stimulates multiple senses in a realistic setting can quickly grab attention and foster empathy and trust.
Creativity and Self-Expression
Augmented reality and virtual reality empower users to be active creators instead of just passive shoppers. From creating digital art to designing a virtual world, AR experiences encourage self-expression and creativity among users.
AR allows social media marketing experts to create memorable advertising campaigns. By incorporating AR elements, such as stickers, 3D models and animations into your content, you can easily grab your audience’s attention and encourage social sharing.
Implementing AR in marketing helps brands differentiate themselves from the competition. It generates buzz and attracts new customers. With the help of a social media specialist, you can determine how to properly use this innovative technology to convey your unique brand message.
Leverage Augmented Reality Marketing With Thrive’s Social Media Marketing Service
From fun AR stickers to virtual product try-ons, AR technology continues to evolve and become more present on social media platforms. Integrating AR and social media opens up endless possibilities for customer interactions.
Whether you’re thinking of investing in metaverse or launching augmented reality shopping content, we can help you define augmented reality while planning, deploying and tracking campaigns that take your business to new heights.
Our social media marketing services are suitable for small businesses, franchises and enterprises. We also offer brand management solutions to help you create a consistent voice, convey the right message and foster lifelong customers.
Book a consultation now with a social media expert. We’ll help you set up your social media channels, publish compelling content and boost your follower growth.