In 2023, innovation will rule the day. In the news and on social media, the terms "artificial intelligence," "machine learning," "augmented reality," and "virtual reality" are dominating the headlines. These new technologies are dramatically simplifying both our personal and professional lives.
Everyone is now discussing generative AI and how it is changing content and design. The future of technology, however, extends beyond AI. If you haven't already, you should consider how augmented reality (AR) might benefit your content marketing strategy.
Augmented reality: what is it?
AR refers to the process of adding additional sights, sounds, or sensory input to what you can already see via software or a device. This is distinct from virtual reality (VR), which, like the metaverse or other VR games, offers a whole new and immersive environment in which to engage. Imagine AR as the frosting on a cupcake. The cupcake remains unchanged; it simply becomes more... festive.
The game Pokemon Go is among the first and best-known uses of augmented reality. It resembles an IRL (in real life) scavenger hunt in which you search your community for various Pokemon using the geolocation and camera on your smartphone. Ever tried an Instagram or TikTok filter? You have firsthand experience with augmented reality.
Why is Augmented Reality Better?
AR is a real person with a real life. In a 2019 Nielsen IQ worldwide study, consumers named augmented and virtual reality as the top technologies they intend to use in their everyday lives intend to use in their everyday lives. The majority of respondents—50%—were open to using it to guide their product decisions.
For corporations and their marketing departments, this is fantastic news. Consumers are not just open to embracing augmented reality in their decision-making, but by fusing it with consumer data, AI, product suggestions, offers, content, and other elements, AR expands the possibility for customization.
During the pandemic lockdown, AR made progress in brick-and-mortar establishments. Since customers couldn't enter shops, businesses needed a means to reach them, and augmented reality was the perfect solution.
And in our post-pandemic culture, augmented reality isn't going away, just like remote work, Zoom meetings, and flexible hours. It's a revolutionary technology that will alter the way consumers connect with companies and shop. The Harvard Business Review predicted in 2017 that every company would need an AR strategy. AR enables businesses to contact customers outside of the conventional digital environment and integrate themselves into their everyday lives.
Three Ways to Utilize Augmented Reality in Business and Marketing
Smart marketers are trying to get on board with augmented reality's resounding success in order to benefit from this cutting-edge technology tool. It may increase sales, facilitate consumer decision-making, and create excitement about your product or service.
Keep AR's three primary purposes in mind as you evaluate if it is a suitable match for your company: entertainment, education, and assessment.
1. Test before you purchase.
Customers can "experience" a product before purchasing it via augmented reality, all without leaving the comfort of their homes. Companies that use augmented reality (AR) may enable buyers to view how a product might function in their homes or even on them, reducing the risk of purchase as more consumers shift to online purchases (or at least, online research).
By lowering the number of things abandoned in shopping carts, lowering the number of returns, and closing the sale with consumers who would have been on the fence about making a purchase without this option, providing prospects with this degree of virtual access also decreases the risk for companies.
Before adding a sofa or a light to your shopping basket, Amazon, Wayfair, and Ikea employ augmented reality to show you how it will appear in your space. Customers may trial cosmetics before buying them thanks to augmented reality opportunities developed by beauty companies like Sephora, Ulta, and L'Oreal (both in-store and online).
Gucci, one of the first brands to provide virtual sneaker fittings, now offers "digital-only" versions for purchase. They only appear as a filter on the photos or videos you capture to post on social media. To utilise your Roblox character, you may also unlock your sneakers. What a collaboration!
Let's examine the larger purchases that customers are beginning to make online. To let test drivers race each other virtually in its sports car, Acura developed an augmented reality game. In addition, SmartTek developed an augmented reality experience that allows prospective homebuyers to tour full-scale homes without leaving the comfort of their present residence. This is the pinnacle of "try it before you buy it."
2. Instructions for use
In the medical and educational domains, augmented reality is now popular since it gives learning a whole new dimension. For students in and out of the classroom, it may help make abstract concepts more apparent and make subject matter more engaging. Even museums are adopting augmented reality to "resurrect" extinct creatures.
Companies may employ augmented reality to enhance training and education for both their team members and consumers. Develop augmented reality (AR) opportunities that instruct clients on how to utilise your items or even provide them with extra details on the things they are thinking about purchasing.
In 2015, Hyundai became the first carmaker to use an AR owner's manual. This teaches owners how to maintain, repair, and use features.While using a smartphone or tablet to scan different parts of their car, 3D pictures or films will appear (both under the hood and inside the cabin).
Live videostreams and computer-generated graphics combined with augmented reality are revolutionising customer service centers. Agents may now demonstrate how to repair clients' devices rather than trying to instruct them.
3. preserving entertainment
The entertainment industry is where augmented reality is most often used. AR may be used by brands to create buzz around the introduction of a new product or service. As was already noted, gaming is where AR first became widely used. A scavenger hunt is only one kind of entertainment, however. Making a fun social media filter to advertise the introduction of your new product might be all it takes to include amusing augmented reality. It might also be a challenging and engrossing experience.
Prior seasons of Stranger Things have been promoted by Netflix using AR filters and advertisements. So to get people talking about season 4, the media business developed an in-person augmented reality experience. The first weekend saw about 287 million hours of the season being watched, despite the fact that the whole experience was clunky. The experiences were conducted in NYC, London, and San Francisco.
Pepsi, a company known for its creative marketing initiatives, deployed augmented reality (AR) at a London bus stop to liven up a typically dull wait for the next bus. As soon as the news spread, you can be sure that people were waiting to utilise this bus stop.
Use augmented reality in marketing without fear.
The use of augmented reality in marketing is still in its infancy, and there are still many issues to be resolved as it develops, particularly in relation to discussions of consumer privacy and data collection. Yet, you shouldn't let it discourage you from considering how AR may fit into your content marketing plan.
Augmented reality in marketing has the power to liven up routine tasks and enhance personalization and connections with your clients, but it still has to be purposeful and provide results.