AR: a goldmine for content marketers

Few stores do anything with augmented reality anymore. A missed opportunity. AR can ensure a positive brand attitude and brand experience, more interaction with the customer and it helps the customer visualize products. So get started with AR in your content marketing.

More and more consumers are interested in using augmented reality when shopping online. Research among 1000 Dutch people by software comparison site GetApp shows that 42% of consumers are interested in using AR when shopping online.

What benefits augmented reality offers you as a content marketer:

1. A positive and memorable brand experience

AR offers the possibility to create surprising and emotionally powerful experiences (pdf). This surprise factor can ensure that your brand is remembered and gets an innovative positive charge.

An example of this is Snapchat’s Lensstudio. The company is a pioneer in using AR technology for marketing purposes. In 2018, it launched “shoppable AR,” where interactive AR lenses appeared in the app sponsored by a brand. For example, you could look at Adidas shoes as if you were in the store and play a game where Snickers came down. Snapchat is seen as young, fresh, modern and innovative and this is mainly due to their AR.

sponsored Snapchat lenses

2. More customer interaction

With an AR application you can build a close and intimate relationship with the customer, according to research into how AR is changing mobile marketing and consumer-brand relationships. The app is used by consumers from the safety of their own home, creating an intimate, familiar and casual atmosphere. This allows consumers to interact with the brand in a way that feels personal. This is called an ‘outside-in’ effect.

This effect is accompanied by an ‘inside-out’ effect of the content offered in the application. The AR applications focus more on the wishes of the user, so that the brand is more in the background and it is experienced less as advertising. This reduces the distance between company and consumer and decreases resistance to the content.

The intratuin app opened on a phone in which someone places a plant in a room by means of Augmented Reality.

See from home which plant is best with the Intratuin app

3. Better product visualization and more visual attention

You can improve the product experience, especially by deploying mobile AR applications. Think of virtually testing make-up, trying on clothes, testing whether that sofa fits with the other furniture or taking a look at that nice house that is for sale.

This improved visualization leads to higher levels of visual attention and engagement in the brain, it turns out from the Mindshare research (pdf). Cognitive activity in experiencing AR content was much higher than in non-AR content. AR content almost doubled (1.9 times) the amount of visual attention. Moreover, this was not only the case when compared to non-AR related tasks. AR created more focus on the content than any other medium studied by Mindshare.

The maybelline try on app that shows a model that is half made with AR and half not.

Maybelline’s online make-up try-on service

Effective AR: what to keep in mind as a content marketer

So there are plenty of reasons to implement AR in content marketing, but there are counterparts who find it ineffective. This could be a result of incorrect implementation. In order to experience the positive effects, you have to apply it correctly.

From the investigation ‘Nostalgia beats the wow-effect’ shows that inciting the consumer to behave is not about overwhelming the consumer with what is possible in technology. So don’t focus on a so-called ‘wow effect’, it’s about nostalgia.

Through the playful aspect of AR, childhood memories are activated in consumers and as a result they are stimulated to action. So when applying AR, make sure that the focus is not on the ‘wow effect’ of the technology, but on the nostalgic associations that the consumer will make. Try to link these associations to the brand, for example use recognizable slogans, jingles and images and a house style.

Someone is holding an iPad with the Lego playground app open.  By means of AR, the Lego set up that can be seen in the background on the iPad is brought to life.

Lego playgrounds: Nostalgia from interacting with Legos in AR?

IKEA Place: product visualization perfectly executed

One company that has already succeeded in applying AR effectively is IKEA. It is one of the first companies to develop an AR application, namely IKEA Place. In the app you can place the entire IKEA range with AR in your home. You can move, rotate and compare the different color options created in the 3D models of the furniture. This helps to visualize the products and thereby helps the consumer to make the right furniture choice.

The IKEA Place app has been downloaded and used very often. Micheal Valdsgaard (leader of the digital transformation team at Inter Ikea) said in 2018 that the app then was downloaded more than 2 million times and had been used multiple times by around 1 million people. Probably because it was a surprising and new concept. So the app has reached a lot of consumers, creating more interaction between IKEA and the consumers.

The application also contains associations that could lead to the desired effect of nostalgia. For example, the house style of IKEA is clearly present, for example the blue and yellow colors and being addressed with ‘Hej’. IKEA also has furniture in its range that has been around for years, which could generate nostalgia among consumers. Moreover, the focus of the application is not on the ‘wow effect’, but on helping the customer, which in turn can lead to more interaction.

Promising future for content marketers

Augmented reality is no longer a distant future and offers a lot of possibilities if used in the right way. It can ensure a positive brand attitude and brand experience, more interaction with the customer and it helps the customer visualize products. Moreover, AR creates a lot of visual attention for the content. In this article you will find other inspiring uses of AR.

In short, AR is a very promising medium that every content marketer should make use of. Do you know any other examples?

Source: Frankwatching by

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