Its been almost a year since Instagram opened Spark AR Studio to independent creators. Since mid-2019 the platform has been flooded with AR creative seeing developers, artists and influencers creating their personalised unique effects for Instagram Stories.
The results have been astonishing!!
In case you’ve been living under a rock, Spark AR Studio is an augmented reality platform for Mac & Windows that allows creators to design AR effects for mobile cameras. Think of it like Photoshop or Sketch, but for augmented reality.
Until 12 months ago, if you wanted to submit your own custom AR effects on Instagram Stories, you had to be accepted to the closed beta program… but now anyone can create and submit effects!
One of the biggest trends to emerge from this is branded AR effects.
You might have heard Augmented Reality heralded as the future of social media and advertising, and it’s no joke.
Despite global pandemics, racial wars for social justice and the imminent fear of economic recession; Sid and Jamie cofounders of Sydney based digital marketing agency ‘Defiant Digital’ swear that ‘always-on’ experiential branding is the marketing frontier of the decade.
Augmented Reality has been on the lips of many, and on the cusp of mainstream appeal for some time. Now, as AR technology becomes omnipresent and consumers demand ‘always-on’ marketing opportunities, Defiant Digital’s Head of Creative Sidney Pierucci argues that AR is about to radically change the way businesses advertise online. It’s an understatement to say advertising has changed over the years.
Advertising has changed from advertising a product to advertising an experience. Instagram AR is the first social media step that allows consumers to personalise and experience brands in a way that’s all-encompassing. As advertisers, we’ve got three seconds to grab someone’s attention before they get distracted; and Instagram AR is enabling us to do that with never-seen-before creative.
Instagram is particularly well-suited to branded content and there are many reasons why. 80% of users follow a business on Instagram, which indicates that Instagram users in general are quite eager to follow brands they care about. Furthermore, Instagram Stories have proven to be highly effective ways for businesses to promote themselves, with branded content accounting for 1 out of 3 of the most viewed Stories.
But as much as it is about the platform, in 2020 content is still KING.
Augmented Reality is a very effective form of social engagement and advertising because it’s inherently highly shareable. As long as you build a compelling effect, you are likely to get shares simply because of users like it. AR content also has average dwell times of 75 seconds, four times longer than video, making it an incredibly engaging form of content.
As owners of a leading SEO agency, we are always looking for new opportunities to serve our roster of global and local clients Jamie says. We make it our daily mission to always be at the forefront of the latest trends in the marketing world. We obsessively invest in research and development to constantly innovate and keep our clients ahead of the curve. After all, in an industry that is constantly adapting and evolving, it’s not enough to stay up to date when you are running the best SEO Company - you have to be anticipating and preparing for social media shifts before they happen.
So, what can AR Instagram filters really do for businesses?
ATTRACT MORE FOLLOWERS
Even with the introduction of the brand new Effect Gallery, the quickest way to access AR effects is still through the camera carousel. And the easiest way to access a user’s effects is by following them. As long as you create a compelling AR effect, you can expect to increase your social following considerably.
CREATE BRAND RECALL
AR effects are by nature shareable forms of content. This makes AR an incredibly powerful form of see-and-try, marketing even without media spend behind it. As long as it’s good AR content, it will be shared, creating a snowball effect which is no longer just word-of-mouth.
With a number of industries and sectors keen to explore its uses and benefits, the uptake within the marketing sector, in particular, is forecasted to take off.
A good example of this is the AR Product filter Defiant Digital created for kaftan queen Camilla or their mystic creatures collection. Using their mobile device consumers were able to try on headpieces and experience the new collection patters first hand. This created a closer relationship between consumers and Camilla while boosting website traffic and social media presence.
As these types of activations become more mainstream it is natural for brands to invest in a technology that allows consumers to experience their products no matter where they are via their mobile device. Web AR as a whole (and not just Instagram) will shape the future of commerce as consumers increasingly demand ‘always-on’ marketing experiences they can interact with.
DRIVE MORE SALES
the projections for revenues from social lenses are more than considerable. The engaging nature of AR content plays a crucial role in these projections too.
You may already have seen a few examples of how AR is helping increase sales. Kylie Jenner was one of the first to pioneer Instagram AR in 2018 when she launched an effect which virtually allowed customers to try on her lipstick on Instagram. This proved to be an extremely effective way to bring her product range to the attention of not only her followers but the world.
Augmented Reality is an interactive experience where the real-world environment is enhanced by computer-generated images. AR Filters are no different, they alter what the camera sees, either on a selfie or regular mode. These can be as simple as adding freckles to your cheeks, to as complex as transporting you to the summit of Mount Everest.
There is unlimited potential for businesses to use Instagram AR as part of their marketing strategy and the filters can be designed to capitalise on this shareability… But just like all marketing, the creative is always going to be the variable to attracting eye-balls and ‘grabbing attention’.
As a final thought, Sid added:
I believe that there is unprecedented potential in fashion and product-based industries to benefit from the viral aspects of Instagram AR effects, and we are currently developing several concepts in this area. We are also super excited to see how other agencies and brands will use this creative technology to meet the needs of consumers across a range of different niches and verticals.
As we have seen of late the world around us can change overnight, and with change comes the opportunity to adapt to consumer needs and the environment they live in. Expect a new world of AR engagement and advertising in the not-too-distant future.
About Defiant Digital
Defiant Digital is a rapidly-growing digital marketing agency, focusing on increasing brand awareness. With a team of experts, the aim is to fulfil the requirements of small-to-medium brands who comprehend that marketing is the backbone of returns.
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