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Augmented Reality Marketing

AR Marketing: 3 Innovative Campaigns Ideas for Your Business in 2019

2018 has come and gone, but not without leaving an indelible mark. If you thought in 2017 that tech-based marketing would be on its way to hitting a plateau, 2018 showed that nothing could be further from the truth. Brands are still managing to find new and creative ways to ignite social media conversation, on-site conversions and in-store sales.

If you’re a marketer with a serious goal to attract a following in 2019, you can learn from these unique marketing strategies on how to creatively stir the digital world’s curiosity and command its undivided attention.

 

The rewards?

You create awareness, interest, and increased visibility for your business, potentially getting you closer to your target sooner than expected. At the same time, you establish a brand image that is fresh, leading-edge, authoritative yet dynamic, and well-equipped to face the challenges and demands of the modern-day consumer.

Here are 5 of the most intriguing yet exciting ways brands were promoted in 2018 without appearing too salesy but earning attention nonetheless.

 

  1. Social Media Buzz

Advertising on social media, paid or not, may have been easier when Facebook and Twitter had just started onboarding everyone on the planet but ever since then, social media has been saturated with all kinds marketing ploys to grab attention so businesses can eventually sell their products and services.

These days, it takes a special kind of creativity to engage web users and get them involved in a digital campaign from start to finish.

IHOP (The International House of Pancakes) did it well by creating quite a massive stir when they announced on Twitter that they would have a name change – from IHOP to IHOb. According to data from Brandwatch, IHOP generated nearly a 6,500% peak in terms of online mentions in just one day on social media. The campaign also created 297 million impressions within a week. Whether or not people were disappointed with what the mysterious “B” stood for during IHOP’s revelation on its post-campaign – B stood for Burger, by the way – IHOP still won by being the talk of the internet for a full week. Now, that was a long time to generate interest and potentially attract millions of customers to check out the brand.

If you’re introducing a product or service and can craft a good story to engage people on social media, this is a clever way to do it. Just be prepared to sustain the web’s interest with a solid plan to respond to queries, clamor for more info, and public opinion – good or bad.

 

  1. Animation

Animated films do not have to do anything special to tell everyone they’re cutting-edge technology because animation is in itself innovative.

Intuit, a software company, invested in four minutes of animation on film Pixar-style to tell an engaging story about its products and their benefits to the consumer. Intuit used two animated human characters and a robot interlocked in a heartwarming techno-romantic twist that all worked out in the end. The campaign was broadcast in different digital channels including social media and a traditional TV ad that debuted during the Super Bowl.

If you have the budget, you can invest in a 2D animated film that uses a video script or music to tell your story. The film can be embedded and shared through different channels heavily used by your target market such as YouTube, websites, emails, TV and social media.

  1. Experiential Marketing

How do you really engage an audience to participate in your marketing campaign? The answer is simple. You let them experience it.

However, the process may not be as easy. But of course, award-winning advertiser Nike did it.

On their launch of their shoe line Epic React, Nike combined their shareable digital ad campaign with Reactland, an immersive marketing launch. During the live event, customers were given an opportunity to wear the shoes of their choice from the Epic React line and experience the “feeling of wearing the shoes” by becoming the real-life characters in a virtual game (complete with personal avatars) which emulated their running activities on the treadmills set up in front of gigantic digital screens at the venue.

If you want to have a high profile event with a great number of excited participants and you have the budget for it, this can be a good investment. Pair your event with a high profile marketing pre-event campaign on social media and other appropriate channels to ensure a successful turnout.

 

If you’re looking to make a splash in 2019, you should consider exploring these non-traditional advertising strategies and determine which works according to your business goals. You can either combine them with what you already have or you can invest solely on them just to experiment and assess if they work better than your past strategies.

However you choose to spend your marketing budget in 2019, make sure your chosen marketing strategy is aligned with what your consumer needs and what your brand stands for.

 

 

 

Augmented Reality in Digital Marketing

Augmented Reality & Inbound Marketing: How Would That Work?

Due to the advent of smart technology, it seems the world has changed overnight. According to a Pew Research Center study, 95% of Americans today own a cellphone with 77% of those being a smartphone. These numbers continue to climb. And that’s just the United States.

Imagine the billions of cellphone users globally who have access to the vast amounts of information available on the internet at any given time.

 

Marketing Evolves with Technology

Smart technology has changed the landscape of entrepreneurship and consumer marketing.

Today, not only is the modern consumer equipped with information that significantly influences their buying decisions, but they have an appetite for this information more than ever. If your business doesn’t have the means to satisfy what consumers are looking for through the available channels, then you’ve already lost the battle.

As this technology has molded the modern consumer; so should your business form to the needs and buying patterns of this newly evolved market.

 

Inbound Marketing vs Traditional Marketing

Before smart devices and the mighty internet, traditional marketing was the reigning king.

Businesses sent mail, made cold calls, sold door-to-door, set up depots to distribute flyers and pamphlets, put up signs; if they had the budget, they’d utilize traditional media such as TV, radio and print to make noise, attract consumers and make sales.

Traditional marketing might still work depending on your target market or the purpose of your marketing efforts. If you have goals like general awareness and know you can reach your customer base through traditional means, then there’s power in those formats.

In 2019, as many of us are aware, savvy advertisers have resorted to web advertising by dipping into web promotions in the form of sales banners, pop-ups and videos to get their message out.

Today, the power is back in the hands of the consumer. Not everyone is a fan of direct advertising and there’s a reason why people subscribe to caller blocking, ad block software and other means to put a barrier between them and intrusive sales companies.

 

Inbound Can Build Trust

If you want to conquer the world and turn millions, even billions, of potential consumers into buying customers, then you must be more thoughtful and innovative with your marketing strategies.

Be in the business of building trust.

When entering into a relationship with your customer, one of the aims is to build a connection that you can nurture. By giving customers a continuous supply of information that helps them solve their problems, over time you become a trusted resource.

Inbound marketing guru says, “Trust is the business we are all in…The challenge is to become ‘the most trusted voice in your space’ by being the best teachers in your industry.”

Once that trust has solidified, you can promote your message without them shutting you off. Look at  , a marketing agency that put Iceland back on the map with marketing content so interesting, charming and helpful that people sought it out online and anxiously awaited Takk Takk’s latest email.

That’s the power of inbound marketing.

 

Inbound Marketing and its Role in your Marketing Strategy

Inbound marketing is a piece of your marketing strategy that offers value.

It provides consumers content that informs, finds solutions, engages, and entertains – thoughtful pieces that the consumers will voluntarily absorb because they want to. The result is establishing that valuable interactive long-term relationship.

Inbound marketing comes in the form of helpful content such as long-form Search Engine Optimized (SEO) articles, blogs and videos that can be shared through different channels like websites, emails and social media.

Once your business has embraced inbound marketing, you have the potential to be an authority in your subject or niche. Once consumers find value in your content, they will seek you out and become loyal members of your ‘tribe’. And once you’ve earned their loyalty, it will be easier to introduce your products/services to them and even easier to persuade them to act on some of your marketing objectives.

 

Rise Above the Noise with AR

Many marketers have jumped into the inbound marketing arena, as a result, the web has become saturated with all kinds of inbound marketing campaigns from organizations.

For your own business to stand out, you have to level up.

Incorporating augmented reality into your marketing campaigns is a revolutionary way to gain leverage in your industry. AR gives you the ability to be creative, attention-grabbing and cutting edge in getting the word out. As Adweek states, “AR isn’t the new kid on the block anymore, but recently more and more brands have begun to add it to their marketing mix to create unique experiences for their customers and give them new ways to make informed shopping decisions.”

Check out these brands that used the magic of AR and incorporated it into their marketing campaigns to great results.

These brands all have something in common: they told a compelling story about their business and services using the AR platform. Emerging technology can transcend storytelling by breathing new life and fresh energy into how visitors engage with a product or service or just the company itself.

 

Want to learn more about augmented reality and inbound marketing for your organization? Talk to us today.

Augmented reality trends 2019

2019 AR Trends: What the Business Industry Can Expect from Augmented Reality

There’s a special sauce in the tech industry that today’s entrepreneurs can’t seem to get enough of – augmented reality.

The revolutionary digital innovation has taken the world by storm since the introduction of Pokémon Go – the viral mobile game that, in 2016, prompted imaginative gamers to come out of their caves to catch virtual creatures. Augmented reality has continued to evolve into an unprecedented commercial tool that has caught the interest of businesses wanting to capitalize on its newfound advantages.

 

Industry Diversity

Augmented Reality (AR) has been around for a while but did not really flourish to exhibit its full potential until its application was adopted for commercial use particularly through mobile apps and games which exploded two years ago when millions of users installed a Pokémon Go app on their smartphones. According to Sensor Tower, an analytics company, the viral AR game has already earned $1.8 billion in revenue since its launch.

Today, the use of AR has extended to other commercial ventures in various verticals that include retail, education, travel, healthcare, and many others through the innovative prowess of augmented reality developers.

 

How Businesses Utilize AR

AR is a technology that superimposes a computer generated image onto a real setting on a digital screen.  To visualize, imagine yourself watching a video of your friend coming out of a restaurant when all of a sudden Mickey Mouse or your favorite animated character shows up in the same spot. It’s a technology slightly different from virtual reality, perfected by virtual reality developers who are able to transport a VR user to a different world and simulate the experience as if the user is actually there.

AR developers, on the other hand, have become extremely creative as they continue to explore the potential of AR in enhancing the consumer experience. Now, layering virtual images on digital screens alongside real images has helped entrepreneurs in providing extra services that will help solve the problems of their customers.

For instance, a retail customer who wants to shop online can try on virtual clothes without having to go to the clothing store or touch the merchandise by simply installing an AR app on a smart device.

In advertising, businesses are able to tell their stories in more compelling fashion to grow their brands and promote their products to an engaged audience who delights in the digitally enhanced storytelling technique through videos and ads transmittable at the touch of a button.

And the list goes on.

 

AR is Set to Become a Solid Marketing Investment for Businesses

According to the latest Ericsson Mobility Report, there are approximately 3.5 billion cellular connections projected for 2023. With an engaged smartphone-using market, the future of AR is bright and the tech industry is set to stumble upon and explore more innovative breakthroughs.

Here’s a snippet of what we think will happen in 2019.

AR will be tapped by more entrepreneurs who want to introduce innovative solutions to their customers. Furniture store IKEA, for instance, has already provided a virtual solution to their customers who can now experience the look of a room by simulating a virtually designed space before actually buying the store’s products. We expect the same trend among other businesses but they will seek a more useful presentation of the technology through the essential integration of reality with virtual simulations so the experience becomes more natural and therefore, more helpful for customers.

With billions of smartphone users ready to be tapped through AR applications integrated in marketing campaigns, we expect more businesses and entrepreneurs to invest in the AR technology to reach more customers, expand their market, enhance their brand, and skyrocket their profit over time.

Difference Between AR and VR

Augmented Reality (AR) vs. Virtual Reality (VR)

While the real world can be amazing in its own right, some people want more; to be heroes or vigilantes, to save the princess or rule a kingdom. They seek an adventure in a completely virtual reality, where one can slay demons, cast spells, and craft entire worlds (from our own imaginations, or by recreating some of our favourites). Others want to add adventure to the real world so they bridge the real and virtual by turning to augmented reality, where the world is our own but it’s filled with digital characters, quests, and monsters to catch.

We’ve reached a point where AR and VR technologies are becoming part of our daily lives and are available to anyone with a smartphone. Here at Sherpa Marketing we want to help educate you on what augmented and virtual reality are, and what they could mean to you.

 

SO WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AUGMENTED AND VIRTUAL REALITY?

We’ve touched on this in Sherpa Marketing’s Reality Bridge series on YouTube, but the core of what separates augmented reality and virtual reality is the world that surrounds you. In a VR experience, you’re immersing yourself into a fully digital environment. The ground, sky, NPCs (non-playable characters), and objects around you have all been created digitally to give you an entirely new world to explore and interact with.

With an AR experience, what you’re seeing and interacting with is real. The camera in your device is taking in a video feed of your environment and displaying it on-screen. Depending on what type of augmented reality is being implemented, the device is the displaying digital content woven into the real world, enabling users to interact with reality in a whole new way.

 

HOW CAN I USE AR AND VR?

Virtual reality is mostly used in gaming with a full headset like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive so that users are fully immersed. If you’re into video games, virtual reality is a great new trend that enhances interactive storytelling. Not just for gaming, VR is also being used to give people a chance to experience things they may not normally be able to, like virtual tours of historic sites, museums, and places not easily accessible to everyone.

Augmented reality, while also being used for games, has the opportunity to change the way we experience the real world. It’s allowing us to do things like show walking directions through a camera feed to see exactly where to turn and to stop at your destination (even having a digital helper to show you the way), or showing a marker over a friend’s head at a concert or festival so you can more easily locate each other. It’s even assisting with education by giving students the ability to digitally dis- and re-assemble complex objects like car engines, explore human and animal anatomy, and explore the solar system, all from inside of a classroom without the need for any equipment other than a tablet or smartphone.

Google Maps AR Experience

 

WHAT’S THE CATCH…?

There are a few caveats to virtual reality. Blocking the real world from sight is good for immersion but can lead to some safety issues (for the user and for those around them), although higher-end systems have sensors that can raise a display in the virtual world to warn a user of nearby obstacles and walls. There’s also the need for extra peripherals to control the content in virtual reality, which add to the cost of VR setups. PlayStation VR can cost upwards of $500 just for the headset and controllers, and larger systems including spatial sensors can be over $1000. This is making entry into VR more than most consumers are willing to pay for, and therefore more than many industries are willing to commit to.

Augmented reality, on the other hand, is being pushed by Google and Apple to natively operate on smartphones and devices that most people either own or have access to. This is great for consumers, as the entry into AR usage is easier than ever… however it raises an issue from the commercial side; quantity over quality. There are many apps being deployed that use augmented reality in ways that don’t have a real benefit to the user beyond the initial “wow” factor. While there isn’t anything inherently wrong with that, AR has the opportunity to revolutionize how we interact with the real world and we need to be cautious to not overexpose users and companies to a point where the technology is taken for granted.

 

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If Augmented and Virtual Reality is something you think can benefit you or your business but aren’t sure how, or just don’t have the technical expertise yourself, drop us a line! Sherpa Marketing has teams of marketing and technical experts that can advise and execute on your XR ideas!