Instagram is one of the biggest social media platforms globally, reaching 1 billion monthly active users in 2018. From then, Instagram has become extremely popular with businesses, and an estimated 71% of US businesses claim to use Instagram for their business outreach. The study also revealed that 7 out of 10 hashtags on Instagram are branded, and marketers are looking for additional avenues to increase engagement and connect with their audiences.
In August 2019, Instagram Stories expanded its platform to offer customizable augmented reality (AR) filters. This got a good response from everyday users and brands realized this offered a new opportunity to connect more intimately with its customers.
According to Instagram, one-third of the most viewed Stories on the platform come from businesses and more than 200 million users visit at least one business account each day. While this is great news for brands, it also means there will be stiff competition on the platform and brands need to invent new mechanisms to stand out and stay connected with their audience.
This is where creating customized AR filters will play a significant role and if used effectively can offer various benefits for the brand. Let’s take a look at how brands have leveraged AR filters and how businesses can use it for their marketing strategy:
Why create your original filters?
While selfie is one of the most used features in any smartphone nowadays, Instagram Stories has also captured the user’s attention with its amazing features and filters. User engagement on stories is high and businesses that target the millennial and younger population are leveraging it big time. Users under the age of 25 spend more than 32 minutes a day on Instagram, and one in five organic stories from businesses gets a direct message. Include some playful filters with that and it can help your brand stand out. Brands that have already started using the AR filters experience increased brand awareness among its users and helps create a brand image that sticks with its users.
Another reason for using Instagram AR filters for your brand marketing is the reach it can generate. When an Instagram user shares their selfie using your filters, it reaches their followers which can generate high engagement.
Success in action: How brands have used Instagram filters for promotion?
So, are you ready to use the AR filter for creating their own filters? Facebook claims there is no need to know how to code to get started. One can easily navigate the tool and use it to create customized AR filters that can then be used by the brand’s followers. Some of the brands that have used the Instagram AR filter to their advantage are:
Influencer marketing is one of the most powerful ways for a brand to reach its target audience, and you can use AR filters to your advantage here like Puma did. Puma recently launched the #PUMANSOFSG campaign in Singapore, where it collaborated with six Instagram influencers to promote the brand. The hashtag went viral in minutes and essentially helped Puma mascots connect with users beyond their followers.
Coca Cola Poland
Coca-Cola Poland used its AR filter to superimpose its brand mascot, the polar bear on top of real people. This use of the AR filter to create market awareness about its brand helped Coca Cola to reach millions of users who enjoyed using the filter.
In social media, timing plays a key role and brands that up to their game during the holiday season are in to win big time. Ray-Ban used this strategy to launch a Raindeerized filter around Christmas time, and this playful way to interact with the brand and try on a pair of sunglasses before buying became an instant hit with its customers.
Adidas decided to promote its merchandise with vintage filters that made your photos get the retro-look, and the trend soon caught up on social media. The Adidas Originals Retro AR filter added a nostalgic look to user videos, and it was also tuned to add Adidas logos when it detected “eyebrow raised”. This shareable AR filter instantly drove attention to its merchandize and drove insane conversions.
Image Credits: https://later.com/blog/instagram-stories-ar-filters/
So if you are using Instagram marketing for your business requirements, it is time to think of creating an AR filter to promote your brand or products to reach a wider audience. This fun feature has been already used by businesses effectively and can add a new dimension to your marketing strategy.
However, remember the objective is to be authentic and real always. Make sure you put some thought into it and make it fun and interactive while also focusing on your brand objective.