Augmented Reality: Eight AR Marketing Applications For Brands In 2019 – Forbes

With a growing number of companies like Facebook developing augmented reality (AR) glasses, there's a good chance AR marketing will be one of 2019's hottest trends. When a global marketing leader like Facebook goes all-in on augmented reality, you know brand builders are likely to follow their lead.

Personally and through my work in this space, I've seen some amazing use cases for AR in terms of training applications that have been developed on the Microsoft Hololens to help aid frontline workers with design and manufacturing.

But how do you use augmented reality to market your business, when you're likely unfamiliar with this new technology? What do you need to know about AR marketing to make it work for your company?

If you're a brand builder who wants to put the power of augmented reality glasses and AR technology to work for your business, bear the following crucial tips in mind.

1. AR-Enabled Video

Augmented reality marketing can significantly increase your company's dwell time at live events and on your website. Consider uploading AR-enabled videos to your website and watching in real-time as potential customers interact with your creations. Forget video marketing -- as AR-enabled videos take hold, standard videos are likely to look pass compared to augmented reality videos.

When developing AR videos for web content, look for platforms that offer a fully integrated web API to allow you to take any 3D model and put it on the web, such as Vuforia or Turbosquid.

2. Wearable Technology

Wearable technology is likely to be a hot tool for those interested in using augmented reality marketing to grow their brands. Combine tools like smartwatches and voice-enabled wearables to take your AR marketing to the next level. Imagine a marketing thought leader like Gary Vaynerchuk giving a keynote speech while wearing a voice-activated wearable and augmented reality glasses to broadcast his speech in real-time. Brands may be able to tap into this content through web APIs, as mentioned above.

3. Experiential Marketing

Experiential marketing will flourish thanks to augmented reality glasses and AR technology. If you want to develop a solid relationship with your target customers, understand that offering a superior brand experience is the key to creating long-term relationships with your audience.

For example, my company recently worked with a whiskey brand to develop an AR experience. We prompted users to point their cameras on the whiskey bottle's label, which in turn showcased a history of the whiskey brand and the various types of quality available for consumers.

4. Mixed-Media Marketing

Big-name brands such as Starbucks, Volvo and Walmart have already begun experimenting with augmented reality marketing. Industry thought leaders are realizing mixed reality marketing, virtual reality marketing and AR-enabled customer outreach is where the advertising and marketing industry is heading. Thanks to tools like Apple's ARKit, even small business owners can follow the lead of industry thought leaders and put augmented reality marketing to work for their brands.

Brands looking to experiment with immersive technology can download ARKit and convert their marketing assets to 3D models, then import them into XCode in order to showcase 3D assets in real-time.

5. AR Interfaces

Augmented reality can be used in a variety of ways to increase brand awareness and drive sales. For example, include an AR interface next to your point of sale terminal, or AR interfaces that allow customers to try products prior to purchasing. Brands are using AR technology for everything from AR-enabled online content to AR-enabled interfaces at their trade shows and conferences.

Simply having a tablet in retail locations loaded up with 3D assets of your brand's products can allow you to showcase digital assets even when they aren't physically available.

6. AR Thought Leadership

The AR sector is expected to explode as more companies realize the possible uses for this technology. Sectors like manufacturing are already using augmented reality technology to design, build and test products. The sooner brand marketers realize the numerous ways they can use augmented reality technology to connect with their audiences, the sooner they can build reputations as marketing thought leaders.

Some of the best ways brands can get the word out about their immersive technology initiatives are to showcase them live in person at trade shows. This gives your prospective customers a first-hand perspective and engages them in a unique and meaningful way. This works especially well for products that are large and cumbersome and would be too expensive to travel with in order to showcase.

7. AR-Enabled Ads

Augmented reality technology can be used for everything from product testing to advertising. Expect to see a growing number of advertising networks and social media platforms begin to offer AR-enabled ads. When you consider potential customers being able to interact with your AR-enabled ads on social networks like Facebook, you begin to see the potential of augmented reality as a customer acquisition tool.

Including a call to action and a touchpoint or hyperlink within your AR application will give customers a direct link to sales channels for those engagements.

8. A Growing Trend Across Industries

A growing number of industries are expected to capitalize on augmented reality marketing. From the fashion and beauty sector to automotive and travel industries, augmented reality marketing is likely to be a hot trend across numerous verticals in the coming years. Understanding how marketing and advertising are changing will allow savvy brand builders to maximize their customer outreach efforts; this is especially true in the technology sector where brands are constantly looking to innovate.

If you are a business builder intrigued by the move toward augmented reality, it is imperative you start developing an augmented reality marketing strategy now. Creating a detailed plan of action to capitalize on AR technology can help you develop a sizable lead over your competitors while building your reputation as an industry thought leader at the same time.

Will your company be integrating augmented reality into your overall marketing strategy in 2019?

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Augmented Reality: Eight AR Marketing Applications For Brands In 2019 - Forbes

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