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7 Big Benefits of AR Filters for Brands

August 31, 2021

Everyday, Augmented Reality is ever-growing as a popular marketing method for brands. As technology improves, so does the array of interactive experiences placing virtual objects into real-world environments. 

One of the most beneficial and rewarding AR experiences for both brands and customers is the AR filter. 

The AR filter has evolved a lot in the last few years, at first gaining credibility on social media app Snapchat. In selfie mode, Snapchat’s AR would scale fun digital elements to the user’s face. Think cat ears and dog noses and giant eyes.

Then there was an AR game changer in 2019. Facebook and Instagram launched Spark AR. Spark AR enables anyone, including brands and individuals, to create their own AR filter for free. These filters can then be made available to their over one billion users.

With Spark AR, brands can only share their AR experiences on social media. But, with Web AR, brands can share their AR creations on nearly any kind of medium or platform. We have another article on Spark AR vs Web AR if you wish to learn more. 

7 Benefits of AR Filters for Brands

The benefits of AR filters for brands are enormous. Here are 7 of the biggest ones.

1 - AR Filters are an Affordable Investment

A brand’s marketing strategy can be an expensive proposition. Budgets for ad buys, video production, audio production, and animation can really add up.

With AR filters, there is far less financial risk in devoting resources toward their creation. AR filters tend to be simpler projects than other AR experiences, like AR portals.They also capitalize heavily on users sharing, rather than brands having to pay a lot to get an ad out there.

Their accessibility also gives smaller brands the same opportunities and benefits as bigger brands.

2 - Social Media Users Engage with Brands

You may be thinking, people on Facebook and Instagram only follow other people. They don’t follow brands!

Actually, about 80% of social media users follow at least one company page. This means that people generally like to follow brands they like on social media apps.

This development is encouraging for brands to grow their following and advertise directly to customers. After all, if these users didn’t want it, they wouldn’t follow the business’s page.

To truly capitalize on this, brands can use Web AR to direct users to their social media from anywhere (not just from Facebook and Instagram, like Spark AR). Any Web AR filter experience can direct to the brand’s social media accounts and have a “Share” button for users to share on any social media platform. 

For instance, a printed Web AR postcard can ultimately lead the user to a brand’s social media account and give them the opportunity to share their AR experience with their friends.

3 - Greater Engagement Than More Traditional Advertising 

Let’s say an entire marketing budget is devoted to fantastic video ads. Even in this scenario, there’s no guarantee they will be seen widely. All that ad spending and the user may only view the video for a few seconds.

Meanwhile, AR filters have an average engagement of 75 seconds. This amount of time is four times more than video content. This is because watching a video is more of a passive experience. AR filters require the viewer’s attention. 

By virtue of its interactive quality, the user spends more time consuming it. Let’s say the AR filter has different color sunglasses the user can “try on” their face. By providing these options, the user is invited to try on several. This translates to more time spent immersed.

4 - Target the Right Audience For Your Brand and Increase Awareness

As an existing brand, there may already be an active social media presence. AR filters directly reach those already following that company and engage them with those assets. 

If your brand has a new product to promote, then there’s a direct reach. Those already following the company can engage the new filter that educates them on its products.

For example, fashion brands can advertise a new clothing or make-up line. Customers already following the brand will now be made aware in this memorable, immersive way. 

Your company could also use an AR filter to express a certain tone. If your brand’s tone is fun or adventurous, this can be reflected in the filter’s experience. 

For people who don’t already follow the brand, they can find the AR filter by searching. There’s an Effect Gallery on Instagram where anyone can discover it by scrolling available filters.

For example, those in the market for a new pair of glasses can find a glasses company’s AR filter. Even if they never heard of the brand before, they can try it on from the comfort of home. Now the brand has a new customer as a result of randomly finding the filter.

Web AR filters can be where your audience is outside of social media. A perfect example is Golden Road Brewing’s AR filter that they shared through the L.A. Times. Their ad targeted LA Dodger fans, who were sure to enjoy their beer.

5 - Users of the AR Filter Share Your Message For You

The more immersive and creative the AR filter, the more shareable the content. Rather than paying for outreach, allow social media users to do this heavy lifting for you.

People generally follow other people on social media because they share similar interests. Therefore, engaging one person enough to share means their followers will then see it. You didn’t even have to pay for that click. The creativity behind the filter drove brand exposure.

Over 500 million accounts on Instagram interact with Instagram’s Stories feature everyday. If there’s an interactive element, more users are likely to share it on their own Stories.

Of course, these custom filters have to be engaging and stand out among the pack. If the user finds the experience worth doing, the brand will be rewarded. Increased traffic and social media follower growth result from successful engagement.

The filter doesn’t even have to go viral. By building a customer base who keep returning, the awareness and demand for your business increases.

6 - Beat the Competition

Brands should not sleep on this method of advertising. AR filters are effective at building a larger following. Brands would do well to take AR filters seriously before their competition takes this piece of the pie.

If you’re a specific niche business, be the first to have an AR filter for that niche. The longer you wait, the harder it becomes to devise something more interesting.

Since “interesting” is key to your content’s shareability, it’s best to jump on this feature now.

7 - Improve Brand Loyalty

If you do manage to create AR filters before the competition, you have a huge opportunity. 

Due to their engagement, AR filters are designed to leave a lasting memory. Done right, the user will come away from using your filter more educated about your company. Ideally, they are driven to check out your products or services. This leads to more new paying customers.

Since this is creative content, you also have control over the information given out. Your filter may be specifically about a product, message or something general about the business. Multiple AR filters can be created to purpose different missions.

The better these experiences, the more people will enjoy them and understand your brand. Good will and trust built will lead to a more long-term, interactive relationship with your budding customer base.

Web AR Filters for Brands

While Spark AR is a fun tool for the general public, many marketers and brands turn to Web AR to have a broader reach with more flexible applications. Like Spark AR, it can be used on social media, but it can also be used in print marketing, product packaging, OOH, and so much more. 

To learn more, see all of Aircard’s Web AR Services

Read Next: Instagram AR vs. Web AR (& How They Can Work Together)