AR as a new marketing tool in social media
Augmented Reality is being used more and more on social media. Almost everyone is familiar with the classic Snapchat filters, which have become more and more interactive over time. Instagram and Facebook have also developed filters for their respective platforms and also allow users to create their own filters. Nowadays it has become almost standard to apply some kind of filter effect when posting. However, Snapchat Lens and Instagram Filters are not just for entertainment. Many companies have recognized that augmented reality in the form of filters on social media is a highly efficient marketing tool to make your own brand go viral. This year alone, 63% of the daily use Snapchat users an AR filter, plus 90% of Snapchat users are also active on Instagram. These are promising numbers, and rightly so, because most marketing experts now agree: In order to push your own company, the potential of social media must be fully exploited. Combined with the latest trends such as augmented reality, brand awareness can be increased in an interactive and entertaining way.
Snapchat Lens and Instagram Filter are now also being used by brand giants like Coca Cola to increase brand awareness and engage with the broader audience on social media through easily shareable content.
AR Filters and Lenses - What's the Difference?
Both terms are often used synonymously, but there are major differences between augmented reality filters and so-called lenses.
Filters come close to static images that are "put" over the camera recording. A black and white effect or a frame around the shot are static filters. This is the simplest form of an augmented reality effect on social media and can be created really quickly using platform-specific tools or even Photoshop.
Lenses, on the other hand, are a bit more demanding, because this is an interactive AR effect. The notion of the lens filter was popularized mainly through Snapchat. The company also offers its Lens Studio platform as a tool to easily create lenses and filters for its users. Lenses are a combination of 2D, 3D and animation effects. They react to gestures, facial expressions and movements. An example of this is an effect where an animated tongue sticks out as soon as you open your mouth.
Snapchat is the first social media platform whose core business consists mainly of augmented reality filters. It is of particular interest to brands whose target market overlaps with that of Snapchat. Sponsored lenses, which are included in the app's lens menu, allow users to easily find and access their own filter. Especially if the filter contains keywords that are particularly trendy at the moment, the chance of achieving organic growth in brand awareness is even higher.
AR applications on Snapchat are a bit different from other channels like Facebook or Instagram because some features are different. Advertising is also a little different, because companies do not have a public profile that interested parties can visit. However, the engagement, especially with the filters, is often a bit more personal. The app is designed to connect with closer friends through direct communication. Snapchat is somewhere between a news platform and an entertainment medium, which enables companies to do storytelling on a very personal level through an AR filter campaign.
AR filters can also be used to carry out advertising campaigns on Instagram. In contrast to Snapchat, posts with filter shots can be published directly on a profile and thus also appear in followers' feeds.
The most effective way to make your own AR filter viral on Instagram is to publish story content with the effect. All users who see the filter in the story can then try it out for themselves with one click, take photos and videos with it and then share them. The process can be accelerated with an influencer campaign, for example. It is important to network with those bloggers whose target group also fits the company.
How to create AR filters and lenses?
Both Snapchat and Instagram offer tools that allow users to create their own filters. However, this is not possible without effort. In addition to ready-made templates from which you can quickly and intuitively put together a filter, things look different if you want to personalize the effect. Snapchat's Lens Studio and Instagram's SparkAR are both programs and very good tools for creating personal filters. However, these are programs that you have to download in advance, just like Photoshop or other editing programs. Since many want to save themselves the training in the software, Mazing also offers a remedy here, and allows companies quick and time-saving access to AR filters for their own marketing campaign on social media.