COVID-19 Strategy: How Brands are Reconnecting with Customers
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many brands, big and small, had to adjust their marketing strategies in order to keep their brand top of mind in the eyes of consumers. This is due to the fact that in-person brand-to-customer communication is so limited now everywhere in the world. As such, many brands have had to focus on strengthening their digital presence and increasing their investments in digital marketing, as media consumption has increased significantly. One such investment that has seen a great return on investment for brands is custom Instagram filters.
Custom Instagram filters are only one of many augmented reality (AR) experience types. AR experiences are essentially computer-generated effects that are layered over the real-life environment that your camera displays. Essentially, they augment reality by adding information onto it, whether it be images, graphics, words, colours, or distortion. With Instagram’s user base increasing at a very rapid rate, along with the endless possibilities of custom Instagram filters, brands are able to be creative and leverage these social tools to reconnect customers back to their products and services at a time when a lot of traditional advertising formats are no longer effective. In this blog, we will explain the top reasons why custom Instagram filters are a must-have for brands in 2021.
- Instagram filters spread on Instagram like a virus
When brands do custom Instagram filters justice, their virality and shareability are astonishingly effective. This is because users have a high tendency to share these experiences on their own stories for their followers to see. As long as the content is relevant and engaging, this cycle repeats until a much wider audience is reached. The total audience is far larger than the original group of users who tried and shared the Instagram filter directly from the brand’s profile. It comes as no surprise that custom Instagram filters are one of the most shareable elements on Instagram; unlike other traditional ad formats like photos or videos, these brand assets are super engaging and interactive. And because they provide a more personal experience by focusing on the user and less on their products/services, Instagram AR filters are a great vehicle to spread awareness, connect with customers, and bring attention back to the brand, sometimes without people even realizing it.
- Digital consumption has increased 2x
Digital consumption since COVID-19 started has skyrocketed through the roof. According to Forbes, the global online content consumption per day pre-pandemic was just a little over three hours. Currently, however, it has risen to six hours and 59 minutes, which is more than double the original average. As such, online digital marketing is even more important now for brands who are trying to stay relevant to their consumers. Moreover, the number of global mobile augmented reality users is increasing at a rapid rate. By 2023, the size is expected to reach 2.4 billion. With this opportunity in mind, brands are investing in AR assets early on to connect with their customers. What we have observed is that instead of the unenthusiastic attitude that consumers might have for a normal photo or video ad, augmented reality filters will create a much better and long-lasting impression of the brand. This is because custom Instagram filters are designed with interactivity in mind, with the goal of keeping consumers engaged. This in turn increases loyalty and retention, as well as brand recall.
- Custom Instagram filters promote User Generated Content (UGC)
Custom Instagram filters are an amazing way to incite user generated content (UGC). According to the Stackla Survey, consumers are 2.4x more likely to say UGC is perceptually more authentic compared to branded content. Thus, having UGC integrated into marketing initiatives will undoubtedly boost a brand’s credibility. It is like having your own network of promoters who will generate and share original content for you all across the globe. And this applies to AR on other social media platforms as well. Take Tacobell, for example. This company made a Snapchat Lens that turned people’s faces into tacos. This simple and silly filter generated over 224 million impressions (in less than 24 hours) while boasting an impressive 24 seconds average engagement time. This is mainly attributed to the millions of people who shared a snap of themselves using the filter. This beats most other advertising formats out of the park.
- Highly engaging and speeds up purchasing decisions
The final pillar is that custom instagram filters offer novel, engaging ways to showcase a product/service. For example, since the COVID-19 outbreak, brands are using more virtual try-ons to connect their products to customers. This means that consumers can try out different products without even leaving their house. This is super effective because it speeds up purchasing decisions and increases conversions through impulsive buying. In fact, it was found that ads using augmented reality increased click-through rates by a massive 376% and increased sign-up conversions by an even more impressive 633% when compared to traditional static ads. Again, this is due to custom Instagram filters being so immersive. Essentially, the more immersive a branded experience is, the more connected and engaged consumers will be, and hence the more sales it will eventually generate. Currently, Deloitte estimates that 88% of mid-sized companies are already implementing augmented reality into their marketing strategies to boost customer engagement.
If you want to learn more about the history of AR and how it has impacted numerous industries, click here. Have an idea for a branded filter or want to learn more about them? Click here to shoot us a message! Our agency specialize in creating custom Instagram filters for brands to skyrocket their social reach and engagement.