Product discovery channels and journeys are drastically different from they were even five years ago, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and Millennials & Gen Z gaining purchasing power. This coupled with the fact that their attention spans are among the lowest of all times, gives many brands a good reason to pause.
Not just pause, but rethink if how they are selling right now will work for Millennials and Gen Z.
Thankfully, many new avenues are opening up to cater to the customers from these generations. Of course, too many options can also be a challenge if we don’t know why each of them works.
Of all avenues, AR-led content marketing efforts have been gaining favor from brands like never.
In this blog, let’s understand what makes marketing to Millennials and Gen Z so different and how AR bridges the gap between reality and expectations.
There are “Kids these days…” rants from Gen X and Boomers every day on social media, and the jokes sometimes write themselves. But, while it feels good to assume that most of these are exaggerations, research tells us otherwise. Millennials and Gen Z differ drastically in many aspects.
The most concerning factor for brands must be how these users approach brand discovery, awareness, evaluation, and purchase.
Millennials and Gen Z grew up with the internet, and when they gained purchasing power, they trusted digital channels and online information more than any other source. This includes TVCs, national newspapers, billboards, and other marketing models brands have in place.
Specifically, social media is a huge influence on Millennials for finding and vetting products. GWI report on Millennials confirms that as they mature and make purchase decisions, they turn to their trusted social media channels to complete the process. They are also most likely to be early adopters of Metaverse.
So, when it comes to markeitng to millennials, social media has a huge role to play.
But social media is quite a vast realm to conquer. How can you keep up with it and succeed in marketing to millennials and Gen Z?
What if we told you that by investing in a single technology simplifies your job? Yes, we are talking about incorporating AR or augmented reality into your marketing strategy.
Gen Z and Millennial consumers have been interacting with AR in a lot of places and on various occasions. And, social media has been the prime channel for this content.
Why this fascination with AR?
AR or augmented reality tools make the impossible possible. They break the chaos on social media and help users get more value than what the average post offers. Instead of telling the customers what the product is, brands can provide an interactive and immersive product demo with AR tech. That’s a better way for marketing to millennials & Gen Z, don’t you agree?
When the brand launches AR-based content, the customer gains immense knowledge about the product, and the brand, and can decide instantly about the product. They, otherwise, would have to spend countless hours looking up other third-party accounts to understand how the product feels. It is truly a “try before you buy” experience with AR.
One of the biggest challenges while marketing to millennials and Gen Z is gaining their attention. It is no easy feat. They love to scroll and judge content within the first three seconds on their feed. This goes for videos, images, and everything. But, AR pulls them in and keeps them engaged longer. Even if they do not choose the product in question, they now have a stronger memory of the brand for the future.
Who knew that a single technology held the key to all the issues that plague the brands looking to get in the inner circle of the Millennial and Gen Z audience base?
But the bigger question still looms. How do we put these insights into action? What goes into making some of the best AR-led content marketing campaigns?
Showing is always better than telling, so here is a recap of some of the best AR-led campaigns for inspiration.
Platforms like Instagram and Snapchat have detailed enterprise solutions that allow brands to create unique and meaningful AR experiences for their customers. But, since this is still very new for many businesses, it cannot hurt to have a small guidebook on what works and why.
Let us dive into some of the most popular AR-based campaigns so that you can replicate those results for your brand too.
Before we enter the realm of lifestyle brands leveraging AR via social media, let us consider an off-beat example – a mobile gaming client. Yes, digital-only brands have also been experiencing tremendous success with AR-led campaigns.
Plato approached this AR campaign intending to create hype and engagement around an upcoming game “Werewolf”. In the typical fashion of using snippets and trailers to boost social chatter around a product, the campaign also used a central element for the game for the AR campaign.
The brand launched a custom Snapchat lens that replicates the game experience. The lens simulated a 3D werewolf that attacked the user as they got closer to the creaky haunted cabin.
The AR campaign was a success and had achieved 3.2 million views on the werewolf lens and 2.5M views on the haunted cabin lens. The audience also shared the campaign widely, and the lens was soon trending on Snapchat.
While gaming may not be everyone’s cup of tea, this lens sure ensured that everyone knew that the game was coming. What more do you need for a product launch campaign?
Ikea has been positioning itself as “The brand” for Millennials and Gen Z by curating aesthetic products and marketing specifically to this target audience. Now, we know how apprehensive this generation of customers can be about buying any high-ticket product. Hence, their affinity for the “try and buy” feature brought on the AR campaigns.
Now, how do you make “try and buy” possible for a furniture brand?
Ikea stores have managed to leave nothing to imagine by setting up fully furnished rooms for their customers to choose wisely. So the brand extrapolated this experience to its digital channel by leveraging AR filters.
Yes, with AR, you can now scan a part of your home and position the Ikea product to see how it looks.
This is truly a game-changer, and customers have been loving it.
Ikea stores have always been away from city centers and this reduces travel time and cost for customers while assuring them of their purchase decision. A complete win-win!
AR and online shopping brands are a match made in heaven. Because if anywhere AR needs to bridge the gap between the digital and the physical store experience, it is definitely in ecommerce brands. And as proof that this is the need of the hour, Shopify has now made it possible for brands to integrate AR experiences into their website.
A very good example of a lifestyle brand taking online shopping to the next level with AR would be the virtual trial rooms initiative by ASOS. The brand allowed customers to try out the products by simulating views of the model wearing the product they chose. And the models were size inclusive to give the real picture to the customer, which is again a winning point for Gen Z and Millennial customers.
Initiatives like this can help brands stand out in the Fashion retail space.
Beauty brands have been taking over social media like never. But this also means that there is now immense competition in the social commerce space for the health and beauty segment. To stand out, brands have been dabbling in AR tools to bridge any friction in the sales process.
A few that stand out for us include :
All these tools show that with AR, brands can step up their game and bridge the gap that exists between an in-store experience and an online shopping experience.
As you can see, some brands are leaps ahead when it comes to using AR-led content for marketing to millennials. So, if you haven’t invested in this technology already, now is a good time to think about it. Social media is growing and evolving every day. So, having the best social media designs for your brand is not enough. You also need an ever-evolving strategy that keeps up with the trends. And AR is one such trend.