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Why Messaging and AR Are The Next-Level Ad Options Your Brand Shouldn’t Overlook

Marketing

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Whether you’re an e-commerce brand looking to drive product discovery or simply looking to engage more intimately with your audience, be sure to consider how emerging tech and messaging can fit into your goals.

In a digital era where time and attention are critical investments, it’s more important than ever to take a hard look at how consumers are spending their time, why and who they’re choosing to spend it with, and the best ways to harness our influence to tailor opportunities in meaningful ways.

Two major ways platforms such as Facebook are addressing this issue is by delivering immersive and personal experiences through emerging technologies such as augmented reality and mobile messaging.

Click to message with brands in Messenger

Facebook is bringing together two of its fastest-growing mediums to help businesses more efficiently and effectively reach their audience and drive engagement: Messenger and Stories.

“We know that people want personal and engaging communications. Technology has fulfilled that expectation with the ever-growing popularity of messaging and stories,” said Mohit Rajani, Lead Product Manager, in the official announcement.

More specifically, the platform currently sees over 1.3 billion people connect with friends and family across its family of apps each month including Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Whatsapp and 500 million posts to Stories each day. With 40 million active businesses on Messenger to date and three million brands running ads on the apps every month it really isn’t difficult to conclude why this move would make sense.

“We know that when businesses place ads across a range of surfaces, including news feed and stories, it leads to an increase in conversions. This particular trend holds when businesses add multiple stories placements to their campaigns as well,” Rajani added.

In support of this notion, the company ran a test which found that seven out of nine brands that added the Messenger Stories placement to its campaigns on Stories saw increased conversions spanning app installs, add to carts (ATCs), purchases, or registrations compared to campaigns that opted into single stories placements.

Now that we know the why and what surrounding this update, let’s distill how it works and the implications that it brings to the discussion table:

At its core, the feature puts users in the driver seat, giving them the ability to swipe up on Stories ads that have the new “Send Message” call to action to start a conversation with businesses of their choosing within Messenger without ever having to deviate from the app.

For advertisers, especially those with longer conversion cycles, this added engagement mechanism stands to be a huge boon for business. Small groups continue to be a fast-growing area of communication. Today’s users desire privacy, convenience, and personalization in safe and trusted spaces and messaging and ephemeral marketing are increasingly being looked at as sources of solutions.

Shop with augmented reality in Instagram

On the heels of its in-app checkout feature launched in March, Instagram is adding to its shopping features arsenal. Specifically, its introduced an augmented reality try-on feature to the product pages targeted to help shoppers in the platform preview how certain types of products would actually look on them.

Per Mashable, the initial test phase is limited to cosmetics brands Mac and Nars, and eyewear brands Warby Parker and Ray-Ban, but Instagram plans to make it available for more products after gauging success.

Users can anticipate encountering the feature in two possible scenarios. Primarily, they’ll be able to try on products when browsing through brand accounts before tapping ‘add to cart.’ A much more impactful goal of the update, however, is generating an incentive to share these AR experiences in Stories, which will also link back to the original product and fuel virality for brands.

“You can share it through Stories with friends, brands can create Stories — that’s definitely one of the primary ways in which we think that people will shop,” says Srilatha Raghavan, product manager for AR commerce at Facebook.

Indeed, these added layers of communication allow us to improve how we drive top-of-mind awareness and present the unique ability to participate in conversations we were never able to before. The future of relationship marketing is a transitional environment where users favor experiences over products and these sorts of advertising opportunities stand to open doors for brands looking to leverage the trends and next-level technology needed to stay relevant.

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