What are Custom Instagram AR Filters & How to Use Them to Build Your Brand Presence & Visibility
If your business/brand is on Instagram, you must have seen people posting stories about what they are doing multiple times a day. It is a great way of engaging directly with your audience and getting feedback on your product and services. When used correctly a story can bring one on one contact into your customer’s unity.
Most of the people who use stories are on the younger side of the spectrum. If you want to market something to them it is best that you include Instagram stories in your portfolio too. Its interactive things like questions, polling, and Instagram AR filters makes it a fun little storytelling device.
AR means augmented reality and though it might sound complicated and uber futuristic it has been in use since 2017. Instagram’s AR filters can make you stand out in a sea of companies and many major brands like Coca-Cola and Gucci have used filters to great effect. They are very easy to make and can be made in a few hours in Spark AR Studio. You can now create your own unique AR filter which lets your brand be seen by many more people and drive engagement.
What are Instagram AR filters?
These AR filters are some computer generated effects that can be layered over a live image from your camera. They alter the image that is being displayed by your front camera or back camera. You can compare them to Instagram’s face filters that can be found on many stories.
For example, the dog filter superimposes an image of the dog’s ears. The AR filters make your animated face have a tongue that comes on screen only when you open your mouth.
The “Hello-2020” filter is also a great example of an AR filter. You must also note the fact that AR filters are very different from the preset Instagram filters that can be put on your images. They are far more interactive and made with the notion of making the stories more fun or sending a message across.
Can anyone make them?
In the “F8 conference” in 2019 Facebook said that anyone that has the Spark AR software can make an AR filter. You can make new AR filters from the comfort of your home that lets people interact and increase the brand awareness of your business. Since Facebook and Instagram are now part of the same company these filters work on all the platforms provided by both Instagram and Facebook.
Before it was made public only a select few people could make filters with the Spark AR app. Now, most people can download the software and make a filter for their business. This is part of the technological democracy that most of the tech companies are trying to introduce in the world. With the power of creation in the hands of as many people as possible, it has become easier to get widespread publicity for your creations.
AR filters are easy to find and anyone can find them on your profile. You can also find these filters in the Effect Gallery option when you try to make a story.
Why create one for your brand?
While it is a great tool for people who are active on Instagram and use it on a daily basis it might not be for all. If your business appeals to a younger crowd then we would highly suggest using these filters.
They are trendy among young people and give your business an edge over your competitors with ingenious marketing. Many brands have become popular again due to these filters and challenges as they increase visibility. With more and more people having purchasing power this is the new way to market to them in 2021.
According to research most people who watch stories belong to businesses only. It is a great way to show off your brand’s unique persona and how in sync you are with youth culture.
They reflect how your brand operates and what tone you want to set for your products and services. They also reflect your brand’s environment and how you do things in your own world.
It gives people a signature of what you are capable of doing and also helps them identify. A unique identity goes a long way when it comes to social media and you should invest time and money into making one that sticks out.
Over 500 million accounts engage with stories on a daily basis and 60% of the Instagram stories have this interactive AR element in them. These filters are not very common and not many brands use them. You can get ahead of everyone else and sway things in your favor with these AR filters.
A feature on the app allows you to focus more on your Instagram marketing strategy and gets you good traffic too. These stories have great organic reach and can also help your brand visibility.
Fashion companies have made AR filters that help people virtually try on the thing that they are trying to sell. This makes people see for themselves how the clothing will look on them and whether they should buy it or not. This makes the interactive filter more useful and creates a buzz around the new product too.
You can always incorporate your brand’s mascot or logo into the filter and people will start to recognize that it is you. This makes for a fine Instagram marketing strategy and increases your brand awareness at the same time. This is the modern-day equivalent of word of mouth. People like what you are doing and people share it. Their followers see it and if they like it they also share it forward. It sets off a chain reaction and makes your brand even more popular than before. This increased engagement and visibility will definitely lead to conversion.
How to make an AR filter?
Now that you know that it is a great tool to appeal to the users active on Instagram daily, it is time to make one. It is very simple and can be done by anyone all you have to do is
- Download Spark AR Studio
- Download this software on your pc or mobile phone.
- Get used to it
Like any app, there is a bit of a learning curve to the Spark AR app. Make sure you are familiar with most of the things in the app and how you can get the best results. Go through a few lessons and tutorials on Youtube and make yourself familiar with the app.
There are a lot of nice lessons on the Learning Centre too which makes the app an in-house powerhouse. For exercise download the sample folder and make an AR filter using that.
Start Your Project
You can use the existing templates to start your project if you feel a bit overwhelmed. The Stimulator is another great app that lets you test out your AR filters before you release them.
Edit your filter as such so that most of the screens can handle them. If you make them too big they won’t fit on a mobile screen and if you make them too small they will look weird.
Send the file to Instagram and Facebook and see how it looks. You must do this step only when you are satisfied with your mock-up. Now you can try and use the filter on Insta or Facebook and have a first-hand feel as to how it looks.
Once you are done press the upload button and “test on device”. The AR filter will be published only after it clears the Spark AR’s guidelines and community standards.
Maybe your new filter did not catch on or it wasn’t the best in the biz. But that is okay there is always room for improvement. Make more filters and research how other businesses are using these. Up your filter game with face or hand-tracking enabled filters. You can also incorporate audio or aesthetics into your filter to give it a more wholesome feel.
Social Media platforms are growing and the popular ones are becoming more and more a part of our lives. They have become the new advertising medium for the younger generations and you popularize them using these tools.
Whether AR driven or not these apps will continue to grow and it is in your best interests to keep up with these developments. Having a good handle on trending things will make you stand out from the crowd but also more relatable to the younger audiences. These are impressionable people who are entering the workforce and you can capitalize on that.
They are a perfect audience for businesses as they have a great amount of purchasing power right off the bat. The younger generation is looking for fun marketing strategies that are worthy of sharing on their social media feed. If you can make your marketing fun and inclusive you will have a booming business in this decade. With trends and challenges taking over the social media landscape keeping up with the youth will definitely help your business.
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