Facebook AR Ads Breathe New Life into B2B Marketing

Roman Kosolapov | Dreamstime.com

When augmented reality and Facebook come to mind, it’s quite common to think of only fun and entertainment such as photo and video filters, environment overlays, and interactive games. But AR is much more than that –– companies are learning that AR for business is quickly becoming relevant and achievable. AR can aid in increasing customer engagement and innovating digital experiences. And to help bring AR in business to the masses, Facebook has now expanded its augmented reality (AR) ad formats through its in-house Spark AR engine, making AR effects for digital ad campaigns widely available to any brand.

So as AR technology continues to change and improve, so do the applications in the B2B world. In light of today’s fast-changing social and business environments due to the coronavirus crisis, B2B companies must now identify how to change their digital landscape in order to stay competitive while continuing to serve customers in innovative and interactive ways. And integrating Facebook AR ads can do just that. Let’s explore the significance between Facebook video and AR and the use cases of AR in the B2B world.

A future to look forward to, Facebook video coming to life

Specifically, Facebook is using AR to innovate how customers view video content, and Facebook video is without a doubt a great place to start because video garners so much user engagement on the platform: According to eMarketer, 60% of digital video viewers use Facebook to watch video content, coming in second to YouTube as the most popular site for watching digital videos.

It’s no surprise that Facebook ranks as one of the top social media platforms for consuming video content as Facebook videos, in general, get more than 8 billion views per day. The billions of views per day reach video content that consists of leisure, educational, and business or professional information. And although B2B companies prefer to execute paid campaigns on LinkedIn for lead generation, Facebook continues to be a viable option for increasing brand awareness and engagement in the B2B space. For example, when Schneider Electric launched a brand awareness campaign to help engage itsB2B audience, it used Facebook video ads to release high quality video content to their target audience. Its campaign achieved a 14% lift in recall, up to 80% reduction in cost-per-engagement, and $0.04 per view.

Facebook video primes audiences for the growth of Facebook AR ads

Facebook users are already familiar with and accustomed to interacting with Facebook video content, whether it’s for entertainment or information. AR technology is taking video content and ad campaigns to the next level: Digital information is exchanged with physical environments, allowing users to interact with brands and their content in real time, creating a more memorable experience. Since Facebook users are comfortable with and trust the video content that’s available on the social platform, it’s clear as to why consumers are responding well to AR. In a recent survey, about 60% of respondents across all age groups worldwide said they have tried AR-assisted shopping in 2019 or would like to if given the opportunity. 

Why B2B companies should consider Facebook AR ads

AR ads aren’t necessarily a new type of digital campaign, but since this medium is more widely adopted in B2C campaigns than B2B, brands in the B2B space have an opportunity to expand existing campaigns, and get ahead of the curve. As AR technology changes and adapts, there will be a growing range of applications for digital, augmented B2B audience interactions. The following use cases are the most relevant and can be easily adopted across any industry:

B2B use case #1: Digital events

Cisco created a virtual, interactive product catalog powered by AR technology for use during trade shows. Professionals were able to try out products without leaving their locations – and with most Americans working from home during the current environment, this AR application can be used for running campaigns to promote digital events such as webinars and to discover new prospects and to provide existing customers with additional access to other services.

B2B use case #2: Sales and demos

Prospects can “try out” a company’s product or service virtually, in any environment, without the added pressure of having a one-on-one interaction with a sales rep to learn more information.

B2B use case #3: Data visualization

Depending on your company’s product or service, it can be difficult to communicate the value of your brand without having an in-person, one-on-one interaction. For example, if you’re offering software-as-a-service or database-as-a-service, there could be a multitude of complex product offerings in play. Here’s where AR can step in –– providing interactive, three-dimensional data visualization that quickly provides your audience with information that’s easy-to-understand.

AR technology and capabilities will continue to evolve, so even if AR doesn’t seem worthwhile for your product or service, keep an open mind because its innovation and influence may make its way into your industry sooner than you think. Having the right partners and knowledge of technology will help your company evolve with AR and working with an outside team like Unreal Digital Group can help you achieve this.

Contact us if you have any questions or would like to learn more using AR to connect with your customers and prospects. And, be sure to follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook so you don’t miss out on additional strategies and insights.

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