7 Social and Experiential Trends you need to know for this year!

7 Social and Experiential Trends you need to know for this year!

Innovations in technology are charging full speed ahead and as new developments surface, businesses and marketers have to be quick to adapt. If we don’t, we are sure to get left in the dust. This past year, we continued to see advancements in the realms of augmented reality and social media features. To help you stay up to speed, we have rounded up 8 social and experiential trends you should know about.

Social Trends

First up, let’s talk social...

1. AR Filters on Facebook and Snapchat

Augmented and virtual reality tech have been hot topics over the past few years but now we are beginning to see the applications in everyday life. A prominent example can be seen in Instagram’s face filters. If you aren’t familiar, go into the Instagram app and click the little camera icon in the top left of the screen. Then, click on the face and can you pick from a selection of filters.

The app then scans your face to identify where your features are located and imposes the filter onto your face in real time--whether it be puppy dog ears, a crown, sunglasses, etc. These are fun because you can move around and the filter stays on your face.

As a brand, you can create a filter that relates to a product or campaign to help increase engagement through social channels. It’s a fun way to grab your audience's attention and make a lasting impression at the same time.


2. AR Experiences on Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger

You may think it is difficult to create an AR experience but new developments makes it easy whether you know how to code or not. You can create effects that recognize, respond to, and transform the environment around the user. For example, you can use background segmentation to separate people from their background and add a new one, you can make objects follow people’s hands, and you can add 3D objects to your effects. Once created, it’s easy to share these creations via social media. What does this mean for brands? AR is becoming more and more accessible so if you don’t join in, you risk losing a competitive edge. Now is the time to integrate AR into your marketing campaigns.


3. Instagram Stories

Next up, Instagram Stories came out in August of 2016 but the feature continues to grow in popularity with users. For those that don’t know, the Stories feature lets users take photos and videos and add effects and layers to them. When you post a story, your profile picture will show up in a circle along the top bar of the app, amongst the pictures of others who have posted stories. Then, users can click on your picture to view the story.

Once a user begins watching one story and it ends, stories from other friends will play, one after another. After 24 hours, stories disappear. This time-sensitive post format results in more in-the-moment posting which is less edited and more authentic. It can allow you to show the people and personality behind your brand. Plus, it can make your brand more visible to followers as you will appear in the stories section as well as in the newsfeed.

4. Shoppable Posts on Instagram

But how can you sell on Instagram? While the platform doesn’t offer native e-commerce features, brands can create posts which allow users to shop on the post itself. This can help you to convert your Instagram followers into customers. You can add the shop option to stories and single static images.

5. Vertical Video on IGTV

Lastly, for social, IGTV is a video platform created by Instagram for vertical video playback. It encourages users to create video content exclusively for mobile viewing. It may seem counterintuitive as many people like to flip their phones horizontal when watching a video but it has caught on. IGTV says it bet on vertical video because that is how most people use their phone, vertical and full screen. It hopes to compete with television and to win the attention of video content consumers. Brands can take advantage of this new platform by producing vertical videos and benefitting from the additional reach and creative opportunities.

Now that we’ve covered these top five trends in social, let’s take a look at three exciting trends in the realm of experiential marketing.

6. Broadcast AR on LED Screens

Have you heard of Broadcast AR yet? Swinging back around to augmented reality, this technology lets people see themselves on an LED wall, lets them interact with on-screen content, and captures photos of the whole experience. Brands can use this tech to engage their audiences. For example, you could let customers meet with brand ambassadors or could create a fun interaction which relates to the products or services. Then, the moment lives on as your customers share the content through their social channels.

7. Interactive AR Experiences

Another interesting marketing strategy is to create an AR model that your audience can interact with through tablets or smartphones. HSBC did this at the World Economic Forum. It created a lounge retreat within a boutique on Main street which featured a 3-D printed Smart City AR model. Visitors could view the scenery within the model through tablets and were directed to specific points where case studies were revealed. Building your own interactive AR model is a fun and interesting way to present information to your audience.

Now you are up-to-date with the latest trends in social and experiential marketing. As you can see, augmented reality is making a large footprint and we only expect it to continue growing. Facebook has spoken about big aspirations with the technology, such as creating virtual rooms people can hang out in together and virtual stores. As a brand, it’s important to stay in stride with the developments as they roll out. Review these trends for 2019 and brainstorm how you can apply them to your marketing strategy. Let us know about your favorite trend in the comments below!