augmented reality analytics

Augmented reality analytics: measuring the success of your AR campaign

By Cristina Ferrandez

Since country-wide lockdowns shuttered retail stores and paused real-world events worldwide, companies have turned to augmented reality and 3D advertising to create much-needed buzz around their brands. However, even though AR campaigns have been proven to be more profitable when compared with traditional methods of advertising, some brands are still not willing to take the plunge. A key concern is that, even though AR has made massive leaps in recent years, methods for measuring the success of campaigns through augmented reality analytics are not well established.

Fortunately, this assumption is not true. Since AR campaigns function differently from conventional ads, traditional metrics often fail to capture an accurate picture of the benefits of AR. However, that doesn’t mean that brands have no way of tracking dwell time, engagement rate, or the number of times users click on their AR experiences. Thanks to augmented reality analytics, companies can gain valuable insights into how their AR campaigns are performing. 

Below is a quick guide on augmented reality analytics. 

Why AR?

augmented reality analytics
AR campaigns are particularly popular in the beauty industry but are useful across all verticals.

One of the key benefits of AR campaigns is increased user engagement. By allowing users to interact with the ad itself, a successful AR experience can keep users engaged in a way that traditional media can’t and likely never will. 

Incorporating AR into a marketing campaign can lead to longer average time spent looking at an ad, stronger memories of the products or services, and a higher likelihood that the ad will be shared with family and friends and go viral. As reported by marketing website Mediapost, users share 61% of AR ads they view, and at Poplar Studio, we have found that dwell times on AR ads average at 75 seconds — four times longer than mobile video. 

In addition to improving dwell time, user recall, and shareability, AR campaigns also tend to result in higher conversion rates. Kennel company Gunner Kennels specialise in durable, dependable dog crates and use AR technology to help customers buy the appropriate size crate for their pet. The company has seen a 40% increase in order conversion rates since using AR and 3D, coupled with a 5% reduction in return rates. Catering to an entirely different demographic, the multi-billion-dollar company Olay Cosmetics implemented an AR campaign allowing users to take a skin consultation selfie and receive specific product recommendations, which quickly resulted in doubled conversions

No matter the industry, increased engagement with AR ads leads to a higher conversion rate. To track these conversions, you’ll want to use augmented reality analytics. 

Augmented reality analytics: metrics to consider

augmented reality analytics
AR effects foster more engagement on social media than regular posts by brands.

When you create your AR campaign, you’ll be looking for clear, demonstrable measures of success. Some of the established metrics you may have used before may not be sufficient for an AR campaign due to the immersive nature of the technology.

Nevertheless, there are still plenty of metrics to document. Here are some examples of useful metrics for AR, coupled with data Poplar Studio has recorded on effects we have personally created:

  • Impressions: How many people saw your AR campaign? For their German audience, Maybelline paired their Lifter Gloss campaign with an original song on TikTok. By allowing viewers to overlay an AR effect onto their own videos, the campaign produced 2.8 billion impressions.
  • Opens/Scans: How many times did users open the effect? For example, the cosmetics company NYX created an Instagram campaign that let users “try on” different Halloween makeup looks, which subsequently encouraged them to purchase the products. The effect had 2,100,000 opens
  • Captures: How many people captured a photo or video using your AR effect? Rapper and comedian Big Shaq commissioned a Facebook effect to promote an upcoming song, resulting in 2,126,937 captures
  • Shares: How many people shared the campaign with their followers, and how many times? This particular metric can show you how entertaining people found your effect. Big Shaq’s Facebook effect, for example, was shared 249,739 times.
  • Engagement Rate: What percentage of people have actively engaged with the campaign in any way, including likes, shares, and comments on social media? The car company MG Motor, which collaborated with us to create a 3D display ad to accompany the launch of a new car, saw an 8x higher engagement rate when compared to non-AR benchmarks.
  • Dwell Time: How long did users pause to interact with your AR experience? Along with a higher engagement rate, MG Motor also recorded 4,600 engaged hours in reaction to their 3D display ad.
  • Unique Users/Return Users: Did the AR campaign attract users who had no previous interaction with your brand? Did the ad motivate people to revisit your brand? If you’re looking to broaden your audience, these can be important markers. An AR menu we developed with the Mexican restaurant Wahaca was viewed more than once by 87% of restaurant-goers, demonstrating a strong preference for the interactive menu.
  • Conversions: What percentage of people who interacted with your AR campaign completed the desired goal, such as making a purchase? For an AR effect we developed for ViacomCBS to promote The SpongeBob Movie, the team saw an impressive 29% sales lift compared to non-AR campaigns.

Augmented reality analytics for display ads

augmented reality analytics
Example of a Google Swirl ad. 

If your campaign comes in the form of a display ad, as opposed to an AR effect on social media, you’ll also want to consider the more conventional metrics. 

For example, if you’re developing a 3D Google Swirl ad, a format designed to create 3D interactive banner display ads, you can look at the clickthrough rate (CTR) to track how successful your ad is at piquing user interest. 

On the other hand, Facebook AR ads allow users to engage with AR experiences within ads appearing on their news feeds. For these, you can track Link Clicks (taking users from the ad to your brand’s webpage), as well as Instant Experience Clicks to Open (or clicks to open the AR effect). Additionally, you can examine metrics like dwell time and shares.

Getting started with augmented reality analytics

Confusion about augmented reality analytics should not cause you to turn away from this innovative technology. Augmented reality analytics may continue to evolve, but there are already plenty of options when it comes to measuring the success of AR campaigns, regardless of whether they come in the form of AR ads or effects. 

If you’re not sure where to begin or simply want to make the development of your own AR experience effortless, Poplar Studio is here to help. Our website has a ton of free information, but you can also partner with us to ensure your AR advertising strategy is on the right track.

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