Social media and mobile apps have created a whole new world of opportunities for small businesses to connect with customers. Whether it’s sharing information about your company through Facebook postings or connecting with consumers through mobile advertising, new technology offers options like never before.

The trick, though, is finding ways to participate in these channels without breaking the budget. Small businesses, in particular, have to be creative and seek out innovative ways to reach consumers. Augmented reality app development is one such example of a unique way to reach consumers.

What One AR Game Means for Marketing Opportunities

Most businesses have likely heard of the Pokémon Go phenomenon. By downloading a mobile app, players can catch Pokémon monsters located throughout their real-world environment. The game functions using augmented reality technology. Uses GPS, your phone clock, and camera to turn to the real world around you into a colorful game space, users can directly interact with their setting in an entirely new way.

But what does that have to do with small business marketing? The game invites businesses to become Pokestops or Pokestop—for a fee, of course. The main benefit is the increase in foot traffic from Pokémon players, and their potential sales offered to your business. Everything from pizza joints to coffee shops, retail stores or bars can participate. These small businesses have reported sales increases that triple their normal rates when they participate in the game.


Leveraging the Game for A Bigger Bang

Creating augmented reality apps has the potential to reap big financial rewards. Designing and creating these apps can take considerable money, though. For many small businesses, the cost is simply beyond their means. What they can do, however, is work with existing apps to enhance their customers’ experiences.

Much like customer loyalty programs, many businesses use the Pokémon Go app to offer additional benefits for visiting their locations. By spreading the word through social media, businesses have sponsored special game events on location, discounts for Facebook check-ins, or even eligibility for prizes. With a little ingenuity, you can bring more customers directly to your doorstep.

Keep an Eye Out for Possibilities

Pokémon Go is a high-profile example of the augmented reality trend. Other companies have incorporated their own versions of the technology into their marketing strategies.

Movie companies have created apps that are triggered by viewing posters or advertisements for additional information or discounts. Cosmetics retailers have “mirror” apps that let you see how make-up will look on your face. Even the U.S. Post Office has gotten into the act with the ability to scan a blue mailbox for a fun holiday animation that ends with info about its products.

When you see a new technology taking off like augmented reality, take a moment to figure out how it might benefit your business. You will likely be able to leverage it for inexpensive advertising opportunities.

New ways to partner with applications and AR technology to increase customer traffic will emerge, or you simply use these features to complement your existing promotions. Even better, these developments often welcome cross-promotional activity.

You can expect the costs to integrate AR into marketing strategies will continue to go down. This will provide new and unique opportunities for small businesses to increase their market share in engaging content for customers at a lower cost than ever.

About the Author: 

Scully Labs is a premiere augmented reality design and development agency that leverages AR across an array of devices. They offer strategic consulting, rapid prototyping, and full product lifecycle management services to clients looking to incorporate augmented reality into their business.