Social Media Company news South Africa

Using extended reality for compelling storytelling - Style ID Africa

Style ID Africa, an influencer marketing agency and platform, recently launched an interactive Instagram filter for South African social media users. This filter was used as a key focus to launch Under Armour's Summerized Collection.
Using extended reality for compelling storytelling - Style ID Africa

The augmented reality project allowed the users to view the collection in its entity using a hologram effect. Style ID Africa carefully selected 10 influencers to help create awareness around the newly released collection, comparing the filter to the real-life fit of the new offering.

Founder and director, Tami Ruschin explains that innovation is one of the many essential elements used in campaigns “Social media campaigns are becoming more competitive, and brands are more aware of how powerful technology can be. This allows us to be more disruptive, creative, and innovative with influencer marketing campaigns.”

The metaverse as a tool for engagement

Stephanie Gomes, Style ID Africa’s full-stack developer says, “AR can engage customers, enhance experiences, differentiate brands, improve product visualisation, and provide valuable data insights.” Gomes further mentions how providing distinctive tangible experiences is one way to keep your audience captivated. “It's a unique way to connect with audiences and build brand loyalty in a fun and immersive way,” says Gomes.

While metaverse adoption still has its kinks, extended reality such as augmented and virtual reality offer brands an immersive way to connect with audiences. Social media is an incredibly saturated landscape and interactive novelties allow brands to break through the noise. These tools allow audiences to participate in a brand’s story on their own terms.

For brands seeking to approach the metaverse, House of Instagram has revealed that influencers are the bridge between them and their audiences. For the Summerized campaign, Style ID Africa tapped fitness authorities such as Shimmy Mamabolo, Phelo Mfini, Muriel Mamoepa, and Samantha Shabalala to creatively introduce the new collection to their followers.

When introducing new products to consumers, senior account manager Jodeane Fisher insists that value be the most important factor in content marketing. Millennial and Gen Z consumers not only seek brands with which they identify but they require proof of evidence when it comes to opening their wallets. “One thing that really sets Under Armour apart from other performance gear products is the technology and the thought that goes into each product,” she adds. “I think consumers appreciate understanding who Under Armour is and why it’s such a great product.”

Influencers as creative agents

“Influencers were given creative reign and the results were phenomenal,” says Fisher. Influencers have the keenest insight into what their audiences want to see and how they prefer to be spoken with. Style ID Africa’s community of over 35,000 influencers in 10 African countries has allowed the agency to glean patterns and trends in the space. Time again, the most successful campaigns give creators creative control.

Using extended reality for compelling storytelling - Style ID Africa
Using extended reality for compelling storytelling - Style ID Africa
Using extended reality for compelling storytelling - Style ID Africa

Bringing e-commerce to real-life

“The filter stemmed from two main ideas that were brought together; Under Armour's Dubai Mall store that features AI & Iso-Chill technology, displaying foot scanners and smart touch screens that will allow customers to browse and compare sizes, price, fit and more details. And the other, hologram projections that showcased Nike and Adidas footwear on the buildings of New York,” shares Gomes. “Bringing these two ideas together, I thought let's create a holographic projection that users can see in their own homes, where they too can walk up to a board and view product specifications.”

Using InDesign to map out the concept and Javascript to develop the interactive features, Gomes published the filter in Meta Spark to be used on Instagram and Facebook. “It’s a step up for online product visualisation. Users feel more confident when purchasing items online because they have a full 360-degree view of it.”

The greatest challenge facing fashion e-commerce is concerns over fit, colour, and quality beyond a computer or cellphone screen. This AR filter solved this problem by not only offering users a chance to see all sides of the product from the comfort of their phones but receiving valuable information about the product DNA.

“We leveraged our influencer’s existing reach to expose the products to those who already know and love Under Armour, and to those looking for quality training gear,” adds Fisher.

The campaign approach opted for micro-influencers (creators with 20k-50k followers) as they have some of the highest engagement rates due to their smaller communities allowing them greater room to interact and connect with their audiences. Mfini (22k followers) and Shabalala (40.9k followers) are highly respected as personal trainers and fitness enthusiasts, consistently recommending the best routines, regimens, and products to their followers - because of this, the AR filter empowers them to give their audience greater insight into their decision-making.

“People want to know why influencers choose to wear certain products,” Fisher says. “With performance gear, it’s not just about looking while training–it serves a purpose.”

While we’re still far away from widespread metaverse marketing, Style ID Africa’s extended-realty services powered by influencer marketing offer brands purpose-driven content marketing. To bring your brand into the metaverse, contact Style ID Africa at az.oc.dielyts@ofni.

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