With technology constantly improving and evolving, we’re now seeing innovations that were once unthinkable. The metaverse is one such example – a virtual environment that is immersive, highly realistic, and where people can interact with each other in real time.
If you’ve ever played a video game with online multiplayer capabilities, then you’ve already dipped your toe into the metaverse. And as businesses increasingly move online and into the virtual world, it’s only natural that marketing would soon follow suit.
So what does marketing in the metaverse look like?
In this article, we’ll explore the basics of the metaverse and how it can be used to elevate your digital marketing efforts.
Metaverse: What is it?
In the technological sphere, the metaverse is often spoken of as the future of the internet. But what exactly is it? Is it a video game? A social platform? Virtual reality?
The answer is: All of the above, and then some.
Metaverse is a concept that first appeared in the science fiction novel Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson. In the book, the metaverse is a virtual world within cyberspace, where people can interact with each other and computer-generated characters and objects.
While the metaverse in Snow Crash was purely a work of fiction, the idea has since been adopted by many tech companies and futurists who believe that the metaverse is the logical next step in the evolution of the internet.
In its simplest form, the metaverse can be thought of as a network of 3D worlds that exist online. It has the potential to be a completely new internet, where people can have immersive 3D experiences that are far more realistic and interactive than what is possible on today’s 2D web.
Think of it as a cross between the virtual world of Second Life and the augmented reality of Pokemon Go. But instead of being limited to just a few square miles, the metaverse will eventually be infinite.
Exploring the Metaverse: Marketing strategies to succeed
The metaverse is still very much in its early stages of development, but brands are already starting to explore how they can use this new medium to reach and engage consumers. Here are a few ideas of how you can explore the metaverse and use it to promote your brand:
Strategy #1 Use non-fungible tokens (NFTs)
One of the most popular applications of the metaverse is non-fungible tokens or NFTs. NFTs are digital assets that are stored on a blockchain and can represent anything from art to in-game items.
Brands can use NFTs to create unique experiences that help them stand out from the competition. For example, Nike recently released an NFT called the “CryptoKicks” that allows users to collect, trade, and customize virtual sneakers.
NFTs are a great way to create buzz and generate hype for your brand. Not only does it give consumers a new way to engage with your product, but it also allows you to tap into the growing world of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.
Strategy #2 Create brand avatars
Another way to explore the metaverse is by creating brand avatars. Brand avatars are digital representations of your company that can be used to interact with customers and promote your products or services.
For example, you can create an avatar of your company’s mascot to greet visitors to your virtual store. You can also use avatars to give virtual tours of your product or even host interactive Q&A sessions.
Big names like Gucci are already using this strategy to reach consumers in the metaverse. The luxury fashion brand collaborated with the famous singer Miley Cyrus to promote its new launch in the virtual world of Roblox.
Creating an avatar of Cyrus for the brand’s digital ad campaign was a genius move that helped Gucci reach a whole new audience. And with avatar technology becoming more and more realistic, it’s only going to become easier for brands to create these types of experiences.
Strategy #3 Retail virtual goods to digital avatars
As people spend more time in virtual environments, they are starting to value their online identities, or avatars, more and more. A study found that a whopping 92% of people place importance on being able to customize their avatars when creating them.
Just as people like to express their individuality through the clothes they wear in real life, they also want to be able to do so with their digital avatars. This burgeoning trend is giving rise to the direct-to-avatar economy, in which businesses can sell virtual products directly to consumers’ avatars.
Take Balenciaga’s collaboration with Fortnite, as an example. The luxury fashion brand designed virtual outfits, accessories, and weapons that could be used in the game, allowing players to show off their style in the digital world. This was a clever way for the brand to reach a new audience and one that is likely to become increasingly important as the metaverse grows.
Strategy #4 Host Live Events in Metaverse Universe
One of the most exciting things about the metaverse is that it provides a new way to experience live events. This can be anything from product launches and fashion shows and gaming tournaments to conferences and product launches. And since the metaverse is a completely digital environment, you can create experiences that would be impossible in the physical world.
For example, you could host a fashion show in which models can teleport around the world to different locations instantaneously. Or you could create a virtual concert where musicians can perform for an audience of millions. The sky’s the limit when it comes to hosting events in the metaverse.
Some popular examples of events that have already taken place in the metaverse include Justin Bieber’s meta-universe concert on the virtual music platform Wave and a series of concerts by Ariana Grande inside the hit video game Fortnite.
Leadership in metaverse: What do marketing managers need to know?
The metaverse is an exciting new frontier that has the potential to revolutionize how people work, shop, and live. There are abundant possibilities and opportunities in the Metaverse, especially compared to traditional marketing methods such as email marketing and using social media as a marketing platform.
However, it can also be a daunting place for companies and leaders who are not prepared for the changes it will bring.
Here are a few tips for marketing leaders who want to be at the forefront of this new technology:
Advocate a culture of ethical leadership:
Currently, the metaverse is largely unregulated. This Wild West environment can be both good and bad for businesses. On the one hand, it allows companies to experiment with new marketing strategies without worrying about the government’s red tape. On the other hand, it also means that no one can stop you from using shady or unethical tactics.
As a marketing manager, you should be proactive in promoting a culture of ethical leadership within your company. Thus, ensuring that your team members are using the metaverse in a way that will benefit both your company and the metaverse community as a whole.
Be open to new ideas and ways of doing things:
The metaverse will require companies and leaders to think outside the box. You should be open to new ideas and ways of doing things, even if they seem crazy at first. After all, the metaverse is a completely new playing field, which means that traditional ways of doing things may not work. In fact, they may even be counterproductive. So, don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things. The worst that can happen is that you’ll learn a valuable lesson.
The metaverse is still in its infancy, meaning the rules are still being written. As a leader, you must stay ahead of the curve and prepare your successors for the future of leadership in the metaverse.
In this way, you can adapt your company’s leadership style to the new environment and ensure that you are prepared to take advantage of the opportunities that the metaverse will present.
Ask for help when you need it:
The metaverse can be a confusing and overwhelming place, especially for those who are new to it. If you find yourself feeling lost, don’t hesitate to ask for help from those who are more experienced.
There are many resources available, both online and offline, that can help you navigate the metaverse. These include forums, chatrooms, guides, and tutorial videos. Digital marketing agencies with expertise in metaverse marketing can also be helpful for leaders looking to keep up with changing market conditions.
These agencies can help you develop your metaverse marketing strategies, create engaging 3D content, and even track your performance. Just be sure to do your homework and choose a reputable agency that has experience working in the metaverse.
One way to gauge an agency’s capabilities is to prepare a detailed questionnaire when requesting proposals, as agencies often conduct when onboarding new clients. The questionnaire should cover topics such as the agency’s understanding of the metaverse, past experience working in the metaverse, and proposed strategies for your company. This exercise will help you weed out the agencies that are not a good fit and find the one that can best help you achieve your goals.
Metaverse: The next big thing in marketing
Just like the internet was in the 1970s, the metaverse is new, exciting, and full of potential. And just like the internet, it’s going to change the way we do business. Companies that start experimenting with the Metaverse now will be ahead of the curve, reaping the benefits of being early adopters. So if you want to get in on the ground floor of the next big thing, start planning your metaverse marketing strategy today.
Image Source: Pexels