A Marketer’s Guide to the Metaverse

Technology evolves at a rapid pace, and marketing is no exception. The metaverse's emergence is a relatively new technological achievement, yet it will have a significant impact on human existence as we know it.

While digital marketing has progressed significantly over the last two decades, the metaverse has baffled many businesses and marketers. How can they make the metaverse work for them so they don't have to live in the dark ages?

I'll introduce the metaverse in this post. This will involve a deconstruction of what it implies as well as an examination of its current and future stages. Then I'll go over the numerous ways that marketers might expect to use the metaverse in the future.

Image Credit: Unit 2 Games Limited

What Is the Metaverse?

The metaverse is "an immense network of persistent, real-time rendered 3D environments and simulations," as described by Matthew Ball, a venture capitalist and writer, and later by Zuckerburg.

Simply put, the metaverse is a currently hypothetical version of the internet that allows users to interact with 3-D virtual settings online. Personal computers (for example, the online game Second Life), virtual reality headsets, and augmented reality headsets are all used to accomplish this.

That isn't to imply that some aspects of the metaverse don't exist now. Many people believe that games like Roblox and Fortnite are the future of the metaverse. Virtual avatars that can interact with their virtual environment and other gamers, to be more specific. They may also customise their experience by purchasing in-game products such as apparel and decorative accessories.

Metaverse and NFT: How Are They Related?

A non-fungible token, or NFT, is a digital object that cannot be replaced because it lacks a monetary value. Digital art, such as animations, is the most popular form of NFT today. An NFT, on the other hand, can become so much more in the metaverse.

NFTs have the potential to become a $56 billion business by 2030, according to Morgan Stanley, a global investment bank. How? All because of the demand that the metaverse will generate.

The demand for virtual fashion will explode as the number of virtual avatars rises. The desire to express oneself in the digital world is evident, and fashion is one of the most accessible methods to do so. Consider the market success of virtual games with avatars such as Fortnite and Roblox.

How Metaverse will impact Marketing?

You're already behind the times if you haven't thought about how the metaverse will affect marketing. It's not a "if," but a "when" when it comes to the metaverse. That is, it is unavoidable. The metaverse will have an impact on marketing in a variety of ways, some of which you can start using right now.

Virtual Reality

Credit: Example of a Virtual shopping experience produced for Walmart for the SXSW tech conference held in Austin, TX

Virtual reality is not a new concept. In fact, it's been around for decades in some form or another. Of course, it has progressed in leaps and bounds in recent years and will continue to do so in the future.

Virtual reality allows you to draw your clients into the fold in a variety of ways, from product development to the sale of existing items or services. They have the ability to participate in all stages of the process. Who can say no to free market research?

Furthermore, rather than avoiding such possibilities as they do with online marketing, many buyers will actively seek them out. Generations Z and Alpha, who are coming of age now and in the next 15 years, will feel more at ease in these situations than any other generation before them.

Augmented Reality

Credit: Augmented Reality dinosaurs at Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, Washington DC

Unlike virtual reality, which completely replaces your view, augmented reality simply adds to it. Consider "smart glasses" or the hit smartphone game Pokemon Go. These devices record your surroundings and then enhance them by overlaying visuals, animations, or data on top of them.

What role does marketing play? Augmented reality takes the shopping experience to a new level, from trying on a pair of glasses or an outfit to test driving a new car. Customers can interact with your items in an augmented environment without having to leave their homes. However, the metaverse will boost even in-store encounters. You can use augmented reality in stores to convey in-depth information, display new features and use cases, and so on, because it is an overlay on the real-life environment. Consider it a complementary marketing experience.

Branding in the Metaverse

As the metaverse expands, so will the potential for branding and advertising. Virtual message boards, billboards, goods, and even the virtual apparel that avatars wear are all included.

NFTs will also play a significant role. You may build branded virtual content for your customers by customizing avatars and locations such as "homes" and storefronts. This gives you the opportunity to enter into merchandising areas where you don't already work, such as virtual clothes and digital art.

It's not as simple as going "direct-to-avatar," according to Cathy Hackl, Chief Metaverse Officer at Futures Intelligence Group. To put it another way, getting into the scene isn't as straightforward as making a virtual version of your product. This is especially true for firms who don't sell clothing, art, or other easily digitized items.

Popups in the Virtual World

For businesses of all sizes, popup stores are a typical occurrence. A virtual popup allows you to share your brand on a broader scale, whether you're selling items or services.

A virtual popup, like an in-person popup, is an opportunity to network, advertise, and offer your products and services. Popups at a physical venue may limit attendance (because to space and travel), but a virtual popup allows you to reach a wider audience.

The virtual location will not only increase attendance, but it will also have a lower financial impact. You can cut costs and possibly even lower the end price for users by reducing the need for employee travel and lodgings and eliminating the need to rent out physical space.

Virtual Training or Classes

Virtual training and workshops are already a huge part of the business world, thanks to so many live streaming and pre-recorded video platforms. While many virtual trainings and programmes will almost certainly continue in their current form, the metaverse provides room for them to grow.

The possibilities for growth are boundless when it comes to bringing real-world classes to virtual headsets all over the world. Consider a virtual reality training course for your product or a tour of a use case for your services. You can also use it to demonstrate products to new consumers or conduct troubleshooting sessions with current clients.

You can employ virtual classes for in-house on-boarding and training in addition to marketing activities. Preparedness for emergencies, diversity and inclusion, and new employee orientation are just a few of the topics covered.

Metaverse Events

It's clear to see how virtual meeting spaces will continue to be needed in the post-COVID era. The metaverse has no restrictions on who you can meet and when you can meet them, from family gatherings to concerts to non-profit galas.

The Twenty One Pilots concert experience, which took place in the virtual environment of Roblox, is a recent example of such an event.

With events like these growing in popularity, especially among Generations Z and Alpha, metaverse events will become more than simply a tool to employ; they will be a requirement. Your marketing efforts will alter as your target audience evolves. This is just one way in which the metaverse will be utilized.

You don't want to wait for these kinds of events to become popular before jumping on board. Soon, you should think about holding your own virtual event, whether in virtual reality or augmented reality. There are even consulting firms that may assist you in planning such events.

Metaverse in Marketing:

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Metaverse?

The Metaverse is a digital realm in which users interact with computer-generated reality as well as other users. For all intents and purposes, it's a digital life that includes virtual reality and personal computing.

Why should marketers care about the metaverse?

The metaverse, as a second existence for users, allows marketers to reach out to their target customers in a new way. Customers' digital footprints are expanded by the metaverse, giving them a whole new perspective on their actions and behaviors.

How could businesses monetize the metaverse?

Businesses may monetize the metaverse in the same manner they can monetize their real-world equivalents, with chances to brand digital items, virtual classes, and popup events.

What companies are in the metaverse?

While we're talking about the metaverse in its future condition, there are companies that contribute to its current and future existence. Facebook (Meta), Niantic, Epic Games, and Apple are just a few of the corporations currently "in" the metaverse.

How can my company get ready for the metaverse's marketing future?

In its most basic form, the metaverse is a virtual community. The yearning for connection is inherent in communities. Companies can get ready for the future of marketing in the metaverse by putting in the effort to establish that link. For the time being, this entails generating AR commercials and building new commerce stores on Instagram Shop and Facebook Shop.

Credit: Timberland Augmented Reality Campaign

Conclusion: The Metaverse as a Marketing Tool

Matthew Ball and Mark Zuckerberg's visions of the metaverse are yet years away. Digital marketers should not sit on the sidelines and wait for that moment to arrive. Instead, they should use the coming years to prepare for future prospects.

Marketers can get ahead of the curve by investing in virtual reality and augmented reality advertising, for example. E-commerce platforms such as Instagram Shop and Facebook Shop also provide a glimpse into the metaverse's future and what it has in store.

What steps will you take to get your metaverse business off the ground?

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