Space, the final frontier… Err, not quite. Allow me to introduce another plane of possibilities — the next level of evolution of the internet (and marketing) — the Metaverse.
Virtual reality, which forms the not-so-physical framework of the Metaverse has been around for quite some time. Games like Second Life and SciFi movies such as Ready Player One have explored the dynamics of living and working in virtual real estate and for that, we’re very grateful.
Until 2021, the Metaverse was a concept for early adopters, SciFi enthusiasts, and video game nerds. But now… Well now, it’s everyone’s for the taking.
There are many questions regarding the Metaverse; from its potential to Level Up our current experience of the internet to its immersive nature that could worsen internet dependency — people want to know how to tap into this vast new resource. Well, I come bearing good tidings. Read on, as I share creative marketing strategies that can best position your brand for the inevitable coming of the era of the Metaverse; featuring novel digital marketing techniques and some old strategies that I spiced up with time-relevant spins.
What Is the Metaverse?
The Metaverse is a continuous three-dimensional simulation that offers people an immersive and sometimes shared 360 experience. It’s a synergy of virtual environments that function somewhat like the real world. The Metaverse can potentially host anything that you can see and experience in its virtual environments, plus many, many, potential wonders that can’t be accommodated in physical space and time.
Powered by the internet and augmented by virtual reality headsets, the Metaverse is a rapidly growing new world. The tech giant Facebook recently changed its name to Meta in a sleek brand repositioning move, Shutterstock has a VR content library — Turbosquid by Shutterstock — and NVIDIA just launched the NVIDIA Omniverse a place where “Creators, designers, researchers, and engineers can connect major design tools, assets, and projects to collaborate and iterate in a shared virtual space”.
With early adoption speeding up, it’s only a matter of time until the rest of the pack jump in. Don’t get left out.
VR vs. AR
Photo by Uniboa on Unsplash
Virtual reality is a fully immersive experience in an alternative world made possible by virtual reality (VR) headsets. It visually transports people to different places or worlds. On the other hand, Augmented Reality brings an upgrade to your real environments. Kind of like what Snapchat filters do to your face. It superimposes images into a real setting. Both kinds of technology, which are already super popular among video game audiences will be essential in the Metaverse.
Key Points to Note About the Metaverse
- Provides users with fully immersive experiences
- Currently is occupied by video gamers, content creators, and crypto enthusiasts
- Offers brands new marketing and advertisement channels as users are already immersed and engaged
- Paves the way for big tech companies to expand their gargantuan tentacles (through VR headsets, content libraries, and collaborative spaces)
- May be potentially harmful due to its tendency to keep users fixated and obsessed.
- Could mark a pivotal point in the evolution of the internet
Next Level Marketing
Level up! Gamification, virtual real estate, and personalized demos are just a few applications of the Metaverse and we should all prepare to level up as the internet prepares to leave an era behind. Let’s explore a few strategies that’ll ensure you don’t get left behind.
1. Set Yourself up for Success: Identify Your Entry Point
Are you a B2B or B2C whisperer? Do you create? Will you be selling?
Define your capacities and potential modes of approach. With so many entry points into the Metaverse, there’s a place for everyone. Virtual reality libraries and tools are springing up all over the place, it’d be wise to explore them. Find that which resonates with your personality and goals, then apply yourself to learning and implementation.
I should probably mention that with the emergence of new technologies, there’s usually a doing away with the old, as the new overwrites our daily habits. You might need to learn a thing or two about video editing or learn to play a trendy new online game Essentially, you would need to be relevant to your target audience and their culture. In the Metaverse, your superpowers (if they aren’t already) should be research and adaptation.
2. Gamification for the Metaverse
Gamification is an ideal tool for building a target audience, more so in an already immersive world. It can be used to encourage users to take various actions on a website and provides an opportunity to significantly increase brand awareness and user engagement.
The Metaverse basically builds on the gamification model by using animated game-based interfaces and UI elements to engage and interact with users. For marketers, this is a potential goldmine, if used wisely. Because your target audience will already be hooked on whatever it is they’re experiencing, it’d be pretty nifty to introduce them to your brand by partaking in trending games, competitions, and other group activities online.
A pretty rad example of a company that’s already taken this path is Wendy’s in partnership with VMLY&R in its “Keep Fortnite Fresh” campaign. Rather than interrupt its audience with its advertising, Wendy’s decided to entertain them through creative advertising. In doing so, mentions of Wendy’s increased by 119% across social platforms, its Twitch stream was viewed live more than a quarter of a million times, and the brand successfully reached out to the “Adblock” generation.
You can read more on the exceptional VR campaign here.
3. Find the Content Types that Are Relevant to Your Audience
I reckon it’s a no-brainer that video content is the “chosen one” for the Metaverse. As it’s an immersive universe, videos would fit naturally into the users’ experience. Currently, there isn’t Adblock technology for VR headsets, so marketers can target video ads that are contextually related to whatever their audience is doing.
That said, I believe the ultimate marketing instrument for the Metaverse is the smart application of audience data to create radical digital campaigns. I’m fairly certain that the uncertainty that this novel universe brings is what marketers can leverage to create mind-blowing and unforgettable campaigns.
For instance, B2C customers will benefit from videos and games, whereas the B2B audience will rely on their technical research on the dynamic nature of the Metaverse; so articles and podcasts will go a long way to educating this bunch.
For the tech-inclined and younger audiences, influencer marketing will probably do the trick. Keep track of people who get on board first, the early adopters who will drive trends will be invaluable when the Metaverse boom is in full swing.
Putting It All Together
In September 2021, millions watched the singer Ariana Grande perform live virtually in Fortnite, big fashion companies are experimenting with making clothes for a virtual audience, Facebook has become Meta in preparation for the Metaverse takeover, Google, Microsoft, and other big tech companies are making VR headsets. It’s not a matter of if, but when the Metaverse will become a commonplace experience for the average individual.
My advice, watch more SciFi movies to prepare yourself. Nah I’m just kidding. Prepare yourself with proper research. Check out the investment opportunities, development considerations, DeFi, and legal implications.
Thanks for reading.
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I write on all things creative marketing. You can connect with me on Twitter