Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
In 2021, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook was to be rebranded as ‘Meta,’ and that his goal was to ‘help bring the metaverse to life.’ This was swiftly followed by Microsoft announcing its intention to acquire Activision Blizzard in order to provide ‘building blocks for the metaverse.’ Today let’s talk about marketing in the metaverse.
According to a report by The Small Business Blog, Facebook plunged $10 billion into its metaverse technology, and Sony has also jumped on the bandwagon, investing $200 million into the market. Fortnite creators Epic Games have reportedly raised $3 billion in metaverse development funding and recently announced their plans to create a metaverse for kids in partnership with LEGO.
The metaverse is creating new and colossal marketing opportunities for brands, with the market projected to be worth $800 billion by 2024. So, what exactly is it, and how can it be used for marketing?
What Is The Metaverse?
The metaverse can be defined as being an ‘integrated network of 3D virtual worlds.’ Via a virtual reality headset, metaverse worlds can be accessed and navigated using voice commands, motion control (feedback) controllers, and even eye movements. The headset, combined with the control features, is designed to stimulate a physical sensation of presence within the metaverse world.
Essentially, the metaverse is becoming an extension of the internet as we know it, creating worlds we can immerse ourselves in instead of merely viewing content like images on Instagram. For brand marketers, the metaverse represents a vast new world of possibilities for engaging consumers in new and innovative ways; it’s nothing short of a new era for immersive tech and consumer experience.
As for the ideal time to enter the world of metaverse marketing, there is no time to lose. The market is expanding rapidly and new technologies continue to test the boundaries between the real and virtual world.
Here Are Four Ideas For Innovative Metaverse Marketing.
1. Invest In Virtual Real Estate
Metaverse real estate provides users with a virtual reality space to perform a wide range of virtual activities, socialize, attend meetings, concerts, and other events, sell NFTs, and much more.
There are a number of ways that you can use virtual real estate for marketing purposes. You could hold a branded event, or lease the space to another entity and allow them to hold a sponsored event (sponsored by your brand).
In case you are underestimating the value of the virtual real estate, last year Axie Infinity sold a plot of digital land for $2.3 million. The virtual property market is hot!
2. Sell Digital Products For Avatars
The more ‘real’ the virtual world begins to feel to consumers, the more they will be inclined to make purchases within it, and this train has already left the station.
Metaverse users want to expand their VR experience and customize their virtual avatars (digital representations of the user). Brands can (and should) get in on the action and create exclusive digital products. Again, this is already bigger business than you might imagine, with a Gucci virtual bag recently selling for over $4,000.
Direct-to-Avatar (D2A) is a business model rapidly gaining pace, allowing brands to effect sales while cutting out the need for the multiple logistics management required for traditional, physical inventory sales. To say that the future is digital is an understatement; the digital future is now, it’s happening as we speak, and brand marketers need to get on board to maintain relevance.
3. Embrace Gamification
You no longer need to be a games-based company to create a metaverse, nor do you need to be a games business to ‘gamify’ your consumers’ experience of your brand.
According to the Oxford Dictionary, gamification is the ‘application of typical elements of game playing (e.g. point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to other areas of activity, typically as an online marketing technique to encourage engagement with a product or service.’ We couldn’t have put it better ourselves.
Gamification has proved its power in the gaming world, and applying similar principles when developing your consumer brand experience is a surefire way of increasing their level of engagement. Developing competitions, and incentivizing engagement with your brand in exchange for digital products for avatars are just a few of the ways that brands can gamify their consumers’ experience.
4. Create A Unique NFT For Your Brand
NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are all the rage, with some achieving mind-boggling sums of profit. NFTs can comprise digital artwork, trading cards, animal pictures, music, and more, and their sales regularly grab the headlines. In 2021, Beeple (the work of graphic designer, Mike Winkelmann) sold its crypto NFT art ‘First 5000 Days’ for $69 million, becoming the world’s most expensive NFT; it makes you want to get doodling on the iPad, doesn’t it?
While your brand’s NFT may not quite reach such dizzying heights in value, unique NFTs can drive some significant brand awareness for marketing purposes. It can also help to develop an on-brand NFT to pair with the launch of a new product in your brand’s range.
Like so many advertising channels these days, the metaverse users don’t take too kindly to blatant, aggressive advertising. However, what they do typically embrace is well-thought-out, innovative, and value-adding marketing with open arms. So, get creative and do your research to see how your competitors are killing it in the metaverse; don’t be a copycat, but get inspired and play around with innovative ideas for how your brand can integrate seamlessly into the metaverse landscape.
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