In October 2021, the chairman of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, declared the company’s commitment to developing a metaverse, an extension to existing internet technologies, with potential access points through smartphones, VR, and AR headsets.
However, the metaverse is also an online digital world, with infinite unexplored opportunities for brands to advertise themselves on this newly created platform, translating numerous assets into a digital economy, where users could create, buy, and purchase goods or even services.
Where does one start with metaverse marketing, and are there any existing highly-effective strategies a growing brand can rely upon for a chance at success? It turns out there is, and this article discusses some of the basics of metaverse marketing.
What Is the Metaverse?
To best explain the meaning of the term “metaverse” and what it describes, you should mentally replace it with “cyberspace,” which is a much more familiar word. The term “cyberspace” doesn’t refer to any particular space or a specific type of technology, but rather a broader shift in how we interact with technology.
The metaverse is actually characterized as a network of persistent 3D virtual worlds that continue to exist even when you’re not connected. These worlds will be facilitated by the use of virtual reality and augmented reality technologies, like the Oculus Rift and other VR and AR headsets.
The term is described as a hypothetical iteration of the Internet as a singular, universal virtual world, something that’s becoming more real by the day.
Opportunities for Marketing in the Metaverse
As virtual and augmented reality technologies combine various aspects of the digital and physical world, people are likely to spend more time connected to the metaverse. As the line between the digital and physical world rapidly diminishes, new forms of digital assets will be created that will have a massive impact on the world’s economy.
Apps, social media, and video games, like Epic Games’ Fortnite and Roblox, began supporting extensive customization of online avatars in the past decade, showing that people are paying for virtual items that would help signal their avatar’s character and value, just as they would in the real world.
Having a flashy and expensive virtual pet in an online game became akin to wearing very expensive jewelry in real life; it conveys value and status. This is a fantastic opportunity for brands to create their own wearables in virtual spaces, like video games and social media.
Brands can even create virtual-fashion augmented reality filters on Snapchat lenses or TikTok filters like ASOS did with their Gen Z brand Collusion. When lenses or a filter software recognizes items from the gaming-influenced clothing lineup, it animates the clothes in augmented reality.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are currently the most popular form of virtual ownership, allowing us to transfer ownership of virtual assets within the Ethereum blockchain. As a result, some brands have launched their own NFT editions, like the NBA, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Gucci, and Nike. Other cryptocurrencies will most likely enter Metaverse’s ecosystem as well.
Virtual Venues, Worlds, and Spaces
One of the most immediate new opportunities for digital marketing in the metaverse is creating virtual venues and spaces to host events and other virtual experiences. This creative opportunity is akin to the first branded websites when big companies discovered internet advertisements.
When the pandemic prevented mass gatherings, Eurovision created a digital world for their annual song contest. Gucci used Roblox to host events, while numerous brands, like Balenciaga, use Fortnite for advertisements.
Virtual Stores or Exhibitions
With last year’s pandemic lockdowns in effect, retailers quickly invested in virtual environment replicas of their in-store experiences. If the customers can’t come to you physically, offer the digital experience of your brand to them. Major brands invested heavily into digital stores on various platforms and video games.
Examples of Metaverse Marketing
Dimension Studio, a company that specializes in creating virtual worlds and content, made $6.5 million in revenue, resulting from sheer experimentation with metaverses and fashion brands. The company has established a virtual production studio in which users are scanned by more than 100 cameras and translated into a virtual world to test out garments and other fashion items.
Houzz, a home decor company, added a 3D viewer that allows users to view items in 3D and place them against real-world objects through a camera, visually incorporating them into the user’s physical world. Paired with their furniture and home items store, Houzz earns each time someone purchases items through their service.
How to Prepare for Marketing in the Metaverse
There’s more than one way to start marketing in the metaverse, and it pays to know where to begin. You don’t actually need massive resources for metaverse marketing, and all brands have the ability to start small and expand.
Have the Right Mindset
The metaverse is here to stay, and the sooner you realize it, the easier you’ll adjust to the fact that virtual environments are places in which you gain consumers’ attention and conduct commerce.
This mindset will shift your focus from “experimental” to “long-term,” enabling you to build highly-relevant positions within the metaverse.
Stay Current With Technology
Technology is a major driving force of marketing in the metaverse, and building a tech team that will continuously improve your brand online and incorporate new technologies is crucial.
Embrace Virtual and Digital
Your brand can create virtual shows and events through the metaverse or through partnerships with existing virtual platforms, like Roblox, Fortnite, or Second Life. However, if you’re on a more creative side of the business, you can invest in 3D modeling technologies.
Industries worldwide are adopting VR as a standard, which drives the demand for 3D models used to create immersive experiences.
There’s more than one way to enter the metaverse market, and if you have any questions about brand development and metaverse marketing strategies, schedule a meeting with the pros at HyFyve — a full-service marketing agency.