Metaverse Marketing: A Beginner’s Guide to the Future of Marketing
Once in a few years, something comes along that transforms the marketing industry. Think of how radio and television changed the shape of marketing. In more recent years, think of how the internet and the advent of digital channels (like social media) gave a new face to marketing.
Amidst all these changes, one common factor remains. It’s the fact that businesses that make use of the first-mover advantage can benefit massively.
Metaverse is such a technological trend that has the potential to again change how we perceive marketing. That’s our main purpose for this article. We are going to look at what metaverse marketing is and how brands can benefit from it.
This beginner’s guide to metaverse marketing aims to have a look at what the future could look like. So, let’s get started.
Metaverse - Understanding the basics
We’ve already talked in detail about what metaverse is and what it means for the visual content industry. If you haven’t checked it out yet, we recommend reading it first. Here’s the link for that piece.
That said, let’s revisit some of the basics.
Metaverse can be thought of as a version of the internet that’s based on a network on 3D virtual worlds supporting social commerce. It’s a virtual place where users can interact with each other using virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).
Built on the concepts of immersion and interactivity, metaverse allows people to interact with each other like never before.
The metaverse craze - 7 quick facts
Let’s show you 7 quick facts that highlight the craze metaverse has managed to create.
- The global market cap of metaverse companies is around $14.8 trillion.
- About 74% of adults in the US are either joining or considering joining the metaverse.
- In 2020, 45.8 million people attended Travis Scott’s virtual concert in Fortnite.
- A digital Gucci bag was sold for $4115 on the metaverse gaming platform Roblox. This was higher than the cost of a real Gucci bag which has a store price of $3400.
- A platform called Earth 2.0 is allowing people to own, buy, and sell land in the virtual world.
- An NFT called ‘Everydays: the First 5000 Days’ was sold for $69.3 million, becoming the most expensive NFT ever sold to one sole owner.
- The market revenue for VR is expected to reach $12.19 billion by 2024.
Why is metaverse lucrative for marketing?
There are a few reasons why metaverse marketing can be a lucrative option for brands –
- The first is the novelty factor. Since metaverse in itself is such a new concept, marketing and advertising in the metaverse can offer brands a first-mover advantage. Moreover, the costs for running campaigns in the metaverse are still much lower than traditional means.
- The second major reason is the fact that marketing in the metaverse offers brands the opportunity to target millennials and GenZ audiences. There are currently 3.4 billion users that play metaverse-based games. Brands will be able to target this large user base which is only going to increase in the future.
- The third biggest reason is the fact that it offers innovative ways for brands to plan their marketing campaigns. They are not restricted by the regular laws of physics. You can market yourself in novel ways. Marketing in the metaverse will change the way people perceive marketing. For example, the biggest metaverses today, namely Fortnite and Roblox, offer brands the opportunity to advertise their products in a way that wasn’t possible before.
How can brands market in the metaverse?
As discussed before, metaverse offers brands innovative ways to implement their marketing campaigns. Let’s explore a few ways how brands can market in the metaverse –
• Tie marketing experiences to real-life events
Brands are creating marketing experiences that tie with real-world experiences. These campaigns run parallel to campaigns in real life.
Here’s an example – In June, AB InBev’s Stella Artois teamed up with Zed Run to develop a Tamagotchi-style experience inspired by the Kentucky Derby. They did so because Stella Artois, a brand of AB InBev, is known for supporting sporting events, particularly horse racing. Thus, developing an online platform where non-fungible token (NFT) horses may be sold, raced, and bred appears to be a natural next step for them.
• Virtual advertising
Brands can also look at leveraging virtual advertising in the metaverse like using virtual billboards.
For example, a video game ad tech company called Bidstack helps businesses place in-game ads. The same can be used in the metaverse by creating immersive and experiential advertisements.
Brands can create virtual installations in the metaverse that users can interact with. These dynamic installations offer much more interactivity as compared to simple ads.
• Offer collectibles
People love to collect things. So, the same can be applied in the metaverse. Brands can offer limited-edition items, assets, or digital tokens that users can showcase to other users in the metaverse.
For example, Gucci has a Collector’s Room in Roblox that allows people to collect and showcase limited-time Gucci items in the metaverse.
• Virtual influencer campaigns
Similar to how brands currently partner and engage with existing communities, they can do so in the metaverse as well. The existing principles of influencer marketing will apply in the metaverse too. Brands can get traction by engaging with influencers who already have a following on the platform.
For example, brands are partnering with Roblox and Fortnite to advertise their products. User-generated content is important and thus, influencer marketing will help.
• Keep experimenting
Despite all the hype around it, metaverse marketing is still a completely new concept. While marketers can use the existing guiding principles and tactics of marketing, metaverse offers a huge room for experimentation.
While it’s always a good approach to stick to tried and tested methods, it’s recommended to continuously experiment. With so many new avenues, you never know what might work for your brand.
Challenges with metaverse marketing
We’ve talked about the promises that metaverse offers. But there are still challenges that brands might have to overcome –
- The biggest challenge comes in terms of accessibility. The entry barrier can be a big roadblock since not everyone can afford the devices necessary to enjoy metaverse. High-end computers and VR headsets are still comparatively expensive. This limits the potential for brands for mass marketing.
- Another big challenge comes in terms of navigating the metaverse. It’s important to offer seamless integration to avoid alienating people from the brand. Being a new technology, brands might have trouble finding their proper place in the metaverse. So it’s important to make sure the marketing placements feel natural and well-integrated.
- Moreover, there are still a lot of misunderstandings around metaverse, with many people only seeing it as games for children. Since not everyone understands what metaverse has to offer, brands might need to put twice the effort in establishing their presence.
- Another key issue is data privacy. We need more evolved security measures including new methods for data privacy in the metaverse.
- There is also a risk of your brand getting placed next to questionable content or getting vandalized or getting disrespected by users. So brands need to be mindful with their marketing strategies.
Sensory advertising is the way forward
While today’s advertising only appeals to eyes and ears, the future may see brands appeal to all five senses. To stand out, brands may look at using tactile stimulation using haptic technology. This would increase customer engagement by stimulating a social presence to a purely technological exchange.
Is your brand ready for the metaverse?
Metaverse offers a promising future for brands, marketers, and advertisers looking for new avenues to market. Even more so, it offers plenty of room for innovation and experimentation.
Despite the challenges, metaverse marketing is an exciting opportunity to provide immersive experiences like never before. But is your brand ready for what lies ahead?
As you begin to think about the best way of engaging with the metaverse, remember to be creative and experimentative. The sky is the limit when it comes to the metaverse.