For some of us, the metaverse seems to be a trending topic that developed overnight. Maybe it was the infamous Facebook rebrand or maybe it was when you started playing Fortnite that you first heard the term, but it has actually been around for a long time.
The metaverse has picked up a lot of steam lately so, naturally, brands are starting to wonder where the biggest opportunities in metaverse marketing lie. If you are among those curious and innovative marketing professionals, you’ll want to read this article to learn how the metaverse is impacting digital marketing and how you can leverage this emerging space to elevate your brand.
What is the metaverse?
First things first: the metaverse is not a technology, but a concept that exists through various technologies. Think of it as an ecosystem where users are represented as avatars and can interact with other users in a digital environment.
The most obvious examples of a metaverse would be games like Fortnite or Second Life, but there are other examples, as well. Virtual events such as the 2021 HubSpot Inbound Conference can be a metaverse, as well.
To better explain the concept, here are some key characteristics of a metaverse as outlined by Matthew Ball:
- Always active – there is no “pausing” or ending a metaverse; it continues indefinitely.
- Exists in real-time – the metaverse timeline exists in parallel to the real world.
- Users have individual agency – Users can partake in different activities at the same time.
- Self-contained and fully functional universe – The metaverse is a fully-functioning universe where users can create, sell, own, and be rewarded for their actions.
- Mix of different platforms – Different platforms can work together in the metaverse. For example, bringing items from one game into another.
- User-generated content – Users can also create content to share with other users in the metaverse.
How will the metaverse change digital marketing?
Just like with any new medium, the metaverse will present new challenges and opportunities for brands to market themselves. And since it’s relatively new, even simple ideas can still have a big impact with metaverse marketing.
The challenges of marketing in the metaverse
Early adopters tend to benefit the most whenever a new opportunity arises. However, as exciting as the metaverse may be, there are still plenty of risks involved so it’s best to consider your position carefully before diving head-first into the metaverse.
Here are some of the biggest challenges that marketers face when advertising in the metaverse:
- Technology is still catching up – VR and AR technology still have a way to go before they can provide a frictionless customer experience. Investing heavily in metaverse marketing could be a risky bet at its current stage.
- Security issues – As with any new medium, there are still some security risks in the metaverse that could put your brand at risk.
- Measuring ROI – The usual methods of measuring and tracking digital marketing campaigns don’t always apply. It could be a while before we are able to accurately measure the impact of digital marketing in the metaverse.
The opportunities of marketing in the metaverse
Now the fun part. Even though there are plenty of marketing challenges ahead, there is still lots of opportunity for brands and marketers who are savvy enough to navigate these new waters.
Let’s take a look at some of the most exciting opportunities for metaverse marketers:
- Virtual events – Attendance of virtual events, conferences, and parties saw a massive increase during the pandemic. These types of virtual events are likely to become more common in the future. If your company has the capabilities to run or host one of these events, that could be a great opportunity to spread brand awareness and earn some extra revenue.
- Networking/influencer marketing – Interacting with other people in the metaverse is not much different than in the real world. Imagine attending a networking event, but instead of being there in person, you are there virtually with your avatar. You could even create NFT clothing with your company logo or partner with other people who are prominent in the metaverse to talk about your brand, as well.
- Advertising on or sponsoring metaverse content – Just like with real-world events, metaverse events also need sponsors. Sponsoring an event in exchange to have your logo on display can be an easy way to test the waters and get your brand in front of a new audience.
Taking Your Brand to The Metaverse
The metaverse audiences are still growing and there is going to be a learning curve while brands and technology catch up with this new medium. However, there are some exciting opportunities for those who are ready and willing to experiment. Think of this time as similar to the early days of social media marketing – there is simultaneously a lot of hype and skepticism but the technology is quickly evolving.
Whether or not now is the right time for your brand to invest in metaverse marketing, we recommend keeping an eye on how things develop so you don’t miss the next big opportunity.
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