Back when the internet was still a brand new thing, there were those who saw it as the way of the future and those who didn’t.
Fast forward to today. Not only is the internet a massive part of daily life, but it’s such a big part of it that an online presence is now considered a basic necessity to succeed in business.
In 2021, the world learned about the metaverse — the phenomenon that could potentially become the next iteration of the internet we already know and love.
Naturally, savvy marketers are looking to get ahead of the digital transformation game so that they’re fully prepared.
But what exactly does that mean, and how can you make sure your brand isn’t left out in the cold?
What is the Metaverse?
In a nutshell, the metaverse is a shared virtual space where you can do pretty much anything you can do in real life.
You can shop, trade, buy, and sell. You can get together and socialize with other people for any purpose you like. You can even travel and explore in much the same way you would in the offline world.
In other words, the metaverse is meant to be a digital parallel to the world we already live in.
Although the metaverse is still in its infancy, it will leverage various technologies many people are already familiar with once it’s fully realized.
These include (but aren’t necessarily limited to) virtual 3D avatars, virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and dynamic video.
Those familiar with extensive gaming universes, like the ones found in interfaces like Animal Crossing or Minecraft, have already seen aspects of the metaverse at work.
To give you a better idea, here’s a peek at Facebook’s metaverse concept:
Why Brands are Marketing in the Metaverse
By now, it’s crystal clear that society’s growing dependence on digital tech has permanently changed the way consumers do things.
Quite a few people have been choosing to work, shop, socialize, and learn online with increasing frequency for a while now.
But the pandemic saw this happening to an even greater degree. More importantly, people have begun to prefer life this way.
The metaverse seeks to blur the lines between digital and physical even more thoroughly, changing the way consumers see and experience the world even further.
As was the case with the internet when it was still brand new, the metaverse is a golden opportunity for brands to expand their reach even further.
- Since Gen Z is the dominant presence in the metaverse so far, as well as the future of the consumer world, metaverse marketing offers businesses a new way to reach this valuable demographic.
- The metaverse can add a viable new revenue stream to your business’s existing repertoire.
- Becoming an earlier adopter of metaverse marketing can help you gain an advantage over competitors who aren’t yet ready to take the leap.
In other words, embracing the metaverse and integrating it into your strategy for the future is the key to getting ahead now and keeping your brand relevant for a long time to come.
How to Use the Metaverse in Your Marketing Strategies
As with digital marketing, succeeding with metaverse marketing is all about understanding the environment and getting a handle on what works best there.
Here are a few tips to help you get started in the right direction.
1. Embrace native advertising options
You can advertise in the metaverse just as easily as you can in the digital spaces you’re already familiar with. But it’s essential to do it in a way that doesn’t pull the consumer out of the experience they’re already enjoying.
People don’t like being interrupted to listen to a marketing message.
However, an ad that’s creatively integrated into a larger environment can add to a consumer’s enjoyment and lend their experience a greater sense of realism.
A virtual billboard positioned strategically positioned within popular games is one example of native advertising.
Branded installations and special events can also be effective.
2. Look for ways to replicate what’s already working for you
Don’t think of metaverse marketing as something that requires you to adopt an entirely new approach to your existing strategy.
It’s more of a way to expand upon it than it is anything else. That said, start your journey into the metaverse by adapting the tactics that already work for you to the new environment.
Is your company all about sustainability? Try creating a metaverse event or promotion that mirrors your real-world practices.
Does your catalog have a collectability aspect to it in real life? Try offering limited edition metaverse items that will appeal to your target audience in the same way.
Tactics like these are a terrific way to expose your brand to new audiences while still building on the unique brand identity you already have.
3. Open a dedicated virtual venue
The metaverse comes along with an incredible potential for creating appealing virtual spaces that your customers will love spending time in.
As in real life, your space can become a popular place for existing and potential customers to come hang out or shop. However, the virtual nature of the metaverse gives you lots of room to really let your creativity flow.
Virtual shops, museums, and even destination-inspired places like islands all make wonderful options.
You can have sales, host tours, plan events, and so much more. Just be sure to make them as interactive as possible to maximize user engagement and experience.
Team up with popular AR or VR platforms and experienced designers to help take the guesswork out of making your space everything you want it to be, as well.
4. Design epic immersive experiences for your audience
Many of the same tactics that help businesses build their brands in traditional physical spaces work just as well in the metaverse.
Immersive experiences are especially compelling, as they have the power to take an audience outside of themselves and create positive feelings around a brand. They can help promote lasting brand loyalty, as well.
Although the sky’s the limit as far as what kind of experience you offer, many brands and entities are already seeing terrific success with options like the following:
- Live concert performances that leverage the creativity the metaverse is capable of.
- Dedicated games and puzzles designed around your brand in an engaging way.
- Expansive storytelling events that invite the audience to take part in how things ultimately play out.
5. Don’t be afraid to innovate
If you’ve ever wished you could go back in time and get your business established online during the early days of the internet, you’re not alone.
You also may want to look at the introduction of the metaverse as a second chance at a similar opportunity.
This is a fascinating time for marketers, and innovation is the key to making the most of it.
At this point, the playing field is still wide open. Best practices for succeeding in the metaverse have yet to be set in stone, and the future still belongs to those who are willing to experiment and blaze new trails.
So don’t be afraid to follow your creative instincts and dream up something genuinely unique.
Is Your Business Ready for the Metaverse?
Of course, getting excited about the metaverse and picturing all of the associated possibilities is easy enough.
But it’s essential to make sure your company and brand are actually ready to expand into this exciting new virtual universe.
So before you jump feet first into the metaverse, it’s crucial to make sure you’ve nailed down the basics of running your company online.
- Do you and your team have a solid understanding of SEO, as well as a fluid strategy for ranking well with the search engines?
- Is your content marketing campaign reaching your intended audience and helping to build modern consumers’ familiarity with your brand?
- Have you cultivated a lead generation strategy that yields reliable, scalable results?
There’s little point in diving into the metaverse until you can answer “yes” to questions like these. Instead, work on perfecting your existing digital strategy first, and take things from there.
(And for a couple of laughs, keep an eye on Tom Fishburne’s wise cartoons.)
What are the Digital Marketing Challenges of the Metaverse?
Naturally, while the metaverse has definitely opened up some bright, new horizons for businesses, it’s not without its challenges.
Here are a few to be aware of as you continue brainstorming your metaverse marketing campaign.
Accessibility is still limited
Online marketing officially became a big deal for todays’ marketers once everyone was online.
These days, pretty much everyone owns a computer and at least one mobile smart device. People shop, communicate, job-search, consume media, and do just about everything else online these days.
This is not yet the case for the metaverse, and many people still lack access to the type of tech they need to really get the most out of it. Examples include VR goggles, top-tier computers, and so forth.
Security is an issue
As with the internet, the more advanced the tech and the more options available, the greater the need for more robust security measures.
That said, it’s essential to explore the metaverse with concerns like data privacy and security in mind.
New verification measures may require more personal data from metaverse users, meaning more sensitive information to protect.
And, as always, companies face the challenge of not only helping their customers feel safe but ensuring that this really is the case moving forward.
Brand protection should be a priority
Since the metaverse is still very new, it’s still something of a free-for-all.
Of course, this isn’t all bad, as a sandbox-like environment leaves lots of room for creativity and innovation.
However, you’ll want to take care to protect your brand’s reputation as you explore everything the metaverse has to offer.
Be mindful of your marketing techniques, and aim to make things as seamless as possible.
Watch out for situations where unscrupulous users may disrespect your intellectual content. The idea is to make sure existing and potential customers feel positive about your brand and safe engaging with you wherever you plant a stake within the metaverse.
What are the Opportunities of the Metaverse?
Again, the metaverse offers businesses and individuals of all kinds an unparalleled opportunity to get ahead of the curve and position their brands for future success.
Here’s another look at some of the most significant opportunities it brings to the table.
Your brand can become a household name
If there’s one universal lesson all business owners and entrepreneurs learned from the coronavirus pandemic, it’s that strong digital presences aren’t just advantages anymore.
They’re necessary if you’re serious about staying relevant.
The metaverse gives brands of all types a chance to fluidly combine the best of both worlds — the accessibility and convenience of the digital world with the immersive experiences of the physical one.
Virtual ownership is a lot simpler
The more time people spend online, the more valuable virtual assets have the potential to become.
As a result, virtual goods and the acquisition of digital rights will become a lot more important.
For instance, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are increasing in popularity, as they take the guesswork out of owning and transferring digital goods in safe, convenient ways.
Clever thinkers can redefine entertainment
The line that separates the virtual from the traditionally real has been blurring for a while now, but the eventual introduction of the metaverse into everyday life could nearly erase it.
While this may be confusing in some ways, it also opens the door to entirely new ways of entertaining and reaching an audience.
Imagine the possibilities this could present for your brand to reach new demographics, like coveted Generation Z consumers.
Wrap Up: Get Ready to Bring Your Growth Strategy into the Future
Although there’s always something to be said for tried and true ways of doing things, we live in a day and age where the future belongs increasingly to those who think outside the box.
So don’t be afraid to innovate when it comes to your ongoing marketing strategies. You definitely want to plan on bringing your brand into the metaverse at some point, but it’s crucial to polish the rest of your practices first.
Check out our comprehensive SaaS (software as a service) masterclass to learn more about how you and your team can stay ahead of the curve.
You’ll learn how to make the most of customer data, supercharge your customers’ user experience, save time by automating work, and much more!