Metaverse and Future of Digital Marketing
The term “metaverse” was coined in 1992 by Neal Stephenson. It consists of two words: “meta” meaning “beyond” and “verse” which is short for “universe”.
According to Wikipedia, Metaverse is a network of 3D virtual worlds, a hypothesized iteration of the internet as a single and universal virtual world that can be accessed through VR or AR headsets.
Metaverse is here to stay and will be a great way for marketers to reach the next generation of internet users. According to Statista, more than 130M have used AR or VR headsets in 2020. It is expected to grow to 170M by 2023.
In this UNICHED article, we will discuss the characteristics of Metaverse, how to market in Metaverse, and the potential challenges you might face.
Now let’s get straight into it.
Metaverse in a nutshell
Truly understanding the Metaverse could be challenging. Although we have defined it as an “amalgamation of virtual worlds on the internet”, it is not that simple. It is not a game or an app that you can “access” anytime you want. Metaverse exists simultaneously in real-time, even right now! As per our understanding from reading a lot of content, we drew the following conclusions about metaverses:
Metaverse always exists and does so in real-time. It’s never “OFF”.
It is user-driven. Content is created or enhanced by users and a metaverse grows as more are more people join it.
It is fully immersive. Users can interact with one another, interact, buy, sell and invest; thanks to digital currencies.
It is a mix of different platforms, meaning it is both centralized and decentralized.
That’s a lot of points but that is what the Metaverse is. It is a virtual world with endless (virtual) possibilities. Next question: how does one get into Metaverse?
How to enter the Metaverse?
Now that we have understood metaverse to some degree, entering it is the next logical step.
Buying (virtual) land is the easiest way to get into the metaverse. Of course, you should have digital equipment and some cryptocurrency with you. Depending on the metaverse, you can purchase cryptocurrency accordingly.
The most popular ones are Decentraland and The Sandbox. Recently Adidas purchased land in The Sandbox to build the Adi-verse.
Digital Marketing in the Metaverse
The metaverse is not the internet and it is difficult to translate or draw parallels. Below we have described some of the possibilities for marketers in the metaverse.
SEO in Metaverse
Unfortunately, not a lot of information is available as of not about search engine optimization in Metaverse. We do know that it is a virtual world where immersive experience is the key. There are a few possibilities on how search engines and brands might approach this.
For example, brands might create versions of websites that could be accessible via AR and VR headsets to provide the visitor with a personalized and immersive experience. Search engines might create an interactive way for users to browse the internet. Presently, Google understands the intent of a particular query and they might make it even more inquisitive.
The way we find things on the internet now might be entirely different from how you search in the metaverse. Marketers need to keep a keen eye on this and adapt as rapidly as they could.
Social media marketing in Metaverse
Social media marketing depends on what is social media in the Metaverse. It could become like gaming experiences with Fortnite where 3D avatars virtually interact with each other. Social media will become more personalized and private as a result of that.
Depending on the experience of browsing the “recommendation” page or “for you page” social media marketing will be shaped. What kind of interactive content will be there on a typical person’s “recommended for you” page? Will there be even a “recommended for you” page? How would people access their “feed”? That will set the rules for social media marketing.
Content marketing in the Metaverse
A huge percentage of content on the internet is passive, meaning they are either text, video, or photo in different formats. Gamification of the virtual world and the rise of interactive content will give rise to a new kind of content marketing.
For example, a real estate company could create 3D models of various houses which can be “visited” by potential buyers. The possibilities are endless.
Advertising in the Metaverse
The metaverse is a world in itself and so far advertisements pop up in predictable ways. For instance, ads in banners(virtual billboards) within a game, like FIFA. Various companies can also host virtual events which will contain sponsored messages.
Best practices while marketing in Metaverse
We have listed a few helpful tips that you should keep in mind while entering the Metaverse with a marketing mindset.
Keep it real: There are a lot of things you can try but make sure you are not delivering a virtual experience your product/service cannot match.
Immersion: Metaverse is a great opportunity to actually make your potential customers feel how your product is valuable. Capitalize on that.
Easter eggs: People love surprises, free stuff, and collectibles. Use NFTs or a custom native currency or existing crypto for this. Think of it as a “cool coupon”.
Engage: The “internet experience” will be entirely transformed due to interactive browsing. It is important to talk to people about their experiences.
Research a lot: New information, features, and activities are always popping up in the metaverse. If you can’t find the time, hire someone to do it.
The final “tip” will be to keep an open mind. Just like in regular marketing, some things work better than others. Keep experimenting with new things and scale up the ones that work.
Possible challenges while marketing in the Metaverse
So far we have discussed how marketing in the Metaverse has lots of potential for the growth of your brand. However, there are certain challenges that you need to be aware of before jumping in.
Identity: In a virtual world, people or bots can mimic to be you. The parameters that determine a person is “real” need to be properly defined.
Data privacy: A lot of companies have been victims of security breaches. In metaverse, these breaches could prove very damaging as there will be a lot of personal details.
Common law: What are the rules that one needs to adhere to while being in the metaverse? Who gets to define them? What are the property rights and community guidelines? These regulations are still in development.
Currency: We do know that cryptocurrency will be the primary medium of exchange and NFTs will be important too, but the “rules of engagement” are still evolving.
Digital marketing is one of the most dynamic industries in the world. It constantly changes, evolves as new things are innovated and rules are modified. Marketers, as usual, need to keep close attention if they want to capitalize on this great opportunity. Digital marketing in the metaverse is a chance for marketers to show what their brand is all about through personal and immersive experiences.