Since Facebook relaunched as Meta, there’s been lots of discussion about Facebook Metaverse marketing strategies. The Metaverse is a rapidly growing trend that will impact all aspects of culture, entertainment, and marketing. It is even more significant than Facebook. Whether you’re an online marketer or business owner, you should be informed of what’s going on in this dynamic industry.
Technology evolves and changes at a breakneck speed. Today, we are experiencing innovations that were previously inconceivable. As virtual reality (VR) and forms of augmented reality (AR) become part of our everyday lives, metaverses are becoming increasingly prevalent on the internet. In fact, more than 85 million consumers are estimated to engage in at least one AR or VR experience per month by the end of this year. While the Metaverse isn’t entirely what science fiction has depicted it to be, it offers limitless utility as a new computing platform.
What is the Metaverse?
The Metaverse is a concept that is difficult to articulate precisely because it is so fresh. The term originates from Snow Crash, a science fiction novel that was published in 1992. However, it has only recently been thoughtfully considered as the next phase of the internet. Facebook’s recent rebranding as Meta shows how popular this concept has grown. It’s vital to keep in mind, though, that Facebook does not own the Metaverse; it’s simply the largest business involved in the Metaverse thus far.
As previously stated, the Metaverse refers to highly immersive online experiences such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and interactive video. It essentially takes the online experience to the next level by constructing an entire world where people can socialize, conduct business, and enjoy immersive entertainment. The most critical aspects of the Metaverse include gaming, virtual property, and NFTs.
Gamers will feel right at home in the Metaverse, as they are already enthusiastically embracing artificial worlds and realities in which they take on avatars and engage in a variety of virtual adventures. Additionally, the Metaverse is made up of miles and miles of virtual land. While the concept of owning virtual land might seem strange, virtual land has already sold for millions of dollars. The worth of virtual property is directly proportional to its popularity and traffic. Buying virtual land is pretty much the same as paying for a full-page advertisement in a popular magazine or television show. Owners of virtual land can open a store, host online events, or even rent out their virtual land to others.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are also a big part of the Metaverse. An NFT is a digital asset that exists on the blockchain, such as a work of art, brand logo, photograph, gaming asset, or any other virtual token. NFTs are typically purchased with cryptocurrency and can be extremely valuable. While NFTs are still new and controversial, they have the advantage of having a unique identification code that cannot be duplicated.
The challenges of conducting business on the Metaverse
While brands have a bright future in the Metaverse, there are still some challenges to overcome along the way.
Given the kind of technology required to perform actions on the Metaverse, metaverses generally have an accessibility issue. Not everyone has access to the high-end computers and VR lenses needed to experience the Metaverse. As a result, the market that brands venturing into the Metaverse have access to is considerably reduced, and mass marketing activities may not be as successful as they would be otherwise.
When traversing metaverses, brands must also be cautious. Since the technology associated with the Metaverse is still in its infancy, marketers may struggle to find their place in the Metaverse, and their messaging may seem unnecessarily harsh. Your integration into the Metaverse must be smooth to avoid alienating players from the brand. Make sure your locations feel natural by drawing up a detailed plan in advance.
There are still many misconceptions regarding metaverses. These virtual worlds are frequently mistaken for simple children’s games. Since not everyone recognizes the importance of metaverses, you may find that your efforts to develop an active brand presence on these platforms are neglected.
Data privacy and security in the Metaverse are still a problem. What’s more, the demand for more advanced security measures only grows as the technology improves. This requires the creation of new data privacy and protection measures in areas where none previously existed. Personal verification, for example, may need additional data from users, posing a greater danger to data privacy.
Since metaverses are available to everyone, brands must be cautious when using these platforms to build their brand reputation. The more power people have in a metaverse, the more likely your brand will be associated with dubious content. It’s also possible that your placements might be vandalized or insulted by other users. To avoid this, your marketing methods must be consistent, thoughtful, and accurate so that users feel comfortable.
Finally, metaverses suggest that computing and the internet have a bright future. Furthermore, they give marketers and advertising plenty of room to experiment. Despite these obstacles, the opportunity to be experimental, immersive, and innovative triumphs.
Why should you market in the Metaverse?
As a result of the digital age, consumer behavior has changed. As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, more people shop, work, play and learn online. The Metaverse promises a “phygital” (physical and digital) solution. It aims to blur the distinction between physical and virtual reality and alter how we perceive the world.
Surprisingly, 67% of the online gaming demographic is under 16 years old. This presents an opportunity to reach new audiences, boost consumer confidence, and investigate a new revenue stream for businesses. For example, Roblox has 200 million active users who spent $319 million on in-game currency in the second quarter of 2020.
We can’t stress the importance of Gen Zs as customers enough, given their dominance of the Metaverse. In the United States, they have $143 billion in spending power, which analysts anticipate could surpass millennials and baby boomers by 2030.
Overall, the Metaverse is overflowing with business opportunities. Top brands have branched out to the Marketverse to build their brands, and you should, too.
Marketing opportunities in the Metaverse
Before we dive into the marketing possibilities within the Metaverse, let us break down how advertising, SEO, social media marketing, and content marketing can play a role in your overall marketing strategy.
Metaverse marketing is the future. It is a new marketing ecosystem that functions similarly to the blockchain. Since it is decentralized, there are no servers or administrators. A new marketing strategy enables you to connect with your customer base in previously unimaginable ways.
Different aspects of advertising that you can use in the Metaverse
In the same way that we migrated from television, radio, and banner advertising to social media, search engines, and more, we are also shifting from digital advertising to metaverse marketing. Businesses today employ words and supporting graphics in display advertising that we can find on Google or other search engines. However, as the industry shifts, these graphics will become 3D, making the work a little more complicated. Furthermore, VR and AR will be popular advertising tools, demanding even more creative work than is currently required.
This, however, will give digital marketers more leeway in how they advertise and sell products.
The Metaverse and SEO
The rise of Metaverse may have a significant impact on search engine optimization.
Google might adopt a more immersive approach, delivering a search engine that lets you visit a page in virtual reality. Brands will need to rethink their three-dimensional narratives, and marketers will need to embrace emerging technology faster.
Social media marketing and the Metaverse
AR and VR will impact the buyer journey right from the first step to the last step. We can imagine social media platforms similar to Roblox or Fortnite, where you have a 3D character in AR and visit websites in the same way that you would visit game rooms in a game. The options are limitless.
Only 3% of the content online is classified as “interactive.” Everything else is regarded as passive content. The graphics in interactive graphics change when the user interacts with them. Exploration and discovery are enabled by interactive content, which is similar to metaverse characteristics such as user-driven characteristics. Brand experiences that connect to real-world experiences or parallel what your brand already does in real life can help you connect with customers.
Marketing possibilities in the Metaverse
If you’re not active in the cryptocurrency, gaming, or virtual reality industries, you might think the Metaverse has nothing to do with you. However, any significant movement is sure to have an impact on your business as well as its marketing tactics. If you want to remain ahead of the game, here’s how you can integrate your current marketing efforts with the Metaverse
- Design your own NFT to increase brand awareness (for example, design an NFT with your logo) or to promote a product. If you are unfamiliar with NFTs, it may seem challenging to create your own NFT. However, technology is developing rapidly, and a quick Google search will bring you to websites explaining the process. Thanks to the immense number of NFT guides out there, people who consider themselves technologically challenged now find it easier to create their own NFTs (or outsource the process).
- Look for potential opportunities in Facebook’s Meta offerings. You may be able to build your own virtual store or organize events such as immersive conferences in the Metaverse. Even though Facebook is still in the early stages of its Meta transition, you can bet that commerce and advertising will be involved at some point.
- Invest in some virtual real estate. What are the advantages of virtual land ownership? It can be sold or used for events. It’s also an investment because, like physical real estate, you may be able to resell or rent it out.
- Consider gamifying your business. Games play an important role in the Metaverse. Regardless of whether you’re a gamer or not, you can look into different ways to set up your own game. As with NFTs, creating games is now easier than ever, even if you are not a programmer. If you need inspiration, look at how other brands are using gamification. For example, Nike created their own virtual world, Reactland, to coincide with the release of the React shoe.
Metaverse marketing strategies in 2022
1) Establish a native presence
Advertising is disruptive by definition. While the five-second ad at the start of a YouTube video can stop people in their tracks, it can also become irritating. Inserting yourself naturally into the platform, on the other hand, allows you to engage with users without interfering with their experience.
There are limitless opportunities with in-game advertising. For example, you can find virtual billboards for Coca-Cola, Samsung, and Volkswagen in video games such as Football Manager and Hyper Scape. According to the in-game advertising platform Bidstack, these ads improved gameplay realism for 95% of players and increased purchase intent by 12%.
Let us look at some tips to create in-game ads:
Consider your target audience
Your in-game campaign will be significantly more successful if you take time to identify and segment your target audience. Which motivators elicit the most responses from your target audience? Would you classify these people as casual, middle-of-the-road, or hard-core gamers?
Find the right platform
Whether mobile, PC, console, or streaming, your platform should expand your reach while remaining consistent with your brand. Mobile games, for example, can appeal to more casual gamers, whereas PC and console games can appeal to more experienced gamers.
Select your format
Choose a format that makes it easy to identify your products. In-game apps include video, music, banner ads, and virtual billboards in digital sports stadiums. Nas, for example, used in-game audio advertisements to promote his album “King’s Disease II.” It had a click-through rate of 1,275% compared to the typical rate of traditional in-game banners.
2) Duplicate real-life marketing in a virtual space
Transitioning into the Metaverse does not require you to do everything differently. An excellent way to start is by replicating what you provide in real life in the parallel virtual world. It is not only a natural way to enter the Metaverse, but it is also a genuine way to attract attention among your target audience.
Deliveroo’s marketing campaign on Animal Crossing is an example of this. The online food delivery service used virtual riders to make multiple island-wide deliveries in the game. Not only did players receive a surprise delivery on their virtual island, but they also received a promo code that they could use in real life. Deliveroo’s marketing campaign garnered three million in-game engagements in the first hour alone.
Similarly, introducing your real-world cause into the Metaverse can boost brand engagement. Hellmann’s, a mayonnaise company, also brought their commitment to reducing food waste to Animal Crossing. The company created its virtual island and invited players to donate their spoiled turnips for a good cause. As a result, Hellmann’s was able to donate 50,000 meals to FareShare, a food waste charity.
3) Sell virtual goods to digital avatars
In the Metaverse, where avatars represent people, people take their online identities seriously. Consumers value customization when creating virtual avatars. As in real life, people in the 3D environment spend a lot of money on self-expression.
As a result, the direct-to-avatar (D2A) economy is gaining traction. It enables businesses to sell virtual retail products directly to avatars. Naturally, fashion brands are seizing this opportunity. Balenciaga has collaborated with Fortnite to create virtual outfits, accessories, and weapons for avatars. Meanwhile, Gucci has sold $4000 digital bags on Roblox.
Let’s see how you can enter the D2A market.
Partner with in-platform creators
Collaboration with online game universes such as Fortnite or League of Legends will help you to create virtual possessions that fit naturally into the gaming experience. Otherwise, you can create wearable and tradeable digital garments using 3D and AR platforms with open marketplaces.
Experiment with AR
Augmented reality, or AR, is set to revolutionize shopping experiences by allowing users to see clothing products in real-time. According to a report on retail, 61% of users prefer to shop in stores that offer augmented reality. Gucci made headlines earlier this year for selling digital shoes to avatars and allowing buyers to wear those shoes using augmented reality.
Turn virtual goods into NFTs
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, can be used to track the production and distribution of your virtual clothing. This can demonstrate authenticity, which increases consumer trust. An NFT art marketplace, such as Rarible, can help you to convert your virtual goods into NFTs, sell them, and receive royalties in your digital wallet.
4) Establish a virtual venue
Going digital should not prevent you from opening a store. A virtual 3D store, museum, or island can help you to establish your presence in the Metaverse and develop strong emotional bonds with your customers. You can offer customers tours, virtual try-on or try-outs, and interactive 3D product exhibits.
Sentosa Development Corporation added Singapore’s State of Fun to Animal Crossing, while Fila created their own shop within the game. In the meantime, General Mills’ web-based tailgate experience received over 500,000 impressions across traditional and social media channels.
Tips for creating your own virtual venue:
Work with AR/VR platforms and designers
The best platforms allow you to define your visual environment. You can use a virtual store platform, such as Obsess, which assisted Ralph Lauren in creating its virtual boutique, to do this.
Decide on the details of your 3D shop.
Why limit yourself to one virtual store when you can set up two or more? Hyundai Motors launched five Roblox theme parks to introduce Hyundai’s products and future mobility solutions to younger consumers. On the other hand, Net-A-Porter created an entire island in Animal Crossing to house its 3D headquarters, photography studio, and editorial room.
Make it interactive
Interactive marketing can help you meet the needs of your customers more effectively. The Gucci Garden virtual exhibit on Roblox is a great example of this. Gucci fans explored themed rooms and interacted with various digital clothing and accessories in this interactive environment. Visitors can even purchase exclusive, limited-edition avatar items in the Gucci Garden virtual store.
Launch on the chosen channel
Many brands set up shop in metaverse spaces such as Animal Crossing and Roblox because these platforms already have a large user base. However, launching your shop on your virtual site can help you to develop a first-party data strategy.
5) Create an immersive experience
Experiential marketing is a driver of customer engagement. Providing an immersive experience forces audiences to step outside of their comfort zone. This can impact their perception of your brand and help you form long-lasting bonds with them. According to studies, brands that focus on creating experiences gain 25% more brand loyalty than those that don’t.
Here are some examples of immersive experience campaigns to use in Metaverse:
Live concert performances
Audiences can engage and interact with your brand through virtual music events. Travis Scott, a rapper and producer, performed a virtual concert in Fortnite as a 3D avatar, attracting 12.3 million concurrent players. Similarly, The Weeknd (as a digital avatar) performed a live version of “Blinding Lights” on TikTok, with real-time comments displayed as flashing lights and fireworks in the background.
Involving your audience in the brand storytelling process could also result in massive growth. Rival Peak from Genvid Holdings is a great example of this kind of live brand storytelling experience. The live event, which was part game, part TV show, asked players to decide the fates of 12 AI characters. It was streamed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with 200 million engagements and more than 100 million minutes watched.
In a nutshell, advergames have advertisements disguised as games. This is a novel way to generate interest in your company. When you use this strategy, audiences will talk about your product and your competition. Tourism New Zealand’s Play NZ campaign is one example of an advergame. Players in the adventure game can visit various sites and attractions in 3D New Zealand.
6) Offer digital collectibles
Humans have an innate desire to collect things, and this will not change in the Metaverse. NFTs make good collectibles in these virtual spaces. The original owner of this kind of collectible, such as digital art, music, or clothing, is encrypted and unchangeable unless this owner sells it to someone else.
Although the long-term value of NFTs remains uncertain for the time being, brands continue to find them appealing due to the marketing opportunity and high returns. For example, resales of Budweiser’s rarer NFT beer have risen to more than $20,000. A digital Derrick Rose layup NBA Top Shot card, on the other hand, costs $1 million.
Here are some examples of how you can sell branded collectibles:
Bundle them with special benefits
Customers purchase products or services because of the benefits they provide. A one-of-a-kind deal would not only make your collectible more appealing but also more profitable.
Budweiser NFT cans, for example, are a key to Budverse, a mystery collectible. The collection was gone within an hour of launching, and the resale price skyrocketed. Meanwhile, Kings of Leon’s limited-edition NFT album has enhanced media and limited-edition vinyl. This album’s sales have brought in $2 million for the prominent rock band.
Use it as a reward
Rewarding customers for purchasing your product gives them another reason to interact with your brand. For example, the Dallas Mavericks of the NBA give away NFTs to fans who attend home games. These cards can be kept, sold, or traded by fans. They can even win special rewards for collecting special groups.
Combine them with physical items
NFTs can provide collectors with the satisfaction of exclusivity, whereas physical products can give them something to brag about. Longines, a luxury watchmaker, listed a watch with 45 limited-edition NFTs, while Burberry sold 1,000 unique edition scarves that came with an interactive NFT deer.
6) Engage with existing communities
People are generally opposed to advertising. For this reason, it is critical that you attempt to enter the Metaverse, you do not annoy those already present. Furthermore, if you will be marketing to these users, you need to get their permission.
Forming organic connections with the communities you find on the Metaverse is a far better way of marketing your brand than engaging in traditional advertising. For example, brands gain traction in Roblox when they collaborate with members of the Roblox developer community to create items and experiences. Similarly, when O2 hosted a Fortnite concert, they collaborated with creators who were already experts on the Fortnite platform.
Think of this as an influencer campaign. Since user-generated content is essential, you should involve members of your community in executing your campaigns.
If you want to engage audiences, then it’s important to create various kinds of content that will appeal to different segments of your audience. While it may be easy enough to create content, it can be challenging to compile the information you need to draw attention from targeted audiences.
PR agencies like Pressfarm help you create newsworthy content that captures attention and inspires audiences. With a professional press release, some compelling guest posts, and an eye-catching media kit from Pressfarm, you can stand out in your industry.
In addition to helping you create this content, the team at Pressfarm can also help you to put it in front of the right eyes. By submitting your content to the right media outlets and startup directories, Pressfarm can boost your online visibility and ensure you rank in relevant search results. They also go the extra mile by providing companies with access to their PR database of over 1 million journalists. You can filter these contacts to find your perfect media match easily.
Pressfarm’s team of PR specialists, expert writers, and certified designers has what it takes to help your brand capture attention among the right audiences.
7) Experiment continuously
Marketers are living in an exciting time. While guiding principles can help marketers decide what kind of strategies and tactics to use, the Metaverse is a relatively new platform with plenty of room for experimentation. Best practices have yet to be adequately established, and paradigms have yet to be fully developed. This provides plenty of room for marketers to be unique and experimental in their approaches.
The future of the Metaverse
Many businesses are now investing in metaverses. They’re using the virtual world not only for entertainment but also for business and professional reasons.
For example, Facebook, the world’s largest social media platform, envisions itself as a metaverse company in the future. Mark Zuckerberg focuses his efforts on creating social metaverses and investing in Oculus, Facebook’s augmented reality, and virtual reality technology. Zuckerberg unveiled an Oculus work metaverse in August 2021, allowing people to collaborate and interact as if they were in an office.
Silicon Valley, in general, has been betting on metaverses as the next generation of the internet. Many games are incorporating metaverse-like elements on their platforms right now. For example, concerts are now permitted in Fortnite and Animal Crossing.
Besides that, HTC concentrates on business-oriented VR technology rather than consumer-oriented VR technology. This demonstrates that virtual reality technology is becoming more than just a means of entertainment. If nothing we’ve already said has convinced you, consider this: people are buying property in the Metaverse, particularly on Earth 2. That is clear evidence that the metaverse technology is here to stay.
The Metaverse will offer numerous opportunities for businesses of all types and sizes to reach a larger audience. However, don’t dismiss it as insignificant or overly complicated. Learn as much as you can at your own pace while looking for new ways to boost your company.