Why The Metaverse Is Marketing’s Next Big Thing

One of the biggest new platforms for marketing became very clear during the pandemic: metaverse marketing. For those not familiar with the actual term, metaverse is defined as an immersive, digital environment populated by virtual avatars representing actual people. Still not clear what it means? Think of the hit video game Fortnight, a virtual reality game where avatars play the game in real-time, fighting against each other and attending events that are held in that particular metaverse. Every person playing in real life has their own avatar, and plays in the game with their own, personalized digital representation. 

What makes a metaverse a metaverse? Influencer Marketing Hub does a great job breaking down the components: a metaverse is always active, exists in real time, players have individual agency, it’s a self-contained and fully functioning universe and contains user-generated content. 

Though other industries are creating and building metaverses, the gaming industry is the first to truly grasp, and take advantage of the potential. And the brands that are early adopters in realizing the potential of metaverses are the ones who will see the most return. 

Why Brands Are Marketing In The Metaverse 

There are many reasons why marketers are flocking to the metaverse. It’s new, and faster connections finally exist to support growing environments. But maybe the most important reason is marketers want to target and keep Millennials and Gen X up-to-date and engaged with their products and technologies, and metaverses allow them to target these audiences in a new way. And from the engagement brands are already getting, it’s clear this marketing strategy is working, and here to stay. 

The biggest metaverses, like Fortnight and Roblox, offer big brands previously unattainable opportunities because it’s in the digital world. Take Vans. The Wall Street Journal reports that the skateboarding brand launched a virtual skatepark in Roblox that lets players try new tricks, and can earn points to redeem in the virtual store to customize their avatar. 

Vans executive team says the online metaverse is the best place to build brand awareness among their core demographic of 13 to 35-year olds. The brand reveals their online park has seen upwards of 48 millions visitors to date. That is the type of engagement bigger brands with bigger budgets can see in the metaverse. 

Gucci also got in the game. The Verge reports that the luxury brand released an exclusive digital pair of sneakers in March 2021 called The Gucci Virtual 25 that “can be ‘worn’ in augmented reality (AR) or used in partnered apps like Roblox and VRChat.” They sell for $12.99 on the platforms – a pretty low price for a piece of luxury wear, even if it’s only a virtual item. Pretty clever, and they didn’t stop there.

 In May 2021, Gucci opened the Gucci Garden on Roblox, a virtual experience to complement a real-world installation called the Gucci Garden Archetypes, which took place in Florence, Italy. Vogue Business revealed that people could, “mingle with others exploring the space and can buy digital pieces created in collaboration with Roblox creator Rook Vanguard.” These two collaborations are two great examples of how brands can be much more creative in the digital space than in the real world. Not to mention, a bigger and much more engaged audience.

How Brands And Businesses Can Get In The Game

New non-gaming metaverses are starting to appear more regularly. Virtual conventions are now taking place in the metaverse. Attendees can go to a bunch of booths without leaving their office or home. The size of the audience grows exponentially when you move the experience online. Think about car shows and the potential reach if they moved to the metaverse. Put on some virtual reality glasses and “sit” in a car to experience and see it from the inside out. These types of events could be very creatively done.

 Because branding, marketing and advertising in the metaverse is so new, the prices are still quite low to run a campaign. If you’re a brand or business with an open mind and your target audience spends time on a metaverse, it’s time to give it a go. Keep in mind, regular ads won’t work – you’ll need to think creatively, and use engagement as your main KPI. Since this technology is new, the measurement and tracking we’re used to with other marketing tactics isn’t there yet, but it’s only a matter of time before the metrics catch up. 

As you begin to think about the best way to engage with the metaverse – whether it’s building an in-house metaverse team or hiring an agency to help connect and guide you through the process – remember to think big. Even the sky isn’t the limit in the metaverse.

Original article here: https://bit.ly/3nT757d

Source: Forbes