People have various conceptions of what the Metaverse is and how it operates. According to many digital immigrants, this is the logical conclusion of Mark Zuckerberg’s evil plan to conquer the world. However, it is a new frontier for marketers, and savvy brands are already profiting from it.
When Facebook announced in November that it would be changing its name to Meta, the announcement was widely reported. However, the Metaverse is not a novel concept. From Farmville to Second Life to League of Legends, players have been able to connect and communicate with one another in virtual worlds for quite some time. Paid and branded experiences have allowed them to acquire status and authority.
What does “the metaverse” mean?
People are beginning to agree on the term “metaverse,” even though there is more than one. Bloomberg refers to the Metaverse as the “next major technology platform” and defines it as “social, persistent, shared 3-D worlds.”
Bloomberg believes the Metaverse will be worth approximately $800 billion by 2024, whereas other industry experts think it will be worth more than $1 trillion. This is because people are currently highly interested in metaverse-related content. Roblox, a Metaverse Game Development platform created by users, is utilised by 50 million people, including half of all U.S. children.
As the opportunity grows, marketers are learning from gaming companies how to create an entirely new set of engaging brand experiences.
Confused? Intimidated? You’re not alone. Even for the most innovative brands, entering the metaverse development can be intimidating, requiring careful planning and the right personnel to maximise the opportunity.
How do consumer-facing brands use Metaverse Marketing?
The CMO of Metaverse and former IKEA executive, Stefanie Smith, claim that consumer brands are already rushing to the Metaverse. MetaVRse is a platform that enables the creation of interactive 3-D web experiences without the need to write code. She states, “Here, we can conduct any retail or 2-D e-commerce transaction we’ve ever desired.”
This includes opportunities for brands to interact more deeply with engaged consumers, particularly younger ones, and the provision of exclusive content rewards in exchange for engagement or co-creating content. “We used to say that children grew up with computers, but now they will grow up with the metaverse,” says Smith.
In fact, the Metaverse is a virtual playground for forward-thinking companies such as Vans, which created an interactive metaverse skatepark that more than 48 million individuals have visited. Gucci has created a pair of exclusive digital sneakers, and IKEA, Chipotle, Louis Vuitton, and other brands have made their own branded metaverse experiences. Nike has also invested significant cash in attracting superfans and collectors to the space. Sotheby’s constructed a virtual art gallery in the three-dimensional virtual world Decentraland.
How can brands that sell to other companies utilise the Metaverse?
J.P. Morgan has also joined the competition by opening a lounge in Decentraland to educate clients on cryptocurrencies and the Metaverse. Aside from this one instance, it is challenging to find B2B brands that utilise metaverse marketing. However, this does not imply that there are no opportunities. Smith cites the following additional short-term uses for B2B brands:
- Online branch offices or locations
- Online meeting rooms
- Virtual events
- Centres for virtual shopping, advertising, and training
How, then, can B2B tech, financial services, and healthcare marketers successfully dip their toes into the Metaverse once they have selected the appropriate project? Here are several ways to begin:
Select the platform and mode:
Do you need 3-D assets for e-commerce, a standalone WebAR experience, a minigame, an immersive experience in a VR environment, or another platform? Consider how you could use traditional marketing techniques online. Already, corporations are purchasing “land” in metaverses such as Decentraland and constructing shopping malls where brands can rent space to interact with customers, sell products, or advertise.
This is a crucial aspect of your metaverse strategy and tactics, as it involves the creation of your advertisement or event. Consider how individuals will interact with the experience and the necessary technology.
Choose between creating your own space and utilising someone else’s:
According to Michael Cruz, Partner and Head of Content at the experiential agency Summer Friday, this decision affects a great deal, including the location of your experience and the number of people who will follow you.
You may wish to establish a Discord group:
Discord is invite-only and has chat, voice, and video channels, even though it is not a 3-D virtual world in and of itself. It differs from Slack and other social networks in that fans can obtain varying access levels depending on what they do, how they interact with other fans, and whether they possess tokens. There is a direct connection between the rapidly expanding Metaverse and the cryptocurrency industry. Cruz argues that Discord demonstrates how non-fungible tokens (NFTs) or cryptocurrencies can assist brands in achieving the necessary level of engagement to enter the Metaverse. This is because the Metaverse is all about facilitating human interaction. “In my community, I can create a coin with its own value and use it as a tool to get more people interested in my project, get it used, and acquire genuine contributors,” he says.
Measuring metaverse marketing ROI and avoiding potential pitfalls
Many of the most advanced marketing methods in the Metaverse, such as branded virtual reality games, are difficult to implement because they are primarily experiments. ROI is also hard to demonstrate. Instead of attempting to increase conversions or sales in the short term, you should investigate metaverse marketing to build your brand and influence your core customer groups.
Different marketing strategies offered by Metaverse Development company will generate varying rates of return (ROI). Immersive shopping experiences on WebAR, such as IKEA Place, which is essentially a virtual furniture store, could have the lowest entry barriers and highest brand value. In addition, the content and the experience are interactive, so it could one day replace visiting a furniture store.
However, the true power of metaverse marketing resides in customer engagement. Cruz asserts that brands that fail to do so are merely “playing someone else’s game.” And someone else’s game can have garbage from someone else. For instance, Roblox has millions of experiences, but it is difficult to monitor them all for, violence, and other potentially questionable content.
Cruz cautions B2C and B2B brands to be cautious in the Metaverse due to the lack of rules. He advises developing a comprehensive plan before your errors leave a “digital footprint.” Numerous companies that take the Metaverse seriously are currently hiring full-time employees. Over the past year, a substantial increase in employment in the Metaverse has occurred. There is also a growing number of metaverse marketing training opportunities for marketers.
Making a solid plan, collaborating with professionals, and preparing for significant change in the interim. Building a stable community in the Metaverse can be more complex and costly than traditional social media.
As B2C brands continue to stake their claim in the Metaverse, now is an excellent time for B2B brands to devise a strategy to capitalise on what is rapidly becoming the next significant digital marketing opportunity.
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