In late October 2021, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg announced he would be changing the company’s name to Meta. The rebrand symbolizes the organization’s growing ambitions beyond social media towards building the metaverse, a sci-fi term that has since caused a ton of discussion amongst internet users. The firm has even pledged to hire 10,000 European workers to help make this mission a reality.
This concept is being labeled ‘the future of the internet’, but what does it all entail?
What is the Metaverse?
Simply put, the metaverse is a network of virtual worlds and simulations that enable users to interact with others who aren’t in their physical space. It can be used to host concerts, plan conferences, show films or organize social hangouts with people from around the world. These digital spaces will continue to grow and evolve based on how the user decision and interactions. Unlike current VR platforms, which are primarily used for gaming, the metaverse will allow users to do everything they currently do in the physical world – and more.
Discussions surrounding digital worlds and augmented reality tend to gain steam every so often and quickly die off. This time around, there has been a massive amount of investment from big tech firms and wealthy venture capitalists determined to be a part of the next internet revolution. When you consider how much time individuals spend engaging with digital products and services such as social media, content streaming, and video games, it’s clear why many experts consider the metaverse to be the next big progression in technology.
Characteristics of the Metaverse
The concept of the metaverse is still difficult for many to fully grasp. To gain a fundamental understanding of this new virtual reality, you must understand its main characteristics:
Always on. Metaverses are always live. They do not pause when users leave them, nor can they be canceled or ended. Virtual worlds exist indefinitely.
Players make the rules. Users can do what they want whenever they want inside the metaverse. One moment you may decide to sit in a corner listening to a song, afterward you may decide to join a hang out with some friends.
User-generated content. Everything that exists in the metaverse will have to be created by users. This could be a brand that decides to create a virtual world for marketing purposes or an individual who simply wants to develop a space for themselves and their social circle. Users are able to create content that others can also enjoy.
Fully-functioning universe. The metaverse allows users to create, own, sell and invest in assets within their virtual reality. They can also perform labor in order to receive rewards to help them advance in the digital world.
A mix of different platforms. For the first time, the metaverse will allow different platforms to work together. In the case of video games, for example, you will be able to bring assets from one game to another.
Exists in real-time. These virtual worlds have a timeline that coincides with real-world timing. User actions performed in the metaverse will have simultaneous consequences within the digital world.
Marketing in the Metaverse (with Examples)
Nowadays, digital marketing moves at the speed of light. Advertisers need to stay up-to-date on the latest developments within the industry. The metaverse is not just next year’s new trendy new buzzword, it’s likely here to stay and will be the internet’s next big thing. In fact, several progressive brands have already made great use of this emerging technology.
So, how can marketers take advantage of the expanding metaverse for their future campaigns?
Create Collector’s Items
In the real world, people collect all sorts of things, including coins, trading cards, wine bottles, and more. The metaverse will be no different. Offering limited edition digital collectibles in the form of an NFT or simply as a virtual asset is a surefire way to generate interest and awareness for your brand, as well as a bit of revenue.
Earlier this year, Gucci debuted their Gucci Garden virtual experience, a 3D rendering of their flagship boutique in Florence, Italy. The digital space allows users to tour the store and discover the one-of-a-kind items that the location has to offer. Users can contact Gucci directly within the metaverse to request more information or to initiate a purchase.
Two months later, the popular global platform Roblox partnered with Gucci to bring the Gucci Garden Experience into the game. Users were able to tour the Gucci Garden for two weeks and buy limited-edition Gucci items within the metaverse for two weeks. In this short period, it is estimated that a total of over $3 million was generated from the initial sale of these collectibles.
Utilize Existing Communities
There are already metaverse-like worlds that currently exist today. This includes games such as Fortnite that boasts an impressive userbase of over 350 million registered players to date. Brands should create experiences related to these existing communities in an effort to effectively market to them.
The truth is, people are opposed to advertising and are generally pretty good at spotting poor attempts at it. That’s why it’s essential to make your offering as engaging as possible with the community’s interests in mind. For example, the famous O2 Arena in London partnered with Fortnite to recreate the popular venue inside the game. The two entities then enlisted the English band Easy Life to perform inside the virtual space and deliver a special concert for fans. Fortnite has also brought superstars such as Marshmello and Ariana Grande to its digital stage in an attem