As a small business owner, it can be tough to keep up with the latest marketing trends and even harder to do the research you need to understand those trends. One of the latest trends in marketing is metaverse marketing.
What is the Metaverse?
Wired Magazine explained the metaverse in a recent article and simply said, “Mentally replace the phrase ‘the metaverse’ in a sentence with ‘cyberspace.’”
Think of the metaverse as virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR).
Virtual reality is when you immerse yourself into a different world and interact with that world.
Augmented reality is when you integrate the virtual world with the real world. A game like Pokémon Go does this exceptionally well. Through Pokémon Go, you can flick a switch and enter AR mode, where you can catch a rogue Pokémon on your kitchen table or in your living room.
The metaverse is the idea that you will interact with the virtual world in the same way you would interact with the real world.
Why Should I Pay Attention to the Metaverse?
For some people, the it will sound like science fiction, but this isn’t a fringe group of people trying to create something new. Some of the largest technology companies in the world are betting that the metaverse is the next big thing.
Facebook changed its company name to Meta. Google is investing billions of dollars in the metaverse. Microsoft, Nvidia, Roblox, Epic Games, and more are all involved in the metaverse in one way or another.
They’re all trying to get there, and now, technology is starting to catch up.
Before you start thinking of the metaverse as one uniform thing, it’s important to remember that there are different metaverses.
Roblox’s metaverse doesn’t interact with Facebook’s or Google’s, or Epic Games’. That means that while Google has amazing interactive experiences at some of the most famous and awe-inspiring places in the world, you still can’t play a round of Fortnite at the top of Mt. Everest.
It may happen one day, but right now, the companies are happy operating separately.
What is Metaverse Marketing?
One of the things that will help one company top another in this race for the metaverse is marketing. The company that figures out how to create revenue off of marketing inside the metaverse the best is the most likely to survive.
Remember, these companies are looking to make money off their product just like they make money off all their products.
At its core, metaverse marketing is just like all other forms of marketing. It’s a way to reach potential customers to sell them your products or services.
And like all marketing tools, you need to understand the market to ensure that you’re marketing to them effectively. You need to know your audience.
Who is the Metaverse Target Market?
And it’s the audience that makes the metaverse and the idea of marketing in the metaverse an exciting concept for businesses. The metaverse allows marketers to tap into a previously difficult to reach demographic – Generation Z and Millennials.
What’s more, the younger generations are adopting technology like the metaverse more freely, giving marketers avenues to connect with future target markets.
At the moment, the metaverse is in its infancy, but since the youth are often the first adopters of new technology, the metaverse could become the best avenue for advertisers to reach these extremely important target markets – people born in the Millennial generation and later – in the years to come.
Marketing in the Metaverse
The thing you need to understand about it is your old methods of marketing will not work.
Remember, this is an immersive experience. Whether you’re talking about AR or VR, the idea is to transport someone somewhere else. How often have you wanted to be transported somewhere where you see advertisements scattered about, impeding your experience? Odds are never.
That’s why marketers have had to get creative and find ways to interact with it that, in turn, allow them to interact with the users of the metaverse.
Exclusive Merchandise in the Metaverse
One of those ways could be through exclusive virtual merchandise.
For example, Gucci found a way to do this in 2021 when it created exclusive, virtual sneakers for Roblox users. For a small price, Gucci fans got their hands on special sneakers for their avatars that included the iconic GC logo.
The sneakers were only available for a limited time and only in the virtual world, adding to the exclusivity.
Another example is the virtual event. The band Twenty-One Pilots created a virtual concert for Roblox users before it started its world tour in real life.
On September 17-19, 2021, the band performed virtually on Roblox, and fans were allowed to vote for the next song they wanted to hear. It was an interactive virtual performance that reached multiple nations and millions of people worldwide, all with one event.
While your company may not have the resources to host a virtual event on this scale, this could be a brainstorming jumping-off point. Is there another way you can create an interactive and immersive experience for your customers?
Metaverse Product Placement
You can also try product placement.
Think back to the 1980s when every movie was filled with product placement. Make sure that Coke can is positioned just right so you can catch the logo while the actor drinks. ET followed a trail of Reese’s Pieces. The highlight of DeLorean’s history was the Back to the Future movies.
Product placement is possibly the best option for advertising in it.
Imagine a Roblox game that just happens to have a billboard for your company encoded in the background, or every time a Fortnite user destroys a building, that building has your logo on it. What happens if every bedroom in Facebook’s metaverse includes a poster from your band?
These are just some of the ways your company can start thinking about advertising in the metaverse. If you plan to enter the realm of metaverse marketing, don’t do it halfway.
Just like all marketing tools, you need to understand the platform first. Interact with experts, developers, and community members to help you create marketing materials that will seamlessly integrate with the platform you’re using.
People are smart and can spot marketing that’s pandering to them. Make sure you do your homework and work with people already immersed in the metaverse you’re trying to enter before starting your marketing campaign.
That can be the best way to ensure your success in this new virtual marketing world. For some more on this topic, check out this previous post.
Written by Erika Towne