We are still at the beginning of the metaverse, but all signs are pointing to it being the next big thing in all types of media, including marketing. Will marketing strategies that worked in a traditional market setting still apply in a virtual world? How big is the metaverse market industry? How big will it be in five years? Is it too early for brands to care about the metaverse? Did Snoop Dogg really put out a music video shot in the metaverse? There is a lot more flexibility and room for experimentation in the metaverse than we have on the web. Virtual reality offers new opportunities for marketing that we can explore and experiment with.
As with any technological innovation, there are going to be hurdles for marketers and consumers to overcome. But the potential for brands who are careful about how they establish their presence in the metaverse is massive. However, it is not just about joining the metaverse, but what happens once you are there. For example, does your brand have a loyal following? How engaged are your customers? Does your brand have a story to tell? Is it already leveraging emerging technology like artificial intelligence and voice-enabled service? These are questions that you need to be able to answer before moving forward with marketing in the metaverse.
So, what exactly is the metaverse?
What is the Metaverse?
A metaverse is much more than an “open-world.” It is a virtual world where you can do anything, go anywhere, and be anyone (assuming you have the right avatar). To be clear, the metaverse is not the same as Augmented Reality or Virtual Reality. Both of those technologies add digital content to the real world, either through a screen or a headset. The metaverse is not just the merging of the internet with VR and AR, it is also their union with 3D worlds in general. The concept of building out virtual worlds is not new. However, some recent developments have made it increasingly feasible for marketers to take advantage of this technology.
What do you need for marketing in the metaverse?
While marketers are excited about the possibilities of metaverse marketing, they still need to figure out how best to harness its technologies. If you have no experience with 3D or immersive design, there are many free tools that can get you started:
- Tilt Brush by Google is easy to use and allows you to quickly visualize ideas in 3D spaces. It is a good way for designers to explore their creativity without needing any coding knowledge.
- Blender is a 3D modeling tool that allows for more complex creations than Tilt Brush but does require some coding knowledge as it uses python scripting language.
- Unity not only lets you create your own game worlds and logic but also lets you deploy onto multiple platforms including web, mobile (iOS/Android), Oculus headsets, PlayStation VR, etc., even though it requires programming skills to get started. While Unity has been traditionally used by developers to build games, it is now being used by marketers like Starbucks and Adidas who are looking at creating immersive experiences for their audiences online and offline!
Do I need new skills for marketing in the metaverse?
Does the thought of learning a new skill like 3D design or web development seems daunting? Well, it is not all bad. Can you still be successful as a marketer in the metaverse without knowing how to design 3D worlds? Yes, of course. Will you miss out on a substantial share of the market if you do not understand how to take advantage of these technologies? Again, yes. Innovation means adapting to survive. Remember before the Internet? Traditional marketing, as it is now called, consisted of direct sales, TV, radio, and print advertising such as magazines, coupon books, billboards, catalogs and brochures.
And guess what? All of these marketing methods are still effective and widely used today! But it would be foolish to ignore the power of digital marketing tools available today that were made possible by the Internet, like websites, search engine optimization (SEO), social media, pay-per-click advertising, and email marketing. In the same way that marketers who saw what the Internet meant for the future of marketing adapted by learning how to harness it to connect with their consumers in creative ways, you too must do the same when the metaverse goes into full effect.
How to Prepare Your Brand for Metaverse Marketing
The metaverse will be huge, and we need to start thinking about its marketing potential now. In a few short years, there could be billions of people in the metaverse. Clearly, the size and scope of this market will be huge. But just as with any other marketing opportunity, there are things to consider before you dive in.
The first is where the metaverse should be marketed. There are three major areas where marketing can take place within VR: games (think Fortnite or Minecraft), enterprise and social applications (Facebook Horizon), and ecommerce platforms (VR and AR shopping experiences). Each area has different needs for marketing success and requires a different approach from marketers.
On top of that, a marketer will need to think about:
- How their target audience is going to view their brand story within the metaverse
- What it might look like inside a game versus on an ecommerce platform
- What kind of assets will best represent their brand
- How they can use the potential for interactivity to bring audiences closer than ever before
What will it take to be a successful brand in the metaverse?
Start thinking about where customers are going to want your brand. The metaverse may be the Wild West of virtual worlds, but that does not mean that you do not need to create and execute an effective marketing plan for your brand to succeed. Who knows: the metaverse market may not be as mature as more established markets such as real estate or advertising. Yet, there are still opportunities to make money in your own way. Following the latest tips on how to brand in the metaverse will help guide you down the path to becoming successful in your own niche.
Do not sell your brand short. It takes a lot of work to get people to recognize and buy into virtual reality, so you need to be working on brand awareness, spending time perfecting your product or service and continuously innovating to reach the potential of the metaverse. If you do not push forward, you will be left behind by companies who have been working toward success in the metaverse for a while now (hint: those will be some very big brands).
The Metaverse is Coming
The metaverse is quickly becoming a reality, and it is an opportunity for brands to truly stand out. Do not wait for the metaverse to come to you. That way, you will be able to do what others cannot because they did not take the initiative. Stand out among your competitors by developing your strategy now! This way, you will have time to learn more about the culture of virtual reality and get a head start on the competition. Do not wait for VR to become mainstream before you act. In fact, by acting now, you can position yourself as a leader in VR before your competitors even realize there is something to compete over.
Remember: If someone else is already doing something similar to what you want to do, then you should find another niche where no one else has yet gone. Take a good look at a brand you admire. What makes them different from their competition? How do they make themselves unique? These are the kinds of questions you should be asking about your own brand if you want to be ready to grow your business when the metaverse finally arrives.
Where could the metaverse take us?
Marketing in the virtual world is going to be an exciting journey for brands, businesses, and marketers alike. The metaverse is a new platform to reach customers in an exciting new environment. We will get to build from the ground up in unimaginable ways. The upside for advertisers could be massive — but success will only happen if we provide tools that allow people to easily build their own virtual worlds where they can sell products, market events, or whatever else they want. Providing the community with enough creative freedom will be crucial to the effectiveness of the metaverse as a virtual marketplace and more.
The metaverse may take us places we have never been before, offering unprecedented levels of interconnectedness and delivering information (and, by extension, knowledge) instantly. However, the real power of the metaverse will come from the freedom it provides us and the roles we get to play within it. Whether you are an influencer with a devoted following or an author promoting your next book, the metaverse may offer something for you — but it is up to you to discover what that is. Take the initiative and get your brand metaverse market-ready before your competitive edge disappears.
About Millennium Agency
Millennium Agency is a nationally recognized, top woman-led boutique creative branding, storytelling/messaging and digital marketing strategy firm with a passion for accelerating your business growth. By uniting creative branding and data analytics, our expert teams combine your vision with our marketing expertise and methodology to deliver exceptional results. With offices in Boston and New Hampshire, and a worldwide presence, the professionals at Millennium Agency would like to learn more about your business. Visit www.mill.agency or book time here.