Marketing in the Metaverse
Whether you’re excited at the prospect of Metaverses, questioning if they are just hype, or simply wondering what they are, we break it down and explain why it is important to start considering them as part of your marketing strategy.
What is a Metaverse?
Put simply it is a virtual space where people can interact with each other either as themselves or as avatars, currently accessed using VR headsets. The scope for their use is wide reaching, from simply joining a work meeting, attending a virtual conference, to playing fully immersive games in fantasy virtual worlds.
Why are they a big deal for marketing?
As people increasingly interact in virtual environments for work or leisure, we now need to consider the ‘Virtual Touchpoints’ where they can interact with your brand. These are in addition to the physical and digital ones in your current marketing strategy.
What are the benefits?
At its most basic, marketing in a Metaverse can be a case of simply buying advertising space on a virtual wall to increase brand awareness. But what Metaverse marketing truly offers is the opportunity to be highly creative, immersive and engaging in our interactions with customers. For example Vans recently built a branded virtual skate park where people could try out moves, to build awareness with their core demographic of 13 to 35 year olds. By the end of 2021 it had seen over 48 million visitors.
We already know from the trend of ‘gamification’ in marketing, that customers are more likely to remember, interact and be loyal to a brand that left them with a positive emotional feeling such as fun and delight. So for those brands that boldly go down the route of offering their customers a bespoke game experience, the payoff can be huge! For example when Metaverse Fornite introduced ‘Food Fight’ a game event pitching players of a burger restaurant against a pizza one, Wendy’s decided to use it as a marketing tool, creating a character based on their brand mascot and managing to increase their brand mentions across social media by 119% during the event.
Metaverses also offer increasing opportunities to sell digital goods such as NFTs or virtual clothing or include them as part of a marketing campaign. For example the Australian Open are currently marketing Art Ball NFTs that correspond to locations on the court and will be updated with live match data during the tournament with the tagline encouraging people to ‘Own the ball. Own the court. Own the moment.’, alongside a Metaverse experience allowing fans to explore the stadium and meet players.
So whether you love it or hate it, don’t ignore it. Metaverse marketing is the next step on from social media and is set to significantly shape our future marketing experiences.