Digital Marketing in the Metaverse – What will change?
Since its announcement in 2021, the Metaverse has been at the forefront of conversations in every industry. Created by Meta (previously known as Facebook), this new virtual world has big implications for the future of advertising and marketing.
This blog will cover what the Metaverse is, and how digital marketing will change in the face of its implementation. We will also give examples of how different industries are using the Metaverse to boost brand recognition and engagement.
WHAT IS THE METAVERSE?
For the uninitiated, the metaverse is a 3D virtual world built with VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) technology that allows users to experience a reality that is mirrored in real life. Users can create avatars that allow them to interact with other people, explore new worlds, and even buy products.
Artists have even started holding concerts in the metaverse, and selling virtual merchandise like hoodies, posters and NFTs (non-fungible tokens).
HOW ARE BUSINESSES CAPITALISING ON THE METAVERSE?
Fashion companies like Balenciaga, Burberry and Gucci have started selling digital clothing and accessories in the metaverse. Gucci even hosted a ‘Gucci Garden’ on the online video game platform ‘Roblox’ where users could buy limited edition accessories and merchandise.
Corporate companies are using the metaverse to host meetings using VR. This is a great way to connect with clients or employees that may be overseas or in different branches. The metaverse even allows you to explore different cities using its hyper-realistic 3D technology.
For companies in the manufacturing industry, the metaverse provides a unique way to hold virtual showrooms and exhibitions to showcase their products. You can even develop virtual prototypes that are far less expensive than doing them in real life.
The gaming industry already has a head start with the development of VR games and chat rooms. But future game development will see a bigger integration of 3D & AR technology to create more immersive game experiences.
The metaverse will also allow its users to buy virtual real estate on its platform either as an investment opportunity or as a way to show off your digital properties. Experts are saying you can even use it to house your business and interact with customers.
HOW WILL THE METAVERSE CHANGE DIGITAL MARKETING?
While it is currently unclear what specific changes the metaverse will bring to digital marketing, one thing is certain- customers want immersive, interactive experiences from brands.
That means creating ads and content that is 3D optimized, engaging and takes users on a unique journey. It is also important to stay true to your company values and mission statement while creating these experiences.
In terms of SEO practices, the information is still unclear. Some experts say that search engines like Google may start to show results with VR- allowing the customers to view websites in a way like never before. This may affect SEO strategies and keyword research.
Now while all of these developments sound exciting, there are also a number of concerns surrounding the metaverse.
Facebook hasn’t had the best reputation when it comes to data privacy. So, it is no surprise that people are having doubts about the Metaverse’s ability to protect user data. To avoid any privacy risks, it is a good idea to make it clear to your customers what data you are collecting and how it will be used by your company.
Issues with content moderation
Another issue that brands are concerned with is the lack of information surrounding content moderation in the Metaverse. Imagine you run an ad in the Metaverse promoting your brand. Without proper moderation, your ad could end up being displayed next to content that your brand is not affiliated with. This could influence customer opinions’ and hurt your sales.
Cost of advertising
Companies debating making the switch to start advertising in the Metaverse are also considering whether the cost of advertising will pay off. While there is no clear information surrounding the costs of running an ad in the Metaverse or how the process will work, it is a good idea for digital marketers to take into account this issue before working on future strategies.
While cryptocurrency is becoming more and more mainstream and will probably be integrated into the Metaverse, there is still a need for a strong, clear payment verification process to convince users that it is safe to engage in transactions within the Metaverse without any security risks.
Lack of VR & AR gadgets among users
One of the main attractions of the Metaverse is being able to move around in a virtual world similar to your own. The ability to attend concerts, go to events, visit company showrooms all depend on whether the user possesses a VR or AR headset.
According to a survey conducted in 2021, about 26 million people owned VR and AR headsets. While this is a high number, it is nothing compared the number of people who own smartphones and laptops. While this number is predicted to rise in the next couple of years, it will be up to Meta to convince users that the Metaverse will be worth it.
No clear release date for the metaverse
As of writing this blog, there is no set date for the release of the Metaverse. Even Meta’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg estimated that it would take 5-10 years for its release and for all the marketed features to be available for public use. This makes planning for future marketing strategies difficult as we do not know what to expect.
The Metaverse is sure to change the digital marketing landscape as we know it. The nest we can do to prepare for it is to keep up with the news and start thinking about how to create unique, engaging customer experiences that can lead to higher conversion rates and increase brand recognition.
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