Every marketer wants to be in the metaverse. Granted that this new technology,---which seems to be a mixture of virtual/augmented reality, social media, and the demands and requirements of an industry or sector---is still unexplored territory for most of us, all of us recognize that this is the new digital wave we have to master, or at least be involved in. Some industry observers have even said that the metaverse is just in its infancy, and there is a lot of room in this brave new world where you can be among the first to make a claim.
Think about that for a second. Go back to about 20 years ago when the tech giants were just beginning to define themselves and lay out the paths that they want to conquer before anybody else could. For example, Facebook was just gaining traction as a safe, efficient social media platform where you could connect with your friends (and not necessarily date) and know what is happening to them on real-time. It was just the new kid on the block---perhaps more courageous and feisty than the Multiplys and the Friendsters that had gone before it, but not significantly different.
The right time
If you knew then what you know now, and how Facebook was going to explode into the almost-challenged behemoth that it is now, would you not be among the very first happy campers on its lot, learning its secrets and making them work for you and your brand?
That is where we are now with the metaverse. Nobody has published the playbook yet but some of us are writing our chapters as a way to figure out how to make the metaverse be a vital part of our marketing efforts.
The numbers are sufficient reasons to venture into this next digital exploration: There are about 400 million active users monthly with 74% of adults in the United States are already seriously thinking about joining it. And in about 4 years’ time, 25% of the world’s population will be spending an hour in it. The total value of the metaverse industry in 2028 will reach $730 billion.
The time to act is now. You’re bound to make mistakes, but at least you won’t get left behind in the mad rush to the metaverse. Leaders like Apple, Microsoft, and Nike (just to name a few) are already ahead of you and are continuing to accelerate their pace.
Metaverse marketing steps
To start you off on your initial leg, try these three small but significant steps to do “metaverse marketing”:
First, give away gaming cards. Gamification is part of the metaverse and is a huge sector of the digital world. You don’t have to be a gamer or a gaming company, but you can partner with them. Then create gaming cards that your sponsors, partners, clients, and customers can use to experience a few minutes in the metaverse. Those few minutes are also their first fun introduction into this digital reality, and just might make them come back for more. That also means that they will also return to your brand, as you were the one who did the introduction.
Second, make NFTs from your brand. NFTs or non-fungible tokens are authentic digital representations of art work, images, videos, music, speeches, events, and every other activity produced by a brand that cannot be duplicated or copied. NFTs preserve an experience created by a brand and make someone---your customer---the owner of that experience. The National Basketball Association (NBA), for example, continually releases NFTs of the game-changing shots of its legendary players. Celebrities patent, publish, and sell NFTs of their most popular performances.
You can start small and build your brand into a grander scale. The first question to ask: throughout your brand’s history and given its accomplishments, what would be its more memorable and popular experiences that your customers would gladly pay good money for?
Finally, create a digital experience for your customers using augmented or virtual reality. This is the first step that will get your toes in the water, and do plan for investments from your company and a learning curve for your workforce. Use these technologies to attract your customers to your brand and let them “try it out” vicariously without visiting your shop. That may mean letting them virtually wear your latest fashion outfit or take a 3D tour of the hotel or resort you are marketing.
The metaverse is not just the next digital phenomenon---it is the next level of evolution of the internet. Its market is exploding, and many of its devoted followers belong to the younger generation whom you want to connect with your brand for years to come. The journey to explore, purchase, and grow your brand’s virtual real estate property in the metaverse can be intimidating but done right, its ROI potential can also be tremendous and fulfilling for the foreseeable future.