Metaverse Marketing: 2022 Ultimate Guide to Create an Immersive Brand Experience

To sell digital products, tactics like email or peer to peer marketing might not be enough for some businesses. Typical marketing strategies don’t give your users an experience that truly stands out. But wait, have you heard of metaverse marketing?

Metaverse marketing is the latest form of generating significant profit for brands, and this market could potentially hit $800 billion by 2024. A recent report by The Small Business Blog also confirms Facebook invested $10 billion on metaverse technology. And Sony invested $200 million. 

But that on Earth is metaverse marketing, and why are all these massive brands investing in it? This guide will break down what the metaverse is, how to use metaverse marketing and what risks you should consider. Let’s get started! 

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    What is the Metaverse?

    A metaverse is a 3D virtual world allowing users to interact within the universe. Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) make up the metaverse, offering an immersive experience to users. These users need to wear AG and VR headsets to access your metaverse. Consumers can learn about your brand and purchase digital forms of your products/services from the comfort of their homes.

    Source: App Of The Day

    With the rise of Covid discouraging consumers from going out, the metaverse will bring your business to them in the most captivating way. Think about an entire virtual world where users can socialize, game, and experience your offerings through technology. 

    5 Metaverse Components to Know About

    1. Mixed Reality

    Mixed reality is the combination of AR and VR. But why does the metaverse need both these elements to exist? AR and VR have different characters that complement each other to make the metaverse possible.

    VR is a virtual world, and users must use special headsets to access it. The universe is generated by computers, creating various visuals, circumstances, and environments for the user. VR relies on a fictional reality predetermined by a system. Users may also need gloves and sensors to access VR worlds. Some examples of VR include McDonalds’ Happy Goggles in Sweden and MindCraft VR. 

    metaverse_minecraft VR
    Source: Reddit.com

    On the other hand, AR focuses on a real-world setting, and users only need a smartphone to experience AR. AR enhances how users interact in the physical world. Unlike VR, which develops an entirely fictional world, AG allows you to immerse in the physical world while amplifying what you see. Typical examples of AG are Pokemon Go, Snapchat lenses, and the IKEA Studio App.

    Augemented Reality_IKEA Studio App
    Source: MindStudios.com

    How VR and AR work together in the metaverse is this mixed reality enriches components of the physical world for users while enthralling them in a virtual universe. Real-life elements aren’t lost in the metaverse, thanks to AG. But users are also welcomed into a fictional reality because of VR. 

    2. Artificial Intellignence

    As you understand how VR and AR work in the metaverse, it’s no surprise that artificial intelligence (AI) comes into play. The metaverse needs AI as this component covers machine learning techniques too. AI algorithms paired with machine learning allow systems to process how users interact in the metaverse and use this data to refine the user experience.

    AI usually applies to non-playable characters (NPCs) in the metaverse. These are system-designed characters that users may engage with. Credited to AI, NPCs can have more life-like conversations and interactions with users based on historical data. Overall, this makes the metaverse more realistic and captivating. 

    3. Internet of Things

    If you’ve been wondering how the metaverse receives correspondence from the physical world, the Internet of Things (IoT) is the answer. IoT is the primary reason users can access the metaverse through technology devices. 

    This component also collects data from the real world, feeding it into the metaverse and producing a more realistic experience. Like if the weather conditions in the physical world are cloudy and cold, IoT makes it possible for elements in the metaverse to be influenced by this. 

    There’s power in AI and IoT working together. From IoT data, AI can fine-tune the metaverse and develop real-time simulations and interactions. 

    4. 3D Construction

    Because how could a 3D virtual world exist without this component? You’ve most likely seen a demonstration of 3D construction before. Think about virtual home tours real estate agents started using when Covid first hit. These tours are only one of the hundreds of applications of 3D construction.

    3D construction makes the metaverse feel and seem like the physical world. Through 3D models of buildings, objectives, people, real-life locations, every aspect of the metaverse becomes possible. Once experts construct these models, computers process the data and build replicas of these models. Experts then create elements of the metaverse with these replicas. 

    5. Cryptocurrency and Blockchain

    Users need a payment method for purchasing your offerings and a way to secure ownership of digital products. Yes, this is where cryptocurrency and blockchain become relevant. 

    Some companies offer unique cryptocurrencies for users. The metaverse, Decentraland, is an example of this. Players can buy parameters of land as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). They will use the metaverse’s cryptocurrency to do so. But how do users have the confidence in knowing they own what they buy? Blockchain technology secures ownership of what users purchase in the metaverse. The image below reveals the success of Decentraland’s cryptocurrency, MANA, over the past five years.

    Decentraland metaverse cryptocurrency
    Source: Statista.com

    5 Best Practices for Metaverse Marketing

    1. Develop Your Own Branded NFT

    The advantage of creating a branded NFT for metaverse marketing is that it drives brand awareness. Statista confirms a significant interest in NFTs from brands like Adidas, Nike, and Taco Bell amongst audiences of all demographics. So, if world-class brands understand how powerful NFTs are, this shouts volumes.

    You don’t have to be a techie to develop NFTs. Many online resources can give you a low down on what creating an NFT entails. Investing in this tactic will allow your users to take away something they can remember from your metaverse and brand. As Nike did with their “CryptoKicks”, it’s also a good idea to develop unique NFTs and pair them with product launches. 

    Before creating an NFT, determine what your audience would deem valuable. 

    2. Claim Ownership of Virtual Real Estate for Metaverse Marketing

    Because it’s 2022 and the digital world is booming, virtual real estate is equivalent to physical real estate. Your business can hold events or lease your real estate to other brands. You can also start selling this real estate to your consumers, provided this aligns with your offerings and your consumer needs.

    Axie Infinity, a virtual gaming universe proves how lucrative digital real estate is in 2022. The Axie Infinity team sold nine parcels of land for a jaw-dropping $2.3 million! Yes, you heard that right.

    Axie Infinity Group sells virutal property in the metaverse
    Source: itZone.com

    Your business may not make this much cash from virtual real estate, as it heavily depends on what your brand offers and how your metaverse works. 

    3. Gamify, Gamify, Gamify! 

    You don’t have to be a games company to develop a metaverse. Yet you need to gamify your user experience. There must be motivation for users to interact in your metaverse. Gamification is a great way to achieve this. 

    Develop a series of mini-games and incentivize users for winning points. Possible rewards include virtual products for their avatars, building material, and unlocking reward tiers with the promise of a grand prize at the highest tier. 

    4. Sell Digital Products for Avatars

    We just spoke about awarding digital products for avatars as gamification for metaverse marketing. However, you can also sell exclusive products. People want to customize their virtual avatars, and VogueBusiness confirms above 90% of users feel this way. 

    Digital products for metaverse avatars
    Source: Forbes.com

    Many well-known brands have used this strategy too and profited a heck of a lot. On the Roblox platform, Gucci sold a virtual bag for $4115, and Digital Coutour sold a dress (also digital) for $9500.

    While your brand might not be as beloved as Gucci or Digital Couture, these ultra-impressive figures prove how willing users are to spend money on digital products. 

    5. Don’t Forget Native Advertising

    While you should avoid aggressive and invasive advertising in your metaverse, certainly integrate it. You can do this through billboards, banners, and using your brand logos on buildings. Get creative about how you choose to advertise your brand organically. Not only will this constantly place your brand in front of your users, but it will also personalize your metaverse. 

    5 Metaverse Examples

    1. Nike

    We’ve mentioned Nike’s metaverse marketing tactics a few times because it’s worth noting. Nike developed their metaverse-NikeLand on Roblox. This metaverse invited Nike supporters from all over the world to create an avatar and play sports games to earn rewards. 

    Solidifying their presence in the metaverse industry, Nike bought RTFKT Studios, a digital collectibles company. Owning RTFKT allowed Nike to sell virtual sneakers as digital products for their users’ avatars. These sneakers are NFTs, so they only exist in the digital world. However, this global sports brand witnessed an increase in profits of $12.2 billion

    Remember we also spoke about CryptoKicks? Nike used these digital sneakers as NFTs, and every time consumers bought a pair of sneakers from their product launch, they received one of these NFTs too. 

    2. Coca-Cola

    Teaming up with Tafi, Coca-Cola developed a string of virtual products as their first NFTs. The company did this to celebrate International Friendship Day and auctioned virtual wearables inside the “Friendship Box”, on the Decentraland platform. In this “Friendship Box”, Coca-Cola included a Friendship Card, a signature Bubble Jacket, and a sound visualizer.

    Coca cola friendship box
    Source: Medium.com

    As you can imagine, Decentraland users loved this, and the winning bid totaled $575,883. Although Coca-Cola doesn’t have a branded metaverse this is an excellent example of metaverse marketing. 

    3. Facebook Metaverse

    Inspired by the uproar of the metaverse and NFTs, Mark Zuckerberg decided to change Facebook into a “meta company”. Facebook would become a virtual universe allowing users more realistic socialization, interaction, gaming, education, and online working. Showing their dedication, Facebook will change its name to Meta. 

    Parts of the Facebook Metaverse include virtual workrooms for digital professionals, virtual reality-oriented games, and Spark, a platform for digital creatives. Facebook has also launched a pair of smart glasses (partnered with RayBans) and a headset. 

    4. Balenciaga

    Fornite and Balenciage? Who would have thought! This luxurious fashion line released a line of four Fortnite skins, a designer pickaxe, accessories, and a backpack. They also developed a Balaceiaga Hub in the Fortnite game, including a virtual store. Gamers could buy cosmetics from this digital store, and Balenciaga offered a physical clothing line to go along with it too.

    What’s interesting here is that, like Nike, Balenciaga combines offering NFTs and physical products. But it wasn’t only their products they did this for. In the Fortnite world, Balcenciage showcased an animated billboard and placed the same billboard, but in physical form, in Tokyo, New York, and London. 

    Source: GillyJWG

    5. Decentraland 

    Using the Ethereum blockchain, Decentraland offers a browser-based 3D platform. Users can buy NFTs, land, and digital products like accessories, clothing, shoes, and face masks. Keeping their users engaged, Decentraland provides mini-games for users to earn money. These users can buy and sell digital property and virtual products. 

    But hold on, it gets better. Decentraland hosted the first-ever metaverse wedding. Although you could see this platform is still in its infancy, global users waited in anticipation to witness a metaverse wedding. And who could blame them! While brands like Nike and Balenciaga have a good grip in the metaverse, Decentraland is evidently miles ahead!

    5 Common Metaverse Challenges

    1. Personal Data and Security

    Many online users are already skeptical about the data security and protection of brands like Facebook. And this concern still rightfully exists with the metaverse. Submerging in the metaverse, people need to know their personal details, whether virtual or physical, is protected. As the metaverse expands quicker than its security infrastructure, this leaves room for concern. 

    If your brand were to join the metaverse, you must develop reliable safety procedures data. Especially as jeopordizing your consumers’ data can harm brand reputation. Yet businesses can only do so much. How well data is secured ultimately relies on the current infrastructure of the metaverse. 

    2. Digital Payments and Crypto

    Although crypto has been around for years, many people don’t trust digital currencies. The key and most obvious issue is that users can’t physically see the money they have. There’s also a lot of worry about the security of crypto and the authenticity of various digital currencies popping up in the metaverse. 

    Brands must ensure the authenticity and safety of any crypto they trade in, in the metaverse. Doing this may not convince everybody, but it will keep your users’ money safe. Taking this step will secure confidence in what you have to offer in the metaverse. 

    Risk of cryptocurrency for metaverse marketing
    Source: Medium.com

    3. Law in the Metaverse

    As the metaverse is virtual, the integration of physical laws and jurisdictions isn’t established. Millions of people interact in the metaverse. Consequently, tonnes of people are vulnerable to cybercrime, cyberbullying, and similar offenses. This concept reveals a dangerous aspect to the metaverse for its users.

    For your community, establish ground rules, reward users for positive actions and make it possible to report dangerous or unethical behavior. 

    4. Lack of Physical Time

    A good comparison to what we mean here is gambling. People lose track of physical time because they become so enthralled in playing. While this can be positive from a business perspective as people may spend more time in the metaverse, this isn’t ideal from an ethical perspective. 

    You want your users to be engaged in the metaverse and purchase your offerings. But it’s also vital to take care of them. 

    5. Securing Ownership 

    Blockchain does its best to establish ownership of land and digital products in the metaverse, but this might not be enough in the long run. Businesses investing in metaverse marketing need to be aware of this. You should also stay ahead of the development of the metaverse to verify ownership of digital possessions. 

    Conclusion

    Metaverse marketing is a new-age method to create an immersive experience for potential consumers. Businesses can sell digital products and NFTs for exorbitant prices while increasing their brand awareness. Metaverse marketing has many challenges. Consider this for your brand before developing a metaverse.

    Multi-millionaire brands like Nike, Balenciaga, and Facebook have all jumped on the metaverse marketing train. This is because of the high opportunity for profit in the metaverse. Plus,  brands can immerse consumers into their offerings. 

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is the metaverse?

    The metaverse is a virtual world where brands can sell digital products and promote their offerings. This entire universe is powered by augmented reality, virtual reality, 3D construction, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and cryptocurrency, and blockchain. Many famous brands use the metaverse to deliver an immersive experience to their consumers where users can build virtual avatars and interact with the world. Learn more about the metaverse, how it works and which companies have used metaverse marketing, in this article.

    What is metaverse marketing?

    Metaverse marketing is the act of marketing a business's services/products through the metaverse. Brands allow their consumers to create avatars and socialize, game, and purchase digital products in the metaverse. Metaverse marketing works because it takes consumers from the physical world and places them in an entire universe, dedicated to a specific brand. This article explores how metaverse marketing works, the risks involved and brand success stories using this marketing strategy.

    How do brands make money in the metaverse?

    This differs between businesses and what they offer. You make money in the metaverse by selling virtual land, digital products such as clothing, accessories, and gaming skins, or creating an awareness funnel to your physical products. Brands like Gucci, Coca-Cola, and Balenciaga have sold products in the metaverse and generated a jaw-dropping profit. Read this article to find out how you can start metaverse marketing, what the metaverse is, and typical risks to consider.

    References

    EarthWeb: Metaverse Statistics, Facts & Market Size Data 2022

    The Small Business Blog: Metaverse Statistics 2022: Facts, Market Size, Trends & Users

    Statista: Interest in NFTs from certain major brands in the United States in March 2021, by age and gender

    CoinQuora: Axie Infinity Land NFT Sells for $2.3 Million, Surpasses Record

    VogueBusiness: Shaping online avatars: Why our digital identities differ

    Jing Daily: Will Gucci’s Digital Bag Disrupt Luxury?

    Dazed: The world’s first digital blockchain clothing sells for $9,500

    Front Office Sports: Nike Trademark Hints at Metaverse Sneakers

    Vending Market Watch: NFT auction fetches $575K for soda memorabilia

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