By Paul Towler
It can be tricky to follow the latest “tools of the trade” regarding online marketing strategies. The importance of local SEO, the rise of machine learning and customised content all represent trending topics.
However, what about the so-called “metaverse”? Might this realm represent the next leap forward with effective advertising? Before we look at five unique opportunities within this field, it is a good idea to take a closer look at exactly what the metaverse is.
What Exactly is the Metaverse?
Perhaps the simplest way to define the metaverse involves the concept of a three-dimensional social media community. This type of virtual reality allows members to interact with one another. However, this is also a much broader concept.
The metaverse essentially represents the numerous ways in which users communicate with one another across the digital community. This can include online role-playing games, smartphone applications and even the ability to buy and sell goods online.
We can now see that there is more than one way to define the metaverse. Perhaps this concept essentially involves more efficient ways of connecting with users. So, it makes perfect sense that marketers have become interested in what it can offer? Let’s now look at some potential opportunities for success.
A Much Broader Reach
As this article rightfully observes, the metaverse is more of a concept than a reality at the moment. However, marketers can still take advantage of its potential. Similar to social media channels, campaigns within this digital “ether” are thought to be capable of reaching a much wider audience; particularly millennials. As this world becomes ever more interconnected, it should be possible to employ a single advertising campaign to reach a wide range of consumers.
The Immersive Nature of the Metaverse
One of the pitfalls that marketing experts are likely to experience from time to time involves keeping the attention of a fickle audience. After all, the online community is laden with advertisements. This has caused many consumers to simply ignore these campaigns entirely; even if they happen to be offering truly unique products or services.
Thankfully, things may soon be able to change thanks to the presence of the metaverse. We need to remember that this environment will provide a much more immersive means to communicate with others. Therefore, it may be possible to create advertising campaigns that allow users to interact with certain elements. Here are some interesting possibilities:
- Changing the colour of an object.
- Obtaining 360-degree views of what is being offered.
- Clicking on specific portions of an advertisement to be taken to different pages of an embedded website.
The bottom line is that keeping the attention of potential clients is one of the best ways to ensure a conversion.
A New Type of Social Media Influencer
Avatars are also predicted to play an important role within the metaverse. This is due to the inherently social nature of such a digital society. So, individuals will likely be given the opportunities to create their avatars when communicating with others. Why should this be any different for businesses?
We once again return to the decidedly personal side of marketing. Individuals do not wish to be thought of as consumers, but rather as people who share common goals and interests. Developing a branded avatar will provide businesses with a much more targeted (and even organic) means to promote what it is that they have to offer.
From promoting virtual fashion exhibitions and advertising digital dancehalls to providing exclusive deals to other virtual “friends”, the possibilities are nearly limitless.
Taking the Notion of Online Sales to the Next Level
In the past, digital sales were somewhat limited by the technology at their disposal. While it was possible to examine products in minute detail and to select certain options during the buying process, this was hardly the same as visiting a physical retail outlet.
Once again, the metaverse is expected to rise to the occasion. As some facets of this world are set to be rooted within the world of augmented reality, the ability to truly interact with what is being offered could present some amazing marketing opportunities.
Might it soon be possible to take a car for a digital “test drive” before committing to a purchase? Could users eventually be able to try on an item of clothing or virtually tour a home before it is even built? These are some of how the metaverse will change the entire notion of marketing.
What About “Meta Products?”
This final concept is slightly strange and yet, it is also slated to have an impact on digital marketing. There could very well be options to create lines of virtual products to augment existing revenue streams. In fact, these strategies are already present. Examples of virtual goods include:
- Avatars for a character within an MMORPG.
- Virtual currencies.
- Paid access to online events.
- E-books and online distance learning courses.
When applied to the world of marketing, the value of meta products (such as free samples or discounts for the first hundred virtual shoppers) becomes very clear.
These are five opportunities for marketers who wish to take full advantage of what the metaverse is expected to become. Although the entire concept may appear a bit odd at first glance, many felt the same about social media during the early 2000s. Once again, it pays to think a few steps ahead of the competition.
By Paul Towler
Paul Towler is the technical operations director at SmartOffice, a software automation provider who helps companies with their document management systems.