Why The Metaverse Is The Next Big Thing In Marketing

One of the biggest new platforms for marketing is on the rise during the pandemic: metaverse marketing. For those not familiar with the term, metaverse is defined as an immersive, digital environment populated by virtual avatars representing actual people. An outstanding example is the hit video game Fortnight, a virtual reality game where avatars play the game in real-time, fighting against each other and attending events that are held in that particular metaverse. Every person playing in real life has their own avatar, and plays in the game with their own, personalized digital representation.

What makes a metaverse a metaverse? Influencer Marketing Hub does a great job breaking down the components: a metaverse is always active, exists in real-time, players have individual agency, it’s a self-contained and fully functioning universe and contains user-generated content.

Though other industries are creating and building metaverses, the gaming industry is the first to truly grasp, and take advantage of the potential. And the brands that are early adopters in realizing the potential of metaverses are the ones who will see the most return.

Why Are Brands Using Metaverse Marketing?

There are many reasons why marketers are having their eyes on the metaverse. It is new, and faster connections finally exist to support growing environments. But maybe the most important reason is marketers want to target and keep Millennials and Gen X up-to-date and engaged with their products and technologies, and metaverses allow them to target these audiences in a new way. And from the engagement brands are already getting, it’s clear this marketing strategy is working, and here to stay.

The biggest metaverses, like Fortnight and Roblox, offer big brands previously unattainable opportunities because it’s in the digital world. Take Vans. The Wall Street Journal reports that the skateboarding brand launched a virtual skatepark in Roblox that lets players try new tricks, and can earn points to redeem in the virtual store to customize their avatar.

Vans executive team says the online metaverse is the best place to build brand awareness among their core demographic of 13 to 35-year olds. The brand reveals their online park has seen upwards of 48 million visitors to date. That is the type of engagement bigger brands with bigger budgets can see in the metaverse.

Gucci also got in the game. The Verge reports that the luxury brand released an exclusive digital pair of sneakers in March 2021 called The Gucci Virtual 25 that “can be ‘worn’ in augmented reality (AR) or used in partnered apps like Roblox and VRChat.” They sell for $12.99 on the platforms — a pretty low price for a piece of luxury wear, even if it’s only a virtual item. Pretty clever, and they didn’t stop there.

In May 2021, Gucci opened the Gucci Garden on Roblox, a virtual experience to complement a real-world installation called the Gucci Garden Archetypes, which took place in Florence, Italy. Vogue Business revealed that people could, “mingle with others exploring the space and can buy digital pieces created in collaboration with Roblox creator Rook Vanguard.” These two collaborations are two great examples of how brands can be much more creative in the digital space than in the real world. Not to mention, a bigger and much more engaged audience.

How Brands And Businesses Can Get In The Game

New non-gaming metaverses are starting to appear more regularly. Virtual conventions are now taking place in the metaverse. Attendees can go to a bunch of booths without leaving their office or home. The size of the audience grows exponentially when you move the experience online. Think about car shows and the potential reach if they moved to the metaverse. Put on some virtual reality glasses and “sit” in a car to experience and see it from the inside out. These types of events could be very creatively done.

Because branding, marketing and advertising in the metaverse are so new, the prices are still quite low to run a campaign. If you’re a brand or business with an open mind and your target audience spends time on a metaverse, it’s time to give it a go. Keep in mind, regular ads won’t work — you’ll need to think creatively and use engagement as your main KPI. Since this technology is new, the measurement and tracking we’re used to with other marketing tactics aren’t there yet, but it’s only a matter of time before the metrics catch up.

As you begin to think about the best way to engage with the metaverse — whether it’s building an in-house metaverse team or hiring an agency to help connect and guide you through the process — remember to think big, for there is no limit in the metaverse.

Blockchain Gaming Alliance: NFT gaming generated $2.32B in Q3/2021

Blockchain gaming continues to grow and dominate the nonfungible token (NFT) space with a share of roughly 22% of all NFT trading volume in the third quarter of 2021, according to a report released by the Blockchain Gaming Alliance, or BGA for short. The report showed that NFT games accumulated $2.32 billion in revenue between July and September.

Metaverse-related activity was also highlighted in the report. It showed that virtual land sales reached $42.6 million while the total market capitalization for virtual world decentralized apps reached an all-time high of $4.6 billion at the end of November. Additionally, the report mentioned that there is a “6,566% increase in daily unique active wallets.” These are wallets that interact with smart contracts connected to games.

BGA report also cited significant investments in blockchain gaming companies this year. Hong Kong-based game software company Animoca Brands raised $88 million in May, $138 million in July and $65 million in October, doubling its valuation to $2.2 billion. Cryptokitties developer Dapper Labs shocked the world with $230 million in sales on its NBA Top Shot project. Meanwhile, Pokemon-inspired NFT battling gaming Axie Infinity currently holds the record as the highest NFT sales with almost $4 billion all-time sales.

DappRadar co-founder Dragos Dunica believes that this growth will continue as everything comes together toward the metaverse. According to Mr. Dunica, the user growth of blockchain games will lead to something bigger and “potentially all-encompassing, the Metaverse.

As the metaverse becomes more popular, major companies are jumping into the fray. In China, despite warnings from the government about NFTs and virtual assets, companies embarked on a race to register metaverse-related trademarks. More than a thousand companies applied to register 8,534 metaverse trademarks by Sunday.

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