Many tech experts have referred to the metaverse as the future of the internet. How will this virtual reality space affect digital marketing trends, and how can online business owners take advantage of it?
The term metaverse isn’t new. In fact, it was coined in the cyberpunk novel “Snow Crash,” written by Neal Stephenson in the 1990s. It wasn’t until Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would be rebranded as Meta in October 2021 that metaverse became a major buzzword.
This transition was introduced so that Facebook, or Meta, would no longer be seen as a social media platform, but as a metaverse company. Explaining what the metaverse is can be challenging because it means different things to different individuals. Some view the metaverse as an advanced video game, while others see it as an extended reality. Others think that the metaverse is nothing but science fiction.
The best way to describe the metaverse is as a virtual experience where people will be able to communicate and do many other things in a computer-generated environment.
The metaverse is guaranteed to impact many areas of business, with digital marketing being one of them. A lot of online retailers and famous brands have already tried out metaverse technology and are actively implementing it into their digital marketing strategies.
Continue reading to find out everything you need to know about the metaverse and in which ways it will change how we operate on the digital landscape.
What Is the Metaverse?
The idea of virtual reality has been around for some time. We have already seen it through video games, movies like “The Matrix”, and VR headsets. Even though this concept isn’t new, many believe that the metaverse will represent the evolution of the internet, otherwise known as Web 3.0.
The metaverse is a three-dimensional online social experience that will be available to everybody. It can also be described as a sum of all virtual worlds, the internet, and virtual reality. It can be compared to living in your own 3D computer-generated world or a video game where you have your own avatar. You’ll be able to do everything you’re doing now, except that it will be taking place in this augmented reality.
To be clear, the metaverse doesn’t exist just yet. Our hardware and software tools aren’t developed enough for this 3D breakthrough. Technically speaking, there is no way of knowing exactly when the metaverse will be launched, although Mark Zuckerberg stated that he expected it to happen by the end of this decade. Other tech experts say that the metaverse won’t arrive for another 10 to 15 years and that we can only speculate what it will look like.
However, just because the metaverse hasn’t arrived yet, doesn’t mean that you can’t try out Meta’s new tools. These include the Quest 2 headsets, Horizon Workrooms, the Presence Platform, Ray-Ban smart glasses, and more. Note that the platforms that are available for general use are still in the experimental stages.
When the metaverse does arrive, it’s estimated to have 3D virtual words with an unlimited number of users. You’ll be able to engage in various activities in the metaverse, not just interact with other users. For example, the metaverse will allow you to shop for real and virtual products, attend events, play virtual reality games, purchase real estate, and even get a job. It’s supposed to take place in real-time, so you can attend concerts, meetings, parties, seminars, and more. You can even invest in this 3D world with NFTs and cryptocurrencies.
The metaverse will change how we do business, and it will affect various industries, including gaming, entertainment, fitness, business, commerce, education, and marketing. It will allow companies, creators, and developers to collaborate on various levels. In fact, many popular and high-end brands have already jumped on the metaverse bandwagon. These include Nike, Samsung, Gucci, Shopify, Microsoft, Disney, and more.
In addition, it will have a huge impact on the digital economy, allowing users to sell, buy, and make different types of virtual goods. It will also provide many users with investing and trading opportunities. The metaverse is also considered the ideal place for blockchain technology and cryptocurrency advancements.
How Will the Metaverse Impact Digital Marketing?
As mentioned before, the metaverse will bring changes to almost all areas of business, and this includes digital marketing.
Digital marketing is always evolving, and it carefully follows each technological advancement and new concept in this field. Since the digital experience has taken the world by storm, many businesses and brands have taken advantage of it by implementing it into their digital marketing strategies.
As mentioned, the metaverse will allow users to shop for products, whether they are physical or virtual. This is where digital marketing and the metaverse intertwine because the metaverse offers almost limitless opportunities for digital marketers.
Here are five ways the metaverse is going to impact digital marketing:
1. An Increased Focus on the Customer Experience
In the metaverse, almost anything will be possible. This creates limitless opportunities for business owners, who will be able to promote their products, services, or brands in endless ways. It will affect all types of brands and industries, from eCommerce and technology to the fashion and beauty industries.
The metaverse will allow online businesses to create the ultimate experience for their customers. Rather than just scrolling down through an online catalogue on your phone or watching videos on YouTube, users will be able to have an immersive experience, which will feel like the real deal.
To put it another way, every user who tries out the metaverse experience will feel like the star of the show. Customers are used to seeing their favourite products promoted by celebrities, models, and influencers. By entering this 3D immersive landscape, users will be able to see those same products and brands on themselves.
This is very important to digital marketing, which aims to personalise the brand and make it “relatable” in order to reach the target audience.
2. The Entire Customer Journey Could Happen in the Metaverse
One of the most important aspects of consumerism is experience. That’s why many people still prefer traditional shopping to online shopping. No matter how convenient online shopping might be, consumers are getting tired of seeing the same type of content through different brands and across different outlets.
Since every person using the metaverse will have their own avatar, they will be able to do everything they can do in the real world. This includes playing games, shopping, designing, creating, and exploring. Your avatar will be able to go into a particular store, look through the available merchandise, and even try on clothes.
In other words, customers will get the entire shopping experience in this virtual reality. Not only that, but you will be able to make purchases, whether it’s with cryptocurrency or real money, and have the items you bought delivered to your address.
3. Staking Your Claim in the Virtual World
Many brands plan to join the metaverse community as soon as it arrives, and some are already trying out metaverse technology. For example, Disney plans to use the metaverse to design its own virtual-world simulator and turn Disney World parks into a 3D reality. They aim to present Disney fans with storytelling without boundaries.
Similarly, Nike has already started to make plans to produce digital collectibles. Users will be able to buy Nike digital sneakers, clothes, and accessories in the metaverse. Gucci recently partnered up with Roblox to launch a virtual interactive exhibit known as Gucci Garden. People who enter this virtual multimedia experience will be able to attend runway shows, navigate through different places, and even try on clothes.
One of the main reasons you should stake your claim in this virtual world is that the possibilities are endless. A lot of online businesses are trying to learn about the metaverse and embrace its immersive technology in order to get ahead of their competition.
In the metaverse, you’ll be able to collaborate with various creators and developers. Not to mention that businesses won’t have to be concerned by geographical limitations, as they will be able to reach customers and clients all over the world.
4. Force Businesses to Address Technological Limitations
No matter how many business opportunities the metaverse will offer, it’s unlikely it will completely replace more traditional online marketing techniques, at least not any time soon. Even though many business owners are planning to invest in the metaverse, not everyone will be able to afford it. Not to mention all the technological limitations that might pose an issue for businesses with limited resources.
To even use the metaverse, you’ll need to have a high-speed broadband connection and VR hardware, both of which are likely to command a high price. Due to the fact that the metaverse is years away, there’s no way of knowing what kind of new technology advancements we might see.
Just as with any new technological trend, the metaverse will come with various advantages and potential drawbacks. That’s why business owners are expected to stick with traditional online marketing techniques, at least until the metaverse becomes widely accessible.
5. Powering Co-Creation and Customer Diversity
The metaverse will be the place where co-creation and user-generated content meet. This augmented reality space will allow consumers to interact with products, services, and brands in various ways. Consumers will have the opportunity to design, try out, and share different products in the metaverse, which is the main objective of digital marketers.
Thanks to the limitless possibilities the metaverse will offer, digital marketing strategies will change in ways we can’t even imagine. We’re also likely to experience a lot of customer diversity and inclusivity in the metaverse, which plays a significant role in today’s branding strategies.
Should You Prepare for Meta?
Marketed as the next internet, the metaverse is guaranteed to bring changes to how we do business. It will create completely new ways brands and online businesses can use, share, and promote their products and services.
Even though you might not have access to the metaverse right now, it’s a good idea to prepare for its arrival. Do your research and think about all the ways the metaverse can help you improve your digital marketing game. But the expected appearance of this 3D universe doesn’t mean that you should abandon your current online marketing efforts. After all, who knows what the future holds for online marketing?
Whether we’re talking about the metaverse or a completely new digital marketing trend that might appear in the future, being prepared is always a good idea. If you need help with your online marketing, Automation Agency can help you. With our digital marketing services, we’ll make sure your business stands out from the rest and gets the attention it deserves.