marketing in the metaverse blog

Marketing in the metaverse

Similar questions arose when B2B businesses joined the social media world. Here we take a look at where the metaverse is, where it’s going and why B2B businesses need to represent their brand in the metaverse, now.

The metaverse explained

Meta, previously Facebook, announced they were rebranding and focusing on ‘the metaverse’ in 2021. Most of us understand the metaverse to be a virtual reality (VR) social media platform.

We know the metaverse is intended to be the next step in social media and global interaction. Incorporating VR headsets for an immersive experience and aligning with the physical world, in some cases.

Meta (previously Facebook) has stated “the metaverse is the next evolution in social connection and the successor to the mobile internet” on their website. “Like the internet, the metaverse will help you connect with people when you aren’t physically in the same place and get us even closer to that feeling of being together in person.”

Don’t be deceived by the name, Meta (Facebook) are building their metaverse, not the metaverse. Roblox is a metaverse platform like Meta, that already has around 45.5 million daily, active users.

The future of the metaverse

Experts and fans alike are in disagreement as to what the future of the metaverse holds. The metaverse isn’t fully formed, so neither is its purpose or behaviours. The thing most people agree on is that you can not ignore its emerging significance.

Twenty years ago it would have been difficult to predict the way in which we use the internet today and the way it has changed the way we live our lives offline. Many predict the metaverse will find its way into the physical world and everyday life the way the internet has made its way into our back pockets in the form of smartphones.

Elon University & Pew research asked a pool of diverse intellectuals to look ahead at what they predict from the metaverse by 2040. Majority of those asked agreed that in 2040, a fully-immersive metaverse will be used by about half a billion people daily.

Will B2B ever take a serious position in the metaverse?

Yes. B2B brands are already in the metaverse. With Meta pumping $10 billion a year into creating their universe, other mega brands aren’t far behind. Microsoft acquired Activision Blizzard for over $68.7billion to “provide building blocks for the metaverse”, the largest acquisition in big tech yet.

At present, it is a majority B2B activity taking space in the metaverse. As investors move in the space, ready to profit off businesses that come along in the future.

Virtual real estate is likely to be something you’re hearing lots about. Much like those who made their money from domain names (on the web), early adopters are heading in and buying up space to sell at a profit in the future.

Meta announced back in April 2022 that they plan on charging creators 47.5% commission on the sale of all digital assets and experiences sold in ‘Horizon Worlds’. Meta has faced backlash on this decision, given the company condemned Apple for not waving their 30% commission fee on the app store. While Roblox offers a free-entry point to the digital universe, they take around 71% commission on money made by creators.

The new world brings new business and B2B will adapt to bridge gaps, as well as use the metaverse to market physical world work.

Metaverse virtual reality

The metaverse harnesses the benefits of experiential and immersive marketing

Whether it be an interview, seminar or replacement for an infographic/video, the transportation by VR to a virtual world is one that is remembered and talked about. The sooner the experience happens, the better, as it generates more excitement and sentiment for the visitor.

Creating experiences in the metaverse is undeniably effective marketing. Consumer brands have been playing in the metaverse since its launch. Reports of successful ventures into the virtual worlds are now pushing B2B to start to adapt the space for our use.

As metaverse use grows, and these shiny new features become common practice, the technology will continue to evolve into a further sensory immersive experience.

What the metaverse will become is beyond our imagination, it’s unlikely one could have envisioned the way technology and the internet is used today back in the early 2000s when we were moving from dial-up to broadband.

Current benefits to B2B marketers in the metaverse

Businesses entering the metaverse world for the first time are looking to connect with others. Already the metaverse is being used as a networking and research tool.

Keeping with the rise in flexible working culture, seminars are moving from zoom to the metaverse. Some companies may see benefits in fewer costs and carbon footprint occurred by reducing physical world travel.

Workers look for interaction while keeping the comfort of home and the absence of commuting, the metaverse provides the best of both worlds by combining the digital and physical spaces.

Making digital marketing immersive

The metaverse is set to push aside other forms of traditional and digital marketing and bring immersive alternatives. Creating immersive environments connected to your organisation is an advanced form of communication.

Moving from 2D, with some elements of 3D, to a fully three-dimensional experience.

The in-game purchase market will explode in the coming years; in-game purchases are already worth over $6 billion, as virtual worlds continue to dominate the market. Early adopters have already begun spending real money in a virtual store or at virtual events, most people will spend a majority of their time in free-to-access experiences created by brands.

New non-gaming metaverses will grow to bring us immersive brand experiences such as the Gucci garden. As brands invest time in creating their metaverse marketing strategies, they invest in opportunities for earned media, audience insights and increased brand awareness.

Metaverse meeting

The metaverse will increase standards of quality and expand creativity

Graphic design is currently inspected as far as a zoom-in. Once entering the metaverse, companies’ creations will be viewed from 360 angles and various distances.

While consumer brands bring us virtual worlds (such as Nike’s Nikeland) that would not be feasible to create in the physical world, B2B organisations are taking advantage of ways to represent their brand in the virtual universe.

Creations in virtual experience leave no room for error and visual elements must be constructed in from an immersive perspective, adaptable to physical world environments.

Although, metaverse mishaps create opportunities for viral content such as Innocent smoothie’s wedding photo profile picture.

Marketing efforts can now be inspected up close, globally. That poster with the misprint on that one platform now becomes a worldwide attraction inside the collective virtual shared space.

The things we see in the physical world will begin to be inspired by what happens in the digital world. Already we are seeing an increase in artificial intelligence being used in creation.

A partner of social media

Leading brands will be expected to have a presence in the metaverse, the way they are now expected to generate engaging content for socials.

User-generated content (UGC) begins to dominate social media, particularly in B2C with B2B finding ways to adopt UGC. Businesses leave the product promotion to their customers, and marketing and creative teams work to build a virtual environment that fully immerses clients in the brand.

In the same way activity in the physical world creates content for social media, we will begin to see top-tier media from B2B brands documenting their journey into the metaverse leading to metaverse content becoming standard practice.

Metaverse could bring a higher level of behavioural data for employers

Envisioning an office of people in VR headsets, you may find it hard to imagine a world in which this technology will be used 9-5 and become common practice. With slicker products such as Apple’s I-glasses on the way to merge the physical and virtual world, this is only the start for developments to make the technology wearable and easy to adopt.

Eyetracking can be used to monitor visual attention. Companies can begin to collect data on employee behaviour throughout the day and throughout activities. Data no longer has to be pulled from surveys, which are open to human error and subconscious bias, instead we can take information about feeling, engagement and productivity from eye movement alone.

As the metaverse continues to take shape, ways that data can be collected and utilised to increase productivity in the workplace, as well as build brand awareness and engagement, will be formed around user activity.

The metaverse connects and brings opportunity for underdogs and mega brands alike

It is some of the smaller companies who will see a greater return on entering the metaverse marketing space as more meaningful connections are made in virtual spaces, carried back to real-life implementation.

Big brands are expected to join emerging tech, smaller brands can take the opportunity to take a step ahead of the competition.

Meetings, interviews, office tours and presentations can now all be made inside the metaverse. Bringing networking to a remote, globally accessible platform removes a multitude of barriers faced by growing companies.

Communicating everything globally

This new form of communication offers an opportunity to dissolve language barriers. Connecting with and speaking to people all around the world will be even easier with automatic translation from your speech. Machine translation may not replace humans when coming to a high-stake conversation, but most predict that it will be a key feature in the metaverse. Breaking down language barriers and connecting even more people.

Bill Gates believes that most virtual 2D meetings will move to the metaverse, serving as a replication of being in the same room. Not only will voice communication be transferred in the virtual world but body language and expressions can be picked up and communicated via motion-capture gloves.

With many experts agreeing that 70-93% of communication is non-verbal, communication in the metaverse is set to be humanistic and much easier to decipher and digest.

Metaverse communications

A new role in metaverse strategist

With the new technology comes a new role. Companies should invest in metaverse strategy to best utilise the metaverse today and continue to adapt to virtual reality.

With the metaverse not only comes new worlds but a whole new industry. Metaverse experts will begin to appear as companies re-shuffle and create teams of people to build and manage the brand’s world, operate and create avatars on behalf of the company and show up in the metaverse.

Tech-savvy and those with experience in AI and code will now be commonplace on brand promotion and creative teams as we create more in the digital space.

Before starting your journey into the metaverse

The question remains if now is the time to invest for many companies, does the incentive lay in waiting for the cost of the technology to fall further or in earlier adoption? As the metaverse becomes busier, demand will increase and so will prices.

Before beginning your journey to find your space in the metaverse, consider the following –

  • Pick your target market: who will you be trying to communicate with?
  • Asses competition: what are competitors doing? How will you match and exceed this?
  • Look for transferable activity: what is your company already looking to develop? How can you make metaverse marketing part of your ESG contribution?
  • Be ready for the unpredictable nature: be ready to adapt as the metaverse comes into itself and forms its purpose.

Don’t be a CEO that ignores emerging technology

There was once a time where CEOs questioned whether their organisation needed a website – now trusting a company without a high-value website is unheard of.

With the latest TIME magazine front cover stating “The Metaverse will change everything”, we have to say we agree and to not jump on board is asking to be left behind.

Metaverse technology