Some people have been calling Mark Zuckerberg’s focus on the metaverse as some kind of misplaced obession. But, actually, whatever you might think of the Zuck, he might have a point. And the proof is in the fact that marketing in the metaverse is something that has actually been around for longer than you might think.
Yes, metaverse marketing isn’t a sci-fi advertisers warped dream. You can go out and advertise on the metaverse right now, if that’s what you want to do.
But before we get into the what, why and how – we need to define the word ‘metaverse’.
What is the metaverse?
The metaverse relates to any digital world, which might exist either within a game or even parallel to our own ‘realverse’. Although people usually think of immersive virtual reality, or VR games as the definition of the metaverse, for example popular games like Axie Infinity, the Sandbox and Minecraft offer an experience that is very much immersive and self contained.
However, the metaverse can also include AR, or augmented reality. Think of popular games like Pokemon Go which captured the public imagination by displaying the anime characters within our own world. There are also AR elements within some social media apps. The face warping properties of Snapchat and Instagram are often held up as an example of metaverse tech.
You can also use AR tech within a number of different apps, for example Google Maps. By overlaying directions onto the real world, users can navigate or discover new locations in the real world, using metaverse style technolgy.
So, as you can see, the metaverse goes way beyond just gaming.
The future of marketing
Remember when the iPhone came out? If you’re as old as me, you might remember that although the internet was a thing, digital marketing wasn’t really. People built websites and paid for Google Adwords campaigns. And although Facebook, Myspace and Twitter were around, the world of digital marketing was something much different to what it is today.
Now, we have influencer marketing, social media marketing and much more. Mobile internet traffic is greater than desktop, and marketers need to be mobile optimized for any chance of ad success.
So although we’re talking about metaverse marketing as a future trend right now, the truth is that the future is here.
You can run a campaign in the metaverse today, and chances are that your rivals will be playing catch up.
Examples of metaverse marketing
Big brands are already on the metaverse marketing bandwagon. Gucci, for example, already have some big metaverse campaigns under way and there has even been a metaverse fashion show featuring brands like Dolce and Gabbana and Estee Lauder.
Nike even have their own Nikeworld within the metaverse, amid claims that 7 million people have visited so far.
Marvel have also embraced metaverse style ads, with their own AR face filters for Snapchat. From a dancing Spiderman to a Venom face.
But if you think it’s all about big money, don’t worry, there are plenty of opportunities for smaller brands to advertise too.
From in-game billboards, NFT’s and in-game items, sponsored shop fronts or in-game games – there is actually a lot that the smaller marketer can do to embrace metaverse marketing.
Who is the metaverse for?
As you might expect, metaverse ads are usually focused on the younger milennial and Gen-Z audience. Young adults are more likely to embrace new social media platforms such as TikTok and Snapchat, and more likely to spend their time playing games like Axie Infinity and Minecraft.
Increasingly, this audience is also willing to spend money on virtual assets. Wether this is an outfit for an avatar, an NFT to display on their social media, or even to attend a virtual music festival. Yes, that is a thing.
Where can I advertise in the metaverse right now?
Although there isn’t a central Google Ads style platform for metaverse marketing yet, there are many ways you can get promoting. In general, the best way to advertise using the metaverse is to approach the platform you want to use.
You can also run ads on popular social media platforms like TikTok and Snapchat, who offer AR and other immersive advertising.
Here are the most popular metaverse based games which offer advertising opportunities.
These are just a small selection of platforms offering advertisers the chance to advertise in the wild west of the metaverse. Is it right for you? There’s only one way to find out…