The internet has undergone massive evolution over the years. And for the same reason, the applications and software are pretty unrecognizable from their early days. Web development can be separated into three distinctions: Web 1.0, Web 2.0, and Web 3.0. But what does Web 3.0 exactly mean?
Web 3.0 cannot yet be defined accurately as it is currently at a very primitive stage of development. However, it will be decentralized rather than being controlled by corporations and governments. Besides, it will remain connected to the concept of the “Metaverse.”
Web 3.0 is nothing but what we know as the “semantic web,” just with some additional characteristics. Its applications are designed to run on decentralized networks with peer-to-peer nodes and blockchains. Sometimes, it can also function by combining two, forming a crypto-economic protocol.
Whenever it comes to Web 3.0, cryptocurrency is always an important part. Since it provides a financial incentive for all those who participate in governing, creating, improving, and contributing to projects, now that Web 3.0 is connected to the metaverse, it covers the upcoming iteration of the internet’s front-end. And it is precisely through which we connect to the online world, manipulate data, and communicate with others.
By now, you must know that Web 3.0, including other interactive internet platforms, has a connection with it. But what is metaverse exactly? How does it influence marketing? Please keep reading to find out more about it.
What is the Metaverse?
It is important to know that the metaverse is not a technology but rather a concept that exists through numerous technologies. Within this ecosystem, users are usually represented as avatars, where they can connect with other users in the digital environment. Games like Fortnite, Second Life, etc., can be stated as the closest examples of the metaverse.
The virtual worlds keep on evolving as per the interactions and decisions of users within the space. This universe will continue expanding as more users jump within it as it has no bound. Some key characteristics of the metaverse include:
● Real-Time Existence
The timeline of the metaverse exists parallel to that of the real world.
● Active Round-the-Clock
Metaverse will continue to grow indefinitely as there will be no pause or end to it.
● Fully Functional and Self-Contained Universe
The metaverse is fully functional, where users are allowed to sell, create, purchase, and get rewarded for their actions.
● Individual Agency for Users
All users have the privilege of taking part in different activities simultaneously.
● User-Generated Content
In Metaverse, users can create their content and share it with other users within it.
● It consists of Various Platforms
Metaverse grants the privilege for numerous platforms to work together. In other words, it allows bringing contents from one game into another.
Metaverse is not merely a virtual theme park but a virtual universe where the world’s mechanics are merged with reality. It might not be easy to wrap your head around it, but we’re here to help.
Have you ever heard about the immersive experience of the Van Gogh Museum in the Netherlands, where you can experience his paintings with augmented reality? There, you can immerse yourself within Gogh’s timeless paintings through the 360-degree projections and VR glasses. The metaverse is somewhat similar to that.
It is a hypothesized iteration of the internet that persistently supports virtual environments. Besides, conventional personal computing and augmented reality headsets play a pivotal role in the metaverse. Users can access and interact through augmented or virtual reality through this universe.
Moreover, people can have a completely new experience while associating with entertainment and other social activities. Metaverse is a collective virtual shared space formulated upon the concepts of immersion, presence, and interactivity. It is created by the convergence of augmented reality, virtual worlds, and the internet.
The Appeal of the Metaverse
Many respondents believe that the most significant appeal of the metaverse belongs to socializing and gaming. But there are notable trends of business appeal to enter into the metaverse. However, substantial portions of Gen Y and Gen Z are interested in the digital world. It is because they can engage their digital selves in communal meaning-making.
Besides, massive online events have been ignited through the combinations of socializing and brand and IP collaborations. In other words, the metaverse outdoes the regular universe in
incredible ways, making it attractive. Moreover, its resolution is far better than the everyday world. Thus Gen Y and Gen Z have developed an excellent appetite for such hyperreal experiences.
What Metaverse Means for Digital Marketers
The metaverse will present new opportunities and challenges to all brands for marketing themselves. As this universe is relatively new, even the most straightforward ideas will impact digital marketers.
But all digital marketers need to keep themselves updated with the latest technological developments. So they need to have a complete and potential understanding of the entire metaverse. Digital marketers need to understand that metaverse is not just a trend that will wear off after some time. It is deliberately trying to become the next big thing as it is here to stay.
Firstly, digital marketers need to value the existence of Gen Z and millennials as they are the target market. Besides, they are vividly associated with games and technologies that are somewhat related to the metaverse.
Keeping this in mind, let us take a quick look at the marketing opportunities provided by the metaverse.
Marketing Opportunities in the Metaverse
Despite numerous marketing challenges lying ahead, digital marketers have plenty of marketing opportunities. But the major takeaway is that the marketers need to be savvy enough to navigate all the new avatars. Some of the incredible marketing opportunities for metaverse marketers include:
● Influencer or Network Marketing
The metaverse is almost a replica of the natural world as it is nothing but augmented reality. Thus initiating conversations or interacting with other users in the metaverse is somewhat similar to the real world. You can attend a networking event not in person but with the help of virtual reality through your avatar.
In this universe, you can partner with other prominent users within the metaverse and give valuable insights about your brand. Besides, you can also create NFT clothing that consists of your company’s logo.
● Virtual Events
Remote working models expanded enormously significantly during the pandemic. Moreover, virtual conferences, events, and parties are also increasing massively. Since they are easy to access and attend to, these will likely become more common.
If your brand can host these events, it will be an excellent opportunity to spread brand awareness. Besides, there can also be a possibility of earning some extra revenue.
● Sponsoring or Advertising Metaverse Content
Similar to the events of the natural world, the events of the metaverse also require sponsors and advertising. If you choose to sponsor an event in the metaverse, you can have your brand logo on display in exchange. This way, you can find the opportunity of choosing to bring your brand in front of new audiences.
Thus you can provide virtual advertising within the metaverse. You can choose to go beyond the virtual billboards as well. As metaverse has an immersive nature, you must take advantage of it. So with your marketing initiatives and advertisements, you can offer the same immersive experience.
Instead of putting up simple ads, you can provide branded events and installations so that users can interact well.
● Putting Up Collectibles
There are no people who don’t like collecting things. And metaverse is undoubtedly an ideal space for them to elaborate on their interests. You can offer limited assets, which one can only collect within the metaverse.
Challenges of Marketing in the Metaverse
Whenever a new opportunity comes up, the early adopters are highly benefited. Irrespective of how exciting the metaverse might be, it involves many risks. Thus, it would be best to choose your position before heading into the metaverse carefully. Besides, entrepreneurs must also take the possibilities of limitless marketing very seriously.
Listed below are some of the most significant challenges marketers face in the metaverse whenever advertising.
The metaverse is still in progress; it contains some significant security risks. This persisting issue is very likely to push your company towards considerable risk.
● Developing and Uprising Technology
Technologies like augmented reality and virtual reality have to go under various evolutions. The functionalities are not very accurate and prominent; thus, they have to go a long way to provide a frictionless customer experience. Since this is just the beginning, make sure you don’t start investing in bulks right away. There are high chances of being a risky bet in this present situation.
● Tracking and Measuring ROI
The general methods of measuring and tracking digital marketing campaigns are still not applicable. It could take some time before measuring how the digital market impacts the metaverse.
How are Brands Already Using Metaverse?
Numerous companies, big and small, have started investing in the metaverse. They are not using it for entertainment purposes only but for professional and business purposes. The most significant example is Facebook, as it looks forward to becoming a metaverse company in the future.
Mark Zuckerberg is already emphasizing formulating social metaverses. Besides, he also focuses on investing in Oculus for the VR and Ar technologies. In August 2021, he introduced a blueprint of work metaverse for Oculus. Here, in the form of avatars, people are allowed to sit in a conference room and work together. One can use it more like an office as most workplaces eventually switch to remote working.
On the other hand, Silicon Valley is busy betting on various metaverses as the next generation of the internet. Moreover, numerous games are also incorporating metaverse-like elements within their platform. Here, Fortnite is the most significant example, as it allows concerts within the game.
Besides, HTC is working towards a business-based VR technology. This shows that virtual reality will slowly play an essential role in business.
How Can More Brands Get Started?
While metaverse is becoming popular amongst marketers, more and more brands will likely incorporate it. And if you’re willing to do the same, here are some ways to get started.
● Insert Your Brand Natively into Metaverse
● Invest in the D2A Economy
For investing in the D2A economy, you will have to collaborate with in-platform creators. Besides, you will also experiment with augmented reality to create an immersive user experience.
● Market Just Like Real World
Just because you are in the metaverse doesn’t mean you need to do everything differently. You can easily replicate the marketing strategies of the real world in this parallel virtual universe. This way, you can easily make your brand noticeable.
● Construct Immersive Experience for Digital Avatars
Creating an immersive experience in the metaverse is an excellent way of boosting your engagement and brand loyalty. Thus it should be your top priority to drive customer engagement.
While we look at the metaverse through augmented reality, the future of the internet seems quite promising. It might have taken two decades to come to this position, but the metaverse shows promising signs of rapid growth. Moreover, people are also eagerly willing to jump into the parallel universe, and companies must seize this opportunity while it is ripe.
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