Ways to market your message on the metaverse
The metaverse is rapidly gaining momentum and brands of all stripes should be paying attention. The platform’s accelerated rise in consumer consciousness started in December of 2021 when Facebook rebranded itself as Meta and the company’s founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, announced that his ambition was to help bring the metaverse to life. A month later, Microsoft completed a staggering US$68.7B purchase of Activision Blizzard, a game-development behemoth, to bolster the company’s position in the interactive entertainment space.
Major brands outside the tech sphere have started piling on. Nike has filed trademark applications for their ‘Just Do It’ tagline and iconic swoosh design which sets the stage for them to sell virtual goods on the metaverse; Nike also purchased a virtual shoe company in December of last year. Vans has built an online skate park in the Roblox metaverse and has already enjoyed over 48 million visitors – talk about successful brand engagement. Gillette’s Venus brand created a metaverse campaign on the game Animal Crossing called ‘My Skin. My Way’ that allows players to add different skin types to their avatars such as freckles, acne, scars and stretch marks; a campaign that has generated nearly 1 billion impressions. The list goes on…
Before we look at some of the ways your brand could leverage the power of the metaverse, however, let’s take a step back and encapsulate what the metaverse is all about.
What is the metaverse?
A metaverse is a virtual world that people can immerse themselves within and enjoy social interactions with each other via avatars. The beauty of the metaverse is that there are no geographical restraints, so you could hypothetically attend a virtual concert with a friend who lives on the other side of the globe. Popular metaverses include the aforementioned Roblox, plus Sandbox, Decentraland and Second Life.
Among the metaverse’s supporters is the very man who invented the internet, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who was recently quoted in Bloomberg as saying “people ask about virtual reality, and if the metaverse is going to be the whole future, and the answer is that it’s going to be part of the future.”
Ways brands can leverage the metaverse
There are many reasons why marketers should consider metaverse advertising as a marketing strategy. The platform is still largely uncharted territory so the sky is no longer the limit. Here is a handful of creative approaches:
Billboard ads Metaverse billboard ads are similar to real-world billboard ads, but with a few exciting flourishes. First of all, the metaverse enjoys traffic from all around the world so you can easily expose yourself to new geographical markets. Secondly, if a consumer sees your billboard and wants to find out more, they can click on your ad for additional information. Like other forms of online advertising, you can enjoy a custom reporting dashboard to track campaign success and get juicy data such as the number of views, views by metaverse location, geolocation and more.
Events In 2020, 45.8 million people attended a Travis Scott virtual concert in the popular game Fortnight. The potential the metaverse presents in the event space is astronomical. Why not host an event in the metaverse for your clients/customers? This idea works for both B2B and B2C audiences, and the beauty is that your event could attract metaverse novices whose first exposure to this platform is thanks to your brand. For those individuals, you’ve now positioned yourself as an innovator – a brand positioning that, these days, is virtually priceless. You don’t even need your own metaverse land or venue; many metaverse real estate owners are willing to rent out their property for special events.
Build your own virtual location You’ve hosted a successful event and now you’re ready to take things to the next level – by developing your own branded virtual venue. This could be a storefront that enables you to sell virtual goods via cryptocurrency, or perhaps an office space where employees from around the world can gather to meet and brainstorm new creative solutions.
Run a loyalty program A fun way to boost event attendance and reward loyalty is to offer a free NFT (Non-Fungible Token) or POAP (Proof of Attendance Protocol) to event attendees. These are virtual badges handed out to metaverse participants to prove that they were at your event. Each badge is one-of-a-kind which makes it a terrific collectable. This could also introduce many of your event attendees to the concept of NFTs for the very first time, which again showcases your brand as an innovator. And no one ever forgets their first NFT! Keep your eye on your email inbox – we will be exploring NFTs in greater detail in our next MHz Insights post.
Back in the early days of Facebook, many marketers didn’t see the value of participating in social media marketing. Now? Your social media channels are an integral part of your overall marketing, advertising and brand engagement strategies. A few years from now, the metaverse will revolutionize your marketing endeavours in much the same way. You have the opportunity right now to become an early adopter, show leadership, learn what strategies work best and be one giant step ahead of the competition.
MHz has a long and successful history of marketing innovation, and we can’t wait to dig deeper into the metaverse ourselves. Contact us now and let’s talk about how we can rocket your marketing efforts to a whole other dimension.
Angelo Perri is the founder and CEO of MHZ Design Communications, a customer engagement agency located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Connect on Linkedin.