A trend? An unexplored universe or an unstable planet? Like it or not, the Metaverse is one planet you can’t afford not to ignore or explore. So let’s explore…
For most people, thinking about the Metaverse is like staring down the rabbit hole. I know adventure awaits, but I also see it as a trip that might stumble. One thing is for sure, like cryptocurrencies and NFTs, the Metaverse is here to shake things up and make us rethink how we engage with our audience in a world we don’t yet know or understand. That’s it. Are you excited or scared? It’s a bit of both, and here’s why.
What is Metaverse?
The Metaverse is a 3D immersive digital world where people interact with each other on multiple platforms just like they do in the real world. Basically, the Metaverse mimics the real world. The main difference is that people use avatars to interact with each other instead of bodies, and you need augmented and virtual reality technology to do that.
In this immersive world, you can buy houses, play games, and buy clothes just like in the real world. And with so many different platforms to join, and even more immersive experiences, the scale and scope is almost limitless. There’s a reason it’s called the universe, not the planet. As such, you can already see the huge potential for marketers looking to create new, more engaging experiences for their current customers and new communities in the Metaverse. But can you see the challenges too?
It is here 5 Opportunities and 5 Challenges to Consider Before launching your next marketing campaign in the metaverse.
Five main challenges in marketing in the metaverse:
It’s the great unknown: It’s still new and growing, so companies aren’t comfortable jumping in. Nor are there any regulators that might feel at risk. Conversely, companies willing to become early adopters can establish themselves as leaders in new areas before their competitors catch up.
You are no longer in Kansas: The Metaverse isn’t just another platform, it’s a whole new universe with its own language, culture, and way of doing things. If you find it difficult to navigate social platforms, brace yourself. Work needs to be done to understand the metaverse and how it should or can be involved in the metaverse. In this world, you have to fit in, not stand out.
You have to invest in technology. To fully immerse yourself in the metaverse, you need expensive modern technology, such as high-end computers and VR headsets and lenses. Not everyone has access to these devices, which limits your potential to reach a wider audience. So maybe you need to prepare and plan instead of jumping in right away. And if you’re planning on creating your own platform, you’ll need to make a significant investment in both the technology and knowledge required to create these jaw-dropping experiences.
Security is an issue: Metaverse identities can be stolen and little support is available to help resolve the issue. This can make data privacy and cybersecurity an issue, especially for companies that want to verify an individual’s identity before making a purchase.
South Africa’s large digital divide: If you’re only playing on the SA market, the Metaverse feels more like a village than a universe. According to Statistics South Africa, only 10.4% of his households in SA have internet access at home, and he is only one-third of households owning a computer or laptop. Adding the high tech needed to operate here also reduces the audience to the market.
Still dissuading or persuading? wonderful!
Here are five opportunities that exist for engagement in the metaverse.
Create user-generated content using existing communities. Before rushing to market in an existing community, consider the style of the platform currently in use. Take it slow. See, observe, and interact with current members to create user-generated content (video, text, images, audio) that helps organically execute your business’s campaigns.
Take the native ad meta for example: It’s not all unfamiliar. As people start exploring the metaverse, there are many opportunities for native advertising, such as virtual streets, product placement billboards, and even sponsorship opportunities for events taking place within the metaverse. Coca-Cola and Samsung have virtual billboards in video games such as Football Manager. In fact, games are both the future and the present. This is where the community has already gathered in large numbers. So recently, rapper and recording artist Nas promoted his new album through in-game audio ads in his racing games and his Fortnite.
Let your customers experience your product: The metaverse makes online shopping seem very basic. Virtual and augmented reality have allowed viewers to experience a product in 3D before he buys it. That’s why car companies like Porsche and Hyundai have created virtual viewing rooms and events to show off their cars. The same can be said for any number of products that you can sit and try on freely, such as furniture and clothes.
Design an interactive live event: Yes, many events were virtualized when the pandemic hit, but the Metaverse takes them to the next level: the experience level. However, there are many interactive 3D options available. Remote employees can also be physically present in the metaverse, making them feel less alienated and more engaged. Technology gadgets aside, the Metaverse is cost-effective and flexible, enabling collaboration where employees can visualize and solve problems in 3D rather than being bound by the limitations of her 2D.
Create your own metaverse platform. If you’re willing to invest a lot, you can create your own games and worlds dedicated to the company’s products and services. Of course, this is the most expensive way to make your case in the metaverse. Shopify, for example, has launched a new His AR/3D shopping experience for businesses to create virtual versions of their products, and is also working on its own His NFT marketplace. So if you have the Shopify budget to invest, you can create your own world within the metaverse and flag it for the future.
The metaverse will not go away. That doesn’t mean rush into it. In fact, it’s probably a good time to start investigating how and where it fits in the future. And when it becomes the next generation’s new playground, get ready to engage with them in ways that truly serve their needs and your brand.