Only three decades have passed since the internet was first made publicly available. Two decades ago, businesses woke up to the realisation a website was a necessity rather than an extravagance. Social media, by comparison, is still in diapers. And now we are about to witness the birth of what many are calling ‘internet 2.0’.
Mark Zuckerberg is building on the mammoth Facebook family of popular applications (now rebranded to ‘Meta’), to create a digital world beyond current virtual reality. This will be a realm similar but separate to our own, free from earthly constraints and an open platform for us to virtually connect, share information, and explore our imagination. Naturally we are starting to ask, how will the Metaverse change the future of digital marketing?
What Exactly is the Metaverse?
Many are drawing on popular science fiction tropes to describe the Metaverse, and they might not be wrong. It will be an open-source network built for users to have an open space enabling limitless communication, interaction and exploration. Where the platforms we know today, such as Twitter and Facebook itself, run on centralised data centres, the Metaverse will enable cross-connectivity between every and all these platforms. Zuckerberg’s end goal is to build an augmented virtual reality seamlessly merging the physical and digital world, leveraging the latest in AR and VR technology with content. What’s more, all of this will be powered through blockchain technology, which, if you aren’t familiar, means anyone can create & publish material into their personalised world, and continue to completely own it.
How is the World of Marketing Preparing to Shift with the Metaverse?
Marketers across the world are scrambling with excitement to find how they can capitalise on this momentous shift in culture. We can now craft digital experiences specifically curated to bring our brands, products and services closer to customers who might be interested in them. We can develop real, one-on-one relationships with anyone on the planet instantaneously. Allowing people to try on clothing, show them around property from their home, or participating in games and functions – all of this will be possible on a scale never before possible. Notable organisations like Nike, Gucci and Disney are already investing heavily in building these virtual communities.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) & the Metaverse
People are still going to need help finding what they’re looking for in the Metaverse, so marketers will need to pivot similar to how they have in the past with SEO to be found on Google and YouTube to remain visible in this new world. This can range from cultivating or sharing in communities that match your audience, actively including targeted keywords built around the Metaverse and AR/VR keywords to be linked to such interests, and even investing in creating 3D experiences linked directly to your local Google listings.
Social Media & the Metaverse
Given the Metaverse is coming from the same minds that gave us Facebook, we know the social media element is going to play an enormous role in its future. The social media giant invested early in the Oculus hardware that now enables users to share their experiences in both a 2D and 3D format, building a connection between the real world, and that of the Metaverse. Social media is the integration that allows you to collaborate with others to build worlds, host meet-ups, and use your freshly created avatars to interact with others in the platform.
How to Get Started Marketing in the Metaverse?
While this is still relatively new technology entering the market, there are ways you can get started.
First, experiment with using AR & VR. The investment is becoming more affordable, and the earlier you begin, the more cemented you are as an early adopter with an existing following. You can also try hosting or representing your brand at a VR event within these platforms. This can prove even more successful when you partner alongside popular content creators or influencers that can inject you into a waiting and ready audience.
Most importantly, just keep as up to date as you can. The internet has had a bumpy, turbulent, and ever-changing road to get to where it is now, so we can only expect the same to happen with the Metaverse (only in warp drive). Set Google Alerts to follow trending topics, following leaders in the industry for their insights – do whatever you can to remain informed so you can create actions that make the most of our new future.