With more and more big companies putting big money on the line, the race to build and monetize the metaverse has begun.
Of course, not everything this new, still-developing medium has to offer will be relevant for every brand. But, for those who are looking to explore and make a move into existing metaverse platforms, here are eight steps you can take to develop and shape your brand’s presence in these nascent spaces.
#1: Assess the Current State of Play
Start following metaverse-related news to educate yourself about what exactly this new frontier represents and how it’s unfolding. Stay abreast of any updates around the technologies and commercial infrastructure that are fundamental to the medium’s operability, including: augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), hardware peripherals, conversational AI, blockchain, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
- $800 billion: The global metaverse revenue opportunity could approach $800 billion in 2024.
#2: Consider Where Your Brand Fits In
Break down the key branding objectives you’d be pursuing by taking this step into the metaverse. Explore the potential value of consumers perceiving your brand as a first adopter in an emerging sector—or, conversely, the risks and potential backlash involved in such a move.
- 30% of the organizations in the world will have products and services ready for use in the metaverse by 2026.
Key Questions to Consider:
- What are the business risks of entering or not entering the metaverse?
- If your organization spent more time engaging customers in the metaverse, would that have a meaningful impact on your overarching marketing goals?
- If you entered the metaverse, how would you create value for the community, and how could the community create value for your brand?
- How well set up are you to move into the metaverse?
#3: Strategize Your Entry
Like other digital channels in your arsenal, the metaverse requires a comprehensive strategy with clear KPIs and an ROI model that justifies investment. Map out your various customer journeys and key touchpoints, then conceptualize how a virtual ecosystem could enhance those interactions.
Key Questions to Consider:
- How can metaverse-focused technologies engage audiences in fresh ways to create positive brand association?
- Is there an opportunity to strengthen customer loyalty through a range of digital goods, sponsorships, or branded “virtual real estate” projects?
#4: Think About Your Customer
Consider how much time your target audience/customers are spending in metaverse spaces and determine your speed of adoption proportionately. Today, the metaverse is a predominantly Gen Z-oriented, male-dominated, tech forward market. If your brand is geared toward any of those demographics, you may benefit from moving into the metaverse more quickly. If not, you may be better off taking things slow and monitoring the space as it develops.
- 25%: By 2026, forecasters estimate that 25% of people will spend at least one hour a day in the metaverse for work, shopping, education, social and/or entertainment.
Key Questions to Consider:
- Who are your target demographics, and are your current and/or prospective consumers exhibiting any behaviors that indicate a move into virtual spaces would be worthwhile?
- Does a metaverse presence help your audience? If so, how? Are there any new metaverse-based experiences you can provide that would make consumers’ lives easier/better?
#5: Get in There and Play
Sign up for multiple metaverse platforms: The Sandbox, Cryptovoxels, Decentraland, Somnium Space, Roblox, Fortnite. Explore everything. Try everything. Take note of other brand activations and examine how you might be able to launch more refined versions of what already exists.
- 200: The Sandbox already has more than 200 existing partnerships with brands like Warner Music Group, Adidas, and Atari.
#6: Start Experimenting with AR Technology
If you’re not already exploring augmented reality and the possibilities it offers, now is a great time to do so. Think of any experiments with AR as a steppingstone to creating a wider array of metaverse content. Find appropriate applications for your business and iterate on them until you have something that feels true to your brand.
- 1.7 billion: By 2024, an estimated 1.7 billion people will be using mobile augmented reality (AR) worldwide.
#7: Create Interactions, Not Just Transactions
Think community first. People don’t just sit in the metaverse and absorb webpages. They want to be immersed in interactive, fun, two-way experiences—they want to be active participants in a virtual world. Consider some of the following tactics:
- Employ gamification strategies
- Offer limited-edition NFTs that are only collectible in the metaverse
- Build interactive places or virtual stores to explore
- Create daily challenges that unlock NFTs and premium access to real world product discounts
- Host virtual events that defy real-world limitations
- $41 billion: At the end of 2021, NFTs had a market cap of nearly $41 billion.
- 70% of consumers who have visited a virtual store have made a purchase.
#8 Test and Learn. Stay Grounded
Deploy small with low-budget initiatives—the space is still emerging and there are no safe bets yet. There are also no tried-and-true best practices for metaverse marketing, so there is room to be unique and experimental in your approach. Consider finding a suitable partner already in the metaverse and joining forces through value-add content (products, services, games).
Prepare for Advertising in the Metaverse
Right now, an array of companies and agencies—including Gucci, Nike, Walmart, Gap, Atari, Hulu, Adidas, Vans, Accenture, McCann, Merkle, and Mediahub— are entering the metaverse through different means. That doesn’t mean you’re late to the party, though. You’re actually right on time.
So, whether you choose to enter the metaverse now, later, or not at all, these eight steps are a great way to start building a metaverse strategy and getting your virtual adventure started.
Want to learn more about the future of marketing and paid advertising in the metaverse? Check out our webinar, Prepare for Advertising in the Metaverse.