The Metaverse– What Is It? A Digital Marketing Guide

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As the world becomes increasingly digital, the concept of the metaverse has gained significant attention. But what exactly is the metaverse? Is it just another buzzword, or is it something that businesses and marketers need to pay attention to?  

According to some giants in the tech world – from Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella – the metaverse poses the logical next step in our digital universe. In Zuckerberg’s words, “it’s the next chapter of the internet overall” and it opens up an unlimited array of possibilities. Immersive virtual spaces, holograms and an array of virtual merchandise have been proposed in the Meta’s demo videos. This meta universe is positively Utopian in its limitless potential. 

In this digital marketing guide, we will explore the metaverse, its potential impact on the digital landscape, and how businesses can prepare to take advantage of this emerging trend. Join us as we dive into the metaverse and discover its possibilities for the future of digital marketing. 

In this digital marketing guide, we will explore the metaverse, its potential impact on the digital landscape, and how businesses can prepare to take advantage of this emerging trend. Join us as we dive into the metaverse and discover its possibilities for the future of digital marketing. 

The Metaverse– What Is It Really? 

At its core, the metaverse is a virtual world where users can interact with a computer-generated environment and each other through virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies. Think of it as a kind of immersive internet, where users can not only consume digital content but also create and interact with it in real-time. 

At the same time, everyone seems to have a different idea of what the metaverse will look like and, since it is still in the development stages, nobody is able to produce a solid definition. Perhaps, it is partly due to its ambiguity – which comes attached to a complete range of possibilities – that so much excitement has been generated.  

Technology companies look at it as an expansion of the virtual reality tech used in gaming whilst others think it will include some form of digital economy involving digital merchandise. ‘Meta’ paints a picture of virtual houses where friends can interact, and ‘Microsoft’ thinks virtual meeting rooms are all part of the metaverse’s future. Overall, ideas of the metaverse seem to border on science fiction and it is difficult to conceive what the metaverse will truly look like when it is created. 

Digital Marketing in the Metaverse 

As the metaverse continues to evolve, it presents a new frontier for digital marketing. In the metaverse, businesses and marketers can create immersive and interactive experiences that go beyond the traditional boundaries of online advertising.  

According to statistics, active VR users have reached 171 million and the numbers are growing daily. With this explosion in VR and rapid developments in AI, it is not farfetched to expect the metaverse to become the marketing channel of the future. Let us take a closer look: 

Social Media Marketing in the Metaverse 

Social media has become a ubiquitous part of modern life, and it is no surprise that it will have a significant impact on the metaverse. In fact, social media platforms may be the key to unlocking the full potential of the metaverse for digital marketing.  

Crucially, the metaverse is being developed by ‘Facebook’ which, on the 9th of June 2021, was renamed ‘Meta’. With Facebook – and naturally, Instagram – both on board the metaverse bandwagon, it is likely that other social media platforms will follow suit. So far, Snapchat and TikTok have already invested in the AR experience by offering a selection of immersive filters and, as technology continues to advance and embrace the metaverse, other social media platforms are bound to continue to change and evolve accordingly. In turn, the marketing industry will see a sharp rise in more Metaverse oriented marketing tools. 

Whilst social media in the metaverse will be different – allowing a more realistic form of interaction through avatars within a VR world – the ability to like and share content is not likely to subside. Yet, according to content strategist and marketing expert Zoe Marais, the opportunities will reach even further: 

“It’s hard to say where this field is headed, but I do know that as the years go on this type of marketing will only grow stronger and stronger. I predict that we’ll soon be shifting into Metaverse based marketing where we are not only being fed ads and content on social media platforms, but we will be in the platforms face to face with these marketing efforts.” stated Zoe Marais. 

With this vision in mind, we predict that in the metaverse, social media will take on a new level of interactivity, enabling users to engage with brands and businesses in real-time and in immersive ways.  

Events Marketing in the Metaverse 

From Meta’s metaverse demonstration, it appears that meeting up with peers and attending events will take on a new dimension in the future. 

Presently, events have already made the shift towards a virtual setting with webinars and virtual conferences. However, Zuckerberg’s vision of the metaverse kicks this up more than a notch. One of the most appealing concepts he puts forward is the ability to enter a virtual world as an avatar and interact with your peers as you would in the physical world.  

This idea opens up an endless sea of opportunities including virtual classes, music rehearsals, concerts, sporting events, a virtual bowling session with friends and so on… Truly the options are endless. From a marketing perspective, such virtual events could be an opportunity for product demonstrations that give consumers a thirst for the real thing or a way of gathering a far larger audience in a space that is not confined by location or dimensions. 

Content Marketing in the Metaverse 

Content marketing is a key component of any successful marketing strategy, and the metaverse offers new and innovative ways to create and distribute content. Presumably, content will still be created, read, and shared in the metaverse. However, it is highly likely that it will differ in its shape and presentation.  

Within an immersive and highly interactive environment, content will also need to become more interactive and geared towards keeping audiences entertained. Creativity will become all the more valuable in a world that is ruled by the imagination and marketers will need to step up their game when it comes to content creation. 

By leveraging the power of virtual reality, businesses will be able to create content that transports users to new and exciting worlds, allowing them to explore products and services in ways that were previously impossible. This will help to create a more memorable and impactful experience, leading to increased engagement and brand loyalty. 

Omnichannel Marketing in the Metaverse 

Currently, omnichannel marketing refers to the merging of all online channels – including websites and mobile apps – so that customers may enjoy a superior and more seamless experience online. Yet, this would look vastly different in the metaverse.  

In the metaverse, all aspects of the digital and physical universe would be harmonised. Picture a world where you may shop at a physical store as a hologram or receive email promotions as soon as you enter a supermarket. By leveraging the power of virtual and augmented reality, businesses can create immersive experiences that seamlessly blend the physical and digital worlds, providing customers with an utterly unique and engaging experience.  

Through an integration of physical and digital channels in the metaverse, businesses will be able to create a unified experience that seamlessly transitions from one channel to another. In the end, this could help to build stronger relationships with customers, leading to increased loyalty and repeat business. Indeed, the metaverse will expand marketing possibilities that we may only fathom at this point in time. 

SEO For the Metaverse 

SEO is in a constant state of flux. Google algorithms are periodically updated, and digital marketers must remain vigilant and adapt to the various changes that occur in the digital world. In the same way that marketers have adapted their research to reflect how users interact on google, social media and YouTube, the same would need to be done for the metaverse.  

In the Metaverse, search engine optimization (SEO) will still play a crucial role in driving traffic to websites and virtual storefronts. With the vast amount of digital content and experiences available, it will be essential to optimize content and metadata for search engines to ensure visibility and discoverability. As the Metaverse continues to evolve, it is likely that search engines will become more sophisticated and tailored to the virtual world, presenting new opportunities and challenges for SEO practitioners.  

Apart from typed searches, it is likely that visual and sound searches will take on a new importance in this immersive universe. Searching for content will reshape itself to fit the nature of the metaverse and so will SEO. Therefore, developing a comprehensive SEO strategy that considers both traditional search engines and Metaverse-specific search engines will be vital to achieving success in this new frontier of digital marketing.  

Is Metaverse the Future of Digital Marketing? 

At the moment, ideas of the metaverse remain mostly within the realm of speculation and creativity. The ideas put forward by Meta are still just that; ideas. In truth, most of these concepts are grounded in the hope of creating new technology but not on technology that already exists. Therefore, its future remains abstract and uncertain. 

However, this does not exclude the possibility of the metaverse. Thirty years ago, the technology we own today would have sounded just as fantastical as the metaverse might sound to some people today. What is true and quite undeniable is that technology is constantly evolving, and digital marketing has always had to adapt to these changes.  

With the dawn of the metaverse, digital marketing would doubtlessly need to incorporate new techniques and tactics that embrace the changes in the way we communicate. At the same time, the metaverse offers an exciting and fresh array of possibilities, more innovative ways of reaching audiences and promoting brands. With such prospects ahead, the future of digital marketing looks very bright and promising. 

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