With Meta's influence, its ideas have resonated with the digital marketing world and given us some pretty unique ideas for brand amplification, which is precisely what we're going to look at today.
The metaverse as a concept is a collective virtual space where augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and the internet come together and blur the lines between the physical and digital worlds.
It’s yet another idea from science fiction (it was coined by Neal Stephenson in his sci-fi novel Snow Crash) that is quickly becoming reality. It’s a new frontier to experience, and it comes with some exciting possibilities.
Right in the middle of this new experience is Meta, formerly known as Facebook. The hope for Meta is that the metaverse will be used to completely change how we work and interact.
Given how influential Meta is, its ideas have resonated throughout the business world and given us some pretty unique ideas for brand amplification—which is precisely what we’ll be looking into today.
Meta is essentially trying to build an ecosystem. This ecosystem is made of platforms (like Horizon Workrooms) that help with collaborating virtually and tools created specifically for immersive experiences like VR. They’re truly technological marvels, but they’re also destined to be the next big thing in branding.
Why? Well, it’s because the metaverse offers brands a way to connect with their audience that isn’t just novel—it’s completely untraditional.
Right now, passive consumption rules the day. Advertisements must be focused on the consumer. The metaverse would turn this inside out by encouraging active participation. It’s not hard to see where this could lead - better engagement and connection between brand and consumer, and a way to stand out in the digital world.
In the metaverse, brands can create "digital twin" spaces. These would essentially be virtual replicas of their own physical stores, or even completely novel spaces that only exist digitally.
These spaces can offer an immersion that traditional online platforms couldn’t possibly match. Imagine walking into a store and trying a product with AR, or attending a brand’s event on a virtual beach. Well, you don’t have to imagine anymore, because these brands are doing everything right in the metaverse:
And don’t think for a second that the metaverse is only for tech giants or hyper-popular brands like Nike. Industries that may appear unrelated at first glance, like construction, are also beginning to find their footing in this digital landscape. A great example involves contractors who use roofing software to increase their efficiency.
Such industries involving hands-on work can benefit greatly from visualizing their processes and allowing customers to interact with their work on a virtual platform. The same goes for maths teachers looking to visualize their geometry lessons or graphic design companies looking to showcase wireframes to their clients.
So it’s not hard to see why businesses are excited about the metaverse—it provides them with a plethora of ways to advertise innovatively and effectively.
Traditional advertising is alive and well, but the metaverse is giving brands a chance to really think outside the box. Imagine that instead of running static display ads, your brand features ads that users can step into and interact with, or product launches where users can virtually use the product in different scenarios. It’s what advertisers of the past (and even modern social media advertisers) could only dream of.
The real game-changer here is the integration of AR and VR in advertising. You could begin an ad in AR and allow users to visualize the product in their own physical environment, and then flip to VR to have them immerse themselves in your own brand-centered universe to see how the story unfolds. Whatever the approach is, the key is to make it fun.
In addition, the biggest downfall of traditional advertising has always been the inability to try the product beforehand. Physical stores are king for this, but the metaverse is so close to the real experience that the tradeoff in risk is negligible when you consider it right at your fingertips.
To navigate the metaverse, brands have to understand it. That's where Iconosquare Paid Analytics can help, as it can serve as a gold mine of analytics that help businesses see how their metaverse campaigns are fairing and improvements they have to make. Metrics aside, it’s still important for brands to:
Community building is also very important. Brands should try to create a sense of belonging among their user base, whether it’s through content, giveaways, or even retargeting. Over time and with the focus on the right medium, this will be reflected in both acquisition and retention rates. However, it’s not all smooth sailing.
Like any new frontier, there are going to be challenges for the brave souls who venture forth. This is a landscape very much in its infancy, and, with that in mind, several potential pitfalls must be addressed and avoided or conquered.
One of those challenges is adapting to technology. Brand experiences have to be optimized for the variety of devices that consumers will be using. Although the metaverse is very much real in 2023, barely anyone has the graphical processing power to sustain a smooth experience.
This, coincidentally, relates to the challenge of accessibility. Not everyone has access to high-end VR or AR devices, so it may make sense to have a scaled-down alternative for low-tech consumers until that technology becomes less expensive over time.
However, the metaverse is heavily reliant on visuals, and again—lower-budget visuals may not be enticing enough to provide sustained interest from the target audience.
Finally, there's the challenge of content saturation. More and more brands will pour into the metaverse as time goes on. This could create a cluttered and sometimes even overwhelming environment for users. Thus, content will need to be weighed for its value and eliminated if it doesn’t produce that value.
In the meantime, brands can ensure a positive user experience in the metaverse if they:
The metaverse isn’t just a new platform - it's a complete upending of how brands and customers interact. We’ll likely begin to see brands becoming less about products and more about experiences. This would mean focusing on creating memorable moments and a strong community to build that all-important loyalty by making genuine connections with their users.
Social media platforms, too, will transform in response. Instead of being separate entities, they will have to alter their branding in the metaverse, serving as gateways for users to access their experiences, instead of glorified message boards.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, as brands can expect novel solutions like neural networks and more advanced LLMs to blur the border between reality and fiction, giving them a plethora of new ways to target and convert their audiences.
The metaverse presents an incredible opportunity for brands to redefine their relationship with customers. Inside this virtual world, creativity and genuine connection reign supreme, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Brands will only succeed by making use of their tools and observing successful ventures, such as those of Nike, Hyundai, and Apple.
This is a new immersive era, so dive in, explore, and innovate! Be ready for the new world with all of its changes and remember to keep your finger on the pulse as you build your brand inside.
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Every week, Emily interviews top brands, renowned influencers, and hidden agencies with one goal in mind: to understand what happens backstage of their social media strategies.Listen to esm2