Marketing opportunities within metaverses are starting to become widespread, so it is worth getting on the hype train to see what it’s all about.
Firstly, a metaverse is a self-contained computer-generated universe that is always active regardless of whether you are logged in. Metaverses don’t pause when you log out but continue functioning in real-time.
Users accessing a metaverse – often players of the game or games that are the primary purpose of the metaverse – can pretty much do as they please within the confines of each open world metaverse. Some metaverses allow users to create new parts of the metaverse that they own, which they can then sell or charge a fee for use. For example, Roblox users can create mini-worlds or games within the overall Roblox metaverse which other users can play, either for free or for a charge. The creator of the mini-game can also offer micro-transactions for users to purchase in-game items for actual money or cryptocurrency.
Users are usually rewarded for the contributions they make to the metaverse, in the form of avatar upgrades and other recognitions. Users will often become emotionally attached to the avatar representations of themselves in a metaverse, viewing them as genuine projections of themselves rather than just a throwaway video game characters.
Metaverse Marketing: Then and Now
Metaverses in theory have existed for some time now, even before the rise of Fortnite and Roblox, as well as fully immersive Virtual Reality experiences. Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) such as World of Warcraft – released in 2004 – were practically pioneers of the metaverse concept. However, that concept has been evolving and expanding into new and exciting areas recently.
Fully immersive experiences using Virtual Reality headsets are helping bring the likes of interactive and fully immersive experiences into our homes. This includes art exhibitions and concerts, as well as all sorts of games and activities.
The Future of Marketing in the Metaverse
Getting to grips with marketing in the metaverse requires knowing where your target demographic will be virtually hanging out and what virtual attractions they are likely to be drawn to. It could even involve creating an entire metaverse of your own for users to explore and engage with.
A great example of the former is American rapper Travis Scott’s virtual performance in 2020 via the Fortnite metaverse. Scott ‘performed’ for ten minutes via a huge virtual avatar of himself in the game’s metaverse, which then garnered 45.8 million views in game for the event (and millions more for the re-uploads on YouTube). Notably, Scott’s avatar wore Nike Air Jordan sneakers during the performance, an exposure reported to be worth around $518,000 to the sportswear company. Scott himself will have earned a huge amount for the performance, with some music industry estimates suggesting he might have earned half a million dollars. There were also unique avatar skins for sale during the event, including costumes and outfit accessories which users bought in droves to generate another source of income for the game developers, sponsors and the artist himself.
Another future-influencing example is the metaverse created by fashion label Balenciaga. They released a video game called Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow, where users can enter a virtual Balenciaga store to try on all the outfits from Balenciaga’s fall collection via their avatars.
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