We’ve all heard by now that Facebook has rebranded as Meta—the next evolution of social connection—as they call it, but what is the metaverse, what exactly can be found in it and will it be safe for your brand?
The term “metaverse” was coined in 1992 and referred to an all-encompassing digital world that exists parallel to the real world. While today’s metaverse is kind of similar to that meaning, it still doesn’t explain what it is. In simple terms, the metaverse is a 3D model of the Internet. It’s a shared virtual space where people can interact and exist in real time.
The metaverse has grown and continues to grow extensively in popularity, especially now, with so many users experiencing virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR) daily. Studies showed that in 2021 about 85 million people would experience or did experience VR or AR at least once a month. With this rapidly growing platform, marketers need to stay on their toes and begin strategizing what this means for them and their brands.
As a marketing professional, it’s critical to always stay on top of emerging trends—especially those that are here to stay—and the metaverse falls right into that category. Some good ideas for using the metaverse for your brand would be creating real-time experiences that mock what your brand does in real life or using in-game advertising. The metaverse has garnered much attention from marketers since it engages Millennials and helps keep Gen Xers up-to-date with the latest technology or product. According to Forbes, brands that leverage the metaverse have been earning strong engagement, so we expect these marketing tactics to continue for some time.
There have been positive marketing experiences with metaverse, like the immersive experience with rapper Lil Nas X where he partnered with the online VR game Roblox to host a virtual concert attended 33 million times. However, there have also been some negative experiences.
In 2021 when Epic Games and Time Studios collaborated to host a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.-themed event within Fortnite, it caused controversy across the Internet. Many people criticized the video game and did not understand why the platform thought an MLK event would be a good idea for a Battle Royale video game. The metaverse continues to grow and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. It is safe for your brand as long as marketers never forget to keep their audience in mind and focus on their brand’s core messaging. These should always be top priorities when developing new strategies and will keep your brand in a safe place, whether in the natural or digital world.