All Things Metaverse | How to Prepare for What’s Ahead
January 27, 2022
The metaverse has been talked about so breathlessly by industry analysts that it’s easy to forget that the metaverse isn’t just a trendy buzzword — it’s an actual thing that will dictate the entire future of marketing online and, ultimately, how we all socialize and interact with brands we follow.
Smart businesses are already starting to prepare for the changes that are just around the corner. Here’s what you can expect from the metaverse, and how you can prepare for what lies ahead.
Let’s start small — what, exactly, is the metaverse?
The metaverse is less a physical place and more of a conceptual entity. In short, it’s a universe consisting of digital and virtual experiences. Simply, it’s a virtual shared space that allows people to engage together, even if they’re separated by physical distance.
The metaverse can be something as primitive as an online chat room or as sophisticated as a VR-enabled building in which technology changes the sights and sounds that we experience.
What exactly can we expect from the metaverse? Nobody is totally certain. What we do know, though, is that the metaverse is well on its way, with major players in the technology space investing serious money into this concept.
Marketers don’t need to completely transform their approach, but they need to know what’s coming — and if they want in on the metaverse, they need to consider acting sooner rather than later.
The Metaverse and Marketing
Digital marketing is a constantly evolving medium, and we’re about to see tremendous change in how products and services are represented. The metaverse can seem intimidating to some, but for others, it’s an opportunity.
If you’re looking to get in on the metaverse, it’s time to start laying the groundwork for what’s on the horizon. However, since the metaverse doesn’t truly exist yet, all you can do is survey the landscape, start laying the groundwork for what’s around the corner, and anticipate how you’ll react when real change arrives.
Let’s discuss some of the implications of the metaverse, how they impact marketing, and what you can do to get ahead of the curve.
While the exact nature of the metaverse remains uncertain, some of the applications of the metaverse are already prevalent in modern society. These developments give us a hint as to what’s to come.
Unfortunately, we’ve already gotten an unwanted sneak preview of some aspects of the metaverse through the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people are working from home, their physical offices sitting unoccupied as they work remotely through Teams meetings. Google Classroom has functioned as a school for those that have transitioned to remote learning.
Social media and other online forums have reported news, updated us on changes and told us where we can buy hard-to-find items. Groups of friends have replaced in-person game nights with online gaming or Zoom meetings.
These parts of pandemic life are small fragments of what awaits us in the metaverse. They were uncomfortable at first, but now they’re part of everyday life. And if you’ve been able to roll with these changes, you can absolutely adapt to the metaverse, no matter what it looks like.
These examples of the COVID-induced new normal are just a few ways in which the metaverse has already arrived. This is a good place to start as you assess how your company fits into a more digital landscape.
Within those virtual spaces, you can find ways in which your company can exist or even thrive. The ways in which COVID forced people to live less physically and more digitally are the building blocks of the metaverse as it relates to most businesses.
Think about the solutions people will need as their lives become even more based around technology, and show how your business can solve those problems. This mindset will propel you forward as the metaverse continues to evolve.
The average person might be getting a bit tired of hearing about concepts like cryptocurrency, blockchain and NFTs. But it’s becoming increasingly clear that crypto is the wave of the future, and in a digital landscape like the metaverse, crypto will only become more prominent.
This isn’t to say that you need to start dealing in bitcoin right this minute. But it’s a very good idea to study the crypto market and learn from those companies that have been early adopters in accepting cryptocurrency as a form of payment.
What are the barriers to entry? How does value fluctuation affect their bottom line? Look at the major players in your industry and see how they’ve handled crypto, and apply what you’ve learned to your own business.
It’s a sad reality, but as we get older, we’re not able to see technological developments through the eyes of those that most benefit from those changes — in particular, young people.
The metaverse will be guided by young minds and geared towards a younger audience. This is not a time to have your company’s vision dominated by people that are set in their ways and are resistant to change.
You don’t have to overhaul your workforce or get rid of older employees. But it’s not a bad idea to incorporate some youth into your company’s thinking. These younger minds will have new and radically different ideas about the metaverse and how it impacts their daily lives, and that’s what you’ll need to survive the changes that lie ahead.
After all, this is the group that will be most affected by the emergence of the metaverse, and they’ll have a lot to say about how your company fits into this new landscape. Listen to what your younger employees have to say about these changes, and let them be part of guiding your business forward into the next generation.
Utilize New Forms of Marketing
The world has been moving away from conventional advertising for some time now. The metaverse will only accelerate this trend. One area of the metaverse that we’re already seeing explode in popularity is online storefronts in seemingly unconventional locales.
Shoppable posts on social media have quickly gone from cutting-edge to the norm; those that have not embraced shoppable social media are at risk of falling behind the times. But social media is just one example of shoppable media, an industry that’s ready to explode.
Another emerging trend is shoppable live streams, particularly on Twitch and TikTok. These platforms have tremendous loyalty from their consumers, and the younger audience is increasingly looking to live streams for entertainment. It’s only natural to allow people to buy directly from these streams so that they can jump on trends and further deepen their loyalties, both to the platforms and to the brands shown in these live streams.
Naturally, only certain types of industries will be able to benefit from shoppable content on social media and in live streams. But in a sense, these new advertising channels serve as a check on your company’s current status.
If your company’s in an industry that doesn’t lend itself well to this type of digital marketing and doesn’t have anything to offer to the metaverse, it’s time to start seriously thinking about how you’ll adapt to this new world that’s not so far away. It doesn’t mean you need to blow everything up and start over. But it does mean that it’s time to adapt to what’s happening around you.
The metaverse may sound like a scary proposition, but it’s not a bad thing by any means. Instead, the metaverse represents a chance for any business to reinvent itself and its marketing, no matter how out of touch they might currently be.
But to fully embrace the metaverse, the time for action is now — and not after these changes have already become established norms. To learn more about how you can prepare for the metaverse, contact us at Commit Agency today.