What is the Metaverse?
The metaverse is no longer just a buzzword or a sci-fi fantasy we dream of in the movies, in 2023 the metaverse is taking shape.
Global metaverse spending is projected to reach $73 billion by 2024. And By 2030, the metaverse could generate $4 trillion to $5 trillion across consumer and enterprise use cases.
However, despite growing interest in the metaverse, only 38% of people report being familiar with it. As a brand, you need to be ready to take on the metaverse in a resourceful and deliberate way. Familiarizing yourself and your business will help you remain on top of the game.
Here’s the Metaverse breakdown:
The metaverse is positioned to be the next iteration of the internet; it’s a virtual reality space where users can immerse themselves in a digital environment for entertainment, business, and day-to-day tasks. The metaverse’s objective is to unite our digital and physical lives; experts are looking to keep the definition fluid due to the perpetual evolution of the technology and its uses.
“We’re trying not to define the metaverse so rigidly that it limits the imagination of creators,” Square Ennix CEO Yosuke Matsuda told Mckinsey & Company.
“The Metaverse are not just these new virtual reality worlds. It’s how we are able to connect all our digital experiences, from sending a Venmo request to sending a text message or owning assets through blockchain and NFTs. The metaverse is everything going digital.”
– Joey Chowaiki, COO
Rising investments are just one of the things brands should be paying attention to. While the metaverse is still a new and developing technology many still need to be fully familiarized with, consumers are excited. Fifty-nine percent of consumers surveyed by Mckinsey say they are excited about transitioning their everyday activities to the metaverse.
The top five activities they are excited to see transition are social activities, entertainment, shopping, gaming, and travel. Meta (Facebook) CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who has been jumping headfirst into metaverse initiatives, stated that a realized metaverse will be the next best thing to a working teleportation device.
As of right now, the most common use for the metaverse is gaming; however, daily life activities are starting to become more popular. Brands are opening storefronts and hosting events, artists are hosting concerts, and consumers are investing in virtual assets, including land, NFTs, and cryptocurrency. Some of the brands that have begun creating experiences and assets within the metaverse for their consumers include Macy’s, Nike, and Gucci,
The technology surrounding the metaverse is constantly advancing. The full version of the metaverse is expected to include interoperability across different platforms and the ability to support thousands of people interacting at once. It will also have regular use for activities beyond gaming, for example, people using the destination for daily life activities such as business and educational purposes, shopping and socializing, and entertainment and travel purposes.
“I think that people are comfortable with what they know. If you don’t ride the trend and have a legitimate perspective and analysis on it, then you’re too late. Brands need to know that the opportunity is right in front of them, and if they don’t grab it, someone else will. Through the metaverse, there’s a very positive way to connect with others on a deeper level if it’s done right. The main focus of this space is community.”
– Joey Chowaiki, COO
So… How can you Jump into the Metaverse?
Taking the leap is important; 62% of consumers surveyed by Mckinsey stated that they have engaged with one or more branded virtual experiences. And 79% of consumers active on the metaverse have made a purchase to enhance their online experience.
Many consumers are ready and want to partake in the metaverse and explore what it offers, making it essential for brands to begin forming their strategies.
To successfully take on the metaverse, marketers must:
- Get Informed – inform yourself, your company, and your partners how to navigate the space.
- Define metaverse marketing goals.
- Test run initiatives to discover which works best and which platforms suit needs.
- Keep your audiences in mind. Your audience’s likes will most likely be the same in and out of the metaverse, use creativity to find a way to transfer your consumer’s likes into the virtual world.
- Make your efforts inclusive and interactive. Creating incentives is a powerful way to get consumers to interact with your metaverse initiatives.
- Metaverse technology is still evolving and very new to everyone. Take calculated risks, don’t be discouraged by faults, and learn from your wins and mistakes.
- Rethink how you will measure success.
“Brands can create more inclusive efforts in their metaverse initiatives. For example, giving consumers a special offer or asset or allowing them to vote on relevant topics. This allows brands to start bridging the gap from production, corporate, and internal to now sharing the ability for external eyeballs and consumers to help contribute. It’s a way for brands to connect, communicate, and establish a deeper relationship with their consumers. And gives the consumers incentives that will make them want to join the experience.”
– Joey Chowaiki, COO
How can different industries get involved? The metaverse mirrors our physical lives, which allows every industry to find a place in the metaverse.
Check out these examples:
- CPG influencer marketing → Digital goods, branded immersive experiences, and unique offers for virtual participants.
- Retail and beauty → Storefronts, digital retail goods, and virtual fashion and runway shows.
- Entertainment influencer marketing → Virtual concerts or movie premieres.
- Automotive influencer marketing → Virtual test drives.
- Insurance and Finance influencer marketing → Virtual assets, services, and educational seminars.
How can creators fit into the metaverse in 2023?
Creators are known for helping foster interactive and engaging experiences for users in the digital space. The metaverse is not an exception.
Creators can collaborate with brands to help them educate audiences about navigating the space and encourage their audiences to participate in their initiatives.
They can also create avatars that serve as personality extensions in these virtual worlds. Creators have built strong online communities over time. Their influence transcends social media.
Brands are already making moves and innovating within the virtual reality space. Macy’s fearlessly jumped to the forefront of AR technological advancements within the retail industry by launching a virtual reality storefront. The virtual experience allowed audiences to interact with unique digital touchpoints.
Macy’s partnered with fashion-forward creators, who each received a unique avatar created for them to begin traversing the digital space. Using the avatars, they entered the headquarters and unveiled the game-changing experience to their followers. The creators, who were across all levels of tech-savviness, explained through lively content how they explored the space with ease.
Virtual Influencers Are Ready to Shine
Brands can also partner with virtual influencers. Virtual influencers are digital avatars created with computer graphics that appear human-like and have their own personalities. Users can interact with virtual influencers in online environments. Virtual influencers have no physical limitations and already have a space in the metaverse.
Virtual influencers are nothing new, in fact, they have been around for quite some time. We have seen virtual influencers advertise NFTs, walk virtual fashion shows, and more. 2023 may be the year that virtual influencers truly shine.
Brands that have been partnering with virtual influencers:
@imma.gram 🤝 Ikea, Hugo Boss, Nike
@lilmiquela 🤝 Calvin Klein, Samsung, Balenciaga
@shudu.gram 🤝 Balmain, Cosmopolitan, Vogue
@FNMeka 🤝 G-Fuel, Lamborghini
2023 will be a year of great innovation, and experts think the metaverse has moved beyond ‘buzzword’ status and is here to stay. The metaverse future looks bright due to constant tech improvements and sizable investments from big companies.
The metaverse is seemingly a natural transition from where we are today. People are spending more and more time online and engaging in eCommerce more frequently than ever. Almost 80% of US consumers shop online at least once a month, and 56.6% prefer it.
Additionally, as younger generations become a large part of the consumer population, the metaverse is expected to become even more popular due to them (Gen z) being exceptionally comfortable and familiar with virtual environments and navigating online spaces.
Don’t wait to begin planning your strategy to enter the metaverse. Eighty-nine percent of early adopters reported positive operating margins of over 5%, and 95% of executives expect the metaverse to positively impact their industry within the next five to ten years.
The future is phygital. Open Influence, a global creator marketing agency, is always looking for ways to create memorable brand experiences with creators both online and offline. Open influence is ready to explore the opportunities the metaverse brings for brands. Reach out to us today to get started.