The possibility of living and interacting in a virtual world for years has been related only to video games and big movie productions. However, the concept of the Metaverse has come to propose an augmented reality , which not only seems to be the future of brands, but also of social networks .
Thousands of companies and brands are trying to find out what the Metaverse is all about and, above all, what benefits it could bring to their communication and market positioning strategies.
According to the studies of some experts, it is estimated that the investment in what is known as the Metaverse will multiply by ten during 2022, and that more than 70% of the brands will join this concept in the next 5 years.
Entrepreneurs and experts in digital marketing have begun to understand that conventional strategies are not proving as attractive or appealing to new generations. Young people are increasingly present in social networks and in the scenarios that virtual reality offers today.
As the world is changing and the way it is perceived as well, the Metaverse, through augmented reality , offers a window of many possibilities where virtual experiences will become the digital revolution.
These possibilities and the need to innovate as a way of adapting to new trends also apply to brands in any sector, their digital marketing strategy and their presence on social networks.
Facebook has already changed its name to Meta, with the purpose of creating a totally virtual parallel universe or scenario. One in which users have the possibility of interacting inside and outside of it through augmented reality and virtual reality.
Meta is estimated to be the leading company in the application of developments and scenarios in the metaverses, since it is currently considered the company that invests the most technological and human resources in this field, both in software and hardware.
What is the metaverse?
The term "metaverse" has been referenced since 1992, when it was first used by author Neal Stephenson in his novel Snow Crash. The novel belongs to the science fiction genre, with a story where a fictional virtual world or a shared virtual setting in an augmented reality is discussed .
The idea of having a simulated city is estimated to be possible in the Metaverse, programmed under binary codes, computing protocols and advanced software. A 3D virtual world that could include real-world features such as objects, people, networks, and more, with the ability to interact in virtual settings.
The new concept of the Metaverse contemplates that it is a virtual or digital space, where people have the possibility of interacting with each other in three dimensions, even using objects and all the elements that surround them.
Its operation consists of the fusion of two elements, augmented reality and virtual reality, one depending on the other to converge in a three-dimensional space of interaction of all parties, where virtual goods can even be bought and sold.
Basically, the Metaverse is designed and developed to merge physical reality as it is known with virtual reality, creating a digital world designed as close to the real world as possible and encompassing different areas of life, from work to entertainment.
The Metaverse is what Mark Zuckerberg himself has called "the next chapter of the internet", a much more immersive platform that opens up endless opportunities to welcome the new web 3.0.
The metaverse and web 3.0
Although the Metaverse is still under development, industries such as gaming have already incorporated this technology into their products, working directly with the creation of virtual reality scenarios. An example of this are platforms like Fornite, Roblox, among others.
Web 3.0 is not ready yet, but it is certainly a topic of conversation as the new technology system that decentralizes the internet, focusing on artificial intelligence and machine learning methods as well.
The arrival of Web 3.0 is considered the new era of the Internet , because it is designed to create its own virtual setting, where users can interact with each other, play games, and even buy products from their favorite brands. These brands will have to adapt to this new technology.
This platform is the one that will serve as a boost for the Metaverse to combine both virtual reality and augmented reality , not only in the leisure and entertainment industry, but in all economic areas, such as trading and digital marketing.
Web 1.0 is known as the original internet, basically an information pool where users could add information to the web or search and browse it.
With the appearance of Web 2.0, which is currently in force, other options were added, such as transactions, the creation and design of content and information, the purchase and sale of items online and all the possibilities to which you have access today.
It is important to be clear that the Metaverse and Web 3.0 are not the same thing. It will be Web 3.0 that will allow the 3D immersive experience of the Metaverse, generating the virtual reality that it promises so that users can explore, play, buy, sell and even attend a concert or business meeting.
Adaptation of brands to the metaverse
In recent years, the business environment and brand management have had to evolve according to current digital trends so as not to be left behind. Tools such as Artificial Intelligence is proof of this, which has been a great resource for content marketing strategies and social networks .
However, with the arrival of the Metaverse , there is a dimension in the making that is going to be the protagonist. With its augmented reality proposal , brands will have to modify their business strategies to adapt to the virtual world, which will soon be the stage where all users will be.
As Mark Zuckerbeg has announced on several occasions, the Metaverse will be a "persistent and synchronous" environment, which will be available across all platforms through virtual reality and augmented reality . This does not exempt computers, mobile phones, tablets, laptops and game consoles.
Taking this as the panorama of a not so distant future of interaction between users, brands will need to configure their objectives and strategies to reach them within this spectrum that we know as the virtual world .
Traditional advertising as it is known will have to adapt to a communication channel offered by the Metaverse , in which it will be necessary to extend content strategies in digital marketing and social networks in order to be successful in the virtual world that this technology proposes.
Brands that flirt with the Metaverse
While many agree that the Metaverse is just a long-term utopian idea, other sectors affirm that it is a reality, due to the adaptation strategies to this technology that many brands have announced through events and social networks.
The world-renowned fashion house Gucci has been one of those that begins to walk through the virtual world . Recently, he has started selling his own virtual clothing, with the Gucci Virtual 25 sneaker model .
In partnership with Nintendo and its Animal Crossing simulation platform, the famous Italian company is selling these sneakers, through a non-fungible token (NFT) with cryptographic value.
Ikea is a home furniture brand known throughout the world, being one of the leading companies in this sector. Through the use of augmented reality , they have developed an app with which users can design and create their own spaces virtually.
With this platform, users can decorate a virtual space with furniture from stores and see how it would look in the real world. This has been a very useful and interactive sales strategy so that your customers can try out your furniture, even before they buy it.
What brands must do to integrate into the Metaverse
Taking into account the proposal of the virtual world and the trends of this possible scenario, it is important to consider that the Metaverse is primarily intended for a young audience, or what is known today as Generation Z.
This generation, in addition to being the most interested and the one that understands the most about the virtual world and augmented reality, seems to be having the purchasing power to join it. This makes the Metaverse considered an extremely important space for marketing.
The way in which social networks and the new experiences that the Metaverse proposes are managed, also implies that virtual stores must establish new e-commerce strategies that are not only functional, but also interactive.
By following guidelines like the ones mentioned below, brands will be able to take full advantage of the potential of this new technology in development.
Training for new professionals
One of the biggest challenges that brands face in the Metaverse is the need to have professionals and experts on the subject. The virtual world is under construction, so surely there are not enough people specialized in this technology.
It will be necessary to have professionals specialized in augmented reality who can design virtual environments. Without a trained human resource, the brand's time within the Metaverse will be limited.
See what the competition is doing
The Metaverse is a relatively new world, in which brands are just beginning to experiment to create virtual environments in which their users can not only interact with their products, but purchase them virtually.
By studying the competition, its strategies, exposure on social networks and documenting its successes and errors, it is possible to establish a comparative system that allows improving failures and applying what has worked. The latter adapting and personalizing it to the essence of a particular brand.
Knowledge is power
Brands that want to enter the virtual world of the Metaverse must first learn what it is about and have enough knowledge about how it works to be able to establish their strategies.
The main thing is to become familiar with all the terms associated with virtual reality and augmented reality ; as well as being very clear about the differences between terms such as cryptocurrencies, blockchain and NFT.
Only by updating the knowledge within the field of digital transformation, its processes and contexts, will it be possible to successfully integrate the brand into the Metaverse.
Like any content marketing, digital marketing, and social media strategy , it's important to get to know your customers and define what their needs are now in a whole new and different world.
As we have mentioned before, the highest percentage of users interested in the Metaverse and in the virtual world environments are young people. Creating content and strategies with this type of audience in mind will help define specific objectives that can attract potential customers to your brand in this virtual context.
New KPI strategy
When it comes to goal setting, it's important to understand that within the Metaverse interaction is key and fundamental. Setting the KPIs had the purpose of reaching the greatest number of people, however, in the virtual world it is no longer about the visualization of the brand, but the levels of interaction that users have with it.
With the arrival of the Metaverse, we are facing one of the most important and revolutionary technological transformations of recent years. A new virtual world is under development, so marketing tools and strategies must undergo a radical change in order to adapt to this trend.
This new platform, by digitally representing objects, places, among other elements, represents an infinity of unlimited possibilities for brands and their consumers.
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