The COVID-19 pandemic and its push to lockdowns and working from home have made the internet and social media extremely important in combatting isolation and helping to connect with loved ones. Yet, while better than nothing, web-based social media still felt distant and impersonal, driving the recent rise of metaverses.

Firstly, we must acknowledge that metaverses are not new; places like Secondlife have tried to launch earlier with limited success. However, with online gaming, VR headsets and other accessories becoming commonplace, virtual worlds are gaining more interest.

Big players are now making a real push into this space. The most notable being Facebook’s rebrand to Meta and the launching of Horizon World for anyone who owns a compatible VR headset. Users of this world quickly started referring to it as the metaverse, but it’s important to note that it is only one of many.

In short, the best way to think of a metaverse is a virtual reality world where one can meet, build virtual realities and market products and services. While the metaverse markets are still a developing concept, they do offer opportunities for digital marketers, including:

Metaverse Marketing Opportunities

Inbound Sales and Networking

All sales reps and marketers are used to messaging, online video meetings and emailing prospects to connect with them about products and services. Unfortunately, the pandemic has made networking events and face to face meetings a rare occurrence. A metaverse allows you to do this digitally using avatars of yourself for free. You can spread the word about your offerings to multiple people personally without leaving your desk.

Today, many marketers and sales reps alike find ourselves messaging, zooming, and emailing prospects to tell them about our product or service. And, rarely, we might go to a networking event or meeting where we talk to your prospective customers face to face. Of course, this would not apply to all markets at this stage of metaverse infancy, but it is undoubtedly an option for those with a technology or VR focus.

Virtual Events

Many virtual landowners can rent out their space for people to attend virtual events (not yet an option for Horizon Worlds) such as meetups or parties. These events are coming soon to the major metaverses and could provide a unique way of connecting.

Branded Locations

Metaverses such as Decentraland and Sandbox allow organisations or individuals to buy virtual real estate and brand it, creating virtual shops where you can sell NFT products. We expect that soon, you will be able to link the metaverse to traditional e-commerce platforms, allowing for the virtual purchasing of real-world products and services.

Content Sponsorship

So far, content and event sponsorship in metaverses is largely the domain of companies pushing NFT sales. However, we expect this to change once various metaverse platforms adopt traditional e-commerce transactions. Today, however, brands can provide money to content creators to get the brand mentioned in events, games and shops.

Should you invest now?

Whether or not you invest part of your budget into metaverses is tricky. Whilst the metaverse audience is growing, there is no dominant platform yet, nor have the kinks in interface and features been ironed out. It may be attractive for gaming, NFT and youth-orientated products, but we would advise a wait and see approach for most businesses.