Even though the term “metaverse” has no one definition, it is a vision of how the next-generation internet will work and how humans will interact in a digitally immersive world. It is thought to be the point
- where the physical and the virtual worlds meet,
- is always active,
- exists in real-time, and
- where users have individual agency
As new and advanced forms of augmented and virtual reality continue to create interactive user-generated content, it is not a far possibility that one-day human civilization could be represented by virtual avatars in a hyper-realistic ‘second life.’
Metaverse isn’t what humans do; instead, it’s the reality of our world. Every day we inch more towards it, but the real challenge comes in understanding and accepting how to adapt to this new digital era.
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Important Characteristics of the Metaverse
Since the metaverse is virtual, it is constantly active. Key features include:
- Self-contained and fully functional
- User-generated content
- Employs human interface technologies
- Features a shared and open world due to decentralization
- Digital currencies, such as crypto and NFTs
PR and Marketing in the Metaverse
As a mirror of the world we know, the metaverse offers a culturally immersive and specific environment for every person, group, and community. But what does it mean for PR experts? The main responsibility of public relations experts is to retain a positive link with all stakeholders of the business they represent.
The slew of opportunities this virtual world has in store for the community is good news for PR experts. This is because the metaverse can be a critical tool for publicists who need to form connections between the companies they work for and their stakeholders.
To properly advertise companies in the metaverse, marketing agencies and professionals must use integrated communications systems that include owned, paid, and earned media platforms. Doing so is the only way to keep audiences engaged.
How to Create the Best Virtual Experiences in the Metaverse?
Widely successful PR elements include virtual products, virtual brand storytelling, virtual reputation management, and virtual employee relationships. Besides luring the target audience, virtual products also help keep social media influencers and the media glued to a business’s product or brand.
Virtual Product Placement
Although the metaverse may sound far-fetched, virtual product placement has long become a reality. The concept was once known as gifting an influencer, a journalist, or a media publication a product in the hopes that they would try it and then advertise it to their followers through social media posts or other kinds of digital content, thus increasing brand awareness and sales.
However, as companies start creating digital versions of their services and products, it is time to start gifting virtual platforms like Fortnite or Roblox. The gaming industry might not seem like the most lucrative platform, but that’s far from the truth. PewDiePie, a gaming channel on YouTube, reined the most subscribed channel for many years and is now the second most subscribed, with a total of 111 million subscribers.
In 2020, Balenciaga experimented with the metaverse when it first released its autumn collection in the form of a video game called Afterworld. The game replicated the interactivity of the virtual world by allowing users to try items in a fully immersive reality.
After receiving massive success on Afterworld, Balenciaga has since made several product placements in collaboration with Fortnite, a video game with more than 4.8 billion users.
To keep the target audience engaged in the virtual world, companies will have to create high-class partnered collections for the virtual world that solve both real-life and digital problems. This will require searching for other businesses that share similar ideas and goals so that both parties can stay competitive in the metaverse.
As users design their customized virtual avatars,PR firms San Francisco and other marketing professionals should also encourage their clients to create virtual versions of their products in collaboration with other companies to create an authentic digital experience.
An excellent way to achieve this is through cross-promotion, where current customers and new digital branding methods are prioritized.
Virtual Customer Engagement
Engaging in a virtual environment with customers will be quite difficult for PR experts. As contemporary customers become more active in the metaverse, they will probably be able to identify old marketing and PR tactics. To avoid this, PR professionals should give their clients the big picture, where they can see success.
Content is the king of digital marketing, especially for attracting leads and turning them into paying customers. For many reasons, the metaverse is the perfect place to promote business products or services. For starters, communicating with potential customers would be much faster than on Web 2.0.
Whether a business sells products or services, it can find a metaverse target audience eager to interact with the brand in new and improved ways. People use the metaverse to interact and communicate with each other in ways that social media doesn’t allow. Due to this, the virtual universe is the perfect playground for marketing content and grabbing attention at a lot faster rate than before.
Lastly, since the metaverse is entirely immersive and three-dimensional, posting interactive and high-quality content will connect the brand to the audience quicker and on a deeper level than perhaps posting a two-dimensional boring blog. This significantly increases the efficacy of content marketing and increases conversions by a landslide. Different AI-powered tools can be used to create 3D animations and models for content creation.
The metaverse is expected to be a highly democratic form of Web 3.0 that offers various opportunities to engage target audiences and gives a richer and more immersive experience. To keep up with digital trends, PR agencies and experts should focus on maintaining their clients’ brand image through compelling storytelling and staying on top of trends.