Marketing Trends to Know About: The Metaverse & NFTs
As 2021 draws to a close, digital advertisers are looking ahead to see what marketing trends are poised to dominate industry headlines — and budgets — in the weeks and months to come.
Two topics that have been in the news recently and are worth keeping an eye on are the “metaverse” and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Let’s take a look at what makes these so interesting for 2022 and beyond.
What is The “Metaverse”?
At first glance, the metaverse looks like a new type of Second Life mashed together with the virtual reality experiences we were promised by late-’90s sci-fi movies. (And you might be right, but there’s more to it than that.)
Broadly speaking, the concept refers to bringing the physical world and the virtual world together. While the details will vary depending on who you ask, this will include the widespread adoption of technologies like augmented reality and virtual reality.
Some believe that avatars will be a part of this, but you won’t have to have a second life in the metaverse — you will have your real life, but in a new and advanced digital space.
Further, the technology to make it happen seems to be progressing. And that same technology is making NFTs a hot topic too.
NFTs - What Are They?
The key to understanding non-fungible tokens lies in the definition of “fungible”. According to one dictionary, fungibility is “the ability of a good or asset to be readily interchanged for another of like kind”.
Simply put, money is fungible, as is bitcoin. It can be exchanged for exactly the same thing. But it is not possible to interchange NFTs like for like. Why? Because they are completely unique.
So what do NFTs have to do with the metaverse? According to some sources, the use of NFTs will shift from not just owning digital art and gaming but to gain access to the metaverse.
The metaverse will be dominated by experiences that will parallel the real world but also extend it. And NFTs will play a key role. NFTs could be used to gain access to both physical and virtual VIP events, for example, fan-only content, and other opportunities.
If the metaverse is here to stay, so are NFTs. And that means blockchain is too, because they are a blockchain token — as individual as a fingerprint but as diverse as the rainforest.
What Does All of This Have To Do With Digital Advertising?
Quite a lot actually! If you haven’t heard about Facebook’s plans to shift from a social media platform and company to building a metaverse company, it's time to get a better news feed.
Facebook plans to employ 10,000 people in Europe to help build the metaverse. Zuckerberg plans to make the transition over the next five years.
And just to prove their commitment further, Facebook is planning a rebranding, including a name change of the holding company to tie in better with the metaverse innovations in progress.
And it isn’t just Facebook heading this way. TikTok is experimenting with NFT’s potential, as are artists and creators in other niches.
Further, various gaming platforms are getting involved, like Roblox and Fortnite, as well as Decentraland and The Sandbox where users can build virtual environments. Microsoft is talking about NFTs, and they are gaining traction on Twitter, Instagram, and Google News.
How You Can Prepare
Sometimes when things have meteorically rapid rises, they have meteorically rapid declines. (Dare we mention ‘Clubhouse’?)
That said, the metaverse is gaining momentum and backed by big names. If it works, digital advertising strategies could change dramatically.
Brands, for example, will need a clear ‘3D’ narrative or presence. Marketers and advertisers will have to understand technology quicker and work with it. But brands could also participate in having their own piece of the metaverse pie, in the form of providing paid experiences in addition to products.
Finally, anyone who thinks SEO is dead might have to eat their words, as brands trying to get discovered in the metaverse may need to invest in “visual SEO”. There may be virtual influencers and a whole plethora of other things. All are yet to be created, discovered, and waiting to evolve.
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