What the Metaverse Means for Influencer Marketing
By Rahi Chadda
The metaverse is said to be the next evolution within the internet that our current generation will witness. A virtual reality that mimics our physical world. For some it might just be an immersive experience while for others it will dictate the next stage of their expansion into social media and work environments. For digital influencers, the metaverse should provide a space where they can interact with their audience and other creators, as well as share experiences together.
For some people, a day in the future of the Metaverse may be hard to imagine, but from my extensive reading on this topic, it looks like a futuristic vision. Users can teleport from place to place in the metaverse. If you’re tired of cold London mornings, why not take a short trip to St. Tropez, or better yet, beat the heat by charging your digital twin under the Caribbean sun. Enjoy virtual festivals around the world and party with other creators. A precursor to Metaverse is a 3D virtual reality called Decentraland, which is built on a decentralized Ethereum cryptocurrency, where users can purchase land, hold exhibitions and shows, and engage in commercial activities, such as real estate. Fashion houses such as Etro and Dolce and Gabbana recently held their first Metaverse fashion show for Decentraland Fashion Week. The space is already booming in its fashion district and we’re sure to see an influx of designers joining us soon as well. A space that allows users to navigate between physical and virtual domains.
The metaverse has also started posting job vacancies. I read an article earlier where an offer was available for a Metaverse user to work in a digital casino on a monthly payroll with payments to be made in cryptocurrency format. Creators will soon receive content opportunities that will help announce brand metaverse launches and also build trust and recognition of the metaverse with the creator’s existing audience.
Gucci recently sold its digital bags on the Metaverse, whose owner had been certified by NFT. The bags were sold for over $4,000 each. It is undeniable that there is a market and an audience for this virtual space. RTFKT, a platform that secures ownership through NFTs, sold over $3 million worth of digital shoes in 10 minutes earlier this year. Therefore, with billions of dollars invested in the metaverse, there seems to be ample room for marketing and adequate funding for companies to make this transition into the virtual space. The metaverse works as an effective tool for companies to fulfill their advertising and promotional activities in a virtual room and thus users receive constant targeted advertising.
The Metaverse seems to have the potential to change the landscape of social media. Mark Zuckerberg (CEO & Founder of Facebook) also revealed his intention to become a “metaverse company”. Brands will have access to advertising on a whole new scale, with digital avatars showcasing trends and with Decentraland becoming an influencer HQ, the virtual city will act as a conduit for influencers to more comfortably transition to the metaverse, because they are already familiar with the neighborhood brands. Essentially, it’s just a virtual leap of faith, yet to be done.
For established influencers, the metaverse seems like an opportunity to evolve in their digital journey alongside their new digital twin, where they can partner and further cultivate their already existing relationships with brands while interacting and communicating with their peers. For others, it gives them a new opportunity to build a new audience in a new digital space, which can be said to be less saturated. Many Gen Z and Millennials don’t know the difference between the real world and the digital world. Social media and the internet are an integral part of their real world and that makes them the perfect candidate to target for the metaverse.
Brands have also started creating their own virtual influencers, also known as meta-influencers. A strategic idea that gives brands the possibility to have their own representatives/ambassadors who can connect with users. Virtual influencers also seem to cost less than regular influencers when it comes to advertising and give them complete autonomy over how they want the virtual influencer to communicate a brand’s point of view on current events, such as diversity, inclusiveness and sustainability. The brand also has access to deploy the influencer in different places at once. This marks a change in current advertising methods, but also an opportunity to access a whole new consumer with different preferences. Does this mean that with the birth of the metaverse, the opportunities would be endless?
The author is founder, Panache and Marina
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