Think marketing in the metaverse is too complex, too expensive, or too risky for your brand team? You may be right. But you shouldn’t necessarily let that stop you.
The fact is, the skillset required to create a presence in the metaverse—the knowledge of blockchain technology, nonfungible tokens (NFTs), cryptocurrency, and application development—is beyond what you’d typically find in the average in-house marketing team.
But your brand can still stake your claim in the metaverse: Introducing AWeb3.
Austin Williams recently opened this virtual outpost at -101, -29 in the Fashion District of Decentraland, joining the handful of top advertising firms that have gotten out ahead of the pack and entered the metaverse.
A proving ground for our digital team to test drive innovative ideas, AWeb3 also will give us the hands-on experience to help brands build their metaverse presence without all the technical complexities, high cost, and risk of doing it on their own.
How your brand can enter the metaverse: Some thought-starters
Here are some ideas of what your brand can do to begin to leverage the metaverse’s potential for consumers to connect, communicate, and transact with your brand. We’ve broken our thought-starters down by industry to make it easier to find yours (but feel free to read them all).
- Higher education: With younger consumers being the first to embrace the metaverse, colleges and universities are keen to follow suit. And well they should be. While hosting virtual classes in the metaverse is likely to become the norm in the future—10 “metaversities” are set to open this fall—for now, most higher ed brands would do well to focus on using the web3 world for information, rather than education.Consider creating virtual meetings for various student groups—where prospects can speak candidly with current students who share their interests, for example, or where fans of your athletic teams can connect with players and each other. “Public” spaces already exist (and students are comfortable using them), so owning a metaverse property isn’t necessary to make these meetings happen.
Or better yet, create a virtual space your school can own. Open a campus or admissions “office” in the metaverse to host open houses for student prospects—or even just an information booth, where they can browse through course catalogs or download brochures.
- Healthcare: While most colleges are moving slowly into the metaverse, it’s already poised to transform healthcare delivery, according to Forbes. Patients became comfortable with its telepresence technology—aka telemedicine—during the pandemic. Today, 95 percent of healthcare facilities offer telemedicine options to their patients.If your brand is one of them, you can enhance patients’ telemedicine experience—and potentially expand your practice footprint—with a virtual reality (VR) platform in the metaverse. Using its tell-tale headsets, VR delivers a next-level immersive experience, conveying a far greater sense of “being there” than other virtual environments, such as websites, messaging apps, or social media.
Another potential application for VR is in behavioral health. Already used by psychologists and psychiatrists in aversion therapy, VR environments can be personalized to individual patients, so they can interact with situations that cause them anxiety in safe environments where every aspect of the interaction can be closely monitored and controlled. Pediatric care is another great fit (for the same reasons noted in the higher ed section above).
- Financial services: But a lack of security and data control make the metaverse a more cautious fit for banks and credit unions. While you don’t want accountholders sharing their personal information there just yet, you can set up shop to offer financial literacy and wellness programming—and be in the web3 world when the required security protocols are, too.What (or who) could you have there now? A bot. Essentially a virtual robot (think video game character), a branded bot can answer common questions—such as “what’s your current mortgage rate?” or “how far is the closest ATM or branch?”—directly when your (real) staff isn’t around. Or the bot can serve as a conduit to other channels, referring them to a page on your website, a phone number to call, or even a (live) person during business hours.
Whether it’s a bot, a booth—or something bigger—the time for your brand to plan your metaverse strategy is now. Need help getting started? Contact us.