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A Marketer’s Guide To NFTs And The Metaverse


Imagine your avatar walking into a digital wine shop and talking to an avatar wine expert to get some questions answered.

You order the wine and have it shipped to your physical address.

Welcome to the metaverse, the intersection of our digital and physical realities.

Is your brand future-proof ready for NFTs, the metaverse, and web 3.0?

In this column, we’ll talk about a few terms you’ll need to know, current opportunities for brands in the metaverse, and how to get started.

You’ll find tips, examples, and plenty of resources along the way to help you develop your own metaverse marketing strategy.

Important Terms To Know For Meta Marketing

First, let’s get clear on what it is we’re talking about.

Metaverse

Depending on the source, there are many definitions and opinions of the metaverse.

Oxford Dictionary defines it as “a virtual-reality space in which users can interact with a computer-generated environment and other users.”

Mark Zuckerberg said at Connect 2021 that the metaverse is “a virtual reality construct intended to supplant the internet, merge virtual life with real-life and create endless new playgrounds for everyone — you’re going to able to do almost anything you can imagine.”

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NFTs

An NFT is a non-fungible token; an intangible digital asset in the form of images, video, or gaming items.

These virtual assets come with certificates that show ownership and are influencing the growth of the metaverse.

NFTs are bought and sold using cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin.

Web 3.0

Web3 or Web 3.0, the third generation of the Internet, is a decentralized version of the Internet eliminating the reliance on Google, Facebook, or Twitter.

It’s considered the next tech revolution as it combines machine learning with big data and is predicted to offer a personalized and private experience.

Recent reports predict the metaverse market will grow to over $1,544 billion in less than ten years.

Metaverse market sizeImage source: PwC/Cointelegraph.com

This is a significant shift in the digital world that looks and feels reminiscent of the social media revolution back in 2007.

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One catch to this tech growth spurt is that it’s happening much quicker and is far more intense.

If it feels like the wild, wild west for marketers, welcome to the new reality.

Prepare for new opportunities to immerse your brand into worlds where content creators rule, 3D is the norm, and life as marketers have known getting a meta makeover.

“The similarities between where social media was 17+ years ago and where we are now with the emerging metaverse is wild,” Lindsey McInerney, former Global Head of Technology & Innovation at Anheuser-Busch InBev, noted in a LinkedIn comment.

How Are Brands Entering The Metaverse? 

It seems that VR and AR are the new digital marketing.

Brands are building Vstores or virtual showrooms designed to allow customers to take a tour, interact with a space or interact with 3D products such as cars, jewelry, or any digital asset.

Virtual try-on will enable customers to tap into augmented reality, try on glasses or makeup, and visualize furniture and other products in their homes.

Innovative marketers are taking concerts, art festivals, and sporting events and transferring them into digital experiences.

Avatars need a fashion budget.

Selling digital versions of products in virtual reality is becoming a new revenue opportunity.

Gucci, Nike, and Dior all offer digital goods that allow personalizing and customizing avatars, whether handbags, shoes, hats, or sunglasses, as avatars now need a wardrobe change based on events, seasons, and moods.

Going direct to the avatar (D2A) is the business model where brands are selling directly to digital identities.

Designing, creating, and selling in a digital world means no shipping or supply chain issues. Individuals can explore identities with their digital self.

Brands hit play, game on. It’s meta branding.

Sponsoring events in the physical world has proven ROI, and this traditional marketing practice is easily transferred to the metaverse.

Adding more creativity to the competition is gamifying commerce.

For example, Louis Vuitton created a video game to reach a younger audience and gamified with branded NFT collectibles.

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Nike uses 3D technology to let consumers build/design their products and gain valuable intelligence by allowing fans to build their shoes.

Virtual pop-ups allow engagement at a distance.

Leveraging virtual worlds and brand placement creates a creative and customizable opportunity, especially in post-pandemic times.

One collaboration curating fashion, lifestyle, and art included  Coach, Disney, and Keith Haring.

The three made a virtual pop-up for visitors to discover and shop for special edition physical and digital gifts.

The digital shop showcased items to buy such as Mickey’s ears, shearling jackets, totes, and sweatshirts printed with Haring’s signature artwork, as well as AR filters and a bespoke Spotify playlist.

Talk about mixed realities and experiences.

Try-on in a Snap for fewer returns and more direct sales.

Snap offers brands an opportunity to leverage Snap’s AR platform to engage Snapchatters in “try-on” with shoes, sunglasses, hats,.

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Once they like the product, they can go straight to purchase. Gucci made a case study for this.

AR Lens Snap GucciImage: Author experimenting with Gucci Lens Try-ons found on the Snapchat platform, November 2021

“The shopping AR experience generated positive ROAS, as Snapchatters were purchasing the products from the app! Not bad for a campaign that was only supposed to generate awareness and engagement,” according to Snap.

What Are Some Untapped Easy Wins In Metaverse Marketing?

Alan Smithson, CEO and co-founder of MetaVRse, said in an interview this week:

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“Adding Interactive 3D to your website is a huge upgrade.  It is easy, fast, and future-proof.

The next phase of the web will be more like a video game than a webpage.  Of course, 2D content will still be part of it, but more and more this will reside within persistent virtual worlds.”

What Will Public Relations Look Like In The Metaverse?

Media relations and PR crosses the digital border from social to meta, making experiences more realistic and immersive.

“Personal avatars, volumetric video, and one-to-one and one-to-many experiences will feel more lifelike,” Smithson said.

Real bonds made in virtual spaces will carry out into the real world, having profound implications on how we fundamentally communicate as humans.

Metaverse Challenges To Watch For 

Challenges are building interoperability and an open world. If you are a fashionista, imagine walking out of H+M and having to change clothes to walk into Zara.

Decentralized worlds where there is one metaverse are going to be critical.

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What’s An Easy Way To Get Started With NFTs?

Make a wallet (like MetaMask or Venly), transfer fiat currency (dollars) to Etherum or Hedera (crypto), and buy an NFT.

If you are an artist, the same is true, but you will also be able to ‘mint’ NFT’s on the blockchain. Beware of those pesky gas fees, though!

Different Types of Opportunities In The Metaverse

Women In The Metaverse

Similar to the gender gap in tech, women are the minority in metaverse marketing and NFTs. Over the last 21 months, female artists accounted for just 5% of all NFT art sales.

A LinkedIn Talent Insights Analysis found that at a recent NFT conference, only 18% of speakers and 30% of sponsors were women.

There are women doing cool things in the space, though. Last week, Mexican-based female artist FerBoccart launched her Serious and Cool People NFT collection using a social giveaway promotion and pre-sale selling out in one day.

One female artist cracked the NFT code this year. Yam Karkai launched the non-fungible token (NFT) collectibles mega-hit, World of Women, in July 2021.

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It was a collection of 10,000 unique, visually representing robust and diverse Women NFTs worth more than $51 million.

With support from Reese Witherspoon and Gary Vaynerchuk, World of Women put women on the NFT map, paving the way for inspiration and room for other female artists to create and cultivate in the metaverse.

“It’s important for women and many diverse voices to be part of creating the future of the internet. Brands will need to invest more in working with new creators because, in the web 3.0 era, community and authenticity are kings,” said Cathy Hackl, Chief Metaverse Officer and CEO of the Futures Intelligence Group, a metaverse consultancy working with brands like Clinique.

“In 2022, it’ll be imperative for brands to partner with endemic and diverse creators across platforms. Marketers will only succeed if they realize that the ad-driven models of the web 2.0 era will possibly not work in the metaverse. Things are about to change!”

Authors, Events, Courses & Masterminds 

NFTs are not just for artists. Content creators, including authors, course creators, coaches, and even event producers can tap into the power of NFTs and monetize digital assets.

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For example, authors can create a limited edition of books via NFTs and give the reader some value-added bonuses with a secondary market resale value.

“Through platforms such as PowerFan.io, brands can offer special perks exclusive content personalized experience. NFTs could give you access to in-person events or masterminds or groups,” said Jesse Krieger, Chief Content Officer at PowerFan.io.

“You can have almost any offer that exists in a current sense selling a book, selling a course. Selling a mastermind, see and do that via NFT. So you’ve got the blockchain record and that your customers and clients have something that has potential price appreciation built into it.”

Entrepreneur, business strategist, and founder of JVology Jay Fiset started investing in Bitcoin in 2013. As an early adapter, he realized the potential of NFTs and how they impact all businesses.

Today, Fiset is dedicated to educating his entrepreneur community on how to access the power of NFTs to differentiate and stay ahead of the fast-moving technology curve.

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He recently hosted NFT Fridays to educate entrepreneur members on the process of buying and selling NFTs tied to events,  courses, and other forms of exclusive content.

Podcasting And NFTs To Market And Build Community

Podcasters can also tap into the marketing power of NFTS, metaverse, and web 3.0. Early adopters reap the most benefit and exposure, like the pioneer days of social media networks like Twitter.

Hustle and Flowchart podcast co-hosts Joe Fier and Matt Wolfe recently pivoted from digital marketing content to futuristic marketing and tech content.

In addition, due to the lack of their Facebook Group’s performance, they added a Discord community to offer a better experience for fans.”We are hyper-focused on our podcast’s fans and super fans. With NFTs, Metaverse and web 3.0. , it comes down to community and ownership. So podcasting is built off of a community; that’s our means for growth,” Fier explained.

“NFTs allow for community ownership to invest in our brand and receive an NFT or, aka, an access pass to an elite group and has the opportunity to receive a variety of perks and unique exposure opportunities. This can be wrapped around merchandise sponsorship opportunities, AMA, taking the stage, first-row access.”

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He added, “It’s ownership in the sense that there’s this economy that’s built, and fans can resell their rights.”

Podcasts For Marketers To Stay In The Meta Know

Top Metaverse Experts To Follow On Twitter

Metaverse Predictions For 2022

People think this technology is years away but it’s here now – and it’s creating enormous value and advantages for those leveraging it.

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Market Corrections?

“I predict a market correction, crash, or bubble pop with the NFT market. Unfortunately, I had seen this play out before during the ICO/ITO craze of 2016/17, where people got hella rich than poor overnight,” said Smithson.

“However, once the dust settles, you will see a steady growth of utility and value of long-term NFT’s. It is a great technology for artists in all genres to offer something unique to their fans while retaining a percentage of any subsequent sale… that is super powerful!”

Metaverse Agency, Strategy, and Commerce

More brands will enter the Web3 space and launch NFTs that provide actual utility and focus on community. You will also see more brands creating and operating their virtual worlds and looking toward the future of metaverse commerce.

Every brand will need a metaverse strategy,  and you will see brands signing agreements for new up-and-coming players as their metaverse agency of record.

Professionals will need to uplevel their skills, too, to lead and manage new metaverse initiatives within the organization.

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Conclusion

The opportunity for marketers and brands to leverage NFTs and the metaverse is at a groundswell state.

Technology is moving at lightning speed, rapid change is happening every day, and consumers are more adaptable than ever.

Future-proof your marketing or get left in the digital dust!

More resources:


Featured image: Shutterstock/LedGapline





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