What new capabilities exist with advertising in the metaverse? What is the state of technology powering the metaverse and how does it drive quality experience? How can advertisers successfully transition to advertising in the metaverse?
Earlier this month, our CEO, Levi Matkins, led Pocket Gamer Connects’ Ads In The Metaverse: What To Expect panel and was joined by fellow industry experts from Virtual Brand Group, Super Chill, Oorbit and Offbeat Media. These expert panelists discussed topics ranging from what advertising in the metaverse looks like today to actionable advice for advertisers navigating the transition to the metaverse.
Here are a few top takeaways from the panel:
Advertising in the metaverse has the potential to better track and engage consumers.
With the shift from physical and digital worlds to the virtual realm comes the possibility to better understand your consumers. With technology like spatial analytics, brands would be able to track their consumers in a 3D environment to gain insights on their behavior and motivations. “One of the biggest problems if you are a retailer, is you know nothing about your consumer for the most part,” Justin Hochberg, CEO & Founder at Virtual Brand Group said. “In these 3D spaces, it tracks your entire experience like a motion capture suit. You start to see what 3D environments can do, and what a seamless experience it can be across different technologies that track the consumer and empower them to be in charge of their experience. It’s very exciting in terms of what it can do for a brand and understanding your consumer.”
When it comes to consumer engagement, virtual influencers seem to be an emerging trend. “You’re seeing brands trying to activate these digital avatars to be the face of their brand,” Bailey Grady, Co-Founder & COO at Offbeat Media said. Familiar faces like the Geico gecko prove to be a versatile and reliable tool for brands to interact with their consumers. “People don’t think of it as a virtual influencer, but it’s the face of the company. There’s infinite scale with that. They can be in multiple places at the same time. You can be working on multiple different projects with the same character at the same time. You’re not limited to one person in one spot. You can have chat bots that are interacting with fans on Discord and other platforms.”
With artificial intelligence and automation technologies, virtual influencers would be able to interact with consumers on a personal level. “You can kind of purposely drive an emotional response out of players,” Nathan Blair, Founder & CEO at Super Chill said. “As this technology becomes more and more sophisticated, you could probably see where you can get as close as you want to a certain influencer or their brand by interacting with these characters. That could be potentially as indistinguishable as directly relating with them, which is a really interesting and unique concept.”
Technology that drives quality experience is in continuous development.
With the opportunity to advertise in the metaverse, there must be the technology to provide high-quality user experience. “There is a continuous development ecosystem that will allow for objects, abilities and concepts to come into actual utility and activities that brands and businesses can potentially rely on a continuous monetization plan,” Ash Koosha, CEO at Oorbit said. As advertising in the metaverse evolves, there will be a demand for the technology to keep up. “The worry that we have usually is the stagnation at this stage, where we get to the point that the real technology that is required is not developed.
Our job is to make sure we promote the actual technology that exists that many people are not aware of in this space.” With the excitement of looking ahead at the future capabilities of technology, it’s important to start with what we have. “You want to leverage what technology already exists and be able to utilize that to your advantage,” Nathan Blair, Founder & CEO at Super Chill said. “There’s a lot of technology solutions that still need to happen to drive quality, but we’re starting to see where that technology is becoming more and more readily available as we move forward.”
If you’re just getting started, know where your consumers are, test everything and learn from experts.
For advertisers and content creators looking to navigate the transition to advertising in the metaverse, there are several tips to set yourself up for success. The sooner you get started, the better. “Definitely get involved early, because we’ve seen early adopters really do generally come out as winners,” Nathan Blair, Founder & CEO at Super Chill said. “Be bold and do it, but keep in mind we’re not there yet for the what-is-coming piece, but we’ll see that develop as we go forward.” In the beginning, locating your audience is key. “Find out where your consumers are and go there,” Justin Hochberg, CEO & Founder at Virtual Brand Group said. Platforms with scale like Roblox give the ability to reach millions of users in one place. “If you really want to advertise something to sell something, go where people are right now, and there are not that many places with scale.”
To get experience under your belt, make sure to spread out your budget. “Get your feet wet, but don’t spend all of your money,” Nathan Blair, Founder & CEO at Super Chill said. “You want to keep that for whatever is coming. But definitely get experience because this is going to be something that’s very big in our lifetimes.” A crucial step to ensuring success is testing everything as you go. “Get your brand on a virtual billboard,” Bailey Grady, Co-Founder & COO at Offbeat Media said. “Test different stuff out. Be ready to change and iterate, and just try and learn as much as possible.”
For any brand, there are applicable ways to test in this transition. “If you’re building shoes, create an NFT, and you can do some good market research with that,” Nathan Blair, Founder & CEO at Super Chill said. “See what NFTs specifically are driving market value, or the value of that NFT forward and create the real one. In the future, you can use data that you’re driving from blockchain technologies to drive your real-world business, but then also utilize that in your digital marketing aspect.”
If nothing else, look to experts to help navigate you to success. “Whether it’s someone on your team that’s in the space that knows more about it than you do or finding someone like us up here to help navigate the space, find an expert because you don’t want to come off as inauthentic,” Bailey Grady, Co-Founder & COO at Offbeat Media said. Similarly, you can look to fresh eyes to help lead the way. “Hire new people,” Ash Koosha, CEO at Oorbit said. “I hire people who know gaming and know what’s going on. You need to have gaming knowledge and new finance tools like blockchain and cryptocurrency because that’s going to be the new financial language. The combination of the two will be the future of the next ten years.”