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Marketing in the Metaverse

Want to market in the metaverse? Success starts with understanding what the metaverse is and exploring how to connect with consumers inside of it.

What is the metaverse? 

Making meaning of the metaverse is difficult when you don’t know what it is. Taking a step back in time can help marketers (especially more “seasoned” ones) begin to understand this new reality.

Image you are a teenager in the early 1990s learning about something new called the World Wide Web, where you can send and receive text, audio and video files around the world in minutes.

“Back to the Future II” showed you could be fired via fax and AT&T boasted of a world that finally became reality with modern smartphones and VR headsets like the Oculus.

The internet was new and meant many things to those anticipating it. The metaverse is similar.

Making Meaning of the Metaverse 

Technically, the term “metaverse” comes from the 1992 book “Snow Crash” (Neal Stephenson), which imagined a world where avatars connected with each other in VR settings.

More recently, movies like “Ready Player One” and “The Matrix” imagined a world that companies like Meta (formerly Facebook) and Microsoft are moving to make real through games like Horizon Worlds.

In its broadest sense, the metaverse is a unique, immersive and virtual public space made possible by technological advancements that includes ways to connect with others through virtual reality and augmented reality settings. These can include VR games, AR filters in social media apps, 3D video conferencing and NFTs (non-fungible tokens) that let you own your own little piece of the new digital marketplace.

The metaverse isn’t one thing.  

It’s a new digital place to work, play, shop, talk and discover. And even if you agree with Iceland’s parody of it, you can’t deny its arrival.

The metaverse involves multiple universes that combine virtual and real-world reality. As Matthew Ball notes, it: 

  • Is always active.
  • Exists in real time.
  • Involves individual agency.
  • Is self-contained and fully functioning.
  • Uses different platforms.
  • Is filled with user-generated content.

As a marketer, you must understand and be active in the metaverse to connect meaningfully with current and future generations of consumers.  

NFTs, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality — 2 Ways To Engage in the Metaverse

Now that you know what the metaverse is, you can put that knowledge into action with strategies and tactics that will help you market in it effectively.

Supercharge NFT Marketing With Stories

NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are unique digital collectibles that people can own. They are, in some ways, the currency of the metaverse.

Just like the coins, stamps, baseball cards and physical artwork that preceded them, NFTs give consumers an opportunity to express themselves and convey their position in society. And they’re big business.

NFT sales volume reached $2.5 billion in the first half of 2021. An NFT can be an image, video, song or in-game item. The key to making it profitable for your brand is to craft compelling stories around the NFTs you market so that your audiences will be motivated to own them as a way of establishing a meaningful connection with your brand.

How To Use Augmented Reality for Marketing 

Brands are finding unique ways to connect with consumers through augmented reality marketing. Sometimes, they’re aided by social media platforms that lead the way with innovative campaign opportunities. 

Such was the case with Snapchat’s virtual holiday stores that big brands like Walmart, Verizon and Coca-Cola took advantage of this year. Its Black Friday holiday market enabled users to browse products from participating brands in custom-built, virtual storefronts where they could experience the products in immersive ways.  

Critically, shoppers could also buy the products within Snapchat, something Instagram, Facebook and Google are also promoting as a way to circumvent privacy standards and keep more ad revenue for themselves.

For more on why this is happening, read Shira Ovide’s piece for the New York Times on “Why the Internet is Turning Into QVC.” 

Even novices can get in on the action with a new app called Spark AR Go. Created by Meta, the app lets users skilled in photography, meme-making, art or video create unique AR filters and quizzes.

Currently in beta, its built-in templates include switch and slide tools and other options that make it easy for anyone, including marketers who aren’t artists, to create AR features that they can use to connect with consumers in the metaverse.

Whether you’re a retailer or not, the future of selling — e-commerce, social commerce and otherwise — will be within the metaverse.

A Final Word on Metaverse Marketing

If all of this feels overwhelming and you don’t know where to start, go back to basics. Let proven principles of inbound marketing, customer journey mapping and integrated marketing strategies guide your efforts.

And, if you get stuck along the way, contact the pros at OBI Creative for help strategizing, designing and implementing campaigns and tactics that deliver satisfying ROI and grow your business.