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Home > Industry Insights > How to Create Immersive & Engaging Brand Experiences in the Metaverse?
The metaverse is a term that describes a digital environment where people can interact with each other and with virtual objects, using immersive technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). The metaverse is not a single platform or application, but rather a network of interconnected virtual worlds that span the physical and digital realms. The metaverse is also powered by a fully functioning virtual economy, where users can create, own, trade, and monetize digital assets, such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), cryptocurrencies, and in-game items.
Further Reading: Into The Metaverse – Metaverse Meaning, Key Terms, Examples & More
The metaverse is not a new concept, but it has gained significant attention and momentum in recent years, thanks to the rapid development and adoption of VR/AR devices, cloud computing, 5G networks, blockchain technology, and gaming platforms. In 2022, the global metaverse market revenue was less than 50 billion U.S. dollars. However, by 2030, it is expected to soar significantly, reaching a projected revenue of 679 billion U.S. dollars. During the same period, metaverse advertising spending in the United States amounted to around half a billion dollars in 2022. The forecast indicates a substantial increase, with the spending projected to reach 2.52 billion dollars by the year 2030.
The metaverse offers unprecedented opportunities for digital marketers to create unique and memorable experiences for their target audiences, such as virtual events, product launches, collaborations, etc.
Further Reading: Metaverse Digital Marketing & What You Can Expect From It
In this blog post, we will explore how to create immersive and engaging brand experiences in the metaverse, using examples from existing metaverse platforms such as Fortnite, Roblox, Decentraland, etc.
One of the most popular ways to create brand experiences in the metaverse is to host or sponsor virtual events that attract and engage large numbers of users. Virtual events can range from concerts, festivals, conferences, and exhibitions, to sports, games, contests, and more. Virtual events can offer several benefits for brands, such as:
Reaching a global and diverse audience that may not be able to attend physical events due to geographic or financial constraints.
Providing a more immersive and interactive experience than traditional online or offline events, by allowing users to participate in real-time using their avatars and voice chat.
Generating buzz and word-of-mouth marketing through social media and online communities.
Collecting valuable data and feedback from users on their behavior, preferences, satisfaction, etc.
Creating brand awareness and loyalty by offering exclusive content, rewards, or incentives to users who attend or engage with the event.
Some examples of successful virtual events in the metaverse are:
Travis Scott's Astronomical Concert in Fortnite: In April 2020, rapper Travis Scott performed a live concert in Fortnite, a popular online game that has over 400 million monthly active users. The concert was a spectacular show that featured giant holograms of Scott, psychedelic visuals, and special effects that transformed the game's map. The concert attracted over 27 million unique viewers across five shows and generated over 45 million views on YouTube.
Gucci Garden Experience in Roblox: In May 2021, luxury fashion brand Gucci collaborated with Roblox, a gaming platform that has over 200 million monthly active users. The collaboration featured a Gucci Garden Experience that allowed users to explore a virtual museum inspired by Gucci's creative director Alessandro Michele. The experience also included a limited-edition collection of digital items that users could purchase with Robux, the platform's currency. The items were also sold as NFTs on a secondary market. The experience attracted over 20 million visits in two weeks and generated over $15 million in revenue for Roblox.
Art Week in Decentraland: In June 2021, Decentraland, a decentralized virtual world that runs on the Ethereum blockchain, hosted its first Art Week that showcased various artworks from artists and galleries around the world. The event featured over 40 exhibitions that users could visit using their VR headsets or web browsers. The event also included live auctions, workshops, and panel discussions with prominent figures in the art industry. The event attracted over 10,000 visitors and generated over $1 million in sales of NFT artworks.
Another way to create brand experiences in the metaverse is to launch or promote new products or services that appeal to the metaverse users. Product launches can leverage the immersive and interactive features of the metaverse to showcase the product's features, benefits, and use cases in an engaging way. Product launches can also offer incentives or rewards to users who try or buy the product, such as discounts, coupons, or freebies.
Some examples of successful product launches in the metaverse are:
Nike's Adapt BB Sneakers in NBA 2K19: In January 2019, Nike launched its Adapt BB sneakers, a self-lacing shoe that can be controlled by a smartphone app. The launch was accompanied by a digital campaign that integrated the sneakers into NBA 2K19, a popular basketball video game that has over 10 million monthly active users. The campaign allowed users to unlock and wear the sneakers in the game by completing a series of challenges. The campaign also included a live event that featured NBA star Jayson Tatum wearing the sneakers in real life and the game. The campaign generated over 1 million impressions and increased the sales of the sneakers by 30%.
Burberry's TB Summer Monogram Collection in Honor of Kings: In July 2020, Burberry launched its TB Summer Monogram Collection, a clothing line that featured the brand's signature logo in bright colors and patterns. The launch was accompanied by a digital campaign that integrated the collection into Honor of Kings, a popular mobile game that has over 100 million daily active users in China. The campaign allowed users to dress their avatars with the collection's outfits and accessories and share their looks on social media. The campaign also included a mini-game that rewarded users with virtual gifts and coupons. The campaign generated over 50 million views and increased the brand's online sales by 68% in China.
KFC's Virtual Restaurant in Animal Crossing: New Horizons: In June 2020, KFC opened a virtual restaurant in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, a popular social simulation game that has over 30 million players worldwide. The restaurant was designed to resemble a real KFC outlet and offered free virtual chicken buckets to users who visited it. The restaurant also featured a virtual Colonel Sanders who gave out coupons for real KFC products to users who found him in the game. The campaign generated over 10 million impressions and increased the brand's online orders by 20% in the Philippines.
A third way to create brand experiences in the metaverse is to collaborate with other brands, creators, influencers, or communities that share similar values, goals, or audiences. Collaborations can help brands to expand their reach, enhance their reputation, and create value for their customers and partners. Collaborations can take various forms, such as co-branding, co-creating, co-marketing, or co-hosting.
Some examples of successful collaborations in the metaverse are:
Louis Vuitton x League of Legends: In September 2019, Louis Vuitton announced a partnership with League of Legends, a popular online game that has over 100 million monthly active users. The partnership featured a Louis Vuitton-designed trophy case for the game's World Championship, as well as a capsule collection of clothing and accessories inspired by the game's characters and aesthetics. The partnership also included a digital skin for one of the game's champions, Qiyana, that users could purchase with Riot Points, the game's currency. The partnership generated over 100 million views and increased the brand's online traffic by 75%.
Balenciaga x Fortnite: In September 2021, Balenciaga announced a collaboration with Fortnite, a popular online game that has over 400 million monthly active users. The collaboration featured a Balenciaga-designed outfit for one of the game's characters, Doggo, as well as a capsule collection of clothing and accessories inspired by the game's themes and elements. The collaboration also included a Balenciaga-branded graffiti wall that users could interact within the game's map. The collaboration generated over 20 million views and increased the brand's online sales by 50%.
Adidas x Genies: In June 2021, Adidas announced a partnership with Genies, a digital avatar platform that has over 10 million users. The partnership featured an Adidas-branded avatar creator that allowed users to customize their digital selves with Adidas products and styles. The partnership also included an NFT marketplace that enabled users to buy and sell Adidas-themed digital items using cryptocurrencies. The partnership generated over 5 million views and increased the brand's online engagement by 40%.
Creating brand experiences in the metaverse can be an effective way to reach and engage new and existing customers, but it can also be challenging to measure and optimize the return on investment (ROI) of such campaigns. Unlike traditional online or offline marketing channels, the metaverse is still evolving and lacks standardized metrics, tools, and best practices for measuring its impact and performance.
However, this does not mean that metaverse marketing campaigns cannot be evaluated or improved. On the contrary, it means that marketers need to be more creative and adaptive in defining their objectives, selecting their indicators, collecting their data, and analyzing their results.
Further Reading: Top 5 Tips For Marketers To Conquer The Metaverse
What are you trying to achieve?
Who are you trying to reach?
How do you want them to respond?
How will you measure the success of your metaverse marketing campaign?
How will you compare your results with your baseline or benchmark?
Depending on your objectives, you may want to measure different aspects of your campaign, such as:
Reach: How many users did you expose to your brand or message in the metaverse? How many users visited or interacted with your virtual space, event, product, or collaboration?
Engagement: How long did users stay in your virtual space, event, product, or collaboration? How often did they return or revisit? How much did they interact with your brand or message, such as by commenting, sharing, liking, etc.?
Conversion: How many users took the desired action after being exposed to your brand or message in the metaverse? How many users purchased your product or service, either in the metaverse or in the real world? How many users signed up for your newsletter, followed your social media account, downloaded your app, etc.?
Loyalty: How many users became repeat customers or advocates of your brand after being exposed to your brand or message in the metaverse? How many users joined your community, club, group, etc.? How many users referred others to your brand or message?
Depending on the platform or application you use for your campaign, you may have access to different sources and methods of data collection, such as:
Platform analytics: Some metaverse platforms or applications may provide built-in analytics tools that allow you to track and measure various metrics related to your campaign, such as user demographics, behavior, feedback, etc. For example, Roblox offers a Developer Analytics dashboard that shows various statistics about your games and experiences on the platform.
Third-party tools: Some metaverse platforms or applications may allow you to integrate third-party tools that can help you collect and analyze data for your campaign, such as Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, Mixpanel, etc. For example, Decentraland allows you to use Google Analytics to track and measure user activity on your virtual land.
Surveys and polls: You may also want to collect qualitative data from your users by conducting surveys and polls in the metaverse or in the real world. You can use various tools and platforms to create and distribute surveys and polls, such as SurveyMonkey, Typeform, Google Forms, etc. For example, you can use SurveyMonkey to create a survey that asks users about their satisfaction and feedback on your virtual event.
NFTs and blockchain: You may also want to leverage NFTs and blockchain technology to collect and verify data for your campaign. NFTs are unique digital tokens that represent ownership of digital assets in the metaverse. Blockchain is a distributed ledger that records transactions and events in a secure and transparent way. By using NFTs and blockchain, you can track and measure various aspects of your campaign, such as user identity, ownership, transactions, interactions, etc. For example, you can use NFTs to reward users who attend or engage with your virtual event and use blockchain to verify their attendance and engagement.
After collecting the data for your campaign, you need to analyze it and draw insights that can help you improve your performance and ROI. You can use various tools and techniques to analyze and visualize your data, such as Excel, Tableau, Power BI, etc. You can also use various methods and frameworks to optimize your campaign, such as A/B testing, optimization models, experimentation frameworks, etc. For example, you can use A/B testing to compare different versions of your virtual space, event, product, or collaboration and see which one performs better.
After analyzing and optimizing your campaign, you need to communicate and report your results to your stakeholders, such as your team, management, clients, partners, etc. You can use various tools and formats to communicate and report your results, such as dashboards, slides, reports, etc. You can also use various methods and frameworks to communicate and report your results, such as storytelling, data visualization, SMART goals, etc. For example, you can use storytelling to narrate the journey and impact of your campaign in an engaging way.
Creating brand experiences in the metaverse can also help you build and manage a community of loyal fans and advocates who support and promote your brand in the metaverse and beyond. A community can help you increase your brand awareness, trust, loyalty, and advocacy among your customers and potential customers. A community can also help you gain valuable insights, feedback, and ideas from your customers that can help you improve your products, services, and experiences.
Here are some tips and strategies for building and managing a community of loyal fans and advocates in the metaverse:
What is the reason for your community's existence? What is the common goal or interest that unites your community members? What are the principles or standards that guide your community's behavior? By defining your community's purpose, vision, and values, you can create a clear and compelling identity for your community that attracts and retains like-minded members.
Where will your community meet and interact in the metaverse? You need to create a virtual space that reflects your community's purpose, vision, and values, as well as provides a comfortable and enjoyable environment for your community members. You can create a virtual space using various platforms or applications in the metaverse, such as Decentraland, Roblox, Fortnite, etc. You can also customize your virtual space with various features and elements that enhance your community's experience, such as chat rooms, forums, games, events, etc.
Why should people join and stay in your community? You need to provide value and incentives for your community members that satisfy their needs, wants, and expectations. You can provide value and incentives by offering exclusive content, rewards, or benefits to your community members, such as information, education, entertainment, discounts, coupons, freebies, etc. You can also provide value and incentives by recognizing and rewarding your community members for their contributions, participation, or achievements in your community, such as by featuring them on your website or social media, giving them shout-outs or badges, sending them thank-you notes or gifts, etc.
How will you communicate and connect with your community members? You need to engage and interact with your community members regularly and consistently, using various channels and methods in the metaverse and beyond. You can engage and interact with your community members by:
Asking and answering questions, soliciting and providing feedback, sharing and requesting opinions, etc.
Creating and joining conversations, discussions, debates, polls, surveys, etc.
Hosting and attending events, activities, games, contests, challenges, etc.
Collaborating and co-creating content, products, services, experiences, etc.
Supporting and celebrating your community members' achievements, milestones, birthdays, etc.
How will you ensure that your community is safe, respectful, and positive? You need to monitor and moderate your community to prevent and address any issues or problems that may arise in your community, such as spam, trolls, harassment, conflicts, etc. You can monitor and moderate your community by:
Setting and enforcing clear and fair rules and guidelines for your community's behavior and conduct.
Using various tools and features to filter, flag, report, block, or remove inappropriate or harmful content or users from your community.
Recruiting and empowering trusted and responsible community members to help you with monitoring and moderating tasks.
Resolving any disputes or complaints in a timely and professional manner.
How will you measure and improve the performance and impact of your community? You need to evaluate and improve your community to ensure that it meets your objectives and expectations, as well as your community members' needs and wants. You can evaluate and improve your community by:
Defining and tracking relevant and meaningful metrics for your community's performance and impact, such as size, growth, engagement, satisfaction, loyalty, advocacy, etc.
Collecting and analyzing data and feedback from your community members on their experience, perception, and satisfaction with your community.
Identifying and implementing best practices, tips, and strategies for building and managing a successful community in the metaverse.
The metaverse is a new frontier for digital marketing that offers exciting opportunities for creating immersive and engaging brand experiences for your customers. By following the above tips and strategies, you can leverage the metaverse to reach and engage new and existing customers, measure and optimize the ROI of your metaverse marketing campaigns, and build and manage a community of loyal fans and advocates in the metaverse.
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