Welcome to the Metaverse
Facebook is changing its name to Meta, which is a new social media platform being developed that aims to incorporate AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality).
The Metaverse refers to the larger virtual space for all people and companies, not just Facebook.
What’s a Meta then?
Meta is the new name for the company and social media platforms previously owned by Facebook. That includes Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp and Oculus. Meta is also the name of the new digital social platform being developed.
The goal is to create digital social spaces using VR and to bring digital experiences to the physical world through AR. It will aim not only to create these new spaces but to integrate them with your social media platforms as well.
Facebook’s change to Meta is more than just a rebranding – it’s a move towards leveraging current and future technology.
So, if Meta is becoming the Matrix, what does that mean for B2B marketing?
While everybody is left speculating about how Meta will transform human interaction, an important consideration is the future of marketing. How will the growing inclusion of the digital into our everyday physical lives change the way we interact with our consumers? Do we need to start developing AR marketing right now?
The short answer is no. These technologies are very much still in development – we won’t be plugging into the Matrix anytime soon.
The longer answer is, we need to think about how we can grow with our customers, as their everyday lives become more and more entwined with these technologies.
AR and VR marketing is definitely a trend to keep an eye on and prepare for, but it’s better to focus on the implications of what the Metaverse currently means for marketing.
As Meta for Business itself suggests, the important thing is to focus on the technology people interact with right now – Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp. To keep finding ways to use these platforms to connect with customers and evolve your marketing with them, as they adopt the Metaverse.
Dip your toes in
That being said, it is always good to keep one eye on future trends. It might be worthwhile to test the waters and potential of marketing on these new platforms.
As with any new platform, it’s always important to capture the spirit and ingenuity of that platform. This makes sure that your messaging is genuine and resonates with the users. This is not a new trend, marketing has adapted to Facebook and LinkedIn, and even TikTok.
The Metaverse is a more playful space, so traditional ads are probably not going to work here. To be truly effective you need to be creative and you need to have a brand message that users are interested in.
If your company is thinking of creating VR or AR marketing campaigns, here are a few things you can do with the current technology.
- You can use virtual stores and demonstrations to create novel experiences that delight and show off your products to anyone, anywhere in the world.
- Create virtual classrooms where customers can learn about your product and get ‘hands-on’ experience with it.
- You can have tradeshows with a mixed reality – where some people attend in person and others attend virtually.
Be aware – but be where your audience is
Marketing will follow consumer trends. As more and more people adopt VR and AR, the better it will be to start marketing on these platforms. What you should be doing is developing relationships with your customers. What you do now will help bridge the gap as they move towards these new technologies. Customers will continue to follow and use companies they have a bond with and you can carry that base into new digital platforms.
So, while it may be worthwhile to develop a small AR campaign just to get your toes wet, you should focus on the now. Get your message out there in a way that is genuine and personal. Connect with your customers. Understand their needs as they evolve and adapt to the new world order.