As the concept of the metaverse and ways of doing business in it mesmerizes brands and agencies alike, influencer marketing could hone in on how advertising and conducting commerce is being done in this new world where new rules are being set.
Depending on whom you ask, the metaverse is all kinds of things to people. The connective tissue is the technology that connects people in the digital realm. Moreover, it promises to meld together our digital and real-world lives into a 3D and even 4D otherworldly suit. With this suit, we can transform our lives into space-bending realities and easily become shift-changers from within the comfort of our home… In any case, the metaverse has captured our collective attention, and this new medium could be a new playground for brands, marketers, and influencers alike to explore.
And like in the real world, the much sought-after target audience – Gen Z and millennials, with their estimated buying power of $165 billion – are currently the most represented age groups in the metaverse or better-stated ‘metaverses’ as there is no ONE Metaverse but rather a whole bunch of them.
And herein lay the opportunities…
The metaverse can combine multiple technologies like virtual reality with augmented reality and create experiences beyond our earthly grasp. It can also be its own economy, where people can trade self-created digital goods. In an ideal case, these goods and currencies can be taken along as people move from one metaverse to the next, almost like an alternate universe where we hop from one virtual world into the next, always our digital possessions in tow.
If we shift from our real-life surroundings into a virtual reality, taking our friends and family, routines and work with us – what happens with all the stuff near and dear to us on earth? Clothes and things, shows and entertainment, our social media accounts where we follow our favorite people, where we feel connected to our icons, and, well, yes, our beloved influencers.
Do marketers and brands that just have wrapped their heads around influencer marketing need to rethink the entire thing and figure out how influencer marketing can work in the metaverse?
New beginnings on a leveled playing field
The budding metaverse and the trends it brings to consumers and brands could actually be just the right thing for influencers. The metaverse can enable them to really hone in on a brand relationship and bring value to a promotion on a different level. It could also open up new and profitable direct revenue opportunities for social creators. Influencers who tap into the metaverse now could be the ones who could see their profits take off.. Or, creators who struggle on overcrowded platforms like Instagram and TikTok can get ahead by exploring opportunities in the metaverse of their choice.
It’s almost like a clean slate – Influencer Marketing works where there are people to influence, and marketing becomes more effective when the target audience is concentrated in one space.
Influencer Marketing might re-invent itself.
A big headache for influencers – social networks’ constant algorithm changes and the fact that an account can be canceled by the platform at any moment. It’s no small consequence to take away the means of living for an influencer, yet because of the metaverse, this might be a thing of the past. After all, operating in the metaverse means that everything is on the blockchain. Everything is traceable and visible. No fake followers or spiked engagement rates – hopefully.
The metaverse can be an opportunity for anyone to start their influencer journey. While it gives already established creators a chance to build their twin personalities in the digital space, the next generation of influencers might forgo the traditional channels altogether.
Potentially, the interaction of platform influencer marketing (traditional influencer marketing as we know it through social networks) and meta-influencer marketing will open new opportunities for both brands and influencers to serve the audiences that congregate on some virtual planet within reach. There are already some first movers like Metafluence, a venture-funded startup poised to build an influencer marketing-driven platform where brands, influencers, and their audiences can connect in a meaningful way congregating in so-called Metahuts.