Content Marketing in The Metaverse and Beyond
The next technological revolution is on the horizon. The automation of industry 4.0 is giving way to the emergence of human-machine interactions in industry 5.0, changing the way we manufacture goods and services. At the same time, the internet is evolving from a flat, 2D landscape to a rich, enduring virtual 3D world where we’ll all be interacting in the near future: the metaverse.
The metaverse changes the game in all aspects of how we live and interact, and it’s a rich and promising new world for content marketers. What does the future of content marketing look like? Where will people be reading your content? Where can you create new revenue streams using AR, VR, and Web 3.0 technologies? How can you turn an article into a virtual experience that engages users on multiple levels? This article describes how content marketers can promote their content in the new and emerging metaverses and make money in the new digital economy of web 3.0.
What is The Metaverse?
The science fiction novel Snow Crash (1992) introduced the term metaverse, a contraction of “meta” and “universe,” which, in the book, refers to a virtual world. The idea was given a prominent appearance in 2003 with the virtual universe Second Life, where users lived in a parallel reality where they could be whatever or whoever they wanted, and firms and brands utilized it to set up online stores.
Today, the term “metaverse” is used to describe several different things, ranging from fully immersive virtual reality to augmented reality, which mixes elements of the physical and digital realms. In short, the metaverse (or any of the different emerging metaverses) is a digital, virtual, centralized, and enduring world where people can connect, work, hang out, have fun and engage with each other in different ways. It has been termed the next step in the evolution of the internet, sometimes referred to as web 3.0.
Users in the metaverse create and customize their avatars and can make, buy, and sell things in a digital economy where everything is represented virtually as digital assets. The ownership of these assets or objects is made possible thanks to blockchain technology-powered non-fungible tokens or NFTs, which form the basis of a new emerging border-free economy where crypto and crypto exchanges play a paramount role.
Characteristics of The Metaverse That Make It Great For Marketing
The metaverse offers some key features that make it perfect for new and more engaging forms of content marketing:
It’s Based on Customization and User-Generated Content.
Users in the metaverse can create content for themselves and others to enjoy. This allows marketers to create content in the metaverse easily, but it also allows them to study the market by directly observing the type of content each user creates. This makes it easy for marketers to craft optimum content targeted at their specific niche.
It Exists in Real-Time.
A metaverse is a digital and augmented reflection of the real world, so everything in the latter happens in sync with the former. This makes it great for publishing content about recent events, current trends, and news. As the metaverse becomes bigger, users will search for and consume this type of content instead of traditional web 2.0 content.
It is a Self-Contained and Fully Functioning Virtual Economy.
The metaverse is a fully operational world that allows users to develop, own, sell, and invest in virtual reality environments. Although you can use your normal currency and credit cards to make purchases within most metaverses today, emerging metaverses are focusing more on blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs to power the virtual economy. Users will be able to buy and trade Bitcoin and Ethereum as well as altcoins like Dogecoin or Solana and use them to pay for products and services both inside the metaverse and outside it.
It offers a compatible mix of different platforms.
A metaverse is a centralized world where you’ll be able to import objects and assets from different virtual environments easily and seamlessly. This is great for content marketers since they’ll be able to incorporate all of their current web 2.0 content into the new world and take advantage of amazing new technologies to produce novel types of content for a worldwide consumer market.
How Does Content Marketing Work in The Metaverse?
Although 2020 and 2021 saw the biggest growth in marketing done in these virtual environments, marketing in the metaverse is not as new as you may think.
Luxury brands, in particular, have been active for years in some of these virtual worlds. Many of them, such as Italian fashion house Gucci or even Balenciaga during the pandemic, have built virtual worlds to expand their visibility, attract a new audience, and speed up sales. Many other consumer brands and big names like Nike and Coca-Cola have followed suit.
What Type of Content Will We Create in The Metaverse?
The metaverse offers a limitless opportunity to create new, more engaging content. Today’s content marketers writing highly valuable and informative blogs or publishing effective educational videos will now create 3D environments and experiences that show the same content in a totally new way.
Think of a travel and tourism company that offers trips to Italy fusing an existing web 2.0 podcast that talks about the Sistine Chapel with a virtual tour in 3D that takes the user, equipped with a VR set, to The Vatican, while at the same time emphasizing how the real thing is so much better.
Or think about a big publishing company that offers book reviews in the form of an immersive scene where a voice echoes in the background reading the review while different 3D renderings of characters or scenes come into play, leaving you hungry for more.
The possibilities are truly endless.
It Will Be More Important Than Ever To Engage With Existing Communities.
People are generally opposed to direct advertisements. As businesses seek to enter the metaverse, it’s critical not to intrude and irritate people already there. Furthermore, you’ll need these consumers’ positive feedback since you’ll be attempting to sell things to them. This means that user engagement with your content will be more important than ever in the metaverse.
Posting in The Metaverse
The metaverse will be the most popular blogging platform yet. The ability to use images or video clips from other websites or your device’s camera will be a standard component of any metaverse blog post. These pictures and videos will be automatically reformatted to match your content.
Not only that but thanks to the recent development and release of the new Unreal Engine 5, which is a free 3D development platform that allows users to create stunning life-like environments and render picture-quality 3D images in real-time, pretty much anyone will be able to create the most amazing experiences for their audience. You won’t need to hire a crew or a team of software developers and 3D animators to do the same thing.
Publishing posts will also be as user-friendly as it ever was, regardless of what particular platform or format you use to create your content.
How to Generate Content in The Metaverse
There are three main ways to create content for the metaverse:
Converting and Upgrading Your Old Web 2.0 Content to Web 3.0
Most of the content available in the metaverse will not be new but rather old or existing web 2.0 content migrated into web 3.0. One way to accomplish this is by minting existing digital assets into NFTs, which allows tracking the ownership of the assets. Examples of digital assets you can mint into NFTs are:
- Blog posts
- Existing videos
- Digital images
- 3D designs and assets
- High-res 3D scans of real physical objects
- Domain names relevant to the metaverse
- Music (even the individual tracks)
- Your social media posts, and more.
In principle, you can mint any digital content of any kind as an NFT. For example, if you run a successful blog, you can mint your most popular posts easily with apps like BlogToNFT. It’s a simple process that will only take a couple of minutes and you can then offer the minted posts on popular NFT marketplaces like OpenSea and Rarible. Those same marketplaces also provide minting services to help you turn tour assets into NFTs.
Exploring New Content Formats
All the traditional ways of creating content will still be relevant in the metaverse, but there will also be many new formats that were impractical in the past. One type of content will come in the form of 3D virtual tours and interactive 3D environments.
These environments themselves will be a part of your content, but you’ll also be able to integrate other types of content into them. For example, you could create a virtual library where the virtual books contain your most successful blog posts and ebooks, only in a format that resembles a real printed book instead of a blog post on a flat website.
You could also integrate your videos in the form of a virtual screen that resembles the TV you have at home (at your real home, that is).
Since this is a new and emerging world that isn’t tied down by the laws of physics, your imagination will be the only limit.
Live Streaming Directly Into The Metaverse
Remember the first massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) like World of Warcraft and Second Life? These were some of the first experiences of early metaverses, and, during the pandemic, entertainment companies took notice of the huge number of active users these platforms commanded.
Because of this, a new form of entertainment content emerged called massive interactive live events or MILEs. These are concerts, sporting events or any other form of show streamed live entirely within the metaverse.
While organizing a Dua Lipa concert may be out of reach for the average content marketer, it does show that live streams are a great way to offer content for your audience in the metaverse.
The Bottom Line
The metaverse is a virtual, computer-generated world where people can connect anytime and anywhere to interact, work, collaborate and have fun. It is a part of science fiction that is quickly becoming a reality and a playground for content marketers to up their game. While it may seem confusing for some, there are clear differences in how content will be created and consumed in the years to come and beyond and how it’s been created and consumed now.
At the moment, one of the best ways to create content for the metaverse is to convert your existing content to a metaverse-ready format. Part of this goes through minting your content and digital assets as NFTs, and part of it goes through creating entirely new virtual worlds where you can integrate your content for others to explore and consume.
The metaverse is only in its infancy and is set to grow and evolve. There is no telling what new tools will be available for content marketers in this new and exciting world, but starting to focus your efforts on it today is something you’ll surely be grateful for in the near future.
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