Smiling woman wearing a VR headset and holding a game controller.
Augmented and virtual reality can be leveraged to allow customers to browse products through the metaverse. — Getty Images/ Thana Prasongsin

The metaverse provides businesses with astounding opportunities for growth and raising private capital. According to McKinsey, metaverse-related companies raised more than $10 billion in 2021 — and some experts believe the global value creation opportunity from the metaverse could reach trillions.

By looking at the metaverse as a 3D model of the internet, businesses can begin to strategize how marketing in the metaverse can work, starting with these six tips.

Offer collectibles

Sixty percent of Americans identify themselves as collectors. Collecting is innately human, and many digital adopters can’t resist the urge to purchase or download a “collectible” item, whether it’s limited edition or not.

In the metaverse, businesses can offer branded collectibles like NFTs and pair them with exclusive benefits, use them as a purchase reward, or offer physical goods with them to increase revenue and brand loyalty.

However, remember that while branded collectibles are a brand-building opportunity with potentially high returns, the initial setup can be time-consuming and produce a steep financial barrier to small or solopreneur businesses.

Engage with existing communities

To effectively engage and market to customers in the metaverse, businesses should develop a content strategy that prioritizes user-generated content, genuine relationships, and relevant messages, rather than traditional “marketing” messaging. With this more natural approach, businesses, influencers, and employees of a business can interact with current members of an existing community to create compelling and dynamic content. Word-of-mouth will remain a powerful tool as metaverse users find their trusted “tribes.”

[Read more: What Is the Metaverse?]

The metaverse offers the unique opportunity to truly bring customers together across the internet into a central location.

Use native advertising

While billboards and product placement opportunities in the real world have diminished over time — thanks to an increasingly digital world — the metaverse will most likely offer sponsorship and partnership opportunities within virtual environments.

In the metaverse, businesses might be able to buy a billboard on a busy virtual street corner, produce in-game audio ads, sponsor virtual events, and more. Coca-Cola and Samsung already have virtual billboards in metaverse games.

When deciding on native advertising placement, choose based on the action you want your customer to take. Mobile advertising will meet more casual gamers while desktop/PC users are considered mid-core gamers with a deeper stake in the industry.

Establish your own metaverse platform

Keeping on the subject of partnerships, businesses can work with augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) developers to establish their own virtual venues. Large brands like Fila and Sentosa created virtual “brick-and-mortar” environments in the social simulation video game Animal Crossing, which resulted in hundreds of thousands of impressions.

Establishing your own platform is the biggest — and most expensive — way to invest in the future of the metaverse. It will take lots of research, development, and testing to create and launch an environment that is both engaging and representative of your product or service.

Allow customers to try products

Some businesses have already established this virtual shopping experience. Deliveroo’s marketing campaign on Animal Crossing paired in-game functionality with real-world promos, allowing a player’s avatar to experience a surprise delivery on their virtual island while, in reality, the player also received a promo code that they could activate to order food.

[Read more: What Small Businesses Should Know About the Metaverse]

This extended functionality of the metaverse serves retail businesses that produce consumer goods well. With the metaverse, customers can test and research large purchases, like cars, from the comfort of their homes without sacrificing an immersive experience. They could also try on clothes, test different pieces of furniture, and shop for shoes through the metaverse.

Create interactive and immersive events

The metaverse offers the unique opportunity to truly bring customers together across the internet into a central location. Musicians have already had success with live virtual concerts — Travis Scott drew 12.3 million players on Fortnite for his live weekend performance in 2020.

More immersive than Zoom and less costly than creating a virtual environment from scratch, businesses that opt to create events via the metaverse can unify customers and fans, increase their reach and engagement, and enhance customer loyalty and referrals.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here.

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