If you have to admit that you hadn’t really heard of the metaverse before 2021, you’re not alone. The concept has been around for a while, but it didn’t really hit mainstream awareness until the last year. With companies like Facebook (now Meta), Google, Snapchat, Roblox, and Epic Games (owner of Fortnite) getting into the action of creating a new type of virtual world, the metaverse is rapidly changing from a science-fiction vision to the next big thing that will transform the way we interact online.
Think that sounds a bit hasty? The internet itself only became publicly available thirty years ago. Now a website is considered a basic business necessity. Smartphones and social media are even more recent, and yet they dominate how we access the online world now. Virtual and augmented reality may not be in every household yet, but the number of Americans using the technology is growing, with 58.9 million people using VR and 93.3 million people using AR at least once a month, according to experts. At the same time, advances in 5G, artificial intelligence, and edge cloud processing are poised to make AR and VR experiences better, smoother, and more cost-effective for users. The metaverse may be in its infancy, but its development is likely to be swift.
The best way to understand the metaverse is as a collective shared virtual space that includes persistent virtual worlds, virtually enhanced physical reality, and the internet. Virtual reality is a familiar concept in gaming, but now it is moving beyond those beginnings as businesses and individuals consider how VR can be used to collaborate, socialize, create, explore, and communicate online. In the metaverse, everyone will have an avatar that represents them and that they use to interact with other users in their shared virtual environment.
Right now the metaverse isn’t a single unified online space, but a number of different worlds, communities, and platforms with different characteristics. As these new online spaces develop, businesses should be thinking of how they’ll establish a foothold in the metaverse. Some brands are already exploring ways to use new technology creatively, such as creating NFT virtual goods that can be bought and used, or creating locations where virtual gatherings can be held. Most importantly, businesses should be thinking about how they’ll be found in the metaverse. In the same way that SEO shapes the way we think about how to improve our visibility in search engines, we need to imagine how SEO will change in this new environment.
Online visibility hinges on making sure that your website or product consistently turns up top in search engine results for relevant keywords and phrases. Doing that now on Google means bringing together many factors that deliver strong, quality content geared towards your user’s needs, such as engaging on social media or posting blog articles. The goal of doing this is not simply to be seen, but to connect with the audience who will buy your product or engage your services—turning visibility online into sales.
Your strong existing online presence will be the platform from which to launch a metaverse venture. However, finding the right niche for your business in a new virtual world will mean exploring the possibilities and developing new, well-thought-out plans to implement AR, VR, and 3D experiences into your marketing. Many companies will be throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks—to stand out, you’ll need a strong strategy that combines flexibility with a laser focus on your business goals.
Metaverse marketing, like the metaverse itself, will evolve as technology and engagement grow to match the vision of an online reality where we can work, play, and create. An SEO strategy geared to this emerging opportunity will require expertise in how blockchain technology and search engines work in these digital worlds. At Iffel International, we’re poised to guide our clients as we and they step into the metaverse together, keeping you updated on news and best practices. To find out about how Iffel can keep you on the cutting edge of online marketing, contact us here.
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