For the near future, the opportunity to tap into the social tribes of influencers of all types will remain attractive. This article is not going to espouse all the benefits and advantages of that as many published articles do that (and do it better than this author can). Rather, it is this thing called the metaverse - that place where reality and the internet collide – that poses interesting questions for all types of marketing, and influencer marketing is no exception.
Not that long ago, “influencer marketing” was a much misunderstood and often maligned term. It seemed to immediately conjure up an image of Kim Kardashian pouting her high-end brand-painted lips whilst espousing the brand’s magnificence. Naturally, in many quarters, there was a visceral pushback against this type of endorsement. But, much has changed in a very short time. The acceptance of the efficacy of influencer marketing has led to the category becoming a key – and even a core - consideration in media strategy, planning and buying. Budget is now being allocated to influencer marketing from within the overall digital budget which itself is becoming a dominant number on the plan.
1. All good and well then. Just soldier on within the existing paradigm of contracting influencers to create fantastic relatable content from where it can be distributed on the appropriate social media channel. Well, yes, and no.
There is already significant commercial activity taking place within the metaverse and Citi
predicts that the metaverse economy will grow to $13 trillion by 2030! Recently, Travis Scott
played a 9-minute concert on Fortnite via his Avatar. Consider though that the concert was attended by twelve million people. That is impressive enough but is even more so when put into the context of what the logistics and costs would have been to have put that concert together in real life. There are many other examples of how the metaverse is being capitalised on by brands, including Gucci
and more recently Wimbledon’s WimbleWorld
. The point is that where commerce is taking place, and more specifically e-commerce in this instance, there is scope for influencer marketing to be relevant. And that’s where it starts to get interesting.
In its current social media form, influencers rely on presenting their points of view on social media. Posts are a static representation of their opinions and remain present for a period with engagement not necessarily occurring in real-time. Within the metaverse though, whilst there will still be opportunities for “static” advertising like billboards within a virtual world, when it comes to influencer marketing there will be some expectation that interactions happen at the moment.