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What does the Metaverse mean to consumers and marketers?

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What does the Metaverse mean to consumers and marketers?


A new study from Gartner found that consumer opinions about the metaverse are vague and largely uncertain. Marketers should keep this in mind as they look at new ways to engage consumers in virtual spaces.

Only 6% of consumer respondents told Gartner that they were “very familiar” with the metaverse and that they “understand and can describe it to others.” And only 21% said they were “somewhat familiar.”

That leaves nearly three quarters of consumers who have murkier ideas on the subject. 38% have heard of the metaverse, but aren’t sure what it means. A full 35% percent have never heard of it.

Why we care. Talk of the metaverse came almost out of nowhere last year when Facebook’s parent company changed its name to Meta. Since highs in September 2021, the company’s stock valuation has been cut nearly in half.

But there is more to this meta-talk than just saving an ailing tech giant. Marketers are always looking for new ways to connect with consumers meaningfully and deeply. Here’s a look at where marketing opportunities exist now, or in the near future.

Metaverses and other virtual experiences. Generally speaking, “Metaverse” can mean any number of ways that brands provide VR or interactive 3D-image experiences.

Read next: Marketers look to upgrade their 3D digital experience

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“From the onset of the pandemic, companies have worked to aggressively reshape the digital experience for browsing and discovery, but also virtual try-ons and augmented reality furniture-buying experiences,” said Kyle Rees, senior director analyst in the Gartner for Marketing Leaders practice. “These are the companies that people today expect [to be involved in the Metaverse]. If it’s not Facebook, it’s a big retailer. Virtual shopping is not necessarily surprising, but it’s a signal to marketers – to what level should I pay attention to this?”

Trusting the metaverse. With all these different virtual experiences, and many more on the horizon, the association with Facebook might not help an early adopter brand.

In the Gartner survey, only 18% of respondents said they are “primarily excited” about impacts the metaverse may have, while 21% said they were “primarily concerned” about the metaverse. 60% had no opinion.

If consumers associate the metaverse with Mark Zuckerberg’s company, that opens a lot of negative associations pulled from recent headlines about the toxic effects some social media platforms have on impressionable minds, as well as public discourse and even democracy.

Adding to the distrust are reports of new poorly regulated virtual environments that cast all the evils of the old Internet into stark 3D.

The metaverse, or metaverses, have to define themselves outside of the company Meta, and they also have to demonstrate that they are safe and secure spaces.

“I think Facebook rightly or wrongly made a very deliberate trademark grab [by changing the parent company’s name to Meta],” said Rees.” There are a fair amount of consumers who associate Facebook with the metaverse. And a corollary to that, and they’re open-ended associations, is that ‘I don’t trust Facebook,’ or they think it’s more isolated and that the metaverse is just another way Facebook is trying to make more money off of them.”

He added that the association with Meta is not necessarily a positive one, and that there’s a great need for a massive learning and education initiative to help clear the air and build trust.

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Gaming. If in the early stages, most consumers are confused, out-of-the-loop or distrustful, there is a cohort primed for metaverse adoption among the gaming community. Gamers have been interacting in virtual worlds with each other and with brands for years. 

“Gamification is already built into the metaverse,” Rees said.

The question for the future metaverse, and for marketers looking to get involved, is can this acceptance scale to an even larger audience of non-gamers?

Rees says a crucial feature that will have to be a part of this growth is interoperability. If a brand in retail, or in any other industry, builds a storefront in the metaverse, consumers will have to be able to access it with a number of devices in a seamless way.

Ads in the metaverse. A busy street in the metaverse won’t resemble the IRL world unless it has billboards and other branded environments.

London-based ad platform AdRunner is looking to help monetize the virtual real estate in the metaverse using a decentralized community-led ad interface built on the Ethereum blockchain.

“We are building a decentralized ad architecture that can best leverage the protocols used by dominating platforms,” said AdRunner’s CMO Chris Rios. “The metaverse landscape will take time to create a cohesive and shared experience across all platforms.”

Read next: Marketers – the Metaverse is coming

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Tied loosely together with NFTs. “Until then we will see a set of disparate ‘intranets’ that are loosely tied together, similar to the late 1990s when pockets of interaction occurred in chat rooms and one-off websites until companies like Google, Facebook, and YouTube shaped the Internet into a cohesive social space,” Rios explained. 

He added, “We see the development of the metaverse happening in a similar way. There is huge value addition in spaces already leveraging internal payment structures, like Roblox’s Robux, as these will likely be tied to NFT marketplaces and provide users with customized experiences or abilities. NFT marketplaces will likely be critical to the adoption of Web3 and will work akin to certificates or “passports” within the metaverse.


About The Author

Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country’s first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on “innovation theater” at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.

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MARKETING

Daily SEO Fix: Competitive Link Research

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Daily SEO Fix: SEO Reporting — More Specific Use Cases

Link research is an essential pillar of an SEO strategy, but competitive link research can help you get a leg up. It’s vital for websites to not only know about their own link profile, but to also have an effective strategy in place to stay relevant against competitors.

Hopefully at this point, you know who your competitors are, and hey, that’s half the battle. If you still aren’t sure, check out our Competitive Research tool in Moz Pro. This tool can help you find out exactly who your competitors are, the keywords they rank for and what their top performing content is.

If you would like to understand our Competitive Research tool more, and learn how it can be used to your advantage, feel free to book a Moz Pro Kick Off Call with a member of Moz’s Onboarding Team below.

Book a Moz Pro Kick Off Call

So, why do we want to conduct “competitive link research”?

  • Learning how others are performing can help guide your own linking strategy, and you may discover tactics that you haven’t considered before.

  • There may be opportunities and gaps in your competitor’s link profile, which you can identify and slot yourself into.

  • You will know what types of content perform well, and from there can make your content 10x better than your competitors!

  • Your analysis will help you understand more about the audience you are trying to speak to.

  • A comprehensive backlink strategy can aid you in ranking higher on the SERP.

If you’re seeking guidance on how to build an SEO competitive analysis framework, check out Moz Academy’s SEO Competitive Analysis Certification. This coursework covers everything you need to know to confidently implement an effective strategy, and you’ll earn your Moz Certification, which you can display on your LinkedIn profile!

In the following videos, the Moz team will show you workflows and other tips and tricks within the Moz Pro tool set that will help you with your competitive link research analysis.

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Link Gap Analysis: Link Intersect

Link gap analysis is a popular tactic amongst SEOs. It involves comparing your own link profile to that of your competitors, and finding the gaps that exist. They could be getting backlinks from several websites that you aren’t receiving any from — this could be a golden opportunity — another way to compete with your top competitors.

In this video, Emilie will show you how to use Moz Pro’s Link Intersect tool to find out this information.

Discover Linking Domains with SERP Analysis

In the Moz Pro Keyword Research tool, there is a functionality where you can search a keyword, and the top ranking pages for that keyword will show. But, there is so much more to this function.

In this video, Varad will show you those ranking pages, as well as the domains that are linking to that particular page. Get ready to soar from there!

Use Page Optimization to Find Content Suggestions

Moz’s Page Optimization tool is primarily used to see what improvements may need to be made to a page, as well as keyword placement on a page. When you dive a bit deeper into this particular tool, you’ll find that Moz offers content suggestions to you, including URLs that are ranking for the keyword you first queried. Identifying these top ranking URLs is a great way to see what kind of content you should also be creating.

In this video, Rachel will show you what you can do with this new found information and how it can help your link research.

Find Backlinks to Competitor’s Broken Pages

Analyzing the backlinks on a competitor’s broken page is another tactic that SEOs are using, that you may not have been aware of. There are hidden opportunities within these broken pages that are just waiting to be discovered.

In this video, Arian will show you exactly how you can find those broken pages within Moz Pro’s Link Research tool.

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Discovered & Lost Backlinks

Another gem within the Moz Pro Link Research tools is the ‘Discovered & Lost’ section. This section will show you all of the new backlinks that Moz has found linking to your competitor in the last 60 days, as well as backlinks that have been lost. This can be insightful information when working on your own backlink building.

In this video, Eoin shows you how you can use this functionality to up your Link Research game.


If you’d like to continue learning about Competitive Research, check out our previous Daily SEO Fix on Competitive Keyword Research for some great insights into a competitive keyword research strategy.

Other additional resources for learning continuation:

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