Will the advent of the influencers metaverse change the way marketing works, and influencer marketing in particular? Will the metaverse be influencer-centric or just a good place for influencers? Will the metaverse solidify the status and followers of already famous influencers or be a welcoming space for new voices to build themselves up? What is a influencers metaverse when it comes to actual use cases, examples and the nitty-gritty details?
We’ll answer all these questions and more right here, in a round-up of everything you should know about the metaverse if you’re an influencer or if you work with influencers. One thing you can be sure of even before we dive in: with the advent of the metaverse, influencer activity will never be the same.
What is an influencers metaverse?
First of all, what is the influencers metaverse and how will it work? Let’s define the general metaverse as a space where humans can connect and interact in a #VR-enhanced, simultaneous and semi-permanent manner. In a way, the metaverse of the web 3.0 will be the internet as it is now, in the web 2.0 age, but embodied.
How will the metaverse be like? You will be able to pop up your VR headset and do all of the things you do now online — from shopping to reading news, watching entertainment, playing or interacting with others on social media — but in an augmented and immersive way, where you can be at the center of the events.
What do influencers do now? Influencers are an important internet phenomenon even now, in web 2.0, in the age of social media, centralized platforms and independent media outlets. Anyone who can amass a large enough following can aspire to become an influencer, a.k.a. a person who is able to influence the opinions, attitudes, interests and preferences of others.
Therefore, an influencers metaverse is the metaverse space where influencers are active and pursuing their influencer career goals using the immersive tools provided by the web 3.0. This automatically means more immersive visuals, more direct access of fans to influencers and vice-versa, and a better equipped class of influencers benefiting from the advantages of a decentralized metaverse.
How will the web 3.0 change your work as an influencer?
All influencers and those who work with influencers know that this particular marketing niche is very valuable. The market for influencer promos grew from $1.7 billion in 2016 to $9.7 billion in 2020. In 2021, it soared to $13.8 billion, and continued its upwards trajectory. This year, influencer marketing is projected to expand to a jaw-dropping $16.4 billion industry.
Will the metaverse affect this growth? Yes, but only for the better. One of the biggest opportunities brought on by the web 3.0 is the metaverse for content creators (that we are proudly building), and influencers are privileged niche of these.
What will the influencers do in the metaverse? The same thing they do now, but in a more immersive medium, where followers can feel that they are interacting with them in a more direct manner. The metaverse itself will have a strong social component, so in principle current influencers will be able to pick up what they do now (independent content, brand promos, collabs, art projects, social commentary and so on) and just move it to the metaverse.
The metaverse will actually be a great space for all content creators, and influencers in particular. It’s all clout-chasing, as they say, but in the metaverse everything will be that much more immersive, and therefore influencers will be even more influential.
Will there be space for new-comer influencers in the metaverse?
Right now, about half of all paid influencers (52%) are micro-influencers, meaning that they amassed a following of between 5,000 to 20,000 people on their social channels. The rest of them are progressively bigger, having thousands and hundreds of thousands of followers, and they are usually celebrities in other fields as well (actors, singers, or wealthy socialites).
In the metaverse, we expect this ratio to change even more in favor of the micro-influencers, because the decentralized nature of the metaverse will allow all content creators (from streamers to influencers and so on) to keep their earnings, decide on how their autonomous communities function, gain a platform even if they don’t want to pay for ads and so on. So the future looks bright even for up-and-coming influencers, thanks to the metaverse.
How will the metaverse change influencer marketing for brands?
How about if you are on the opposite side of the spectrum, as a brand or a company who works with influencers? If the audience is moving to the metaverse, how will this change the nature of your business relationship with influencers?
First of all, let us start this conversation by reaffirming that the metaverse will be great for influencer marketing regardless of whether you are an influencer or a brand. Yes, influencers will probably earn more money in the metaverse, but that doesn’t mean that you as a company need to spend more money to get the same thing you’re getting now.
The metaverse simply will make everything more immersive, engaged and borderline addictive (in a good way!). That means the conversion or engagement rates that you usually get as KPIs for your influencer marketing efforts will rise by the double digits. So, even by paying hypothetically the same amount of money for an influencer gig, the returns to you will be greatly multiplied.
It follows that brands will rely more and more on their influencer marketing efforts and move away from other types of paid marketing activities, like SEM / paid social, as these will slowly turn into money sinkholes (some already are!). Simply put, you will spend more money on influencer marketing because you’ll see more results this way. It’s a win-win for both brands and influencers.
Furthermore, brands will also explore new monetization models in the influencers metaverse, and also new types of content engagement with their audience (like using NFTs as tickets to a virtual event, and so on). We will also experience a rise of meta-influencers marketing, with virtual influencers becoming a more and more common presence in web 3.0., according to some interesting predictions from Forbes.
This is, of course, just the beginning. As the metaverse will finally take shape, its actual development and potential will take shapes we can’t accurately foresee now, but one thing is sure. Influencer marketing, digital cultures and social virtual interaction will change dramatically in the metaverse.