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Deep Dive: Influencer marketing in the metaverse – is it cool or practical?

The Metaverse has been one of the hottest buzzwords in the influencer marketing space for the past year, but if we take a moment to pause, how much weight does it really hold?

Big things were predicted for influencer marketing in the Metaverse, but have they come to fruition? As part of its Deep Dive feature series, Talking Influence asked Aaron King, Senior Account Director at ITB Worldwide for his thoughts – here’s what he had to say:

“The metaverse is still in its infancy and I believe we are still years away from seeing good influencer marketing in the metaverse. That’s because technology hasn’t caught up yet. There are many brands who have tried to be cool and they’ve definitely earned themselves press within industry circles – but outside of that, who has actually seen it?  

We’re still living in web 2.0. We can take things from web 3.0 and amplify it in web 2.0 – which is the world we all feel a bit more comfortable in, so that your everyday person can see it and be a bit more familiar with it. But until technology becomes less invasive and more accessible, we are just not there. 

People – and Gen Z in particular – are experience driven and the metaverse provides opportunities for them to participate in cultural events when they might not be able to do so in person. And I believe there’s a strong future for AR. Brands like Apple, IKEA and Charlotte Tilbury have been doing some great work in this space; the latter allowing users to try on lip shades and skin shades. The beauty of this is that it can be done on social platforms, which makes it much more accessible.  

What’s great about the metaverse is the limited possibilities – which can be really positive. But wherever you create cultures, you will see subcultures – some will be positive and some will be negative. There is a future for influencer marketing in the metaverse – but it depends on the audience you’re trying to reach. If you want to catch an audience already in the metaverse (ie. Gamers) then absolutely, the metaverse is a good place to be. But the approach needs to always be audience first. That takes a considered approach to who brands are trying to reach and the cultural impact of not using a real person.   

Part of the ongoing challenge with the metaverse is that no single person is in control. The biggest brands are starting to understand and realize what needs to happen and platforms are introducing diversity collectives to try and improve their avatar and AR offerings so that they are more representative. That requires responsibility by involving outside sources to represent their audience and that’s where influencers come into play to help shape the space. As brands and agencies, we must value social justice and diversify the creators we work with to be able to level the playing field and truly engage these communities.” 

Aaron’s viewpoints were included in Talking Influence’s Deep Dive feature, along with other industry perspectives. Read more here.

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