By Tom Earnest on Nov 8, 2021
Everyone is talking about Mark Zuckerberg’s big announcement that Facebook Inc, which is the Facebook site’s parent company, will now be known as Meta (Meta Platforms, Inc.) It’s been a week since the announcement, and we’re still trying to wrap our heads around what this change will mean for marketers in the short and the long term. Meta’s focus will be to offer users highly interactive platforms for online interactions. It means that businesses will have many new and unique opportunities to connect with their customers.
As time goes on, this may redefine how we approach digital marketing, especially social media marketing. So, in this post, we’ll share a few points about how Meta might affect advertising and marketing. But first, let’s quickly look at what Meta is to give you a bit of context.
If you’ve been living under a rock and this is the first you’ve heard about Meta, then here is a quick rundown. Recently Mark Zuckerberg announced a major rebrand of his company, Facebook Inc. He changed the company’s name to Meta, which refers to the metaverse. Metaverse is a virtual space where people can create avatars and interact in a computer-generated environment. You can travel through this virtual space in a matter of seconds.
Facebook (now Meta) owns not only the Facebook platform but also Instagram, WhatsAPP and some others. These are some of the world’s biggest social media sites, and Facebook’s rebrand is Zuckerberg’s way of proactively moving them into the future.
Since this rebrand changes how these social media platforms work, it is logical to think that our marketing approaches will also have to change. But the question most marketers are asking is how? The answer to that is mostly speculation at this point, since no one knows exactly how much and how fast Meta will introduce changes to its current offerings or launch new products, services and platforms.
But based on what we do know and our years of experience dealing with major changes, here is how we believe Meta will change Facebook advertising and other social media marketing:
Though no one knows a lot of details, one thing is clear – augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) will be a major part of this rebrand. Zuckerberg said, “Now we have a new North Star – to help bring the metaverse to life.” And VR is the cornerstone of the metaverse.
To participate, marketers can expect to focus on creating 3D ads that can be a part of the experience that Meta will offer its users. Facebook, Inc., had already started testing ads in virtual reality through its Oculus platform. This is their division that makes VR headsets and distributes VR apps and games. So, the potential adoption of VR ads in Meta is probable.
The ads will also have to be interactive. But not the way we currently make interactive ads. If Meta can actually do all that it promises, then your clients’ customers will want to “hold” and “feel” the products in Meta. The virtual world may be a lot like the real world in the sense that things will be in 3D. Of course, you and others will walk around as avatars rather than your own skin.
As you might know, the Meta logo is not an ordinary logo. It’s designed to work and look perfect in both 2D and 3D. So perhaps the ads, catalogues and business cards we make in the virtual world will also be in 3D.
Meta could profoundly change social media in the sense that people will be able to enter the metaverse to connect with people instead of scrolling through social media posts. Marketers may have to rethink social media marketing and divert their attention to where their clients’ audiences are.
For example, today people watch stories and scroll through friends’ posts to see what’s new, and you can place ads there. That may not necessarily disappear, but virtual reality enables creating spaces where these friends’ avatars could hang out together in a virtual bar, shop in a virtual store for real life goods or attend music or industry events.
So, the traditional methods of social media advertising won’t work in the metaverse. Instead, perhaps you could have virtual clothes on hangers and enable avatars to try them on while influencers occasionally wander in to comment on the clothing, place your posters on the walls behind the virtual bar or hold exciting launch events anyone can attend no matter their physical location to hear a CEO talk about a launch through their avatar.
The introduction of the next level of virtual reality will likely be slow and come in segments. While waiting for Meta to kick off its new directions, marketers who haven’t already may want to start using technology and platforms we have today to test new strategies of engaging customers using VR, AR and 3D ads. Marketers with experience in these areas will be at a decided advantage to help their clients flourish once Meta really kicks into gear.
What Meta won’t change for marketing agencies is the importance of strategy, finding the right marketing channels and placements, and creating campaigns that resonate with their clients’ customers. You’ll have a lot more creative freedom to experiment with designs in new and different ways. But the basics of day-to-day social media marketing will remain the same. We’ll need to conduct market research and A/B testing much as we do now, but the way we approach these might be different based on what changes in these platforms.
We will likely continue to place ads in video games and streaming content. And influencers – with their avatars – will likely still be ambassadors for your clients’ products in the metaverse. But a minor change could be that if you’re placing ads in Instagram newsfeeds or Facebook pages today, then you might be placing 3D, interactive ads on the billboards and the sides of buildings in the metaverse tomorrow.
Meta isn’t just another Facebook update. It’s a fundamental change that will have widespread effects. Marketing could look completely different when Meta’s products become the norm. Your options for marketing your clients’ businesses could be endless.
For example, when users are in a virtual world and not just scrolling on their screens, you could hire salespersons in the metaverse to hand out flyers or directly approach people to demonstrate your clients’ products much like in the real world. Or your clients’ customers could virtually try on makeup products and then have them delivered to their homes in the real world.
Still Confused? We Can Help
Umbrella, among other things, is a Facebook advertising agency that offers white label services. We’ve helped many marketing agencies continue to efficiently operate through various social media updates and search engine algorithm changes.
Contact Umbrella if you want to help your clients stay on top of changes coming to Facebook and create marketing strategies that will dominate their businesses in this new world. Umbrella will keep up with the new directions and stand ready to help you with new marketing methods.
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