By Candice Georgiadis, social media influencer and founder of Digital Day Inc, a social media and marketing agency in California.
Advertising has continued to evolve through the past few decades. With changes in technology, the mediums of advertising have changed from conventional forms to largely digital avenues. As advertisers search for ways to improve ad visibility and increase conversion, consumers are also looking for ways to shift away from conventional systems.
Customers are demanding ownership of data and dictating a shift toward transparent information usage. Web 3.0 and the Metaverse have emerged as a solution to the long-standing customer demand.
Exploring The Web 3.0 Revolution
In simple terms, Web 3.0 represents a shift to individual sovereignty on the internet. The shift has been largely driven by the growth of decentralized blockchain technology.
The key reason behind the growth of Web 3.0 has been rooted in the shortcomings of centralization. Repeated instances of power abuse by social media platforms and centralized authorities have motivated users to embrace decentralization.
Customers are increasingly utilizing cryptocurrencies and decentralized tools in day-to-day applications due to the innovation in Decentralized Finance, or DeFi. The transparent nature of blockchain networks has made them an obvious choice for customers looking to shift away from mainstream applications.
The immutable nature of blockchain technology also makes it the ideal tool for companies to track advertisement spending on a real-time basis. This would add transparency to media buying across the industry.
The current direction of the Web 3.0 industry has been largely focused on surface-level projects like Non-Fungible Tokens. Digital collectibles have become one of the fastest-growing examples of Web 3.0. However, the technology has far more promise for users than just digital art.
Changing Dimensions Of Advertising
Role Of Interoperability
A key phenomenon in the Web 3.0 concept is interoperability. Even though we’ve yet to see if the concept will be sustainable in the long run, the initial prototype of the Web 3.0 landscape is strongly based on shared experiences across different platforms. Theoretically, users could carry their avatars and digital profiles across different websites and applications to have a unified experience.
If interoperability remains a viable concept, it will be interesting to see the way advertising evolves to take advantage of a unified internet. Despite the decentralized nature of blockchains, companies could have an unprecedented level of freedom to engage with potential customers.
Value Of Metaverse Real Estate
The biggest Metaverse projects have managed to show aggressive growth since their launch. Platforms like Sandbox and Roblox have managed to grow exponentially in a matter of months. The concept of virtual real estate has been largely validated by customers through investment activity. Companies need to consider Metaverse real estate to be a key part of their advertisement strategy.
In the near future, Metaverse traffic could be the most important metric of campaign success for advertisers. To effectively capitalize on this phenomenon, it is important for stakeholders in the industry to pay attention to growing Metaverse projects.
The ownership of digital rights is also starting to transform the way consumers interact with segments like gaming, entertainment and fashion. Secondary markets like OpenSea have already become mainstream as customers find ways to monetize and control digital collectibles. The next step in this transformation is data.
With Web 3.0, customers could finally take control of their information and decide how it will be used and shared on the new internet. In this landscape, new digital tools are emerging in the advertisement industry.
Shifting Digital Tools
Aside from the medium, the tools used to create advertisements are also expected to evolve in the Metaverse. Here’s how:
• Virtual reality advertisements. Aside from the experimental attempts at advertising, VR has remained a largely secluded medium. That might be poised to change in the future. As users transition from text and video-based interactions, companies should increase their focus on virtual reality advertisements.
• In-game ad modeling. The gamification of the Metaverse has made it essential for advertisers to explore 3-D-rendered advertisements within games. The play-to-earn economy represents a significant element of the Metaverse. If companies want to evolve their advertisement models to cater to the requirements of the Metaverse, they need to figure out ways to work on in-game advertisements that don’t hinder the customer experience.
• User-driven advertisement. Similar to other segments in the DeFi industry, companies need to consider customers to be a central part of the advertisement experience. The transparent nature of blockchain technology requires a major shift toward ethical marketing by taking explicit consent from users before utilizing data. Further use cases can also empower users by giving them a share of advertisement revenue. The inclusion of customers in the growth of advertisements is expected to be a monumental step toward the growth of ethical marketing. User-driven organic sharing will allow companies to reach their target audience without needing to rely on previous models of data collection.
Even though we’re still in the infancy of Web 3.0, we’ve already started to see a significant shift in the way companies are approaching advertising. Leading companies across different verticals have already embraced the emerging Metaverse as a lucrative avenue for marketing and engagement.
Despite varying opinions between internet denizens, decentralization is clearly emerging as the future of the internet. Consensus-based platforms are leveraging blockchain technology to present exciting new possibilities like NFTs and the VR Metaverse.
The VR-centric nature of the Metaverse could result in a major culture shift in advertising. Companies need to start thinking about new ways to engage with modern audiences. Similar to the approach adopted by Nike with the launch of the Nike x RTFKT collection, companies should extend their digital design philosophy to cater to the emerging market.
Based on the aggressive growth of Web 3.0 platforms and applications in a short time, further adoption is expected to accelerate in the near future. It will be interesting to see how advertisers devise creative solutions to make the most of the opportunity in the Web 3.0 era.