Mar 31, 2023
The metaverse is a massive opportunity for the creator economy, opening more avenues to monetize content. As the momentum picks up, brands need to start looking at gamers, streamers, and virtual brand avatars as influencers they can collaborate with in the metaverse to help their products and services reach new audiences or markets. The opportunities include hosting events, sponsoring experiences, or focusing on product placements. Nurturing these brand-influencer partnerships in the metaverse can lead to more engaging collaborations, stronger relationships, and increase a brand’s potential to reach wider audiences. Some top metaverse influencers already taking the industry by storm are Logan Theobald, Shearsy, and Miquela.
What is influencer marketing in the metaverse?
Influencer marketing enables brands to collaborate with prominent personalities with massive followings in a particular niche to increase brand exposure. These influencers are viewed as trusted experts in their area and can influence their followers' purchase decisions. The metaverse is creating a new way for users to interact and communicate with audiences - opening up a new space for influencer marketing to thrive.
Influencer marketing in the metaverse involves building partnerships with leading voices in the community to promote a brand. These can also include prominent gamers who can be brand ambassadors. A stark difference between Web2 and Web3 influencers is that the latter need not be human and can be computer-generated avatars with human followers. The metaverse is a breeding ground for a new type of influencer who can garner support from a more engaged audience.
Influencer marketing in the metaverse could take several forms:
Sponsored experiences: Brands can include branded content in experiences run by influencers whose audience closely aligns with their product or service’s market. For instance, an athletic wear brand could collaborate with a metaverse influencer, who can wear the brand’s digital wearable and host a virtual workout session in the metaverse.
Product placements: Brands can have their products placed within the virtual world by collaborating with influencers to include them in videos, streams, or the metaverse environment. A fashion brand could collaborate with a metaverse designer to feature their products in their stream.
Events: Inviting prominent influencers to attend branded events in the metaverse and stream them live on their channels is a great way to get your brand noticed by their followers. For instance, a gaming company could collaborate with an influencer to live stream their tournament in the metaverse.
As the metaverse matures, technologies advance and user bases grow, metaverse influencer marketing will become an important aspect of every brand’s marketing strategy. However, brands must tread carefully and avoid any ethical violations. For example, influencer marketing in the metaverse calls for virtual representations of individuals to promote a brand. This requires regulations to prevent potential manipulation. Brands must also ensure complete transparency and authenticity when building these partnerships to honor brand-influencer relationships and keep audiences fully informed of marketing activities.
What is the role of influencer marketing in the metaverse?
Influencer marketing in the metaverse helps brands put their products in front of audiences and potential customers in a way the physical world can’t imitate. Here’s what the role of influencer marketing is in the metaverse:
Engaging collaborations: The metaverse gives content creators and influencers the power to leverage Web3 technology to create immersive, 3D experiences leading to more engaging collaborations with brands. The metaverse also allows brands to create meta-influencers, or computer-generated influencers, who act as brand ambassadors. This gives brands more control over how their influencer interacts and engages with audiences.
Stronger relationships: The metaverse also creates more robust and meaningful relationships between influencers and audiences, which benefits brands. For instance, a metaverse like Roblox, built on the idea of construction and innovation, gives creators a chance to share their creative process with fans, strengthening their connection. As a result, brands can join forces with these authentic and trusted creators looking to innovate, find exciting new ways to reach audiences and capitalize on the deep relationships they build.
Buzz: Collaborating with influencers in the metaverse creates hype and buzz around a brand's products and services, leading to increased engagement and sales.
Wider reach: Influencers in the metaverse or virtual influencers have unbounded reach and audience pools they engage with. They can build global followings in the metaverse, which can help brands tap into new markets and engage with new demographics.
What is the future of influencer marketing in metaverse?
The following trends will define the future of influencer marketing in the metaverse:
Evolution of technology: With the continued growth and evolution of virtual worlds and other metaverse environments, the possibilities of influencer marketing are bound to increase. As augmented and virtual reality advance and become accessible to larger audiences, it will create new ways for influencers to create immersive experiences and engage with audiences differently, opening up opportunities for further brand collaborations.
Increase in time spent in the metaverse: 25% of people will spend at least an hour in the metaverse by 2026, according to a study by Gartner. As this metric continues to rise, it will become even more critical for brands to connect with their target audiences through influencer marketing.
Rise of virtual influencers: The number of virtual, computer-generated influencers will continue gaining momentum as more marketers see their potential. These virtual influencers can provide creative and exciting experiences to meet demand from users that expect such experiences.
AI-powered virtual influencers: Artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies will become more sophisticated and advanced, giving virtual influencers more life-like capabilities. These influencers will be able to engage with audiences and drive sales in a way that was impossible before.
Though market trends are aligned to usher in an era of influencer marketing in the metaverse, ultimately, its success will lie in the hands of brands and their ability to adapt to the market. Brands that can grasp the changes in this evolving landscape and build meaningful connections with their target audiences will be the ones to emerge victorious.
What influencers are interested in the metaverse?
Influencers in the metaverse are primarily competitive gamers, streamers, celebrities, or social media personalities. They are the ones who will drive new content creation in the metaverse. These influencers are all driven by the same goal to create content that works best for a particular niche audience - be it passionate gamers or the fanbase of a specific game, and find a platform to distribute that content as widely as possible.
Some influencers have built their entire brand around the metaverse, like Diego Borgo, a metaverse guru, NFT collector, and consultant to several big global brands. At the same time, others have created a prominent online presence and moved around from one virtual world to another. However, what all metaverse influencers have in common is that each champions gaming, technology, and digital culture.
Brands will need to evaluate the landscape to see what kind of influencer they wish to partner with based on their ability to build relationships through engagement and trust in the metaverse while also prioritizing the existence of shared brand-influencer values.
Top metaverse influencers
Early metaverse platforms gave rise to lots of new influencers, many leading the charge to establish the metaverse as the go-to platform for influencer marketing. Identifying who is at the top may be difficult, as rankings depend on several factors, like virtual worlds or games. However, here’s our take on some of the top influencers in the metaverse community:
Logan Theobald (@LSToast): If you’re into VR games and TikTok, chances are you have encountered Logan’s content. Known for his quick reflexes, he is one of the top-ranked players in the game Beat Saber having mastered the most challenging songs and the fastest beats. Logan currently has 6 million followers on TikTok and 1.7 million subscribers on YouTube.
Shearsy (@ShearsyVR): Where Logan is known for his skills, Shearsy focuses on comedic content and commentary over VR games. He plays VR games like X8, Espire 2, and After The Fall, and has over 3 million followers on TikTok and over 600k subscribers on YouTube.
John Kraski (@JohnKraski): John Kraski is a prominent personality in the Web3 space. Having built his career at top institutions including KPMG, PwC, JP Morgan, and Disney, he is now a thought leader and executive at LandVault, a leading Web3 company. He hosts the NFT Heat TV show which has over 5 million viewers. He is also the founder of Good Morning Web3, a community of 30K members to engage and access resources in the growing industry. John is also a ‘Top Voice’ on LinkedIn with 55.5K followers.
Miquela (@lilmiquela): What’s more befitting to the metaverse than an influencer that is, in fact, an AI? Miquela is a perpetual 19-year-old Brazilian-American popstar and model with over 3 million followers on TikTok. She often collaborates with various brands and celebrities and advocates for social justice causes. Impressively, she’s worked with Prada, Calvin Klein, Vogue, and BuzzFeed brands.
Matt Lorion (@mattlorion): Matt made a name for himself by explaining complex cryptocurrency concepts in easy and digestible TikTok videos. He founded BlockWorld PVP, a metaverse game that runs on the blockchain and allows players to battle with NFT characters. He currently has over 1 million followers on TikTok.
ThrillSeeker (@ThrillSeekerVR): ThrillSeeker is a YouTuber who makes content about the hardware side of the Metaverse. He reviews, compares, and analyzes VR and AR headsets and add-on accessories like treadmills and controllers. His channel has over 600K subscribers.
Diego Borgo (@don_borgo): Diego Borgo has made a name for himself with his knowledge and expertise in the metaverse space, digital marketing, and business strategy. Along with being an avid NFT collector, he is a strategic advisor and consultant to Fortune 500 brands looking to enter the metaverse. Diego is known for the educational content he produces around Web3 technologies to help people and brands understand how they can drive engagement and monetize experience in the metaverse. His current following on LinkedIn stands at 30.8K followers.
Though not mentioned in the list, virtual world builders and designers like Linden Lab, the creator of Second Life, and Markus Persson, the creator of Minecraft, are also influential personalities in the metaverse world.
The metaverse is a new frontier for online content creation and influence, and brands will have a growing number of influencers to partner with. Ultimately, who brands choose as their top influencers will depend on the brand’s specific goals, values, tone of voice, and target audience. While the follower numbers of these top influencers may seem small now, remember that this industry didn’t exist two years ago.
The metaverse is creating new ways to facilitate brand-influencer collaborations. As the metaverse matures, influencer marketing in the space will become a key part of every brand’s strategy, taking several forms: sponsored experiences, product placements, and events. The metaverse is also opening doors to a new kind of virtual, computer-generated avatar that brands can use as ambassadors, a trend only set to increase in popularity. In this new space, marketers and brands have a new way to build meaningful relationships with audiences, create more engaging collaborations, and amplify global brand exposure. Brands need to understand where they fit in the mix and how they should partner with creators and influencers in this rapidly changing space.
Are you looking to build strong influencer collaborations in the metaverse? We’ll help you strategize to create experiences and strong partnerships with metaverse influencers to get your brand in front of the right audience. Get in touch with us!
Mar 31, 2023
LandVault is the largest metaverse builder with over 100 million square feet of virtual real estate, more than 120 full-time creators, and nearly 300 completed projects. We’ve been helping brands build and grow in gaming environments since 2017 and the metaverse since 2021.
LandVault’s platform-agnostic proprietary technology and creative powerhouse builds and delivers tailored, data-driven, and optimized business solutions and insights. We help clients launch, optimize, and monetize metaverse experiences.
LandVault’s mission is to accelerate the metaverse economy through technology with a vision of a fairer wealth distribution across the web.