For brands and companies venturing into the Metaverse, it is essential to recognise the profound impact of adopting a "Thinking Small" approach.
In this context, it has become evident that numerous developers and studios are inclined towards constructing large-scale virtual builds for their clients, characterised by extensive regions, towering skyscrapers, and expansive open spaces, which primarily focus on utilising and occupying space rather than embodying a thoughtful approach to Metaverse development.
This specific aspect is explored and referenced in the second element of our comprehensive 7 Point Plan for Marketing in the Metaverse, titled Design is an Output, not an Input.
The pervasive belief that "Bigger is Better" has been further intensified by the influx of virtual land sales witnessed in the past 12 months across numerous Web3 virtual worlds, as illustrated in our Universe chart shown below.
The majority of these companies emphasize land acquisitions as a means to secure funding, conveying the message that possessing vast amounts of land equates to a more influential presence in the Metaverse. However, this perspective fails to align with the desired objectives of brands and companies seeking to establish a meaningful Metaverse presence. Not only does it entail an erroneous allocation of resources, but it also lacks originality and fails to captivate audiences. To be honest, it's boring.
Conversely, the real intrigue lies in what occupies the land: the buildings, spaces, and places designed to be explored and experienced by avatars. It is highly doubtful that a substantial number of individuals (note: speculative investors) who have acquired virtual parcels of land possess genuine intentions to develop or create anything on their acquired properties. This discrepancy arises either due to speculative motives behind the purchase or a lack of requisite skills for terraforming and construction, thereby leading to a surplus of unutilised land.
Returning to the concept of "The Power of Small" it is important to recognize that a significant portion of our lives is spent within small intimate spaces, such as rooms or various combinations of cosier environments. Such settings elicit a sense of familiarity and comfort. Conversely, our inclination to roam and explore, actively seeking new destinations, is relatively limited within a Metaverse construct.
Drawing upon Metaversed's extensive 15-year experience in observing how individuals interact with virtual worlds and spaces, it becomes evident that new users of virtual environments respond more favourably during the onboarding process and the initial stages of exploration when they are placed within settings that are familiar with and inherently modest in scale.
The bottom line here is that new users in virtual worlds often like to know where they are and know what is around the corner. Create a famous landmark from their country or a building/venue that they recognise. Onboarding and retention of new users will be dramatically improved if this approach is deployed.
This approach allows users to acclimate themselves to avatar controls and eases their transition from the real world to the virtual realm, an especially crucial aspect for first-time Metaverse users, particularly those engaging in virtual reality (VR) experiences. Furthermore, smaller spaces foster more meaningful social interactions, which serve as the foundation for community building. Thus, it is imperative to avoid perpetually favouring larger-scale projects and to recognise that sometimes "Thinking Small" is the astute choice .So, don't always think BIG. Sometimes SMALL is SMART.
Regarding brand activities within the Metaverse, it is advisable to refrain from embarking on immediate large construction endeavours. Instead, prioritise developing a comprehensive plan that encompasses the products, services, events, or specific messaging you wish to convey and introduce to your target audience.
This could involve creating a social hub designed for users to gather and interact or designing decorative and functional virtual goods to distribute as giveaways, enhancing visitors' virtual world experiences. The overarching message here is that adopting a giving-oriented approach surpasses a receiving-centric strategy when it comes to devising a Metaverse marketing strategy. Giving is Better than Receiving when it comes to Metaverse marketing strategy.
Looking at the current demographics of virtual world users, 86% are currently aged under 18, meaning that the lions share of the Metaverse audience are currently very happy in gamified experiences, driving by questing and socialising. But, with so many of the new virtual world companies deploying Web3 experiences requiring crypto wallets for access, this effectively closing the door to the younger cohorts and only allowing 'grown-ups' into their worlds.
This older user cohort is not interested in any type of 'Play to Earn' gaming mechanic and it's a strategic error creating platforms with this gameplay as the backbone economic model- they just want to hang out, socialise and maybe go exploring when they want to as opposed to because that's how the VW is constructed.
This next wave of Metaverse users (25-45 year olds in the Late Majority), will gravitate towards spending time in their own virtual places and spaces on a social basis rather than wanting to play games or go on quests.
So, if you're a brand or company looking to do something really smart for older users, give them smaller experiences, useful tools and valuable items but don't dump them into unfamiliar expansive new worlds. They want to be somewhere they feel comfortable, in control of, and that's an interesting place to be.