Facebook (i.e. META) 2022: What will your journey to the Metaverse look like?

Blog / by Ceilidh MacLeod

With Zuckerberg’s recent announcement about the Metaverse looming on the horizon, brands are trying to piece together what their experience will look like for customers. While 2022 will no doubt serve as a transition year for this new path of blended platforms and realities, at Apiary we see it as a unique opportunity for brands to define how they participate, and map out their own journey of connecting with customers. Here are a few preliminary digital marketing considerations to add to the mix as you pack for, and begin taking this exciting journey.

Packing list for the journey

A smooth journey requires a well-packed suitcase. We recommend holding on to, or “packing” the following:

Authenticity. While authenticity might seem in direct contrast to a world where people hide behind avatars, staying true to your core pillars and company values will be more important than ever. We believe authenticity is an essential carry-on for your metaverse journey.

“There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it.”

– Simon Sinek, author and inspirational speaker

Reels. 2020 was an expansive year for Reels, and with Meta adding this feature to Facebook and Instagram ads, there is a clear push to follow TikTok’s success. This format feels organic and in-the-moment, and while brands have struggled to do it authentically, we believe nailing Reels could lead to big wins in 2022. 

Zuckerberg himself said the company expects “to make significant changes to Instagram and Facebook in the next year to further lean into video and make Reels a more central part of the experience.” We recommend leaning on Reels to give people a behind-the-scenes look at your business—to inspire customers with authentic messaging and video.

Offline data. We’re embarking on the biggest holiday season for brick and mortar retail in years. ‘Revenge shopping’ will supply us with a lot of offline data that can be pulled into your 2022 Metaverse. We recommend setting up your offline audiences in Facebook to introduce them to your digital world—a place they’ll no doubt be getting real comfortable in for the foreseeable future.

Leave-behinds are essential

Is it possible to pack too much for a trip? Yes. Yes it is. Your journey to the Metaverse is no different. Here’s what we recommend leaving behind before embarking.

Old ways of measuring success. We’re already well on our way to a world without cookies, and if you thought that was disruptive, imagine a digital world where browser windows don’t exist, but real windows do. Picture it: Once again, we’ll be walking down streets, exploring malls, browsing galleries (of course, with the help of virtual reality and augmented reality tech). In the Metaverse, measuring ad effectiveness will be almost like trying to measure the impact of driving past a billboard.

In this new world, a blended CAC will become our best friend. Perhaps being forced to look at the whole picture will actually encourage more impactful customer journeys as we zoom out of channel-specific measurement. That’s part of the opportunity we mentioned earlier.

Get the lay of the land

Equipped with company values, authentic video content, and new ways of measuring success, it’s time to start setting up the building blocks for new shopping experiences for customers. 

As contrary as this may seem, we see one-on-one as the new mass marketing, and recognize that building a Metaverse almost contradicts the idea of tech destroying micro relationships. But if you think about it, in the Metaverse, we’ll once again be able to stand face to face… or perhaps more accurately, avatar to avatar. 

Conversational commerce. This concept is an on-demand retail trend that leverages our constantly growing demand for conversational shopping on platforms such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram. Chatbots and virtual sales assistants simulate the in-store experience we’ve been familiar with in the past. We recommend equipping your website with chat options, using Messenger to fuel direct conversations with followers, and engaging with your customers in the comment sections.

Live Shopping. Live-stream shopping has already become a trend in China, with the value of China’s live-commerce market rising 280% between 2017 and 2020, now on track to become a $423 billion market by the end of 2022 [source]. Meta is already experimenting with this in both Facebook and Instagram, and we expect it to become a bigger focus.

Integrations. With the Metaverse being a blend of platforms, measurement tools, and customer journeys, we recommend getting your tools linked up now to ensure you’re ready for transitions that will be coming soon, ready or not. Connect Shopify and Klaviyo to Facebook and Instagram. Connect Messenger to your website. Set up shop within your Meta ecosystem. Lower payment barriers with more options for quick checkout. Layer systems of cross-platform measurement.

Be true to your brand identity. Keep your eye on the big picture—that is, blended CAC. Meet your customer face-to-face (or avatar-to-avatar). If you’d like to discuss how best to “pack” your business for the upcoming metaverse journey, please reach out.