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All Things Meta: What Does the Metaverse Mean for the Future of Affiliate Marketing?

May 05, 2022

In order for brands to stay competitive in today’s increasingly competitive market, they need to engage in some form of affiliate marketing. This is true for brands across the board, regardless of their industry, with hardly any exceptions to the rule.

Affiliate marketing has grown from a lucrative sales channel attainable to only a few to an absolute marketing necessity in a span of less than a decade. In fact, more than 80% of brands today utilize some form of affiliate marketing. Moreover, more than 40% of U.S. brands attribute affiliate marketing programs as their top customer acquisition channel.

Just as affiliate marketing has grown from an optional luxury to an absolute necessity for a brand’s survival, the Metaverse is shaping up to do the same. Like affiliate marketing, the Metaverse is changing how people spend and earn money and interact with the brands and businesses around them.

But what is the Metaverse anyways, and why has it been getting so much buzz lately? So much buzz, in fact, that even Facebook changed its name to Meta in the process?

What is the Metaverse, Exactly?

The Metaverse is, simply put, a virtual network of 3D worlds where people create avatars of themselves and interact with others and the world around them, just as they would in the real world. The Metaverse is made possible by a combination of technologies, such as Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and the blockchain, just to name a few. Typically, users access the Metaverse through virtual reality headsets such as the Oculus VR headset. But, users can access the Metaverse through their computer screens or any device with an internet connection. 

The world is increasingly turning into an interconnected global village. Through the Metaverse, people worldwide can interact with each other and the things around them through 3D rendered worlds and simulations. The virtual, life-like experience is similar to experiences users encounter in popular games such as Fortnite and Roblox. These gaming platforms, by definition, comprise the Metaverse and allow people worldwide to build and interact in virtual 3D communities, equipped with their own currencies and other societal elements and frameworks.

The Metaverse still isn’t a single, unified platform but rather a collection of separate Metaverse-esque platforms, such as Fortnite and Roblox, to use our previous examples. However, in the not-so-distant future, the Metaverse will transform into a single open platform where people worldwide will be able to access it, much like the internet. 

Why the Metaverse is Kind of a Big Deal

The Metaverse is steadily growing and is expected to become an $800 billion market by 2024. In less than a decade, it’s projected to become an astonishing $30 trillion market. Yet, the Metaverse is still relatively in its infancy stage and is virtually a blank canvas for brands and marketers alike. In other words, now is the time for brands to act and get in on the action while competition is still relatively low. 

The Metaverse will forever change the world, just as the internet did a few decades ago. It will allow brands to target their audience and develop meaningful relationships with their customers worldwide, opening up whole new revenue opportunities through a never-before attainable medium in the process.

Just like the early adopters of the internet, such as internet giants like Amazon, who saw the massive potential of the internet and became hugely successful in the process, the same is shaping up to be true for the Metaverse. 

Big household name brands, such as Disney and Nike, are already investing heavily into the Metaverse and witnessing high user engagement with their brand in the Metaverse. Similarly, the same companies are doubling-down and creating new job positions by the day, specifically focused on the Metaverse. For example, Facebook (aka Meta) has recently announced that it will create 10,000 jobs in Europe over the next 5 years to help build the Metaverse. 

Limitless Opportunities for Brand Advertising and Affiliate Marketing

The Metaverse is already presenting perfect marketing and advertising opportunities for the brands investing in it. An excellent example of this is Fortnite’s partnership with Nike. Nike’s Jordan brand partnered with Fortnite to integrate its footwear apparel into the gaming platform through its iconic Jordan footwear product drops. This form of branded integration allows Fortnite players to purchase a variety of iconic Jordan sneakers for their in-game avatars and limited-editions skins – downloadable character attire variants – that boast exclusive Nike footwear like the iconic Air Force 1’s. 

Similarly, the Metaverse presents endless opportunities for brands to grow their affiliate marketing programs in the new medium. The Metaverse fosters an environment that promotes immersive user-generated content and experiences. Hence, by partnering with the right affiliates already present in the Metaverse, brands can reach their target audience and promote their products in an all-new way with affiliates that will shape the future of the Metaverse and take their brand along with it. 

Since affiliate marketing in the Metaverse is in its early stages, brands across all industries and niches can create unique Metaverse-friendly branded digital content for affiliates to use and promote. Currently, tech brands make an excellent fit for Metaverse as affiliates are looking for affiliate programs from tech companies in Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and so forth. 

The Bottom Line

The Metaverse is steadily growing and is not going anywhere but up in the foreseeable future. Like with affiliate marketing in its early days, brands that take advantage of the infancy stage of the Metaverse and start tapping into its massive potential will effectively future-proof their brand and products. 

Household name brands like Nike and Disney are already reaping the benefits of investing their advertising dollars into the Metaverse, so it’s not long until companies of all shapes and sizes soon follow. 

The Metaverse offers the perfect platform for brands to reach their target audiences and engage with them in never-before-imagined ways. By becoming early adopters of the Metaverse, brands can tap into all-new revenue streams and take their affiliate program beyond the current real world and into the emerging interconnected virtual world. 

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Written by

Ruthie Carey
Ruthie Carey