More and more companies are embracing the Metaverse, which, simply put, is a joining of physical and digital worlds. Brands such as Facebook, Google, Coca-Cola, and Gucci have already committed marketing dollars to join the likes of Fortnite and Roblox in this immersive virtual world. Next up? Higher Education.

Why Higher Education?

During the pandemic, much of the college experience migrated online, from tours for prospective students to classes for those already attending their selected institutions. This was done through online seminar and video-sharing apps like Zoom, Skype, and Teams, but giving applicants and attendees a more immersive experience would only enhance their higher education experience.

For example, if students aren’t able to make it to a college across the country for a tour, offering a fully integrated experience built out within the metaverse might help them feel like they are actually walking on campus. This could potentially result in an increase in interest and applications from an audience that previously could not experience the school in a meaningful way. For current students, offering the chance to take their art history classes in a virtual museum or on-site at an archaeological dig is an interesting benefit to couple with traditional learning environments.

What marketing opportunities are available for Higher Education institutions?

Enrollment marketing is focused on the journey, nurturing prospective students until they’ve completed the intended action. With the upcoming generations, like Gen Alpha, already engaging in the metaverse (some without fully realizing it), the opportunity is now to seed higher education advertising in a new way. Metaverses offer “traditional” marketing tactics, such as billboards, malls, and transit, which provide opportunities for brands to expand their media presence and engage with targets—both potential students and their parents.

But you can go beyond the traditional advertising avenues—after all, it’s an experiential world. Offer branded installations and events that users can interact with, as opposed to just placing simple ads. For example, popular online game platform Roblox partnered with Gucci to create its own Gucci Garden experience within the game for all users to be able to interact with to celebrate its 100th anniversary. While the main users of Roblox may not even be able to afford Gucci wares, for the brand, it was more about bringing a fresh perspective to the brand in the evolving technical world.

Are there any potential issues or challenges?

Right now, unless you have a virtual reality tool, you can’t experience the metaverse, and schools would need to rely on their students having the technology or otherwise be willing to provide it for students to have the full experience.

There is also something to be said for removing personal interaction for avatars and virtual-only classes and experiences, as such features could cause a reduction in students living on campus or attending school events, which is not ideal. But any university that offers a metaverse integration will also have a complete in-person offering, as is tradition.

How can Marketsmith help navigate the metaverse?

In the last few years, there have been several changes in the media landscape, and we’ve been on top of each of them, ensuring each plan considers any factors that could affect outcomes or the efficiency of our buys.

We continue to champion our teams in their efforts to expand their knowledge of the marketing space, gaining certifications in platforms across the metaverse and bringing the latest in innovation to our clients. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help create a positive effect on your marketing!