3 Tips to Start Affiliate Marketing in the Metaverse
Discover how your business can get ready to launch an affiliate campaign in the metaverse, reach out to other potential affiliates, and discover affiliate programs for beginners.
The metaverse is a hot topic right now, and for a good reason. Some see it as a fad full of hype and no real value or long-term capabilities, but some of the biggest brands in the world like Coca-Cola, Louis Vuitton, and Nike beg to differ.
It has also been predicted by an extensive range of researchers and developers that the metaverse will become the new internet; slowly but surely, the space is growing and evolving to accommodate more than our current internet platforms could ever attempt to.
Companies large and small are using the metaverse as a new and profitable marketing channel, and one of the ways they’re doing it is by leveraging this virtual world for affiliate marketing opportunities.
This post explores how to get started with an affiliate marketing campaign in the metaverse, from finding the right affiliates in the affiliate marketing industry best suited for you to providing metaverse-ready content to promote your brand.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- What is the Metaverse?
- Why is the Metaverse important?
- Understanding affiliate marketing in the Metaverse
- Why now is the right time to find affiliates in the Metaverse
- What type of businesses can benefit from affiliate marketing campaigns in the Metaverse
- Tip 1: How to find Metaverse affiliates
- Tip 2: How to set up an attractive offer
- Tip 3: How to provide affiliates with Metaverse-ready digital assets
- The bottom line
What is the Metaverse?
The metaverse is a concept that describes an enduring virtual world people can access from anywhere through an internet connection and where they can come to work, live and play in ways that are not always possible in the real world.
Oh… some fresh vibes still remain from last week, it was such a good moment 💚🌴— Polygonal Mind (@polygonalmind) July 21, 2022
How many of you appear in this RECAP of the @MountainDew x @Subliners event at @decentraland?
Raise your hands and share your best moments!! 🙌#CDL2022 #Metaverse pic.twitter.com/6bg8ek27PZ
To better understand the metaverse, picture it as cyberspace where there is no one kind of technology but rather numerous ways to interact and have constant contact with different technologies.
The metaverse may sound like an overwhelming concept, but the most important things to remember about this new world of technology can be summarized into these three main ideas.
The metaverse can be accessed through a wide range of technologies such as mobile apps and web browsers. For an enhanced experience, users can access the metaverse with VR (Virtual Reality), AR (Augmented Reality), or other mixed reality technology.
The metaverse can be used for a wide range of activities, such as education, business relations, entertainment (concerts, gaming, etc.), sports events, and even buying and selling virtual real estate (3D marketplaces), as you will see later on.
The metaverse bridges the gap between the physical and digital. It is not only a digital world but a combination of physical and virtual worlds. The goal of the metaverse is to have it be as realistic as possible, with much of it already representing the world we currently live in, but with more freedom to connect with various platforms and groups of people.
In the metaverse, users can create virtual environments and avatars; they can get together to attend virtual concerts and events, access their share of affiliate networks, and much more.
Below is an example of virtual concerts you can already attend using virtual reality.
Image source: Horizon worlds
Present Metaverses and the future Metaverse
In the future, the metaverse will ideally be a single, open platform with a seamless user interface where we’ll all be able to create and share our content, much like the current internet allows us to create websites and blogs, and E-Commerce stores.
These early versions of the metaverse are self-contained virtual economies where users can create, buy and sell virtual or digital products with different payment options and digital currencies like Bitcoin, for example.
NFTs are quickly becoming a popular currency and payment option in the metaverse. They differ from Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with their payment terms because their value cannot be traded or exchanged.
Some also work as DAOs or decentralized autonomous organizations that are open, community-owned, and regulated virtual environments with intuitive interfaces.
Image source: Second Life
Why is the metaverse important?
The metaverse has many goals, but one of its main goals is to provide platforms that users can engage with effectively and with as few access restrictions as possible.
Within the metaverse, creators can generate and share content freely with a large audience. The metaverse can also connect people from around the world in real-time as if they are standing in front of you.
On a human level, this can be extremely helpful with the new hybrid/remote work model a lot of the world is adopting as well as being able to visit family and friends that live in different countries.
The metaverse can also provide many companies with an additional source of income, whether that comes from affiliate marketing efforts or not.
Take a look at the Video of Gucci’s store in the Metaverse:
Regarding businesses that operate in the metaverse, there are some great benefits that business leaders and teams can gain from using the metaverse.
One of these benefits includes companies operating in a digital office environment, which could change how people work for decades to come. It could be used for networking opportunities and is great for remote employees looking for a more inclusive role in their company.
Keeping affiliate marketing and affiliate marketers in mind, the metaverse seems like the perfect place to meet affiliates from all over the globe who hold an essential position in this virtual world of work and play.
Understanding affiliate marketing in the metaverse
The metaverse is meant to become the next stage in the evolution of connectivity. It offers new and exciting ways for brands to reach their target audiences.
Once it comes of age, it will offer more powerful and immersive experiences based on user-generated content, making it the perfect playing ground for digital marketers of all kinds, including affiliate marketers.
Add in all the hype around the metaverse after Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook rebranded as Meta, plus the even greater hype around NFTs (more on this later) in 2021, and it’s easy to see why so many brands and businesses are trying to get into the action before everyone else.
Finding affiliate partners to market your products in the metaverse is an easy way for affiliate marketing beginners to get started.
Affiliate marketing in the metaverse follows a similar premise to traditional affiliate marketing. The more web traffic and sales a website or products receive, the higher the commission rates for the affiliate partners promoting a brand/s.
There are still some key differences:
Affiliate marketers in the metaverse can be represented in various ways, either as an avatar, virtual world, or even a virtual office.
How affiliates in the metaverse receive their commission can differ from traditional methods. Payment methods, including cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and built-in currency systems that virtual worlds in the metaverse have constructed, will likely be the new payment processes involved in the metaverse.
For affiliates in the metaverse, it is vital to keep up with and learn how to navigate the latest UX trends and new platforms or virtual worlds that the metaverse has to offer.
Keeping VR in mind will be important as that will likely be one of the most predominant types of technology used in the metaverse.
Understanding how to advertise an affiliate campaign and how you plan for it to reach the target audience and keep that audience interested will be some of the new challenges of this ‘new’ internet; however, the opportunities will be endless.
Why now is the right time to find affiliates in the metaverse
You may find it odd to talk about finding affiliate partners in a virtual space whose user interface still hasn’t taken shape or fully matured.
Even so, it is possible to find potential partners who will take your brand into the currently available online platforms and who will, in all likelihood, be very much involved in whatever path the metaverse development takes.
There is no doubt that the metaverse is in motion; right now, millions of people all around the globe are accessing and building upon its structure.
Now is the perfect time to approach potential affiliate partners in the metaverse as it is still in the early stages of growth and development and the chances for your product being unique are higher.
Keep in mind that affiliates in the metaverse aren’t just people with traditional websites. They can own a virtual office or an avatar and operate from a VR social platform; this may influence affiliate marketing strategies and cause you to think of new innovative ways to reach an audience.
Affiliates in the metaverse will also have various payment methods to earn their affiliate income through their commission rates and commission payouts, which could be through cryptocurrency, their built-in currencies, or even traditional currencies like the dollar and euro.
Conversion rates will also play a significant role in the income that affiliates earn, as well as your brand.
While the metaverse and its final shape and form are yet to be defined, both tech giants and giant tech communities are all flexing their muscles to get into this virtual space first.
So, suppose you find the right set of affiliate partners today and land a partnership with some of the folks working on developing the metaverse and making it a reality.
In that case, your company or brand will have gained a first-mover advantage that you’ll be glad you have in the next five to ten years, as your customer retention rate will likely increase.
Some innovative affiliate programs can earn you valuable affiliate links, and the types of affiliate programs are vast and cater to a wide range of industries.
What type of businesses can benefit from affiliate marketing campaigns in the metaverse
A single Google search for “metaverse affiliate program” will give you clear insights into what’s currently working in this space.
Affiliate marketers also have their own business goals in mind. They are looking for the best and most impressive affiliate programs and networks to secure affiliate commissions as passive income sources in the future internet.
Several industries stand out, while others are gaining traction as they get more involved in the metaverse.
The obvious candidates
Tech companies are the most obvious candidates for successful types of affiliate programs in the metaverse.
Tech companies will become one of the most influential presences in the metaverse as time goes on, with many trying to improve upon the functionality of navigating this new and vast space.
Most E-commerce platforms are also great candidates for affiliate marketing in the metaverse. For example, Amazon affiliates are one of the biggest affiliate networks in the world, and all one needs to participate in is a space to talk about and promote Amazon products.
This will continue into the metaverse, as Amazon associates already have a significant presence in its gaming and Ecommerce industries.
With the millions of products on current Ecommerce platforms, Ecommerce businesses are only going to multiply in the metaverse as more opportunities for virtual online shopping start to show themselves, and people start making constant contact with this new vast cyberspace.
Affiliates are looking for all types of affiliate marketing programs for any business that is in any way related to the development or operation of virtual worlds of any form. Some examples include:
Anything related to VR (Virtual Reality), AR (Augmented Reality), or MR (Mixed Reality)
From virtual reality headset manufacturers and haptics developers to Virtual Reality pods and omnidirectional treadmills, each has its place in the metaverse.
Companies working on anything that will advance how we experience virtual augmented and mixed reality are sure to find potential affiliates to help boost their business.
Virtual reality in the metaverse is considered one of the key components that make up the entrance into the metaverse.
VR is what allows its users to actively participate in the metaverse through playing video games, purchasing digital items, consuming a variety of media, and socializing with friends or even potential affiliate networks or partners.
VR can also allow businesses to conduct meetings and collaboration initiatives with teams across the globe and promote the networking possibilities mentioned earlier.
Remember that participating in the metaverse is not limited to owning VR or AR technologies. Nowadays, anybody with access to a smartphone or computer can access the metaverse; however, the experience may differ slightly from those who use VR and AR.
Snapchat lenses are a great example of accessible AR technology that is already available now to people without the need for a headset.
Image source:New Balance/Snapchat
VR and AR are the preferred and recommended technologies when interacting with platforms inside the metaverse, as the goal is to make the experience as immersive as possible
Image Source: Varjo
The metaverse will be a 3D virtual world, so we’ll need bigger and better software tools to build it. If your business is in any way related to this industry, one of your business goals should be launching your metaverse affiliate marketing program right now.
As the demand for animation in the metaverse increases, many animation studios have already started incorporating VR and AR expansions within their services. The constant contact and need for designers and developers have never been greater, as the metaverse is in a continuous state of transformation and development.
3D design/render/animation studios
Companies that offer their services to use software to build 3D models and environments for realistic VR, AR, or MR experiences (i.e., the people who build the front-end virtual world that we’ll see when we log into the metaverse) will also be essential.
Image source: Roblox community creations
Most of the current platforms we consider to be the early versions of the metaverse are 3D MMPOGs or 3D massively multiplayer online games.
So, naturally, any VR gaming development or publishing company will find that its target audience already exists in the metaverse today.
Gaming is a multi-billion dollar industry, and if your affiliate partners can help your product become a success among gamers, you have hit the jackpot. It is important to note that it is still one of the most competitive industries to succeed in, but if you do, the possibilities are endless.
For game developers, this is good news, as many game developing companies, along with their affiliate programs or partners, already exist within the metaverse and are helping to expand it.
At its core, the metaverse is a giant video game with how its components function and appear to users.
Not to mention the affiliate relationships and affiliate platforms that can be found in the world of gaming are vast and have a large sphere of influence. Some examples include Logitech, Razer, NVIDIA, GameFly, and more.
Image source: Epicgames
Computer-Brain Interface and R&D (Research and Development) companies
Be it to break the barriers of physical disability or to enhance the speed at which we interact with ever more powerful computers, CBI research is set to play an important role in the future of technology. It’s no wonder Elon Musk has been investing so much in Neuralink.
At its core, CBI is all about having users interact with technologies using only their brain activity. This sort of interface, however, is still a while away from being fully developed.
However, CBI aside, the metaverse will break boundariesassociated with disabilities, with more options for inclusivity amongst culturally diverse groups.
People will be able to communicate with one another despite language barriers or disabilities that may be hindering their current internet experience.
A not-so-obvious choice
The travel and tourism industry could be disrupted by the emergence of the metaverse, with people looking for new ways to experience travel and visit popular tourist destinations in the metaverse before going there physically.
Suppose you run a tourism agency, start creating metaverse-ready content today, and promote your brand in existing metaverse platforms through affiliate marketing. By the time the metaverse comes of age, you’ll have built a reputation no one will be able to take away from you.
If you’re in any of these industries, or if you’re in another that you think may be attractive to metaverse enthusiasts, here are some tips on getting started with your metaverse affiliate marketing campaign.
Tip #1 How to find metaverse affiliates
There are a few places you can go to find affiliates for your metaverse affiliate campaign.
Virtual world platforms:
The best place to start is by looking for affiliates on virtual world platforms that are being built with the metaverse in mind.
These platforms will have users who are already interested in the idea of VR, AR, and MR and so will be more likely to want to promote your brand to their friends, fellow business partners, and followers.
It’s important to target the people who are actively building these platforms or creating content for them for an exchange of affiliate links.
You can find them easily on places like Twitch and YouTube. Just as a sneak peek into what opportunities are out there, there are currently 1,550,225 affiliates on Twitch alone.
Platforms like Twitch have a reputation for being gaming-centered streaming platforms. While gaming is the most popular category, there are a variety of other content topics on Twitch, such as educational content, hobbies like painting, glasswork, and more.
A person or company could easily find affiliates out there in the metaverse that relates to their specific niche or industry, and even though you may not be able to reach the most popular affiliates starting out, in time, with consistent effort, your audience will expand, as well as your affiliate network.
When looking for affiliates in the metaverse, it may help to research some of the most popular and reachable affiliate programs which are currently available in the metaverse and reach out.
Some include The Sandbox (virtual real estate), VR Sync, GameStop (electronics), VR cover, and of course, Amazon affiliates. These are just a handful of affiliate programs available within the platform.
3D model marketplaces:
There are a few well-known 3D model marketplaces where you can find individuals and studios who will be interested in becoming affiliates for your business.
3D model marketplaces are also a great opportunity for animators or designers as there is a growing demand for these 3D virtual spaces where people can own and build their own designs onto. This is where virtual real estate affiliates can especially shine and find opportunities for their affiliate marketing programs.
Just make sure the terms of your affiliate program and commission per sale are attractive enough that they’ll be motivated to promote your products and encourage user purchases.
Social media is a great place to find a wide variety of affiliates and different types of affiliate programs, as it offers a large pool of people constantly looking for new and interesting content to share with their friends and social media followers.
You can target any social media platform with groups of people, especially social media influencers that frequently discuss tech, VR, gaming, and, of course, the metaverse, and who usually have a large number of social media followers.
With a well-designed social media campaign that will interest potential affiliates and make it easy for them to become involved, you shouldn’t have a hard time finding valuable partners.
Use an affiliate recruitment agency:
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of finding affiliates yourself, you can always use an affiliate recruitment agency to do it for you. These agencies have a large network of individuals and studios who are already interested in becoming affiliates and will be more than happy to promote your products in return for a commission.
Tip #2 How to set up an attractive offer
When it comes to what you should offer potential metaverse affiliates, there’s a way to offer more than your typical averagecommission on sales.
If you want to increase user purchases and attract the type of crowd that hangs out in the metaverse with their buddies, non-fungible tokens or NFTs are the way to go.
There are increasing ways to use NFTs (creative assets) for digital marketing, and this is one of them. For example, you could offer limited-edition branded merchandise that affiliates can use or wear on their avatars in metaverse platforms. It’s the virtual equivalent of giving away T-shirts.
Another more valuable option is to offer tokens with special access perks for your company’s various products or services. This is possible through the smart contracts that power NFTs.
If you’re in a tech-oriented business with anything to do with the metaverse, your new affiliates will love this just for its extra value.
While this is already an attractive bonus, NFTs add value to your affiliate program in a more important way. They provide a double incentive for affiliates to work hard to promote your brand since NFTs are digital creative assets they can later trade for a profit if your product becomes popular and they increase in price.
It can work as the equivalent of offering company shares as a part of the commission, only this way; you don’t lose equity over time.
Tip #3 How to provide affiliates with metaverse-ready digital assets
Assuming you have experience with affiliate marketing, you know that the marketing materials you need to provide your affiliate partnerships with are a set of digital assets so they can show your brand’s image the way you want, but with their voice.
In a typical affiliate program with active affiliates, these assets include things like image banners,HTML5 banners, video assets, affiliate links, and more.
But what of metaverse affiliate marketing?
Remember, the point is for your affiliates to promote your brand in the metaverse.
While your normal affiliate links will still work (and are still necessary at the moment), this implies that you need to start creating new types of metaverse-ready, branded digital content that will drive affiliate sales.
This could include:
- 3D models of your physical products: Sites like Sketchfab are a good place to look at some examples of these physical products. You can sell a wide variety of products in the metaverse, such as clothes, accessories, avatars, real estate, gaming accessories, and more.
Image source: Heals
- 360° videos instead of your normal flat 2D videos: This has become increasingly popular in the metaverse. Using VR technology, users can immerse themselves in a video as if they are actually there watching all the events play out.
People like to be immersed in their environment, and these videos do not only have to be for gaming or other forms of entertainment but for industries like education and remote or hybrid work institutions.
- Branded outfits for avatars and more: This ties in with 3D models of products. However, the focus here is on your brand. You can increase user purchases by branding products or creative assets that users can use for their avatars.
Need a fresh fit for your avatar? We're launching our Avatars Store on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger so you can buy digital clothes. Mark Zuckerberg and @evachen212 tried out new looks from @BALENCIAGA @Prada @ThomBrowne ✨https://t.co/7SN0hdYz2D pic.twitter.com/Bp9zeK2ZNl— Meta Newsroom (@MetaNewsroom) June 17, 2022
If you’re a business owner, these products can also be advertised by your affiliate partners and help achieve some of your brand’s business goals in new inventive ways that can help achieve constant contact with your audience.
The bottom line
When it comes to digital services like affiliate marketing, there are a few tried and true methods of finding new affiliates and running your campaigns, and reaching a potential customer/s.
However, when it comes to marketing your business in the metaverse, these methods must evolve to be effective.
Launching an affiliate marketing campaign in the metaverse is a great way to promote your business to a tech-savvy audience that’s interested in VR, AR, and MR. It’s also a great way to get accustomed to and acquainted with affiliate opportunities and the affiliate marketing industry.
By targeting virtual world platforms, 3D model marketplaces, and social media, you can reach a large number of potential affiliates who will be happy to help promote your products in return for a commission or unique digital creative assets like NFTs.
If you’re looking for the perfect way to jump on the metaverse bandwagon and achieve your digital business goals with possibly the most prominent space for some of the largest affiliate networks and affiliate marketing software that exist or are to come in the future, you may have just found it.