Web3 marketing has become increasingly popular in the past couple of years as companies from all industries have begun exploring ways of doing business in this next generation of the internet. It has also given rise to new types of businesses. Some companies are still figuring out how to make the most of it, while others have earned returns that are the envy of Wall Street. In a world where attention is currency, Web3 marketing offers a refreshing change by valuing community and utility over just grabbing eyeballs.
What is Web3 Marketing?
First, let me describe what Web3 marketing is. To understand it, we must first understand Web3. By now, you have likely heard about the three technology generations of the internet. Web1 was the first generation of the internet, where all we had were static pages of text and graphics but no interaction. Web2 added social media and interactions with content, but all of that content is controlled or made possible by centralized platforms like Meta, LinkedIn, YouTube, Shopify, and Google. If any of these companies were to disappear tomorrow, your audience and digital assets would disappear with them.
Web3 decentralizes property ownership. It expands Web2’s capabilities, but with blockchain technology, it enhances content and data privacy and ownership. It is truly transforming the way we view the internet. This technology alters how brands interact with their audiences.
In Web2 marketing, we are concerned with appearing at the top of Google search results and paying for search engine and social media visibility. As users, we have little control over which advertisements we see or whether we wish to see advertisements at all. Most of the digital platforms we visit are free to use, so we willingly exchange our data and attention so that the platform owners can continue operating without charging us.
In Web3, individuals self-select into communities, frequently beginning with Twitter before transitioning to open or closed channels within Discord servers. Consider these groups to be online clubs. The best access to experiences, conversations, and value typically requires a ticket, in the form of an NFT. The more active you are in the club, the more likely you will be invited to play a leadership role. Some clubs even permit you to purchase a portion of the club’s ownership and decide how its funds should be spent. These are known as DAOs. That NFT “ticket” may also grant permission to attend real-life events such as conferences, concerts, and meet-and-greets.
Since users now pay to join your “club,” it is the responsibility of a brand to provide value, or “utility” in Web3 jargon, that makes their investment worthwhile. If they do not perceive any value, they may sell their ticket. If they believe they can sell their ticket at a profit, they may do so regardless, but market appreciation for your community’s value is a positive development. The stronger your community, the more engagement you will have with your “customers,” allowing your brand to tailor and sell the ideal experiences with attractive utility, thereby causing your project to expand. Some experiences may be as complex as providing access to locations in an open Metaverse, such as Decentraland or the Sandbox, or private Metaverses designed for more intimate, customized experiences. Challenges, game nights, and live-streamed events are examples of additional experiences that can happen on Discord. These actions strengthen the value of the community and, by extension, your brand.
How does Web 3.0 marketing compare to conventional marketing?
Conventional marketing and Web3 marketing are differentiated by the Web3 audience’s voluntary and paid participation in the message, as opposed to marketers paying for attention.
Conventional marketing strategies rely heavily on advertising networks such as Google and Facebook. Using sophisticated algorithms, these platforms mine vast troves of user data to serve highly targeted advertisements to each user. In recent years, however, this method has been criticized due to concerns about data privacy.
The marketing funnel for Web3 differs slightly from the conventional Web2 funnel. PR, a blog, founder, and investor social media, and your own brand’s social media are sources of awareness that are comparable to one another. Twitter is the most popular social media platform for Web3, and tweets are typically more “real” and conversational. The nature of projects is more cooperative than competitive. This is an important distinction when building awareness, as collaborations between projects and micro-influencers are among the leading sources of new community members. Tweeting multiple times per day, between posts and shares, is required. Additionally, content and engagement should target LinkedIn, Instagram, and sometimes Facebook Groups. It would help if you published unique articles on your website and on open platforms such as Medium, Mirror, and Substack, in addition to your LinkedIn. The objective of the top of your funnel is to increase social media followers and content engagement.
The next objective of your marketing funnel is to convert your followers into fans and community members. This may be incentivized through referral programs, NFT drop waitlists, project partnerships, and influencer collaborations. Additional incentives and activities can be created in Discord using tools like Crew3, leading to increased participation.
An important component of your Web3 marketing funnel is live events. As a measure of your community’s popularity and whether they wish to invest in your project, those in the know frequently examine the number of participants in your lives. Meaningful weekly audio lives on Twitter Spaces and LinkedIn live are typically required to establish brand credibility. These may consist of brief updates followed by AMAs. You could conduct interviews with other projects or form a panel to discuss a topic of interest. Some lives last only 30 minutes, while others can last for hours. YouTube is an excellent venue for monthly live Town Halls with more detailed updates and demonstrations followed by an AMA. You can simultaneously live stream your video on multiple platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok using tools like Streamyard. This can also be an excellent source for quotable moments to use in social media posts. The visual nature of Web3 makes video an essential component of your funnel strategy. Be sure to post frequently on all social media platforms, particularly YouTube and TikTok.
Paying people to attend events is a unique Web3 aspect. These are known as POAPs, or Proof of Attendance Protocols. They are an NFT given to participants for attending your events. This is not required for every event, but it can be a great way to build your audience for major milestones.
Newsletters and CRM drip emails are also compatible with Web3, but traditional Web3 software will often prevent you from sending emails containing grey market trigger words such as NFT and crypto. Therefore, it is best to switch to a Web3-compatible CRM.
After constructing a complete marketing funnel, you should consider a paid advertising strategy. As a large portion of the Web3 community is suspicious of Web2 interruption marketing, this will also require a careful strategy. But with the right approach and content, a paid campaign can boost your top-of-funnel growth initiatives.
Once you have established an active community, continue to cultivate your tribe so that they can become community and project ambassadors. This is your inner circle, which is most likely to result in financial conversions in the form of NFTs or other purchases. Additionally, they are the most likely to share your content with other communities they belong to. Reward their active participation with special roles and activities they can unlock. Consider in-person gatherings that allow them to form bonds and appreciate the value of what you’re creating. Reward them with unexpected drops and continue to look for ways to increase the value they receive for being a member of your community. This is how to increase Web3 customer retention and loyalty.
Utilizing Web3 Marketing Specialists
Blockchain-based businesses are the next evolution of the enterprise. The opportunities for growth and a genuine connection with your audience are exciting. We have yet to begin to scratch the surface of what the underlying technologies will make possible. From technology to behavior, the entire industry is undergoing rapid change, and the marketing strategies of yesteryear are no longer effective. Small and large companies are entering Web3 to demonstrate their credibility as a means of marketing. When you decide the time is right for your business to either test its entry into the Web3 space or fully commit to a project, be sure to have the top Web3 marketing experts on your team.
As a seasoned marketing and leadership consultant, I have witnessed the evolution of marketing strategies from traditional to digital over the years. With the advent of Web3, the marketing landscape has undergone yet another transformation.