Market strategy and customer behaviour in the new WEB 3.0 world is very different from the way it was in WEB 2.0. In web2, companies invested heavily in sales and marketing teams as part of a traditional marketing funnel that focused on lead generation, customer acquisition and retention.

In web3, a new model has emerged. This model replaces centralised leadership teams that make all decisions about a product or service, using (free) consumer data and user-generated content. The new blockchain-based web3 model gives users the role of owners via non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

This changes the marketing for web3 companies and also changes the role of the customers. This blog is about starting a web3 enterprise for NFTs and how to market it successfully. What practices can be borrowed from web2 marketing? How to prepare and how to be future-proof in a world determined by weekly ‘back pulls and bear markets’ and everything in between? In short, how do you go to market and convince potential customers to spend their time, money and attention on your NFT project?

Here are some principles to consider when marketing your NFT project:

  1. See your customers as co-creators of the value of your brand. The bigger the community = the bigger the brand.
  2. Establish a clear and unique mission to inspire and help build the community.
  3. Once a community is established, identify the brand ambassadors. Multiply and motivate them.
  4. What it the utility of the competitive advantage in the marketplace. The utility is a mechanism to stimulate your community.
  5. Use Key Opinionated Leaders (KOLs) and strategic partners affiliated with your NFT project to increase brand awareness.
  6. Develop an effective social media and growth strategy.
  7. Define and monitor the metrics that matter. Use this feedback to make adjustments where necessary.

Let’s break down all these principles:

1. See your customers as co-creators of the value of your brand.
The bigger the community = the bigger the brand.

In web2, companies see their customers through the ‘customer acquisition funnel’. This focuses on moving from customer awareness and consideration at the top of the funnel, to conversion and retention at the bottom.

In web3, tokens offer an alternative approach to entice and acquire new customers. NFT projects can use tokens to bring in first-time users and reward them financially for their contribution to building the brand. Not only do these first users become evangelists who bring more people from their network and pass on the benefits of the community to their followers. These first users:

a. Give the project unfiltered feedback on what is working and what is not working.
b. Act as beta testers for the project’s community, being patient and willing to help when things go wrong.

NFTs encourage clients to evangelise projects because they benefit financially and can benefit from helping that community grow. There is a direct incentive for community members and clients. They want you to succeed!

“The key shift is to give your customers ownership, so that the first users and contributors get a share of the value they help create and ultimately have governance over it and therefore more control. We are essentially giving these companies to the users – and that is the biggest social shift we are creating here.” (Bradford Stephens, Co-Founder & Managing Partner at Blockchain Capital)

So see your customers as co-creators and partners, working with you to create value and benefit from the jointly created value. Provide incentives for them throughout the funnel. When faced with a difficult decision, gather feedback within the community and crowd-source the decision-making. In web3, the “go-to-market” strategy becomes a “go-to-community” strategy. Community is a key differentiator for the success of any NFT project. So how do you effectively build your community.

2. Establish a clear and unique mission to inspire and build a community.

NFT projects need to build their community from a clear mission – i.e. what problem is your NFT project trying to solve and why are you the best team to solve it? This needs to be supported by a high quality community, along with the right organisational governance model to deliver on that mission.

When drawing up your go-to community strategy, you should consider 4 key areas:

  1. Community design:
    What is the purpose of the project?
    What values do you want to impart to it?
    What are its unique norms?
    What functions do you need to create a self-sustaining community? (e.g. Discord / Community Manager, Marketer, Partnerships Manager, Engineer, Project Manager)
    What is the roadmap and business plan?
    Where and how are the community’s purpose, vision, values and roadmap documented?
  2. Community Management:
    What roles and rights will priority members have? Are there different levels of membership?
    How are roles promoted throughout the funnel – in awareness, consideration, conversion, loyalty and advocacy?
    How will governance and decision-making take place (e.g. decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs))?
    What support roles become available to the community? When and how?
  3. Community Engagement:
    How will you on-board and welcome new community members? (e.g. every new member is paired with an onboarding buddy)
    How do you nurture that relationship and build trust? (e.g. unlock special perks depending on how long they have been part of the community)
    How to build connections between community members (e.g. Discord social events, pay it forward channels)
    How to activate community members to fully utilise the benefits and increase their overall engagement (e.g. by giving them an allowlist spot to minify your NFT? Involving members in work pods to contribute to the community?)
    How often do you engage with community members yourself?
  4. Community co-creation:
    Organise projects within your community that members can contribute to. How is the work organised? (E.g. A Web3-guild is a collective of crypto developers, designers and thinkers who share resources (whether knowledge or labour) in pursuit of a common goal).
    Can community members vote on which initiatives they want to support as a community? (This is an example of how the Decentraland DAO token allows holders to vote on decisions that impact the content and future operation of the platform).

Peter Yang of Odyssey DAO, gives an overview of how NFT projects can build thriving member communities, by looking at three case studies – VeeFriends, Moonbirds and Meta Angels:

3. Once a community is established, identify brand ambassadors.
Multiply and motivate them!

“All three projects built thriving NFT membership communities because of: a) Makers committed to providing long-term value for holders b) Community that prioritised people who care more about the utility versus the quick flip c) The utility that brought people together and encouraged them to hold onto the utility in the long run as well.”

One of the most exciting topics in building in web3, is the ability for projects to deepen the relationship with their customers. Platforms such as Discord allow projects to build superfan communities and reach customers directly at all times. This unfiltered access provides opportunities for projects to crowdsource innovation and co-create initiatives while receiving feedback.

In these superfan communities, you’ll usually find a handful of individuals willing to defend your brand through thick and thin. These are your true brand ambassadors.

How to identify a Brand Ambassador?
A good Brand Ambassador can be identified as an individual who, through their regular and valuable contributions to the community, has gained the trust and respect of the community members. Therefore, they have a certain degree of influence within the community.

Brand ambassadors are valuable because they lend credibility to your project and have the ability to reverse negative reviews. They can also hold the hands of users who are unsure about the project and give them a warm welcome.

How do you encourage brand ambassadors?
There are a number of monetary and non-monetary incentives your project can use to encourage brand ambassadors.

Monetary incentives for brand ambassadors:

Extra tokens Offer ambassadors extra NFTs based on their contributions to the community. This can be a tiered contribution model where highly active ambassadors unlock rare NFTs or extra tokens.

Exclusive access to brand utility Allow ambassadors access to specials based on their contributions. These could include airdrops, exclusive merchandise or vouchers for partner products.

Non-monetary incentives for brand ambassadors:
Allowlists Give brand ambassadors first access to upcoming coins or NFTs for other projects. These allowlists can be offered at a small discount.
Social and Public Recognition Ambassadors are generally already fans of the brand, so giving them public recognition for their contributions can strengthen that relationship. This can be achieved by using dashboard channels with announcements to recognise them or by retweeting their work with the wider community.
Status within the community Giving ambassadors a status or title within the community goes a long way. As part of this title, projects can offer ambassadors the opportunity to participate in generating ideas or making decisions for the brand.

4. Think of the usefulness of the project as your competitive advantage in the marketplace. It is a mechanism to stimulate your community!

The usefulness of the NFT project provides opportunities to reward NFT holders and make them feel part of a community and give them a sense of belonging. When defining the utility of a project, ask yourself what value your NFT project brings to the client and how your team is uniquely positioned to deliver it. Set clearly defined and realistic expectations about the utility and roadmap for your project. This will attract community members who are committed to the project’s mission.

Considerations on the usefulness of your NFT project:

a. Access to exclusive partners and advisors (virtual and real):
Projects can offer token holders access to a pool of exclusive partners and advisors that they can tap into as they grow their own projects. Access can be in the form of Discord chats, real life conferences or seminars. “For example, Crypto Packaged Goods NFT’s utility is that it is “a token to unite the brightest minds in web3″, with core members such as Jaime Schmidt, Chris Cantino, Randi Zuckerberg and Zeneca to name a few. Furthermore, holding the CPG NFT provides members with access to alpha chats and call seminars with leading entrepreneurs.”

b. Access to products (virtual and physical):
Projects may consider partnering with other web3 brands or leveraging relationships with web2 brands to provide token holders with access to a range of physical and virtual products. Surge Women NFT is an example of a project that has leveraged partnerships with other brands to offer utility products to its token holders. As the website emphasises, the Surge Passport NFT will provide an ecosystem of perks in education, finance and Web3 tooling. A few of these utilities include:

Vouchers to buy NFT domains
Blockchain bootcamps and masterclasses
Digital wallet vouchers
Opportunities to receive development grants
Access to networking events

c. Promise of future value (e.g. social status, increase in token value):
Projects that have experienced a meteoric rise in popularity or have been recognised by celebrities prior to launch can leverage that traction to highlight the promise of future value for holders of their token. For example, owning a Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) means that holders not only have the means to do so, but also join a community of celebrities. As BAYC puts it, when you buy a Bored Ape, you’re not simply buying an avatar or a rare piece of art. You gain access to a club whose benefits and offerings will increase over time. Your Bored Ape can serve as your digital identity that opens digital doors for you.

5. Leverage Key Opinionated Leaders (KOLs) and strategic partnerships that align with your project to increase brand awareness.

As media becomes increasingly decentralised, you will need to work with Key Opinionated Leaders and like-minded communities to play a significant role in building awareness for your project.

What is a Key Opinion Leader (KOL)?
Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) are authorities in a field whose advice is respected by others in their field. They usually have a target audience specific to their niche.

How can you reach identified KOLs and build meaningful partnerships with them?
Once you have identified KOLs or strategic partners who align with your brand, you can contact them via email or social media. Some tips to consider when doing so:

Write a snappy subject line
Keep the pitch short but personal (research the KOL to understand what appeals to them and think about how you can bring your project to life for them).
Offer incentives and value. Think about what monetary or non-monetary value your project can offer them in exchange for a partnership.
If you can tell a compelling story about the project, you are more likely to form interesting partnerships.

Use these partnerships as part of a social media content calendar. Create Twitter spaces or podcasts to interview KOLs and like-minded communities, have them invite their followers to spread the word about your project. Work with these individuals and other brands to give their followers special perks or access to the community.

How do you measure the success of your partnerships?
The metrics to measure the success of partnerships fall into two main categories:

Brand awareness metrics That represent increased community awareness of your project. This includes:
Increased followers or community members (e.g. on Twitter, Instagram or Discord)
Likes, comments, retweets

Direct response metrics Are community actions that reflect purchase intent:
Website clicks
Collection Mints
Leads or email subscribers

6. Develop an effective social media and growth strategy.

In addition to these strategic partnerships, define a social media and growth strategy to grow your NFT project. The four key steps in designing and delivering an effective strategy:

a. Identify and set growth goals Example goals may include: sold out mint, more Discord members, increased social media reach on Twitter and Instagram.

b. Plan social content Build a target persona of your community and develop social media content that resonates with and engages them. Be creative, the possibilities are endless.

c. Build a content calendar Once you have identified the primary goals and planned the social content, it’s time to build a social media content calendar.

d. Implement and measure your strategy Once you have started delivering social media content consistently, measure the results of the efforts. Given how quickly things change in this space, you need to analyse your content every week to determine what is working and what is not.

Some of the key social media metrics to measure are:

Awareness – The number of times people saw your content, as identified by impressions and reach.
Engagements – The number of reactions, comments, clicks and shares your content gets.
ROI – Conversions and referrals from external sources.

7. Identify and monitor the metrics that matter.

Use this feedback to improve where needed.
Some of the most important metrics to track when building NFT projects can be categorised into financial and non-financial metrics. These metrics can be used to measure the quality, growth and success of your NFT project. Depending on the stage of your project (i.e. pre-mint vs. post-mint), some metrics will be more relevant than others. Given the pace of change in this sector, relevant metrics will need to be monitored regularly and your approach adjusted as the market evolves.

Financial measures may include:
a. Estimated market cap This can be calculated by multiplying the average price of the NFT over 7 days by the total supply. eA higher estimated market cap indicates that more owners of the token are willing to pay higher prices to buy the NFT. A good tool to measure the estimated market cap is

b. Traded Volume This represents the total demand for your NFT collection.

c. Floor price This can be used to monitor the entry price for your NFT collection.

Non-financial measures can be:
a. The growth and size of the community through relevant channels This can be measured by analysing Twitter, Discord and Instagram metrics.

b. The number of unique holders of your token This is another measure of the size of the NFT collection and can indicate the amount of awareness it can receive. The more unique holders, the wider the net of awareness and engagement.

c. Quality of community engagement This can be measured through the primary communication platforms used by the project. An example would be tracking channel activity on Discord, in the form of:

Member activation and retention
Attendance at community conversations
Participation in governance (who votes on what, and how often)
Work completed according to defined tasks

d. Net new relationships and trust developed among community members
This can be measured through sentiment analysis surveys.

e. Diamond hand balance This refers to the number of owners who have not sold out of the project and can indicate the community’s belief in the long-term success and usefulness of the project.

f. Sale time This refers to the amount of time it takes to sell 100% of the NFT collection.

g. Roadmap delivery This refers to how quickly and effectively the project team delivers on each item within the NFT roadmap and can indicate how quickly token holders see the benefit of it.

And what is the next step?
The role of marketing will continue to evolve as the web3 landscape matures.Remember, this blog is not financial advice! Always do your own research first.


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