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Web3 Marketing: What Is It & What It Means for Your Business

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Web3 is here. Or is it?

Well, Web3 is still in its infancy stage. And Web3 marketing even more so.

Still, there are things to be said about both of them.

Here’s what we have to say.

What is Web3 Marketing?

To understand Web3 marketing, you first need to have a good grasp of what Web3 is.

What is Web3?

Web3 is the next phase of the internet, focusing on decentralization and user empowerment through blockchain technology and cryptocurrency.

At its core, Web3 is built around three principles:

  • Decentralization
  • Blockchain technology
  • Token-based economics

Web3 aims to create a more decentralized web, where users have more control over their data, identities, and transactions. These elements are a significant departure from the previous iterations of the web, namely Web 1 and Web 2. 

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That said, Web3 is still in the works. As of now, only a few aspects of Web3 are operational and being used in various sectors, especially in finance (with DeFi), arts (through NFTs), and gaming. The broader vision of Web3 as a fully decentralized and ubiquitous Internet is still under development and faces various technical, regulatory, and adoption challenges.

What is Web3 marketing?

Web3 marketing is the kind of marketing that is marketing use of the decentralized nature of Web3. Through Web3 technology, its mission is to redefine the kind of engagement brands have with their audiences.

Unlike traditional marketing paradigms that rely heavily on centralized platforms such as social media and search engines, Web3 marketing emphasizes direct, peer-to-peer interactions and transactions backed by blockchain technology.

This shift enables a new level of transparency and authenticity in marketing. For instance, brands and businesses can now use NFT in their marketing. Through NFT marketing, they can offer unique, verifiable digital assets to their customers, creating a sense of exclusivity and ownership that was previously challenging to achieve online. Additionally, decentralized applications (DApps) and smart contracts allow for innovative loyalty and reward programs where customers can truly own and trade their rewards.

In essence, Web3 marketing represents a significant evolution in how brands connect with their audiences, offering unprecedented opportunities for engagement, transparency, and customer empowerment.

So how exactly is Web3 different?

Web3 is all about a decentralized internet, fundamentally distinct from the centralized architectures of Web 1.0 and Web 2.0. This shift towards decentralization is underpinned by blockchain technology, which facilitates peer-to-peer interactions without the need for centralized intermediaries.

One of the core aspirations of Web3 is to forge a more intelligent and open digital world. Unlike the current internet, heavily influenced and controlled by major tech corporations, Web3 aims to reduce such dependencies, enabling a more equitable online environment. In other words, it’s looking to democratize the web, and empower users, giving them greater control over their data and digital assets.

This fundamental shift has profound implications for marketing strategies. In a Web3 world, marketers must navigate a landscape where traditional tactics centered around centralized platforms may no longer hold sway. Instead, the focus shifts towards leveraging decentralized networks, engaging directly with communities, and utilizing blockchain-based assets like NFTs and cryptocurrencies to build brand engagement and loyalty.

The transition from a centralized to a decentralized web opens up new challenges but also unprecedented opportunities to redefine how brands interact with their audiences.

The Top Web3 Marketing Strategies

You know about SEO, PPC, and email marketing. But is Web3 marketing any different? And what does it look like?

1. NFTs for Brand Engagement and Loyalty

NFTs offer a novel way to create brand memorabilia, rewards, and exclusive content. Consider creating unique digital collectibles, like limited-edition digital art or event access passes, as a way to reward and engage your customers.

These NFTs can foster a sense of exclusivity and build a loyal community around your brand, offering customers something truly unique that they can collect, trade, or use.

2. Decentralized Social Media Campaigns

With the rise of decentralized social platforms, you have the opportunity to engage with your audience more directly and transparently.

These platforms can offer you greater control over your content and interactions, allowing you to cultivate deeper, more authentic relationships with your audience and build a strong community around your brand.

Here are some of them:

Mastodon: An open-source, decentralized social network that functions similarly to Twitter. It’s a federation of servers, each with its own moderation policies, themes, and user communities.

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Steemit: A blockchain-based blogging and social media platform where users can earn cryptocurrency rewards for posting, commenting, and curating content.

Minds: Combines features of Facebook and Twitter in a decentralized platform, offering users the ability to earn tokens for their contributions and engagement on the network.

Voice: Built on the EOS blockchain, Voice aims to establish a more transparent and authenticated social media experience, rewarding users for their engagement and contributions with its native token.

Hive: A decentralized information-sharing network with a blockchain-based financial ledger, which grew out of a split from Steemit. It supports various types of content, including blogs, videos, and photography.

3. Token-Based Incentive Systems

Tokens can be used to create incentive systems that reward customers for various actions, such as content creation, platform engagement, or referrals. These tokens can provide real value within your ecosystem, acting as a tangible way to reward and incentivize community participation and loyalty.

4. DAOs for Community-Driven Brand Decisions

Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) allow you to involve your community in key decisions. This can include product development decisions, marketing strategies, or even charitable initiatives.

5. Metaverse Marketing

Explore opportunities in the metaverse to create immersive brand experiences, like virtual events, storefronts, or interactive environments. This new digital frontier allows you to engage with your audience in a fully immersive, three-dimensional space, blending elements of gaming, social media, and e-commerce to create unique brand experiences.

6. Blockchain for Transparency and Trust

Leveraging blockchain technology can enhance transparency in marketing practices, particularly in supply chain transparency and ethical advertising. By providing an immutable record of transactions or claims, brands can build trust with their audience.

Each of these strategies taps into the core advantages of Web3, such as decentralization, transparency, and user empowerment. By adopting these approaches, marketers can not only navigate the challenges of Web3 but also unlock new opportunities for innovation and engagement in the digital landscape.

7. Community marketing

Unlike traditional Web2 marketing, where community might simply mean a group of followers or customers, Web3 communities are often the driving force behind a project’s success. They’re not just supporting the platform; they’re actively participating, making decisions, and guiding the market direction.

Community-oriented marketing in Web3 is about embracing the decentralized ethos of the space, giving more control and voice to the community members. This approach aligns with the fundamental principles of Web3, where power and control are distributed among the users rather than centralized authorities.

Real-World Web3 Marketing Examples

1. Liquid Death

Liquid Death has made a significant foray into Web3 marketing by leveraging NFTs and blockchain technology. Their approach has been to integrate Web3 in a way that aligns with their brand’s ethos and to provide value to their fanbase, which they refer to as the “Murder Head Death Club.”

This club offers NFT VIP memberships that come with a variety of benefits, such as exclusive discounts, celebrity experiences, live event access, and more, all enabled through Web3 technology. This has allowed Liquid Death to not just sell products but to create a lifestyle brand that resonates with the Web3 community​​.

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In the recent past, Dan Murphy, VP of marketing at Liquid Death, highlighted how the brand embraced NFTs, leveraging them to turn their consumers into superfans by creating a sense of community and engagement around the brand. This approach to marketing goes beyond traditional advertising, focusing instead on creating content and experiences that resonate with their audience, particularly the younger, tech-savvy Gen Z demographic​​.

Liquid Death’s venture into Web3 is a testament to their willingness to explore new and innovative marketing strategies, placing a strong emphasis on community building and fan 

engagement, which is central to their brand identity.

2. Walmart

At the end of 2023, Walmart initiated a venture called Store Nº8 Base Camp in partnership with Outlier Ventures, a Web3 accelerator. The two of them have been focusing on the exploration of Web3 technologies for marketing, advertising, and payment systems. This 12-week virtual incubator was designed to harness the potential of virtual environments and decentralized commerce to increase customer engagement. What’s more, the program aimed to integrate innovative customer experiences within virtual worlds with Walmart’s physical retail operations, thus enriching both online and in-store shopping experiences.

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Through this initiative, Walmart seeks to experiment with various virtual commerce experiences that are seamlessly connected to its physical stores, reflecting the company’s commitment to adopting cutting-edge technology to maintain its competitive edge in retail innovation and customer service.

3. Starbucks

Starbucks introduced Starbucks Odyssey, a unique web3-based loyalty program that extends their existing Starbucks Rewards into the digital realm using blockchain technology. This initiative allows customers to engage in interactive activities termed “Journeys” to earn and purchase digital collectible assets, known as “Journey Stamps” instead of the typical NFT terminology, which unlock access to exclusive experiences and rewards.

 

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The program is designed to deepen customers’ connection with the Starbucks brand and the community, offering a blend of physical and digital experiences that range from virtual classes to real-world events like trips to Starbucks’ coffee farm in Costa Rica​​​​.

Challenges and Considerations in Web3 Marketing

Every branch of marketing comes with its own challenges and considerations. Web3 marketing, being new and everything, is no exception.

1. Regulatory uncertainties

As you can imagine, the regulatory framework surrounding blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs is still in its infancy. Marketers venturing into Web3 must stay informed about legal developments to ensure compliance and mitigate risks associated with evolving regulations.

2. Technical complexities

The technical barrier to entry in Web3 is significant. Marketers need a foundational understanding of blockchain technology, smart contracts, and tokenomics. This knowledge is crucial for creating campaigns that leverage the full potential of Web3 without compromising on security or user experience.

3. Consumer education

Many consumers are still unfamiliar with Web3 concepts like NFTs, decentralized finance, and the metaverse. Educating the audience about these concepts is essential for effective engagement but can be challenging due to the complex nature of Web3 technologies.

4. Platform and tool limitations

The Web3 ecosystem is still pretty new, and many tools and platforms are still under development. Marketers may find themselves limited by the capabilities of current technologies, requiring innovative problem-solving and flexibility.

5. Ethical and environmental concerns

Blockchain technologies, particularly those using proof-of-work consensus mechanisms, have been criticized for their environmental impact. Marketers need to be mindful of these concerns and explore sustainable practices within Web3 marketing strategies.

Conclusion

NFTs are blurring the line between art and technology. Being a fresh concept, NFTs definitely bring a certain novelty to the table. 

Big brands have started leveraging Web3 and have shown what they can do with it.  Now, smaller brands and businesses are looking to find how Web3 marketing and blockchain technology will help them. Are you one of them?

If so, contact us and we will let you know how to grow your business with Web3.

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