Web3 marketing capitalizes on decentralized technologies and token economics to pioneer novel methods of user engagement. Image: ShutterstockW
eb3 and cryptocurrency have evolved to become a massive force of tech innovation in recent times. There are thousands of companies building in this space with different focuses such as L1/L2 chains, NFT projects, infrastructure, metaverse, DAOs, centralized exchanges, decentralized exchanges, and more.
Despite the emergence of new use cases every day, the Web3/crypto space has yet to attain mainstream status. The prevalence of crypto scams and frauds has led most governments and major organizations to approach cryptocurrency with caution. Consequently, running advertisements on platforms like Facebook, Google, and Instagram has become challenging.
Moreover, the emphasis on privacy and data ownership hinders the collection of email addresses and phone numbers. As a result, Web3 marketers and growth professionals must craft innovative playbooks and techniques to engage users within the Web3 ecosystem, whether on-chain or through alternative channels.
Key techniques shaping Web3 marketing
Web3 marketing capitalizes on decentralized technologies and token economics to pioneer novel methods of user engagement. Let us delve into some of the techniques that have emerged as potent tools for marketers operating in the Web3 space:
1. Tokenization and airdrops
Tokens lie at the heart of decentralization and Web3 protocols. Beyond serving as financial incentives through airdrops, tokens allow individuals with a stake in the platform's success, fostering a sense of ownership. Brands have increasingly harnessed the hype surrounding airdrops to acquire users and stimulate activity on their platforms. Successful instances of this approach include protocols such as Arbitrum and Arkham.Also read: Digital marketplaces have incentives to keep sellers in the dark
2. Community building and engagement
Communities are the driving force behind Web3, forming the core of every product within the ecosystem. Brands are establishing communities around their products or specific themes. This practice holds particular significance for decentralized protocols, as they rely on community support for product operations. Furthermore, communities generate robust word-of-mouth advertising and contribute to product development, especially in the context of NFT projects, where the community essentially becomes the product.
3. Content and social media marketing
In the Web3 space, SEO has largely been overlooked by brands. There has been a recent surge in SEO efforts by brands like Obvious, which was previously dominated by centralized exchanges. As search queries related to Web3 increase, SEO is poised to play a pivotal role in user acquisition. Content marketing, in the form of in-depth blog posts, tweets, and social media updates, has proven highly effective in acquiring users. Given that a substantial portion of Web3 users are on X (formerly Twitter), leveraging this platform is important.Also read: How the melding of MarTech and Mixed Reality could open vast opportunities for marketers
4. Gamified retention and quests
Web3 marketers frequently employ quests and gamified tasks to increase user acquisition and retention, offering tokens or financial rewards as incentives. Quests have been employed by nearly every brand or protocol in the space, whether to drive acquisition, brand awareness, improve retention, or familiarize users with the product. However,these platforms attract bounty hunters and airdrop farmers who inflate user numbers only to churn later. Therefore, the use of quests should be judiciously managed.
5. Events, hackathons, and grants
Blockchains and developer tooling companies often organize large-scale events, and hackathons, and provide grants to encourage the use of their protocols and tools. Web3 thrives on events, with over a hundred taking place worldwide each year. These events provide companies with excellent opportunities to showcase their products, host side events to attract developers and offer grants to incentivize developers to build using their tools. Web3 marketers and business development professionals should actively participate in these events to secure new users and partnerships for their organizations.Also read: How broadband is reshaping the retail industry and what it means for the future
Web3 marketing signifies a paradigm shift in how businesses engage with users and drive growth. By embracing decentralization, token economics, and the power of community, new playbooks are emerging. There is also a cultural shift in how the brands are perceived with the use of memes, slang, and “vibes”. Web3 marketing and growth is a new space where new models and growth flywheels are being developed which are very different from other brands. It should be fun to see how this space evolves as we go further.Himanshu Retarekar is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Obvious Technology. Views expressed are personal.