In the metaverse and NFT 2.0, marketers should focus on utility and community

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As we enter the NFT 2.0 technology space, we see a more innovative and accessible approach to creating a user-centric experience where participants can take advantage of the utility. Web3 marketers are also exploring how brands can position themselves to continue generating profits from NFT ventures while adding value to their products. However, for NFTs to thrive in the Web3 ecosystem, consumers need storytelling and value proposition, especially in an environment where technology is constantly evolving.

Web3 marketing agencies have carefully implemented brands in the metaverse to build awareness and actual utility for consumers they come into contact with. However, for a brand to be loyal to its fans, its digital assets must include audience and community engagement to create a valuable experience and keep consumers coming back.

The metaverse offers brands a landscape to reinvent themselves. What they provide in the real world may not be exactly what they provide in the metaverse. That said, brands that have successfully entered the metaverse respect their core business while finding ways to express it a little differently. For example, Under Armour’s Curry brand could run a metaverse campaign of exclusive, digital shoes that went beyond just buying virtual shoes. The digital assets were released continuously over the course of the 2022 NBA playoffs and depended on Steph Curry’s performance. It gave fans a new way to engage with every NBA game they watched and allowed Under Armor to reach new audiences while expanding its digital footprint at the same time.

Such a campaign is exemplary of the work that must be done behind the scenes by the brand, creative agencies and marketing agencies to develop a meaningful activation. When creating an NFT or metaverse campaign, a brand needs to look beyond profit and put community at the center. The metaverse is in a raw state right now, but will be shaped in the future by what brands are doing right now. There is no status quo, no standards for consumer expectations, and as more companies offer their customers digital assets that are usable, they will have a much greater competitive advantage as this new market consolidates.

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Building a seamless NFT 2.0 ecosystem with value creation

NFTs have been much talked about over the past year, but NFT 2.0 has the potential to create much more potential for a wider audience by embedding more usability into existing infrastructure. These assets can include digital artwork, in-game items that can be used in various games, music, and other collectibles. On a small scale, an artist could develop a shirt design for a virtual avatar, sell it as an NFT to individual users, and use the blockchain to track sales. By scaling up this idea, a major brand could put forward a similar artwork concept with their brand’s logo and track thousands of unique NFT purchases.

If you look at successful NFT/Web3 communities, much of their success boils down to one thing: they provided opportunity to their holders/users. Many of those opportunities are financial benefits to the users as they take advantage of market fluctuations, but the successful communities also cater to those who view the project from a long-term perspective, such as purchasing a digital property in the metaverse. Another example of a long-term opportunity is when community members interact with each other and create content for other members, or even create exclusive channels, such as a Discord community, for networking and collaboration opportunities.

Brands can’t force people to participate in their digital endeavors, but getting on board a small group of consumers, individuals who see the long-term value of a project, creates the opportunity to build a community that remains loyal. So when building an NFT community, everyone should ask themselves what opportunities and benefits they can provide holders in addition to quick financial gain.

The future of brand positioning in Web3 and the metaverse

The bear market that NFTs and cryptos found themselves in in 2022 is a hurdle for brands to show initiative in this area. On the other hand, there are still many brands launching activations despite the market value, which shows how much potential brands will see once the market picks up. As brands develop their next marketing plans, they need to incorporate an NFT or metaverse activation that creates value and interoperability. Examples can be a cool design that can be applied to different games; branded artwork for display on social media platforms; or even inspire small artists or musicians to create something as part of a brand competition for a prize. Generating engagement, promoting interoperability and creating value will be the three key components of future brand positioning.

There has also recently been a significant increase in the creation of Coin Cards, which serve holders over a longer period of time. This is probably because people are starting to become less interested in projects with profile pictures that are only useful at a later date. This indicates that brands trying to get into the NFT space should be willing to leverage their real world resources and products to translate them directly to the Web3 community, in a fast and fair manner.

The potential for brands in the metaverse and NFT activations is limitless, but as this market continues to evolve, their efforts must be done right, with community building as a key component. It is exciting to see how much growth there has been in the past year and it is expected that this will continue in the coming period.

Jack Cameron is co-founder and COO of Insomnia Labs.

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