Have NFTs already had their moment?
The market for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) may have started volatile from the initial hype; but with more than $500 million in NFT sales changing hands in the last 30 days, NFTs are not going away. And as more individuals and brands explore this bold new landscape, they’re finding fascinating uses for weaving NFTs into everyday life.
Take Twitter Spaces, for example. The audio arm of Twitter has become an attractive place for businesses to start connecting with their biggest advocates. Since Twitter Spaces are also where NFT discussion groups are emerging, companies looking to enter NFTs and already on Twitter Spaces can leverage their digital presence to build engaging blockchain-friendly communities.
Truly, community that NFTs are becoming. Early adopters of NFTs define and grow cultures and subcultures. As a business manager, you may not fully understand where NFTs are headed. Still, you can’t ignore the fact that they’re part of a fast-moving concept that could appeal to about a fifth of Millennial and Gen Z consumers. Since these are your future buyers and cheerleaders, you don’t want to ignore the possibility that NFTs can create stronger connections with them.
This is easier written than done, to be sure. Jumping into NFTs with members of the marketing team is not something that is going to happen without thought. To ease yourself into the process of including NFTs as part of your outreach, try these strategies.
1. Prepare yourself for all the costs associated with the distribution of NFTs.
There is a misconception about NFTs that they are somehow just a matter of creating a digital image. It’s not entirely accurate. Yes, they are digital assets with visual elements. They are also much more because they require an investment of time and effort beyond just throwing together some exciting pixels.
Gideon Kimbrell, co-founder and CEO of InList.com, agrees that while NFTs can be minted for as little as $100, any NFT initiative can be much more expensive to succeed. As he explains, “If your current consumer base consists of people who love vintage art and collectibles, for example, you may need to enlist the help of experts to reach a new, younger demographic of NFT enthusiasts. This could easily translate into a marketing budget of up to $30,000 (or even more) just to get started with the right branding, storytelling and creative direction.”
One way to figure out how much to set aside for NFT generation and distribution is to find out what other companies are paying. It shouldn’t take you long to do some digging to find a more realistic cost analysis for your first NFT venture.
2. Weave your NFT into your brand aesthetic.
A big mistake some companies make with NFTs involves relevance. NFTs are not “build it and they will come” marketing vehicles. The best corporate-issued NFTs have some sort of community connection with the brand.
Take Time Magazine’s TIMEPieces NFT collections. Time drops a special secret word during Twitter or Discord events. Participants with digital wallets have a set amount of time to enter this password where Time can send them a limited edition NFT. The gamification of this process adds new excitement to the experience of involvement with Time online.
Time is hardly the only brand experimenting with connecting its brand with NFT spreads. New York University professor Arun Sundararajan notes that Nivea and Budweiser have also succeeded in captivating audiences with the clever use of NFTs. Again, your goal should be to make sure the NFT makes sense within the context of what the organization offers and values.
3. Find out which marketplace makes sense for your NFT.
You can’t just email your NFT to users. You must transfer ownership through the appropriate crypto-friendly marketplace. OpenSea is by far the largest of the NFT marketplaces, although Blur is stepping up its game.
How do you know which marketplace to choose, especially if you are not familiar with NFTs on a personal level? One suggestion is to work with a marketing consultant or agency that has already established some traction in the NFT arena for other clients. Another is to only choose one that has been around and has a strong reputation. Or you can ask other entrepreneurs and founders for referrals.
Be sure that the marketplace you choose has a target audience that reflects your company’s target customer persona. Otherwise, your NFTs won’t have the right appeal.
4. Think creatively when launching the NFTs.
Perhaps the most exciting aspect of NFTs is that there aren’t many rules you have to follow. NFT campaigns can be anything you want them to be. You are not held to a standard. It’s liberating—and probably a little overwhelming, too.
This is where doing some research on other companies in and outside of your industry will be very helpful. See what works and what creates a stir. You may also want to tap into your employee base to see if anyone in your organization has embraced the NFT, digital wallet, and crypto craze. If so, that person will help you understand more of the NFT and Web 3.0 ecosystem, which can be a little hard to wrap your head around if you’re not up to your knees.
Ultimately, you want the NFT to spark interest and make sense. The only way to do that is to try something and see if it works. You may have to swing a few times before you find out what is right for your business. It’s fine as long as you go into the process with an open mind.
NFTs are uncharted territory for most companies. But there were social media accounts once upon a time. Rather than turning your back on NFT and blockchain culture, lean into your imaginative side. There just might be a place for NFTs in your company’s marketing and engagement strategy.
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