To Drop or Not to Drop: What You Should Know About Dropping NFTs in a Bear Market
Marketing teams who have read all the “NFTs are Dead” articles in the news these days may scrap their previously planned non-fungible token releases – some probably should, and some surely should. Much more on that in a bit. But for the right play, releasing NFTs – even in the current crypto winter – can be a very successful game changer. For the selected plays, we will look at a number of best practices to ensure that the project achieves its goals.
$22 billion was spent on NFTs last year, and despite current market volatility, that kind of traction isn’t going away anytime soon. For every big-name brand that crashed and burned with a half-baked entry into Web3, there’s an innovative startup out there prepared to reap the rewards of selling digital tokens and collectibles.
Business owners should view the current cooldown in NFT sales as more a case of users becoming more selective – rather than completely rejecting this powerful concept. The truth is, people love the idea of owning rare collectibles – any OG collector who still has their Topps baseball cards can attest. NFTs also offer a unique way to connect a broad audience to worthy causes – more on that below.
As the CEO of a company leveraging Web3 (my live, free, veteran mental health metaverse will drop at the end of Q3) and as someone who has personally launched and bought many NFTs, I am convinced that there is no reason why the right NFT project may still not be successful. However, the days of riding a wave of hype and hoping for the best have been replaced by solid strategy, consistent commitment and community service. In fact, there is practically a blueprint for creating a successful NFT launch.
Here are the five things companies should do before even thinking about dropping an NFT in today’s market:
- Identify and involve the audience(s) first. Some people buy NFTs as an investment strategy and have little or no contact with the founders – and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, the users who believe in what you’re building and join your NFT community because they want to support what you represent are even better. Projects should be more than just “fun” right now – the best NFTs are tied to obvious, defensible, real-world utility of any kind. If your project doesn’t fit the bill, it might still be a good idea, but it’s probably wrong for this crypto winter moment. If you offer real value, build an army of influencers and brand ambassadors who can share your message early and often – involving them as much as possible in your pre-launch events will increase your chance of success.
- Educate yourself and the audience. While NFTs use new technology, they are still collectibles. Anyone planning to drop an NFT should not only study Web3’s delivery and security best practices, but also develop an understanding of how older collectibles, such as baseball cards, were carefully crafted to maximize collectible value. The public must be educated Why you’re launching an NFT, what the benefits of joining the community are, and potential investors may need step-by-step guides and extra help learning how to acquire it. Creating and sharing short videos is an excellent way to achieve many of these goals.
- Remove the barriers to purchase. Here’s an example from the personal banking industry: imagine a bank that allows secure, convenient online transactions and uses technology effectively to keep customers informed of all relevant information. Imagine another bank that still relies on wasteful mail, makes customers wait in long queues to carry out simple transactions and seems relatively lost when it comes to technology – which one should you trust with your money? It’s not enough to design an eye-catching NFT series, your product must prioritize security and offer an exceptional user experience that investors can’t stop raving about. Don’t forget to include merchandise (shirts, hats, etc.). Your Web2 audience who may have no interest in – or basic knowledge of – purchasing NFTs may still have other ways to support the project in the ways that are most accessible to them.
- Discover what makes your brand unique and use NFTs to reinforce it. NFTs require creativity. They are a visual medium. Attention favors the bold and original. To stand out from the monkeys and other pixels out there, assemble an experienced team that can not only develop killer functionality and graphics, but also introduce your NFT to the market in fresh and exciting ways.
- Never underestimate the power of the pre-launch. If an NFT’s pre-launch strategy isn’t thorough and well planned, you’re just going to burn a lot of gas for little results. Pre-launch is the perfect time to clean your house. Google your business, update your website, get some traditional press going, and make sure any extra traffic an NFT release brings will reveal the best of your brand. If your engagement time is limited, focus on getting the word out and growing your user base on Discord and Twitter first. A quick search on the Internet will reveal all the hashtags you should be using. Get social, share the stories behind your NFT, inform the public (back to #2), and let people get to know the people behind the token. If you haven’t hosted several full and active Twitter slots before launch – you’re not ready to let go.
The NFT market is showing some growing pains right now, but the potential of this concept is still in its infancy. I think the most impactful, maybe even world-changing, NFT projects haven’t even come out yet. While the current NFT reset is weeding out the scammers and digital hucksters, stay focused on your goals and don’t be afraid to drop an NFT in a bear market. As the Roman phrase often remembered by today’s military commanders and startup founders says, “Fortune favors the bold.” If you believe in what your business is doing and are in it for the right reasons, NFTs can be a powerful, long-term community building tool.
Robert Bell is an entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist who founded 2B3D Inc in 2020 as an all-in-one game studio, non-fungible token coin, auction house and storage system. Bell’s mission was to push the boundaries of virtual, augmented and mixed reality technology as a way to help military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. His mission to bring peace and healing to veterans is fueled by games to earn money, NFTs, and access to exclusive in-game cryptocurrency within a broader decentralized metaverse. Bell is also the founder and CEO of Bell Medical Solutions.