Take a deep breath first. No matter where you are on your Web3 journey, the period is just beginning. Google tells us so.
Just search for Google Trends among the popularity of “Twitter” and “NFT”. As you can see, (irreplaceable tokens) NFTs, according to the percentage of searches, are just a dot on a search … they don’t even register on Twitter. By comparison, NFTs are about where Twitter was in 2007 or 2008.
It is important to know that we are early. Now is the time to learn, experiment, and understand that everything brands or individuals do in social tokens, NFTs, and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) is experimental at best.
Travel to Web3
If Web 1.0 is read-only and Web 2.0 revolves around user-based creation on centralized platforms (Facebook, TikTok, LinkedIn, and others), then Web 3.0 (Web3) means the transition from centralized platforms to decentralized token-powered networks.
Footnote: For the purposes of this article, a token means information about a chain of blocks that means something other than a poker token means cash.
You could say that the internet unit of measure (in the near future) is a blockchain token. If you want to have creative coins or tokens for social contacts, of course you need an accessible token on the blockchain. You need a token to develop an NFT (irreplaceable token) project. DAO is managed on the basis of issued tokens.
Tokens allow for decentralized creation and are transformational in two ways. First, the creator can build rare assets. Whether it’s tickets to an event, access to a new experience, or a loss of unique content, a lack can make the experience more valuable to both the creator and the owner. Second, the token gives users ownership rights. For the first time in the history of audience creation, a subscriber, fan, or follower can actually own something.
Token ownership gives the user control and cannot be taken away.
Rethinking loyalty and rewards
I recently received an email from the hotel awards program. It said I had over 1000 reward points, but if I didn’t do something before a certain date, I would lose them.
Funny. “My” awards? No. If prizes can be taken, these are certainly not my prizes. Wouldn’t it be better if these prizes were tokenized and I owned these prizes forever? How much more loyal would you be to this hotel?
Take a look at the Starbucks Awards. I get stars (regardless) when I buy coffee or snacks at Starbucks, and then I can use those stars for bonus coffee and snacks. What else can I do with them? Nothing. Can Starbucks take them away? Definitely.
What if I received tokens instead of stars? What if these tokens could be donated to others, exchanged for another currency, or used for an exclusive Starbucks experience? The token makes it possible. And if I collect enough chips, I can get financially from the reward program as a customer (besides coffee) where I can sell or give away my prizes to others.
Let’s look at ticket sales, where we notice the most innovation. I am the holder of a Cleveland Browns season ticket (no smart comments, please). When they deliver digital tickets to me every year, they say these are my tickets … but … Browns can remove them at any time (if they want). If they don’t like my behavior at the match, they can tell me I shouldn’t use them. In addition, when tickets are used up, they are worthless.
What if the tickets kept their value and the Browns offered me an exclusive experience even after the game (because I had a token)? What if I could sell or donate tickets outside of Seat Geek or StubHub (this is not possible today)?
And why would the Browns do that? Well, for one big reason, the Browns get little (if any) money from ticket resale. If they were tokenized, the Browns would receive a certain royalty (defined by the smart contract on which the token is based) each time the tickets change hands. If the Browns go to the playoffs, can you imagine the extra revenue the Browns would receive by reselling? And this happens automatically in the blockchain.
Focus on Superfan
Brands have always provided uniqueness substantive experience customers in exchange for data. With Web3, we can now provide our customers and potential customers with ownership and financial gain from owning this digital property.
I don’t think these types of programs are for all your clients right now. Instead, think about building superheroes. Previously, we had to create a large audience on social platforms to gain any grip. Now, because of the token, small numbers can have a big impact on a brand.
Take the music world. Portuguese musician The RAC has more than 3.5 million listeners on Spotify. By selling just five exclusive music NFTs, he made more money than he had with Spotify ever. All it took was five superfans.
The NFTs that operate today are more than just an art, which again represents only what is in the smart contract, it is about access and usability. The Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) worked because owners get full intellectual property rights to use their image as they see fit (this person just opened a restaurant) and gain access to exclusive events. VeeFriends by Gary Vaynerchuk The NFT project worked because all NFT owners had access to the event, and hundreds were given special access to Gary’s or Gary’s team. Stoner Cats from Mila Kunis worked because NFT owners get exclusive access to watching the cartoon series in progress.
So the question you need to answer is, what does your NFT do? Who is it for? Are you creating real value and will anyone really care?
But all this is possible because of the token. The token happens outside of large social networks (decentralized). It helps brands create scarce assets and gives audiences the opportunity to own things. The owner can resell at will and the creator gets paid every time this happens. All this allows for a whole new superfan.
How do brands build super fans?
This is not rocket science. Before you consider making any token project, you need to start and grow your super fan base by providing valuable, relevant content. Think of a great newsletter, an industry-leading podcast, or a consistent YouTube show for your best leads. Consistency and differentiation are key here (we call the team the slope of the content).
Great Web3 success stories like RAC start with a trusted audience or community, so if you don’t already have one, you can get started.
What to do?
What does this mean for you? Probably nothing at the moment. But as a marketing professional or content creator, you need to know that loyalty programs coming will not be similar to what we have ever seen… because of the token. You have to practice … a lot. Get a digital wallet. Join some communities. Buy NFT or two. Begin to understand the process.
But in the meantime, focus on creating an audience. The integration of your NFT process or social token always comes later.
Joe Pulizzi is the founder Creator Economy Expo (CEX) – from 2 to 4 May 2022 as well Slope, a free newsletter on content creation. Joe is also the author of the best-selling book on content marketing, Content Inc. Find it on Twitter at @JoePulizzi.
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