Even if you may not entirely understand Web3 and the hyper of the metaverse, you would have heard about NFTs and how some brands use them to keep their competitive edge. So it’s entirely unsurprising that those in marketing and advertising want to be a part of this movement.
According to the “Unsupervised” survey published in March this year, more than 61% of marketers surveyed wanted their brands to have a presence in the metaverse. It also noted that marketers with more than six years of experience were more likely (64%) to encourage a brand’s existence in the metaverse. In contrast, those with fewer years of experience (53%) which implies that seasoned marketers are more likely to believe in the value of the metaverse.
While seasoned marketers may be able to quickly whip out a campaign plan from their back pockets, there is no surefire way to ensure the success of an NFT campaign – as the Web3 space is still a pretty much-unchartered territory.
With that in mind, here are some steps to build a good foundation for your NFT campaign – including how to prepare, generate ideas, and execute it well.
Align on expectations—yours and the client’s
First – clients who look after traditional products and services may have a confident expectation of how much of an increase in awareness or sales there will be (be it organically or gradually) as there are years of data that can help inform these expectations.
However, an NFT campaign is quite different. Success does not stem from how much is spent on social or tv ads, so it becomes harder to measure the level of favourable outcomes. While various ways an NFT campaign can be promoted, such as through different channels, the product can vary broadly. An example can be the unexpected NFT sales that occurred overnight in 2021, Pak’s famous NFT (Merge open edition), which sold for US$91.8 million — the most significant single NFT sale to date. However, in contrast, other NFTs might see zero profits for a more extended period before they see any transaction activities.
This means marketers need to ensure that clients or stakeholders know that NFT campaigns are not your usual extensive social campaigns. Instead, marketers will need to help guide and provide information to their clients – who could, in turn, add value by focusing on community building. This will allow for the right target audience to be found and amplify the hype created around the NFT campaign itself.
'Unlockable content' is key
While most of us know that an NFT is a digital artwork, many brands and marketers are focused on how to make it profitable. This is where the concept of having unlockable content – only accessible to those who own a particular NFT – is essential. These can range from higher resolution versions of the NFT’s image, video content, and access to remote communities to simply discount codes.
This trend unfolded in May 2022, when Darkblock, the Arweave-based decentralized unlockables platform, officially partnered with Ethereum-based NFT ticketing platform NFT TiX, which allowed Darkblock users to upgrade and empower their NFTs. With this collaboration, their decentralized protocol for unlockable content would enable users to create add-ons for their NFTs. These add-ons, or “hidden” content, are unlocked via the NFTs themselves, thus having the NFTs act as keys. So, for instance, an artist might decide to record their live performance and add the link to this recording directly to the NFT. Not only does this add value for fans that attended the event because they only not get the NFT but also the ‘original” recording links that are only limited to people who purchase it, but it would also increase the after-sale value of the ticket, as some avid collectors might strive to gather as many “NFT shows” as they can be based on this new approach to NFTs.
This trend also extends to the sports industry. From Dec 2021 until May 2022), R/GA consulted Octagon on ways to reach out to the AC Milan community. So what perks can a specific audience enjoy after purchasing the Born to Lead NFT? Octagon’s recommendation: The highest bidder of this unique NFT will receive a Certificate of Authenticity, a luxury print of the artwork signed by Massimo Ambrosini and NFT Creative Studio Burn & Broad, two tickets to every AC Milan 2022/23 home match, signed memorabilia & Club merchandise, and exclusive access to future BitMEX NFT drops and offers.
The team at R/GA pushed this concept in the AC Millan and NFT communities, and as a result, the first drop was a success, selling for 4ETH (US$9,000), with a starting price of 0.5ETH (US$1,000).
Moving up the funnel: driving a purchase
Another critical component of an NFT campaign is building excitement towards making a drop within the right community. The more excitement, the higher the ascribed value of the NFT.
Here are three things to consider when building your campaign:
Create a credible foundational website
First, the campaign can only be successful if the community views the NFT as credible.
To demonstrate its credibility, marketers should include the following:
1) A description of the NFT campaign
You should clearly and briefly state all the relevant details —what the NFT is, how much it costs, and where people can buy it— allowing readers to get the critical information within a short period. BAYC is an excellent example of how to cover important information on its site.
A roadmap is used to show information on where you are in terms of the NFT drop and highlight the circumstances of the drop (if any).
A whitepaper is a document that tells people all they need to know about the project, such as its goal, its vision, an overview of the team, the logic of the gamification process, and information about drops, traits, and rarities.
4) More about the team
This would include a list of the members working on the NFT. This list would help support the credibility of the NFT projects or campaign by showcasing the expertise of the team on it. It would also be a massive bonus if the NFT creator were a renowned artist already active in the realm.
Establish niches via social media or chat apps
NFT enthusiasts mainly congregate on Discord and Telegram as compared with the usual social media platforms of Instagram, Facebook, and Tiktok (At the time of writing, Instagram is looking for ways to increase the NFT community audience).
Marketers understand that we need to go where the people are – and an NFT campaign is no exception. So R/GA’s Technology Director Daniele Sghedoni created this flow on how to set up a Discord channel, a valuable resource for any marketer looking to venture into the Discord space.
A one-stop shop
Your website is done and has all the components needed to establish credibility. You’ve identified channels to spread the word and build a strong community. While consulting various brands, we have learned to consolidate all information – and transactions – in one place instead of having multiple, separate platforms.
This presents a new opportunity for marketers to serve their audience, as there is a need to jump between different platforms when transacting or to find information. Closing this gap could minimize the dropout rates of audiences interested in the particular NFT.
An open-source API, OpenSea, could help you bridge the gaps – it allows developers to build their marketplace and integrate it deeply into their platform. By aggregating this data in an easy-to-consume API, OpenSea makes it easy for wallets and other sites to jumpstart requester projects and make the community more connected.
Check out Footbattle.io, a website that uses OpenSea’s API for transactions and NFT price trends. It is an online football manager game where players are saved to the Ethereum blockchain. This gives players ownership and enables them to trade with other users.
The result? Users can buy and sell items without needing to leave the platform. Such an approach could be a game-changer for marketers as it would grant them the tools they need to create their own online personal web experience without being limited to a particular marketplace, like OpenSea or Raible.
In sum, running a successful NFT campaign goes beyond understanding how NFTs work. Targeting the right audience, finding the proper channels, and striking when the iron is hot are all critical components to your campaign taking off.
Understanding the marketplace and what we can do beyond that space to get more exposure is the key to understanding how one can increase exposure across different communities. Finally, seeing beyond digital art and adding the attributes of the NFT can significantly impact how people value it, increasing their motivation to purchase and resell it.
Avisenna Gusta is a producer at RGA Singapore.