The term NFT (Non-Fungible Token) is becoming as ubiquitous as the rebellious, crypto-laden, tech-savvy young generation it attracts. In the past two years, the NFT market has boomed, attracting prominent VC investors, celebrities and artists. NFTs have the ability to normalize the growing trend towards using cryptocurrency for transactions and transfer any kind of live experience (sports, games, real estate) to a digitalized and virtual format.
NFTs operate off the Ethereum blockchain. You can only buy them with Ether, and this is how transactions are recorded. Every NFT is unique, and can only have one owner. This is what makes collections so valuable— their scarcity.
For what seems like mere digital pixels moving on a screen, some NFTs can sell for unfathomable amounts of money; making it a reasonable investment for some of the younger generation. However, for every successful NFT project, a hundred more will go to zero.
Marketing Strategy for NFT Projects
Marketing is absolutely critical for NFTs. Without proper strategies in place, it is unlikely the project will ever see the light of day. The one thing that most successful NFTs share is: community. The prominence of it is built on the backs of communities that believe in an alternative route to creative ownership.
The first-ever, NFT-funded series starring A-listers Mila Kunis, Jane Fonda, and Chris Rock, named “Stoner Kitties” will eliminate the need for ‘middle men’ from the production equation. In order to unlock episodes, viewers must buy an NFT token (based on a randomized version of one of the characters) valued at 0.35 Ether. Additionally, the cast will be completely paid in Ether.
The increase in celebrity endorsements for NFTs and crypto, as well as the growing success of other crowdfunding projects like this— will bring NFTs into the mainstream. Still, there are ways to gain traction and community support, without having a famous person back your project. These days, many platforms exist in which you can use to connect with niche groups, NFT artists, and influencers.
These are the marketing strategies to keep in mind, whether you’re looking to create your own project, or if you’re looking to invest in a project.
Reflecting Value through the Quality of Design
Before NFTs, no one would have thought to set their favorite assets as their profile picture.
Now, it is common for people to show their support towards projects by setting their profile picture to their NFTs. For someone to buy into a project or even go as far as using it to represent themselves on social media platforms, the design of the NFT is crucial.
If you manage to get an entire community of NFT buyers to set your designs as their profiles, that is essentially free marketing.
When it comes to design, it should be reflective of certain traits that are recognizable and relatable—facial expressions, clothing, messaging. For example, a notable collection BAYC (Bored Ape Yacht Club) released 10,000 computer-generated apes— that come in a range of skins, fun costumes, and somber expressions. Their popularity skyrocketed so much that they created a mutant collection, as well as enjoyed the cover of The Rolling Stones.
NFT consumers are often those who identify with unique characteristics outside of the status quo—which is why matching the design to the target audience is essential. The design has to be something that people want to identify themselves with.
Associating the design with the company’s overall message or vision is important as well. The brand has to have a resounding message that is larger than just making money— often tying back to its community. Whether this is providing a platform for like-minded crypto-geeks to unite or to raise money for a notable cause, ensure this message is clear on the platform.
Creating a Roadmap for Users and Investors
A powerful marketing mechanism is creating a reward system to increase engagement and buy-in of the project. Stealth drops are a way to reward users before the actual NFT project goes live; rewarding people for learning and completing minigames on the project.
Instigating a clear timeline with milestones is also helpful for investors to see the progress of a project. Investors are more likely to invest in a project if they can see value-driven goals that relate to their returns.
Having Utility Features
Promoting utility features outside of just holding an NFT could be incentivizing for potential users. Many of the top and rising NFT companies give their members exclusive access to events or parties. Owning a Veefriend NFT gives you a pass to attend Gary V’s three-day Veecon. BAYC has the “bathroom” which is a member-only online canvas, where ape holders can paint a pixel on the bathroom wall every 15 minutes. It serves as a communication server for like-minded folks to express themselves through creative forms.
Other projects keep users engaged by launching Play to Earn games—where you can earn a fraction of other players’ tokens. Metafighter is an example of a company that leverages the existing popularity of the gaming community, which rewards people with assets for skills. In this NFT centered arcade, characters, skins, and skills can be leveled up, earned, and traded.
Utility features can come in all different forms. As long as there’s some creativity and offers some sort of value, it can become a powerful selling point. These utility features should not diminish over time but retain their value.
Create Noise for the Brand
Like any product or service you want to be advertised to the world, social media and online discussion rooms are powerful tools for marketing NFTs. Moreso, it’s easier to reach more niche groups, the ones that are generally more enthusiastic about new projects than just the general population. Twitter and Discord are where there is the most engagement about NFTs— you can expect to find news on releases on there. Having a strong brand image can also increase confidence in the project’s future.
Consistency is important in social media marketing. To increase brand awareness, it is important to always be releasing information about the project, rewarding followers for their support, and engaging with other influencers and NFT artists. This will keep a healthy movement and buzz going around the project.
Because NFTs are still quite new, it’s better to enter the community sooner than later. Some of the “OG” NFT companies that were established early enough, has managed to gain a stronghold above many of their competitors. This includes the likes of Cryptopunks, BAYOC, Etherock, Cryptokitties, and Decentraland.
We are moving towards a future, where our digital identities and assets may become more valuable than our physical assets. The surge in the popularity of NFTs provides a unique opportunity for artists, entrepreneurs, and pretty much anyone to capitalize on projects—whether that be through creation or investment. Whether you’re thinking of buying or starting your own NFT brand, it is important to be able to identify the marketing strategies that make some of the top projects as successful as they are. This will ensure you are maximizing on your earning potentials through the NFT realm.