Web3 start-ups should do away with lavish celebrity endorsements and focus on building a loyal community, crypto marketing experts say.
The crypto space has been no stranger to high-profile endorsements over the last year, with many seeming to occur during the height of bull-market fervor in late 2021.
Last October, “The Bourne Identity” actor Matt Damon appeared as the lead in the “Fortune Favors the Brave” campaign for crypto exchange crypto.com, which spent a reported $100 million on its advertising campaign.
As the bear market drags on, those that bought Bitcoin when the ad aired will have seen its value plummet nearly 70 percent in the 12 months since.
The same year saw reality-television personality Kim Kardashian reportedly paid $250,000 to tout the crypto token EthereumMax to her 330 million Instagram followers in June 2021.
The token itself, is now down 99.5 percent from its all time high at the end of May, while the star has been pulled up by the SEC for promoting a “crypto asset security” without proper disclosures.
Web3 followers want to see value
Speaking to AIBC News Ivan Vantagiato, co-founder and director of web3 marketing company Banq media, said people interested in crypto projects aren’t “interested in celebrity ambassadors,” instead they’d rather see value in the project.
“You can’t hide behind the fact that a celebrity is promoting the blockchain, when it is a “meme – useless and has no utility,” he said.
Instead, Vantagiato believes a successful marketing campaign in the web3 space involves having a “strategy to grow a Twitter, Discord and Telegram community,” which are some of the more preferred messaging platforms for crypto users.
These platforms are preferred as they enable “information to be delivered more easily and efficiently,” noting that Instagram and Facebook reduce the reach of those accounts who put links redirecting users from their platforms.
Vantagiato added that unlike web2 companies who focus on hot trending social media such as Instagram and Facebook, Twitter and Discord are “really important for web3, as they are the ones crypto users go to first.”
Lisa Teh, co-founder of web3 marketing agency Mooning, told AIBC that using these platforms “allows for constant chat, not just between the brand and its community, but between the community members themselves.”
Community building key
The most successful web3 projects of recent times have all had extremely active communities.
Bored Ape Yacht Club, one of the most notable NFT collections of all time, formed a community council this month to further their community engagement efforts, stating in their blog post that the council will “represent the club at large” assisting with organizing meetups and charitable endeavors.
Teh said Bored Ape Yacht club was a great example of a project that allows the community to “feel invested in the brand.” She believes this is what drives growth in web3 projects stating that in order to build a loyal community you have to be “hyper-engaged” with the users following your project.
Vantagiato summed up by saying that marketing a web3 project is vastly different to a web2 project.
Developers that come into the web3 space from a web2 background generally start “promoting way too early, and run out of budget,” he said, adding that at the pace at which web3 is moving, “people want to know when you are about to launch one month out, not six months.”
The market expert has advised web3 founders planning for a launch to “start by understanding the lingo and the culture that you are about to embark on, before even spending $1 on advertising.”
Keeping one step ahead
Teh believes the market conditions are constantly changing and volatile “you need to be more flexible and responsible” to those changes and you are “often making things up as you go and hoping for the best.”
Business insights company Crunchbase estimates there are 16,532 web3 companies as at Oct. 26 with $89 billion invested so far.
Vantagiato believes the “project itself needs to be really clever and different.”
“There is so much happening in the space at the moment, people look at a project and ask questions such as “why are they different?” and why are they good? in a very short, concise space of time.”
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