Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Despite being a disruptor to the old order of web apps in principle, Web3 success still relies a lot on traditional marketing. The word about these products needs to get out somehow, and the only way they can get out is through marketing.
To an extent, this means that a product lives and dies on the strength of its marketing. It does not matter how innovative or genius a product is: if word about it does not get to the people who need it, it will die in ignominy. Perhaps if the idea behind the product is genius enough, someone else will inevitably pick up the idea and market it better.
We have seen that happen many times in tech history, and there is no doubt that it could also happen today. Myspace, for example, lost to Facebook for a lot of reasons. But one of the reasons was that Myspace was not getting into the consciousness of people fast enough. Of course, Myspace eventually tried to fight that, but they eventually lost. They did all the wrong things marketing-wise, and their loss was almost inevitable.
The same goes for Web3 products. It is easy, and perhaps true, to say that Web3 is the future. But what’s not easy to say is what products will dominate that future. Friendster and Myspace were all first movers in Web2, but all of them died before Web2 became the future. This goes to show that it’s really not about first movers, instead, it’s about the ones who survive. That is why it is important to learn from the marketing failures that riddle failed products and avoid doing them.
Don’t experiment too much
Many marketers fall into the trap of experimenting too much with Web3 marketing. They fall into this trap because they assume that since Web3 is somewhat experimental and new, Web3 marketing should be the same — but that’s not true. There is no reason why the marketing of a product should model the product itself. Aside from that, there is little reason to disrupt marketing itself. Traditional marketing works, and it works well.
Even if you are going to have a policy of disrupting marketing, as it were, it is important to do this with the aid of research. A lot of the Web3 products coming online these days are startups, which means they could be living on borrowed time. It is unwise to experiment with the future of those fledgling products by just throwing whatever at it and hoping something new and radical sticks. It’ll probably fail and may lead to the death of the company.
Don’t use influencers first
Influencer marketing works — that’s probably the first thing you should know. If you want a critical mass of people to sign up or purchase your NFTs or tokens quickly, then it’s probably smart to get an influencer to market for you. But here is the thing; influencer marketing is 100% a grenade. Suppose you know how to use a grenade, good for you. However, if you don’t know how to use it and try to use it, you may end up blowing yourself up. 2020 and 2021 saw the rise of Web3 products using influencers to scale. But do they work? ‘Or did they eventually blow up?
Well, according to a Visual Objects survey, not really. Most people are starting to realize that influencer marketing is inauthentic. This is an especially important thing to note if what you are selling, in essence, is risk and profit. People do not listen to people without skin in the game when it comes to taking risks. They understand that influencers do not have skin in the game, and are then less inclined to take advice from them.
Here is the thing, Web3 influencing is a dying market. Shortly, scandals like the Kardashian fiasco will cause governments to clamp down on influencer marketing. That is why product leads and heads of marketing must be very careful before choosing to step into the river of influencer marketing. It is a tool that works, but it is a tool that must be used carefully. If not, it can cause more harm than good.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make in marketing is assuming that a huge marketing budget means effective marketing. Many times, companies spend a chunk of their budget on symbolic but ineffective ads, such as huge billboards or an ad slot during the Superbowl. But spending big in itself does not guarantee success — grassroots efforts that reach out to your market directly can be more effective than a billboard in every airport.
Don’t be too shy to ask for help
Web3 founders are fond of doing everything themselves. From raising money to running the day-to-day business, they have a lot on their plate.
This spills over to marketing and public relations, too — but marketing isn’t as easy as it might seem. When projects and even celebrities and influencers post something on social media, a lot of time and effort went on behind the scenes to make sure the post read exactly the way it needed to be read as far as messaging, content, SEO and target audience.
There is a lot that goes into this, which is why marketers get paid big money. It helps to hire a marketer part-time just to see what they do, or even vet a few agencies to see what they offer.
Sometimes, it’s as easy as being pointed in the right direction. Don’t waste anyone’s time, but take a closer look at the nuts and bolts of things. What are the individual components that may even be involved? What do you need to learn about? Does the marketing agency offer SEO? Well, now you know that’s something you need. Go research it or you can schedule a consultation with a marketing team — $300 may seem like a lot of money to pay for an hour or two of education, but that’s all it really takes for a workable strategy to form.
I often brainstorm 90% of my marketing plans on the very first call with my clients. We’ve done it over and over again, and we can see how your product fits into the audience as easily as you can see how your product fits into the market. The point is to find some way to get a second opinion, and you’re well on your way.