Web3.0 And Digital Marketing
At Construct Digital, we’re thinking all the time about how new technology will impact how you, the digital marketer, engage with your customers.
Last week I told you about the Metaverse. Today, I’m going to tell you about Web 3.0 which represents the next stage evolution of the World Wide Web.
So what exactly is Web 3.0.? And How does it impact what we do?
What is Web 3.0?
Ultimately we must recognise that Web 3.0 will meld the line between digital and physical realms and marketers will need to start thinking about how they want to engage their consumers in this new dimension. Most consumer brands should be looking seriously into this now as I expect Digital Goods will be the new driver of growth for many of them.
Take Nike for example, they have gone ahead and trademarked their “Just Do It” slogan and “Swoosh” logo for protection of downloadable “virtual goods, namely, computer programs featuring footwear, clothing, headwear, eyewear, bags, sports bags, backpacks, sports equipment, art, toys and accessories for use online and in online virtual worlds.”
The History of Web 1.0. & Web 2.0.
In a nutshell:
Web 1.0. — We click and type.
Web 2.0. — We swipe
Web 3.0 -- We immerse and engage with people in Virtual Reality worlds.
Now for the more comprehensive explanation:
The internet has gone through multiple stages of evolution since the 90s.
Taking the original Creator, Tim Berners-Lee’s definition, we know that the internet is supposed to be “a collaborative medium, a place where we [could] all meet and read and write.”
And Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 made great strides in delivering on that promise.
Imagine that Web 1.0. consisted mainly of static websites. You set it up, puff it up with content, and wait for traffic to consume the content we produce.
But Web 3.0. Will blow your mind
It will change our experience with the internet and deliver the next stage of Tim’s vision - a place to meet - this time with a much more immersive experience than just words on a screen.
Web 3.0: It's the blockchain, crypto, NFTs, DeFi, the Metaverse and all that stuff.
According to Forbes, “Web 3.0 will bring us a fairer internet by enabling the individual to be a “sovereign.” (No, not that woman who refused to wear a Mask because she claimed to be a Sovereign)
True sovereignty implies owning and being able to control who profits from one’s time and information.
Web 3.0’s decentralized blockchain protocol will enable individuals to connect to an Internet where they can own and be properly compensated for their time and data.
This brings us closer to Tim’s vision of “no permission is needed from a central authority to post anything ... there is no central controlling node, and so no single point of failure ... and no “kill switch”.
Sounds liberating, doesn’t it?
And that’s precisely the philosophy behind this - Tim’s vision has a strong notion of Decentralisation built into Web 3.0.
Imagine an Application built and delivered not from your corporate servers but instead residing on independent Nodes across a multitude of servers owned by the public - known today as a decentralised Application. Such apps don't rely on a single entity to set up and maintain the infrastructure but instead run on P2P networks or blockchain technologies (remember Napster from the 90s). Such technologies help to democratise the creation and ownership of Content and protect against a singular corporate entity deciding to shut it down.
Now not everyone might agree with that though.
Listening to Mark Zuckerberg talk about the Metaverse - his focus seems to be very much on the Experience of Web 3.0 and the Metaverse, implying a deep integration between virtual technologies and the real world, which promises a new, hybrid space for brands and marketers to develop connections with consumers through their digital lives.
However, the more free-spirited amongst us feel that Web 3.0 is an organic construct and should not be left to the whims of large corporations to define and dictate.
Meta (Facebook’s new monicker) is building the Disneyland equivalent of the Metaverse where a corporation controls every aspect of the experience.
But in reality even Disneyland needs to be built on some piece of land and that “land” would be some sort of Blockchain infrastructure like the Ethereum network which definition is decentralised, provides ownership rights and is not owned by any single corporation(just like the Internet).
This only makes our job as marketers harder and wrought with navigating complex technology and issues of copyright protection.
Content Creator Boom!
NFTs have been all the rage in 2021 with record breaking sales for previously unknown artists. And in case you don't know, an NFT is nothing but a Digital Good (but one with provenance built into it).
Now this is a boon for Content Creators, as you can be assured that you will be fairly compensated for your content wherever it might live. And if you see your brand from the perspective of content - then that's a good thing.
Content Creators will always get their due no matter where on the Metaverse an NFT ends up. As a brand, you should be taking the lead from Nike and thinking about how your brand and its products will manifest themselves in the Metaverse.
The Future of Growth on Web 3.0
Will you be creating Digital Versions of your products for sale and use on the Metaverse? Or will it be a completely new experience that your brand will provide. It's still pretty early but I suspect this area will be generating the vast majority of Growth for Consumer brands over the next decade.
“Our access to the internet is no longer restricted to the screen in front of us. Soon, it will be all around us and marketing will be going 3-dimensional as well.”
It might be too early to know exactly how this will play out but for now Marketers need to be prepared with the right Infrastructure and strategies that will allow them to leverage the opportunities of Web3.0 when it fully arrives.
Some Web 3.0 Digital Marketing Ideas
More and Better Data
Web3.0 being on the blockchain will give us better open access to data and as a marketer there will be valuable information in these rich data stores that can help us better understand consumer patterns and preferences.
Stopping thinking about building apps for your Business but instead start thinking about how you could be building dApps (deCentralised Apps).
Publish limited edition Branded content as NFTs
With blockchain technology you can mint limited edition content as NFTs and give these to your biggest brand advocates.
Use creator coins to reward customers and advocates
Similarly you could create Coins that you can use to reward your loyal customers.
Pay people to consume your content
With Cryptocurrencies you can even reward users (with low transaction fees) for consuming or sharing your content. Using the Brave Browser this is actually possible now.
Hold your event in a Metaverse
As mentioned in my previous post on the Metaverse, you could hold your marketing events virtually on a platform like Decentraland and delight your customers with a brand new experience.
So maybe some of these ideas may not be right for your company at this point, but the point is not to do all of this today (even though some brands like Nike, Reddit and Sothebys are).
The point is to start learning about Web 3.0 and the new things it makes possible, then start thinking about how you can do things better and do better things by harnessing these new powers.
A Primer on Web 3.0 Technologies and Concepts
Not sure where to start? I’ve compiled a list of useful resources covering Crypto Currencies, The Metaverse and all things Web 3.0 for you to get started.
Start with My Video from 2018 on Blockchain for Marketing 101 (Everything You Need To Know in 2018).
How to Invest in CryptoCurrency in Singapore
What Marketers need to know about the Metaverse
How NFTs Are Building The Internet of the Future – a TED Talk by Kayvon Tehranian
Web 2 vs Web 3 on Ethereum.org