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Content Marketing Strategy for Web3

Web3 Content Marketing Strategy

What’s your Web3 Content Marketing Strategy? It requires a specific approach – we’re offering our best advice here.

An old saying goes: “There is nothing new under the sun,” yet try telling that to early-adopter tech enthusiasts who thrive on marketplace innovation and disruption. 

The saying comes from Ecclesiastes 1.9, a book tradition tells us King Solomon wrote in his old age. The phrase means that no matter how amazing a new creation appears, it is simply an update to what came before. 

The success of every innovation depends on how well it interfaces with the existing society or market. If a product or service is too early, it fades. The tech industry provides many fascinating examples. Thirty years ago, Apple introduced Newton, a personal digital assistant with rudimentary handwriting recognition. Adoption lagged because the product was too early for the market. On a wider stage, we saw the craze and crash happen at about the same time. 

Today we’re seeing a similar pattern. Web3 is attracting evangelists as well as haters. The web3 world is already littered with failed companies ahead of their time. Innovation, especially disruptive innovation, makes it tricky to time and sustain a go-to-market strategy.

However, there is one thing web3 companies have control of, and that is their messaging – aka content marketing. In web1 – 2, content marketing took center stage due to search engines’ heavy reliance on keywords, context, and page view metrics. Let’s look at an update and overview of content marketing with a web3 spin. 

What is Content Marketing? 

Content marketing sits under the umbrella of traditional marketing. Pre-modern content marketing was mostly word-of-mouth, as in, “Go see Ahmad, he has the best grapes in the market.” Now, maybe Ahmad’s cousin actually had the best grapes, but Ahmad was a good storyteller. He shared anecdotes about his vineyard, kept mental notes of his best customers, and offered helpful tips about their upcoming events.

Modern content marketing has its roots in the written word, specifically the printing press. Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanack was a genius piece of content marketing that added value to his audience – people who could read – while promoting his printing business.

So no matter what you are selling, content marketing focuses on building trust with your audience via informational or entertaining communication. The key is to add value or entertain because that engages them and builds trust. 

Why Does Content Marketing Matter in Web3?  

In web2, Facebook, Google, and other platforms perfected the ad-driven business model, where they collected targeting data from users and sold it back to advertisers.

In recent months, there have been signs that the model is in decline. Consumers are increasingly wary of privacy issues. There is a recession fear-related decline in ad spending. On top of that, Apple dealt its competitors a huge blow last year by allowing iPhone users to opt out of tracking data. The strategy dried up a rich data source that social media platforms previously used to target ads, with Meta’s ad revenue alone dropping by a whopping $10 billion.

The upshot is that content marketing is more important than ever as results falter from paid search and ads. Robert Rose, a senior-level strategist for the Content Marketing Institute, says, “Web 3.0 has more kinship with content marketing than traditional brand and direct marketing and advertising.”

Why? Because, at its core, content marketing seeks to create and strengthen an emotional attachment with an audience. Web3 marketing goals are very similar via building community participation and peer-to-peer transactions. It’s a wallet-driven world where consumers control their data, and brands reward them for sharing and participating.

The second major reason is personalization. Advances in AI will improve companies’ ability to personalize experiences – in other words, deliver the right content to the right person at the right time.

Content Marketing Can Be Challenging

In today’s world, content marketing continues to be a challenge for many companies. If that includes you, don’t feel bad – you are not alone! A 2022 Semrush survey asked 1,500+ businesses about content marketing strategy. The responses were revealing.

  •  97% of companies said content marketing is a “part of their marketing strategy.”
  • A little over half, 57%, said they have a “documented” strategy.

If we agree that documentation is usually a prerequisite for strategy, then in reality, only 57% of companies have a solid plan for content marketing. That statistic may explain why only 19% think their content marketing strategy is “very successful.”

As you can see from the graphic below, content marketing has many moving parts. It requires research, writing, editing, and a consistent distribution schedule.

Content Marketing Strategy for Web3
Source: Influencer Marketing Hub

Setting up a strategy can feel daunting. The best way to start is to keep it simple and start with the most important element: your audience.

Audience First and Always

Even with the evolution of digital marketing and KPIs, those numbers simply reflect your audience’s reaction to your content. Companies need a clear picture of whom they are trying to communicate with and why. Brands that go beyond basic demographic targeting will stand out in a good way. Two places to start are personalization and values.

Personalization and values are key for Web3 content marketing.

As we move further into web3, we’ll see AI and big data enable brands to deliver more personalized outcomes to individuals. And consumers are beginning to expect a more personal experience. Overall, 69% of consumers sharing information expect and appreciate more personalization from brands.

Secondly, recent research shows that an increasingly effective way to engage people is via shared values. In 2017, even before a global pandemic, Deloitte reported that 87% of consumers say they would purchase a product from a company that “stood up or advocated for” an issue that is important to them. That finding ties into Simon Sinek’s famous insight that people don’t stay with brands because of what you do; they stay because of why you do it.

David Allison has built a company and database around Valuegraphics. He makes a compelling case that the traditional demographics don’t capture the complexity of an ideal brand audience today. Why? Shared values drive emotion, trust, and purchasing.

Customer personas are foundational for content marketing. 

Once a brand is clear on whom they are talking to and why, the next step is to create three or more customer personas. These are fictional ideal customers, based on research, company experience, and data, who personify ideal customers. The personas detail their pain points and success markers. HubSpot has a good resource for putting together initial customer personas. 

Guiding the Audience with a Content Marketing Funnel

Expert content marketers often use the funnel as an analogy for the flow of marketing leads. There are different versions, and the general idea is to use a visual to explain the stages of content marketing and the customer’s journey in that process. The image below illustrates how the customer journey and marketing funnel are related.

Content Marketing Strategy for Web3
Source: HubSpot

The framework is similar whether you are marketing Ahmad’s grapes, Ben Franklin’s printing services, or your web3 company. 

Sales and other non-marketing executive leadership can feel frustrated with the labor-intensive wordiness of content marketing. Show me the leads and some ROI, right? Check out this article on Demand Drive’s blog on Medium that does a great job of interpreting the content marketing process from a sales development POV.

Executing Content Marketing Strategy

So far, we’ve talked about the concepts of content marketing in general. In traditional web2 marketing (where most of the marketplace still resides), a typical strategy includes setting goals for conversions that lead – or “funnel” – prospects to a sales conversion.  

One popular strategy includes producing long-form “pillar content” for a blog and breaking that content into smaller pieces and media formats for broader distribution on paid or unpaid social media. The problem with social media followers is that brands don’t own the audience, meaning the platforms control access. Those 200k followers on Instagram can (and sometimes do) disappear overnight if IG decides to shut down the account. That is why a common goal of content marketing is to build an email list because names on an email list represent an owned audience.

In web3, wallets and NFTs offer a richer opportunity to build an owned audience and provide  direct access to fans and customers. Brands can create customer journeys that reward fans for participation, purchases, and more. Loyalty programs are an obvious example.

Collectibles are hot, too, especially those that include additional utility such as real-world access, physical items, or other perks. NBA’s TopShot is the collectible NFT poster child for success, reaching the $1B mark in sales in May 2022 amidst an overall downturn in the NFT market.

As marketers get savvier about creating user-friendly web3 experiences for the mainstream, we will start seeing broader wallet adoption. 70% of the buyers in Donald Trump’s recent sold-out drop were first-time NFT buyers. The campaign marketed the NFTs as “trading cards” and allowed credit card purchases to remove the friction at the point of sale.

The metaverse represents a massive opportunity (and learning curve) for marketers. Content will evolve from text, static imagery and video to immersive virtual experiences. People who visit these virtual locations will engage with – you guessed it – content. Storytelling, screenwriting, spatial design and stage direction will be critical skills in web3 metaverse content marketing.

Moving Ahead

As we’ve seen, content marketing in web3 builds on marketing fundamentals that started long before the internet. Web3 simply provides new tools and AI-enhanced personalization opportunities. Brands that optimize their marketing fundamentals now will create a solid basis to help their audience successfully transition from web2 to web3.

One barrier to adoption in web3 is complexity at tax time. If you or your audience buy, sell, or trade crypto assets, ZenLedger can help organize your crypto holdings, aggregate transactions across wallets and exchanges, and compute capital gain or loss each year. We even identify ways to save throughout the year using tax loss harvesting. Get started for free today.

This material has been prepared for informational purposes only and should not be interpreted as professional advice. Please seek independent legal, financial, tax, or other advice specific to your particular situation.

Kala Philo