Let’s start with a question. What do a meme of a girl standing in front of a burning house, a gummy bear mugshot, and a digitized version of Paris Hilton as a fantasy game character have in common? You might be thinking, “There is absolutely nothing that they can possibly have in common.” However, these are all part of a new global standard revolutionizing the world of investing, specifically in pieces of art.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past two years, you can’t have missed the boom of NFTs. Everyone is talking about them, and here’s why you should too if you want to take your marketing strategy to the next level.
NFTs are taking the world by storm, giving rise to a new era of collectibles within the digital world.
Although NFTs were technically introduced in 2014, 2021 can indeed be considered the Year of NFTs; it gave artists and creators the ability to monetize their work easier and more efficiently through the web and allowed collectors to easily purchase these ‘tokens’ stored in a digital platform called the blockchain.
The true value of NFTs is not limited to the artists and creators only. In fact, there is a lot that NFTs bring to the table for brands that we will explore in this article.
For us as marketers, the key value of NFTs also lies in how they transform marketing as we know it and introduce a new touchpoint to connect with customers through ownership and a new level of interactivity. Because of this, NFTs should be considered a new element in your marketing strategy as we move into the world of Web3.0.
NFT benefits you may not know about
Due to their easy exchange and selling, NFTs provide the opportunity for users and digital creators to own their artwork and intellectual property. Back in the day, the work of artists could be sold without generating a single source of income for the artists themselves.
Take the example of sculptor and painter Jeff Koons, who made a sculpture that was eventually sold for more than $91 million. You may be thinking, “Go get that bag, Koons!” The reality is, however, that he received $0 from that transaction, given that the previous owner sold it to someone else and didn’t have to pay any royalties to the actual creator.
However, with NFTs, the outcome would have been completely different.
If the sculpture had been digitized in some way and minted as an NFT, the artist would have gotten a commission after every resell of the NFT. The artist could set a percentage rate, or a royalty if we want to use crypto lingo, and for every resell, he would get a share of the profit.
Anything digital can become an NFT, and if you want to start minting yours, you must first understand the value and purpose it gives to its original creators.
When it comes to NFTs as a lever for growth and brand-building, there is an important contribution that digital memorabilia can make as part of a marketing strategy that no other channel, platform, or content format can. NFTs are a new and unique touchpoint that brands can leverage to continue building consumer relationships — and they achieve loyalty and strong connections through ownership.
Ownership is the new standard of brands connecting with consumers. NFTs create a sense of belonging and a feeling of closeness to a brand, giving consumers the opportunity to own a digital “piece” of it. This culture of affinity and collecting memorabilia isn’t a new trend — the difference being that the ownership is passed on in the digital form and not real or physical.
The idea of owning something exclusive is built on the tried-and-true strategy of scarcity — so consumers own a piece of limited-edition NFT collections and become part of the “club,” the brand’s community shared with like-minded users, bringing them closer to each other and to the brand. If in the past, people would collect rare magazine editions or vintage sneakers, NFTs make it possible to do the same in the digital space ー but in a more interactive way ー so you can engage with NFTs such as Coca Cola collectibles or Matrix characters infinitely.
A magazine may lay on a shelf or a sneaker may remain in the closet, but NFTs continuously engage users and strengthen the connection between them and the brand, fostering loyalty and building community as a result.
Branding Strategies for a Successful Collection
Singular Theme, Story & Consistent Identity
Making an NFT collection stand out from the rest is the ultimate goal for your NFTs’ success. You must ask yourself what makes your NFTs so significant and different from any other collection.
That’s why you must tell a compelling story. Successful NFT collections do so to ensure their audience understands the value that their NFTs are providing them and lay out a detailed roadmap for their future and the profit they might receive as early buyers.
Let’s take the example of the Lost Socks NFT collection.
It currently consists of 2500 unique digital characters whose rarity varies in accessories, colors, and hairstyles ー 500 of them are lefties and 2000 are righties. What makes them so significant is that this NFT collection plays on the idea that people keep losing their socks, whether it’s because one is messy or the laundry machine “ate it,” and tells the story that lost socks from the real world can be found in the Metaverse.
Not only is their story unique and a humorous approach to the struggle of any human being when losing their socks, but their consistent theme, just like in any other NFT collection, makes them even more successful.
A successful NFT collection will be consistent; artists decide on a theme for their art and stick to it. Their entire collection is built on a large and coherent body of art, making them look as if they belong to the same family, each with their own, unique attributes and an individual personality.
The Lost Socks collection does exactly that. Each NFT has a different style; they vary in their appearance from laser-shooting eyes, to party hats, and afros, to even fancy ones with mustaches and sunglasses. Having this in mind, all of these NFTs look as if they belong to the same world, the Sock World, and each one of them remains consistent with the general design.
When starting your own NFT project, one of the most important pieces of your strategy lies in the creation of a website. With one that provides insight into your collection and provides even more guidance to your audience in terms of what they’ll potentially invest in, your NFT collection is ready for a successful journey.
Websites are the first thing NFT enthusiasts look for when deciding on buying an NFT. For this reason, it must not only be captivating and show who you and your project are, but it must illustrate the value your project can bring to them, all in a strategic manner. The website must also provide excellent UI/UX for its visitors; if a user has a terrible experience with your site, they’ll probably bounce and never look back. And where does that leave your NFTs? Unsold.
On your website, you must include an overview of your project, a section dedicated to minting, a community section, a sneak peek into your unique NFTs, and most importantly, a roadmap that will provide intrinsic detail into the future of your project.
Take a look at Lost Sock’s website for inspiration. It not only includes all of the aforementioned elements but provides more features with relevant information for its audience.
The most important element to your successful NFT collection is your roadmap. How can you expect anyone to invest in your project and not even provide them with information as to where the money is going? With a detailed roadmap, you’re giving full transparency of your project for your future buyers, giving them the confidence to invest even more in a project like yours.
A strategic planning tool used for the setting of your most desired goals and outcomes, an NFT roadmap is key to communicating the value your NFT collection will bring to its investors in the long run. These typically show key milestones, a clear description of short and long-term goals, and a marketing plan showcasing the path to growth expected from your collection.
The Lost Socks collection road map is an excellent example of this; their roadmap, however, is divided into two phases. The first phase consists of describing the continuous efforts they’ll be making in terms of their project. It starts with the Sock 4 Sock Initiative, which will donate $15,000 to their selected children’s charities after the collection sells out, and ends with the creation of their $THREAD token and ecosystem, which will power Sock World and open the “Laundromat” ー the place to purchase exciting items, accessories, and wearables using the new token.
Phase 2, however, is still under construction, but they’ve described their partnership with a leading metaverse agency and a new game ready to be played by their investors and community, all to keep them in the know, as every NFT creator must do.
Create accounts on all social media platforms you feel you can create and build an organic following through. Platforms like Twitter and Discord can help you boost your NFT project’s awareness by attaching links to all of your channels in your posts and creating content that relates easily with consumers and lures them to invest in the NFTs you have created
Lost Socks can be found on both Twitter and Discord. Their Twitter account, @LostSocksWorld, is used to promote their NFT collection and announce giveaways they’ve created. They tease their NFT drops through tweets and create relevant content, including memes, surrounding the Lost Socks collection.
On the other hand, with a simple click on a hyperlink on their website, Lost Socks allows potential investors to join their Discord community. With more than 8,000 members, Lost Socks has created a community, the Lost Socks Tribes, through their NFT group where they can talk to other investors and learn more about their collection.
Through social media, you can tease your potential audiences effectively through sneak peeks. Show your followers the benefits, features, and upcoming works related to your NFT business, and do so in a creative, interactive manner that attracts consumers and stimulates them to share the project with others.
You could also potentially collaborate with social media influencers and take advantage of their follower base to promote your NFT project. Doing this will indeed increase your traffic and will thus prove beneficial in raising awareness for your new NFTs.
If you want to take your NFT collection a step further into success, you may also want to think about writing a whitepaper providing great detail about what your NFTs will bring to the table. Whitepapers entice potential investors to not only purchase your NFTs through promotional writing but to learn more about what makes your project unique.
A whitepaper can be in the form of a written statement or even a creative presentation (as Lost Socks did) outlining the purpose of your NFTs, the different rarities each asset has to offer, the team behind the collection, your roadmap, and basically everything ー and when I say everything, I mean EVERYTHING ー a potential investor would want to know when it comes to making a decision involving your NFTs.
Take advantage of whitepapers and disclose every piece of information relevant to investors. This will give even more transparency to your project and will build trust between you and your audience.
…and last but not least, adding a section answering Frequently Asked Questions won’t do any harm to your business. Investors love FAQs. With a short and simple section providing basic information regarding your NFT collection that answers the most general questions surrounding your NFTs, you’ll ease your investors’ path towards purchasing your NFTs.
At the bottom of their roadmap page, Lost Socks has a FAQs-dedicated section to answer questions surrounding the creation of their NFTs, mint dates, asset costs, partnerships, their new token, and more.
With FAQs, potential investors can answer the questions they ask about your project by just reading them themselves, hence allowing your business to respond to your audience’s needs in a more quick and appropriate manner.
A good FAQ section on your website can educate and guide your future investors in a natural way through your NFT collection and its roadmap, so make good use of this resource and implement it in your NFT marketing strategy.
Community Building & Marketing Your Collection
Foster an online community
Building a community is the key to NFT success. Re-read that last sentence one more time ー or maybe two ー until it sticks with you.
People want to feel they belong to something, especially a group of people with like-minded goals and aspirations. In NFT communities, members invest their own time, share their most creative ideas, collaborate with others, and support each other when the time comes…to mint. This is why NFT projects are now making community their most vital founding principle.
Without community, there is no NFT.
As creators take their art and mint them as NFTs, it is important for them to know they have an audience to sell them to. Having built a loyal community of investors, NFT creators can take advantage of their communities to bring to light the project they’ve been working hard on and get more exposure through various community platforms of the likes of Discord, Twitter, Reddit, and so many more, as mentioned previously.
Members of communities are constantly engaging with one another and eager to learn more about the NFTs they’ve built a relationship with. By fostering an online community, you’ll create hype and buzz around your NFT collection, incentivizing members to not only buy your NFTs when the time to mint arrives but to spread the word and share through their socials your collection and the value it’s bringing to them.
Leverage Email Marketing
As many begin to realize the power email marketing has in growing correspondences between creators and buyers as well as in providing a more personalized experience for potential investors, emails are a must in your marketing strategy.
By leveraging the benefits of email marketing, you can keep your audience fresh when it comes to product releases, get quick responses from them, and highlight new information surrounding your NFT collection. Through emails, you don’t necessarily have to over-advertise your project, but you could potentially teach them more about the NFT space and focus more on what value your collection can bring.
Launching an email marketing campaign can be as simple as collecting emails and creating appealing content for your audiences. It is a cost-effective element that should be integrated into your strategy; by doing so, you can provide a solid call to action and incentivize them into joining your NFT community through a single purchase.
Host Pre-Launch Giveaways & Live Streams
Giveaways and live streams are excellent ways to raise awareness, increase your follower base, and build community. For new projects, particularly, hosting giveaways is a great way to attract buyers. Getting NFTs for free indeed entices users to participate in a giveaway and makes them engage in activities that can help grow organic traffic to their website and social media accounts. Just resharing, commenting, and tagging others in posts allows creators to build awareness through their following, ultimately marketing your NFT project in a very fast and cost-effective manner.
Live Streams, on the other hand, allow users to communicate directly with creators and ask the questions they have regarding the project. It develops a sense of engagement and community among potential buyers and creators and serves as an effective tool to share the story of your NFT project through no one else but you, the creator. Here you can be your most authentic self and try to build the community you desire on a personal level, showing the real person behind the digital art.
Paid Ads Platforms
NFT-Specific Ad Platforms
Not only can you promote your NFTs on your own by establishing your social media presence and joining community platforms, but you can also use NFT-specific listing platforms that are dedicated to providing information about NFT launches, drops, giveaways, and so much more.
Platforms like NFT Pump and NFTLaunches are experts in this business. They attend their NFT clients with customized solutions to their problems and help them get the best outcomes to achieve their goals of reaching the maximum audience.
These platforms will drive high traffic through different services; these include viral Twitter promotion, NFT community promotion, and genuine user engagement. In other words, they will get your NFTs promoted to thousands of NFT creators and collectors, manage your Twitter account while building you a following, and get you real engagement from real NFT collectors.
Meta and Google
Meta and Google are also great platforms to advertise your NFTs; however, you will be able to do so with prior approval through their authorization process.
If you want to run ads that promote the trading of cryptos or related products and services on Meta platforms, you must meet their eligibility requirements. Their policy states that you may not promote anything related to cryptocurrency without prior written permission. However, Meta has said that advertisers who run ads promoting NFTs don’t need to confirm eligibility nor apply at this time, so this is your call to run paid ads for your NFT collections while this lasts!
And finally, Google will only run crypto ads from advertisers that are registered in the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network as a money services business and with at least a state or bank entity as a money transmitter. They must comply with relevant local, state, or federal requirements and must comply with all Google Ads policies.
With this said, take advantage of these powerful platforms to advertise your NFTs because they are excellent mediums for communication; however, make sure you act in accordance with their policies related to crypto exchanges and purchases.
NFT Drop Calendars
When it comes to advertising your NFTs, you might also want to consider taking advantage of NFT Drop Calendars. Covering the most astounding drops, events, and releases, NFT drop calendars can help your NFT collections gain more exposure than they can have by just creating a website or selling them on any NFT marketplace.
NFT drop calendars like CollectorX and NFT Evening provide information on upcoming events and drops within the NFT world and showcase specific dates and times to look out for when desiring to mint an NFT. On these sites, you can submit your project for review and they’ll promote the release of your collection through their drop calendars, which highlight the most coveted NFT collections you can find.
Drop calendars should be a part of your strategy, so leverage the awareness they can bring to your NFT collection and you’ll see your audience grow in no time.
Fractional Ownership Sites
Who said buying NFTs can only be done on your own? By partnering with fractional ownership sites, your marketing strategy will attract even more potential investors to purchase your NFTs. This time, however, you’ll be letting them split the costs of a single NFT with their friends or anyone they wish to partner with or even just buy a fraction of the NFT minted. The “I don’t have enough money to buy an NFT” days are over; you can now purchase a fraction of an NFT and join the community instantly.
Websites such as Fractional allow this fractional ownership of NFTs to happen. Reducing entry costs, increasing access, and enabling new communities, they allow you to be an NFT owner by just purchasing a fraction of the digital asset. Through websites such as PartyBid, you can do the same. In this app, however, you can create a team, which can basically consist of you and your friends, and start buying NFTs as a group. It allows groups of people to combine their capital and bid on the NFTs they wish to own as a team.
By leveraging websites like these, you are providing new opportunities for your consumers to purchase and engage with your NFT collection. Although they are not purchasing your NFT as a whole on their own, they’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of pertaining to your community and continue sharing their experiences within it, potentially increasing your NFTs’ awareness and exposure in the process.
NFT creators take advantage of the aforementioned platforms to create hype, but they do it during the whitelists and presales phase, promising future access to an NFT project whenever they are minted.
Through whitelists, creators offer presale rewards and discounts with the purpose of enticing potential buyers to purchase their NFT when the time comes and spreading, through word-of-mouth, the development of the project. This further serves as free marketing for creators as people start sharing their excitement on social media and trying to get into the whitelist, which will allow an early and guaranteed access for them to mint an NFT when it is released.
A whitelist will allow you to continue engaging with your database by sending traffic to a landing page where they will be able to sign up to get early access to mint at a specific date and time. NFT projects using whitelists reward their most active community members, saving them from entering the gas wars with others.
Let’s take The Prime Ape Planet NFT project as an example.
Before the popular NFTs were released, they were minted at a price of 0.25 ETH without gas fees, which are fees required to successfully conduct a transaction on the Ethereum blockchain. The people who were randomly selected for the whitelist would have been able to get a hold of an NFT if they wanted to at that price, guaranteed without these fees. However, the NFT mint price scaled to 2.3 ETH on the secondary market, meaning the people whitelisted who minted the NFTs had 10xed their initial investment.
Creating a whitelist will entice potential investors into the project, and will prove beneficial in spreading the word about your NFTs in the long run through different communication channels.
Choosing the Right Marketplace & Minting
Now that you have your digital assets ready to go and be minted, you must first select the appropriate marketplace to sell your NFTs. No, you shouldn’t just go on OpenSea and sell them there because it’s the largest marketplace out there. You must ask yourself, “who is my target audience and what marketplace are they already using?”
If your audience consists mainly of NFT newbies, platforms like Coinbase are your best bet given they provide easy payment methods with debit cards and are beginner-friendly. With Coinbase, users can easily set up an account and use their card without having to transfer $ETH or any other currency into their wallets to buy their NFTs quickly. Platforms like OpenSea are also great, but dealing with crypto wallets might be a hassle for people who have recently joined the NFT community.
Many NFT marketing strategists might think choosing one marketplace to sell NFTs might be the go-to move; however, let us convince you otherwise so you can set yourself apart from other NFT creators. Leveraging more than one marketplace at a time will indeed increase your NFTs’ awareness and exposure to the general NFT public eye.
With your NFTs being sold through various marketplaces, you’ll be showcasing your NFT collection through marketplaces that best suit the type of NFT you’ve created and the blockchain it uses. You’ll be attracting potential buyers from the distinct platforms available on the web and expanding your audience reach to a whole new level.
Other platforms, apart from OpenSea, that you might want to consider include Super Rare, Axie Marketplace, Myth Market, Enjin, Rarible, and so many more. Go through the policies of each marketplace and decide which one will provide the best value for you and your buyers when it’s time to mint your NFTs.
Opening new doors for your potential investors to acquire your NFTs will give you an advantage over your competitors.
Promoting your NFTs doesn’t necessarily have to end once your NFTs have been minted. Your NFT marketing strategy can go way beyond the regular promotional efforts; it can expand into a new journey through which your community can continue to engage with the NFTs they’ve purchased and you, as the creator and marketer of your NFTs, can reinforce that community. Here are some ways you can expand your NFT collection like a true NFT marketing guru:
One way you can expand your collection is through the creation of clubs and games surrounding the stories behind your NFTs.
Clubs are the easiest route towards the expansion of your collection; NFT creators such as the ones behind the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) take pride in community-building through the way in which the tokens themselves double as memberships to a swamp club for apes. With clubs like this, you’ll be able to strengthen the community that owns your NFTs, and continue the engagement and relationship between the creator and investor.
Games are an unusual route to take, but it certainly is a distinct, creative approach to the expansion of your NFT collection. Lost Socks is a great example of this; they’re developing a game through which NFT owners can use their NFTs from their collection as an entry to the game. Although details of the game have not been released, Lost Socks’ roadmap briefly introduces the opportunity to engage in this experience, and it is certainly one of the major things Lost Socks owners are expecting to take advantage of when it is launched.
Collaboration & Mergers
Another way to boost your NFT marketing efforts is to collaborate with other NFT projects to build an even bigger, more popular project than it already is.
The aforementioned Bored Ape Yacht Club has leveraged this opportunity and acquired the famous Crypto Punks collection’s distribution rights in a $5 billion merger. Through this merger, BAYC will transfer the IP rights to owners, something that the original creators of Crypto Punks had refused to do.
Through large collaborations and mergers like this, you’ll gain a new set of audiences for your own NFT collection and expand the community you’ve already been building since the origins of your personal project. It is unexpected collaborations like this that create buzz and increase online engagement with your NFTs, so if you can potentially collaborate or merge with growing NFT collections, your marketing strategy will have nothing to fear.
Subcollections or new lines to original NFT collections are another way to expand your collection, all within the same universe your originals live in. With this said, it doesn’t necessarily take the creation of a game, a collaboration, or something radical on your end to continue expanding your NFT collection; you can do this by sticking to your original works of art and modifying them in an innovative manner.
You’re probably now tired of hearing the Bored Ape Yacht Club once again, but their new collection of Bored Ape Grandpas is a stellar example of a successful subcollection. Taking the original apes as inspiration for this new line, Grandpa Apes share similar features with the originals but what makes them different is not only each of their rarities but the fact that they’ve been aged.
New collections like this allow the conversation about your NFT collection to grow and further the building of community by attracting new investors who might have already wanted to own Bored Apes to join the community in the first place ー all through a new line. By doing the same for your NFTs, you’ll be holding your community growth at heart, and by doing so, you’ll reach new audiences through the creation of new value.
NFTs offer a new format to engage with customers, so it’s important to be strategic in how you market your NFTs through a unique marketing strategy. Remember that leading with your brand story, ensuring consistency, and promoting your NFT correctly after truly understanding where they fit in your growth plan is the most important aspect to your success, so think about how you will create an incredible NFT collection and how you will advertise it with the ultimate goal of increasing sales and building community engagement in the long run.