Recently, I came across an article featuring one of the greatest NFT sales of all time. It was one of Beeple’s works of digital arts, “The first 5000 days” that was sold for $63.9 million. Mike Winkelmann, an artist also known as Beeple, created a collage out of his first 5000 digital art pieces created for his “Everyday series”. The above price was the highest bid on the non-fungible token associated with the image. It made me think about how big this NFT market can be and how fruitful may it prove to be from a marketing perspective.
On the other hand, NFT or the Non-Fungible Token is not a new idea. In fact, the concept has been around for over a decade. However, lately, it was embraced by more and more people and brands and has become quite the new golden goose of the marketing sector.
Everybody talks now about NFT marketing and today, we’re going to do the same. And, find out together, what’s up with this new strategy and why is it so popular nowadays?
Chapter 1: NFT Marketing Fundamentals
Some of you know what NFT is, some maybe don’t. To accommodate everyone with the concept, I will assume that there are a lot of people reading this piece who need some clarifications in this area. This is why I will start with the basics and move on, step by step.
Definition. What is NFT and what is NFT marketing?
What does NFT mean?
The acronym stands for non-fungible token.
What is NFT?
As I have already mentioned, NFTs have been in the market for over a decade now. However, they only got people’s attention in the last couple of years after a lot of art lovers, collectors, and business giants started to embrace the idea.
Basically, NFTs are digital assets that allow the trading of digital artwork on NFT platforms with cryptocurrencies. While they are not mutually interchangeable, any piece of art in a digital format can be tokenized into an NFT.
Here, we can include video clips, trading cards, fashion, films, video game skins, digital artworks, memes, gifs, collectibles, etc. Virtually, NFTs can be used for any type of intellectual property or digital property. At the same time, NFTs can represent tangible assets as well.
However, let’s get back to our main question and try to explain what fungible and non-fungible means as simple as possible.
First, we need to understand what fungible means. Some of the most common commodities are fungible when their individual units are interchangeable and indistinguishable.
Let’s say you are at the store and after purchasing an item, the store clerk needs to give you a change in the amount of 10 dollars. These 10 dollars are fungible items because it doesn’t matter whether the cashier gives you 10 one-dollar bills or 2 five-dollar bills. You get the same amount of money in both cases.
There are a lot of other things that just like money, are fungible. This means they are interchangeable. Each unit is interchangeable with any other unit and not distinguishable from it.
On the other hand, if you ordered a Brancusi sculpture and get instead the project made by an art student for their final grade you will definitely be at least mad. Art pieces do not carry the same value. They are unique and not interchangeable. In other words, they are non-fungible items.
The NFT is the digital certificate of ownership for one-of-a-kind assets that cannot be interchanged with other items.
They are cryptographic unique items. You can trade NFTs online. They are maintained and protected in a digital ledger, the blockchain, and allow us to trade digital items as opposed to tangible ones.
“In a way, NFTs are like the serial numbers that a luxury brand would issue for each of their products to verify their authenticity². Except in the case of NFTs, there’s no central authority (aka, the luxury brands) issuing those serial numbers, just like there’s no central bank issuing new bitcoins. Instead, most NFTs in circulation today are built on Ethereum, and each NFT is created to represent a particular piece of digital asset and verified by the network. When people sell and buy NFTs, their unique identifier gets encrypted into the token to denote ownership. This is then encrypted and distributed throughout the entire network, meaning that everyone with access to the network can see the ownership information, but can’t access the NFTs without the cryptographic key that the owner has”, says Richard Yao, Manager of Strategy and Content at IPG Media Lab.
What is NFT marketing?
It doesn’t matter what kind of business you are running. If you want to stay on top and ahead of your competition, you need to think outside the box and experiment with new things always. NFT marketing is your chance to do that.
An NFT marketing strategy takes the power of these types of tokens and puts them to your brands/products’ benefit. You need to develop a unique non-fungible token and sell it on an NFT marketplace.
And, as in any other type of marketing, you start by studying the market, understanding the trends, and exploring the concept of NFT from every possible perspective and angle. In the end, it’s worth your effort because NFTs are nowadays quite versatile and valuable. This is the reason many companies have already decided to invest in an NFT strategy.
In fact, NFT marketing is the strategy itself, the one that you imagine, as a marketer in order to put the whole concept to good use. There are people who sell NFTs in order to get a higher status while others are trying to give something useful to their customers/community. There are people or marketers who sell NFTs because they give access to an exclusivist domain as well.
What we all need to understand here, however, is that NFT marketing is never a one-shot thing.
It’s a long-term commitment and, before even thinking about getting inside the game, you need to make sure the entire architecture of your company is well defined, crystal clear for you and for everybody else involved. And, when you think about commitment, just remember the first example, the first paragraph of this article. It took 5000 unique designs for Beeple to sell his piece for that amount of money.
Chapter 2: NFT Marketing Tools
When you are dealing with NFTs, there’s not so much about tools but the platforms you can use in order to advertise or sell your tokens.
We’ll be talking about advertising them in the next chapter. Now, let’s take a look at the main platforms you can use for NFTs:
KnownOrigin is a platform powered by Ethereum, which showcases some of the most wanted and rarest pieces of digital artwork. You can tokenize your own pieces and be remunerated instantly after each sale you make. People who visit the site can place bids on the artworks or buy NFTs.
Enjin is of the best platforms to get started with NFTs and blockchain technology. It has a marketplace that allows you to discover, buy and sell rare digital items, etc. You can create your own NFTs, of course, and integrate them with your website, apps, or games. You can trade them using the Enjin Wallet which is available on both Google Play and App Store. More than 800k NFYs have already been sold on the platform so, why wait any longer? Just try it.
OpenSea is the largest marketplace in the world for rare digital assets including digital art and collectibles. In order to create an account and start buying and selling on the platform, you need nothing more than a wallet like Torus, Metamask, Dapper, Bitski, or Fortmatic.
You need to register for an account before being able to use Crypto.com but it is worth it. Subscribers are being informed about every new sale which means you will also get a lot of help marketing your tokens in the first place. Moreover, you can sell anything like art, digital items, games, and sports NFTs.
You can connect your wallet to the website and create either single or multiple collectibles to sell on the Rarible marketplace.
The good news from a marketing perspective is that the platform has an active community as well, a community that engages in discussions frequently.
Chapter 3: NFT Marketing Checklist
Before starting with your marketing strategy, you need to understand where you are and where you aim to be when you are done with it.
I suggest, starting by creating an NFT marketing checklist. And, it could look like this:
1. Identify the utility of your NFT
2. Know the audience. Identify their interests
3. Identify the best delivery channels
4. Create content around the NFT
5. Grow a community based on interest
Identify the utility of your NFT
What are you selling? Is there a story behind it? Is there a utility to it? Why should people spend money on it? These are some of the questions you need to ask yourself in order to create a good strategy.
They all go hand in hand with what your purpose is, the main thing you want to achieve with your strategy combined with the purpose set on the selling item. Once you know all these things, you can move on to the next steps and plant the seed of knowledge to the target audiences as well.
As long as they are aware of what they really get when making the purchase, considering they deem it worthy of their money, half your job is already done.
Know the audience. Identify their interests
A lot of marketers make this beginner’s mistake: they try to convey a message to everybody regardless of what niche they work with. It would be a waste of resources of both time and money to do that. If you want to have a relationship with the people most likely to purchase what you are selling, you need to study who these people are.
Well, you don’t want to sell diapers to people who don’t have kids, right? Or, to people who have kids bigger than 2 years old. Half your work is about the audience and about giving the right things to the right people. Don’t ever forget that.
Identifying the best delivery channels
The next logical step is to identify and use the most relevant channels where the most relevant people who are your target audience spend their time.
Here are some of the best examples. They are not exclusive, feel free to experiment with any other channel you deem to be worth it:
Facebook. With almost 2 billion users per day, Facebook is obviously the most popular social media platform. It may prove to be the perfect place to start marketing an NFT product. Even though your potential customers may not all be here, it is almost impossible to not find a community to build around your brand. You can create a page, join or create your own Groups and engage with the people.
There’s also this group called “The Official NFT Marketplace”, a place that I promise you will prove to be the perfect place to build a community and market an NFT.
Clubhouse. There are a lot of hot topics on Clubhouse and NFT is one of them. No kidding. You will find dedicated Clubs like this one as well, clubs that will allow you to engage with NFT communities and people who share this specific interest. You can engage with them, learn more about how to start your marketing strategy for NFTs, read blog posts and guides on the best practices. It’s a place for knowledge and at the same time, a place to meet potential peers and why not, customers.
Twitter. It’s not as popular as Facebook but still, it’s the perfect place to share quick updates and announcements, to build a community, and directly and quickly interact and communicate with your followers. You can get a lot of exposure through shares and re-Tweets.
Steemit. This website is a blockchain-based social media and blogging platform. It uses a type of cryptocurrency called STEEM to reward users for creating and posting content. Think about how perfect is this: having a blockchain-based product marketed on a blockchain-based platform.
Your own blog. All the above platforms are great but nothing is greater than having your own private space. Your own home for the project or brand you are trying to market. There are no limits in how you can use a blog or website and more importantly, everything you post there, you own. You get all the rights to the content you share on your own platform which includes the way you distribute it and everything related to visual marketing.
Create content around the NFT
Now that you have found your channels, it’s time to move ahead and think about what you will share with the audience. I am referring to the content you’ll get to post on the social media platform or on your personal blog or website.
Here are some of the most important steps in content marketing at this point:
1. Build awareness
Start your campaign imagining that people do not know a thing about your brand, products, or what an NFT means. Think about educating them about all these things and share some of your inside knowledge.
People need to know what they are buying and without knowing what NFT is or who you are in the first place, they wouldn’t know either if they should pay for what you have to offer. If you don’t know what an apple is or what an apple is all about, you would never pay for it, isn’t it?
2. Build trust
There are two levels of trust you can build in a relationship with your audience:
a. Trust in your company, brand or product.
b. Trust in your expertise
Building the first level of trust is rarely a question of content marketing. However, the second level is what I am talking about here and what you should try to achieve when working on your NFT marketing strategy.
Create specific content. Create guides and “How To’s”, share some of your knowledge with the audience. The more they trust you, the more likely is they will follow you and follow your advice as well.
3. Build conversions
Once you have the attention of the community, you need to convert them into paying customers. In order to do that, your content should be convincing enough. Tell them why they should take on your offer, what is so special about it and how can it help them in whatever mode you think it will.
The best to convince and convert? Try conversational marketing!
Marketing is all about delivering the right message to the right people.
Conversational marketing does exactly that: it’s the marketing that directly talks to the consumers. This strategy is conversational-driven and customer-focused, more than any other marketing strategy. I think I don’t have to explain why this approach is recommended in 2021 or 2022 and why it is so valued in the era of Social Media.
What you need to know is that people like it when brands talk to them directly, when the whole marketing takes a personal approach instead of the traditional, rigid and impersonal one.
Grow a community based on interest
As much as people like to converse these days, they like to be part of communities of shared interests where they can learn more about what they want or like, share new ideas, discuss the latest trends or simply, impart knowledge to those interested in acquiring it.
This is why basing your strategy on the community and not the brand is important at this point and it should be on your checklist.
You can do it on a personal blog, a social media page, or group, with a podcast, a video series, or whatever other types of content you think you can create, content that can be shared with a group based on a specific interest.
Chapter 4: NFT Marketing Strategies and Techniques
An NFT marketing strategy is no different from any other strategies you, as a marketer, designed. The basics are all there, the steps are the same, all you need is to understand what you are dealing with and how to get to your goals.
It’s not rocket science. Many companies have already developed their own NFT collections which they sell on their own digital NFT platforms. NFT marketplaces are easy to use, they are secure and, there are a lot of applications already available on smartphones as well. This is why they are quite popular among folks and marketers altogether.
Through marketing, you can use your NFTs to build brand awareness, drive customers’ engagement, create a better relationship with your customers and generate revenue. You need it if you want to stay ahead of your competition and NFTs are a great way to do that, especially if you consider that the competitors may already be dipping up to their elbows into this specific jar of honey.
What strategies you can use in NFT Marketing?
You won’t believe it but the answer is the same as it should have been for any other type of digital marketing. Here are some of the best examples:
Build the community
Remember the last thing on the marketing strategy checklist? Well, this is it, you have reached the point where you know what you want and how to build everything from scratch, it’s time to actually dig in and start working.
One of the most important things, when you want to actually sell something, is to create a strategy that is contemporary with the audience. This is where the community comes into place. A community built around an interest that triggers awareness, needs, curiosity, and friendship, some of the most essential elements that will help you reach your goals.
A good example in this case and also a possible starting point is Discord, a chat platform quite suitable for communication and for online communities. While in the beginning Discord was embraced mostly by online game players, lately, it has become home for a diversity of groups based on different interests. The important thing is that a lot of NFT enthusiasts choose to spend time on this platform which makes it perfect for your marketing strategy.
Moreover, there are a lot of NFT Discord servers where you can meet and chat with people who share the same interests as you, the perfect gateway for your community-building prospects as well.
SEO – Search engine optimization
As long as you are dealing with a digital product, you need to always be aware that everything you build is online. And, that people get online to search for things, not only to exchange messages and pictures on social media.
They search for things they need or for the information they don’t have.
Here’s where SEO comes into place. It helps you put your information where it should be in order to be easier to be found by the people who need it.
Use keywords to help your audience get to your NFTs and never forget that SEO is one of the most crucial elements of digital marketing.
A lot of businesses rely on this old but lucrative and effective strategy. It’s effective because is direct and, if you are able to convince people to subscribe to a newsletter by their free will, you have already a base of potential customers to start with when you have a message to deliver.
You can sell and advertise NFTs via emails the same way you would advertise and promote anything else. And you know what? It always works because most of the people who agree to subscribe are already a part of your customers’ pool. They are already interested in your brand or your niche and some of them would be more than happy to hear from you.
Build a community around your brand or products
I’ve already mentioned this step and this is why I will not spend too much of your precious time repeating myself. At this point, is all about social media and the way you manage to create the content and interact with your audience up to the point you transform them into a community that helps you grow exponentially.
An influencer, if backed up by the right community, can always help you more than a lot. Influencers are people who already have communities of followers that value their advice and recommendations. It doesn’t need to be an NFT marketing expert or an expert in your domain whatsoever. They can help you by simply putting your brand or product out there, sharing it with their communities of followers, and thus, helping you increase awareness or even get more conversions. NFT influencer marketing is therefore a key step in your strategy, one that should not be ignored.
Collaborate with other businesses
Complementary businesses can help each other when conducting marketing online. Maybe you have clients with who you already have a good relationship with or, you have some companies among your suppliers who can help you market your products by showcasing your strong points.
Chapter 5: NFT Marketing Case Study
You don’t need to be an NFT marketing expert to start with your first NFT marketing strategy. You need to know what you want and, take advice from other professionals as well. The best pieces of advice? Simple. Learn from others’ successes and try to copy as much as you can from them. When it comes to marketing, copying is not that bad, as long as you learn to adapt what others did to your own game and turn it into something genuinely original.
So, let’s see some of the best examples of NFT marketing and NFT success you can learn from:
1. The non-fungible pizzas from Pizza Hut
Everybody loves pizza. Or, most of us, anyway. Would you think about buying a non-fungible one as well? Some of us did. And the Hut expected it since they launched a non-fungible pizza slice campaign. Pizza Hut Canada entered the NFT Market with the “1 Bite Favourites”, a digital and pixelated pizza slice that was meant to promote a bunch of new pizza flavors which were at that point “to be introduced” on the Canadian market.
Every slice was sold for the price of 0.00001 ETH, the equivalent of $0.18, the approximate price of one bite of pizza in the real world. Each week, they released a new pixelated pizza slice, for each of the flavors that they wanted to introduce to the consumers. Eventually, they were all sold out and the original digital art was re-listed on the NFT marketplace for the price of 5 ETH which at that time was $8,824.07.
2. Charmin and their NFT toilet paper
Toilet paper. Nothing fancy about it yet, this is an item people use every day for as long as they are alive. Who would imagine an NFT sale on TP? Well, Charmin did.
Remember the first days of the quarantine when this simple and “taken-for-granted” item has become a commodity? Charming took advantage of the moment and transformed toilet paper into a digital asset as well in the form of digital GIFs that were sold on the NFT marketplace. Bids were seen as high as $264.62 and all the money gained from this marketing endeavor was donated to Direct Relief, as part of Charmin’s strategy to give back to the community.
3. Pringles’ CryptoCrisp NFT campaign
Pringles teamed up with artist Vasya Kolotusha who created a digital box of chips that were sold on the NFT marketplace as part of a non-fungible digital art campaign. There are only 50 of these to go around and therefore, they are viewed as a rarity among digital owners and art enthusiasts. At the moment, the price is 4.95 ETH that is approximately 19,550 at this moment, in US dollars. Initially, every token was priced at $2. Impressive, isn’t it?
4. Jack Dorsey’s first tweet
NFT marketing is not only for brands or digital art. Influencers and people who are followed by large groups can also sell on the marketplace rarities and priceless pieces of history like Jack Dorsey, the founder, and CEO of Twitter did with his first Tweet on the platform. It was sold for almost 3 million ,dollars. Not bad, if you ask me.
There’s a game called CryptoKitties. Did you hear about it? If not, no problem there, except the fact that it has become very popular especially among NFT collectors. What did they do? They allow users to trade in and sell virtual kittens. The result is almost unbelievable as the following kitten named Dragon was sold for $172,000 to a user named Markv.
6. Minecraft NFTs
Recently, Microsoft teamed up with blockchain developer Enjin and released Azure Space Mystery, a game that celebrates the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. During the play, players are rewarded with NFTs that are compatible and transferable in the game Minecraft. Moreover, the NFTs unlock a special and secret Azure Space Mystery sequel game within Minecraft itself.
“By logging into Minecraft’s MyMetaverse server and connecting with an Enjin wallet containing the NFTs, players can access a sequel Azure Space Mystery quest within Minecraft which can be completed to receive additional collectible NFTs. While there is an infinite supply of the tokens available to be claimed by players, the NFTs will never be issued again after the Space Mystery promotion has ended”, cointelegraph.com wrote.
7. Gary Vee and his “Vee Friends”
Gary Vaynerchuck, one of the most well-known influencers with a huge fan base has also embarked on the NFT journey recently. To this end, he has created a project called “Vee Friends”. It is centered around a series of characters that have traits Gary believes in and it was started in 2021 as a personal project and his first grasp on the NFT sector.
The project was launched on May the 11th and within the first 24 hours, 3,129 tokens were sold. Moreover, on the 1st of June already, only 20 days after the auction has begun, Vee Friends officially sold out on the website.
More resources on NFT
We’ve already reached the end of this little journey and before concluding it, I would like to pinpoint some of the best resources to start learning and talking about NFT.
First, you can start with a podcast like, Naval Ravikant on Happiness, Reducing Anxiety, Crypto Stablecoins, and Crypto Strategy or the NFT Origin Stories.
If you would rather read about it, I suggest starting with this book which you can complement with How to NFT, a complete website that serves as more than a mere guide to NFT. In fact, I think you can find anything here, from the first steps into this market and up to the expert mode which I am sure you will get to, soon enough.
And of course, if you are into the new media, there are also YouTube channels like this one, that can help you understand the phenomenon and create a lucrative NFT marketing strategy.
Or, finally, you can always recur to social media and follow the NFT based tags and communities. Here are some of my favorite Twitter NFT influencers who can help you learn more on the subject:
The account started as a project to open an NFT funded cafe in NYC. It evolved into a real community with lots of followers and NFT enthusiasts.
J1mmy.eth is the founder and CEO of nft42, an NFT platform and provider of cloud solutions for advancing on-chains NFTs. His tweets are about new projects, opinions, and inspirational quotes on NFTs and things related to the topic.
The owner of the account is one of the most active members of the NFT space. He is also the director of “vibes” @ fractional_art. You should follow the account for a lot of inside information on the topic, as DeezeFi is holding regular Twitter Space discussions on NFT Pricing.
The Bored Ape Yacht Club is one of the mos spoken-about NFT projects that were launched in 2021. Since they began in April, they have done over 1 billion dollars in volume, a number that makes them one of the fastest-growing projects of all time. You have a lot to learn from such a big success.
We’ve saved the best for last, as NFT Lately is more than a Twitter resource. It’s the no. 1 NFT Newsletter which covers NFT news, updates, and more.
NFTs are here and they are here to stay. Moreover, it seems that people can buy crazy things for a crazy amount of money on crypto platforms. Why not take advantage of it and get to a whole another level when it comes to marketing? Why not step out of your comfort zone and try something new?
And yes, for most of us, NFT is something new. A virgin territory that needs to be touched, explored and exploited. Because the first thing you need to learn about marketing is that there should be no limit in where you sell, what you sell, and how you sell as long as you do it to the right people and for the right reasons.
NFTs work and NFT marketing work even better if you know what are you doing and how they make the best out of your strategy. Understanding the idea behind these marketplaces is one thing but understanding how to work your way up in this new and giving sector is even more important.
With this article I tried to outline not what NFT is but at the same time, why is it good for a business and how to do it better, with some really good examples as well.
What do you think about NFT marketing? Did you try to embark on this journey, so far? How was it and what are your plans for the future?