It’s time for brands to leverage the decentralised world of Web 3.0

For brands, Web 3.0 presents an exciting opportunity to break free from centralised marketing channels and infiltrate new spaces to connect with unknown audiences, writes Charlotte Ward, founder and director at Agnes Media.

Non-traditional platforms are on the rise with the explosion of Web 3.0 – but it’s not just crypto brands and blockchain enthusiasts who are making the most of this new environment. Savvy brands who understand the key differences to marketing on Web 2.0 are deploying unique strategies to build communities and attract loyal followers.
In the primitive days of the World Wide Web, e-commerce and marketing strategies were unrefined and lacked clarity. At least initially, companies had neither the tools nor a comprehensive understanding of the space to truly leverage its strengths. While there was dedicated infrastructure on Web 1.0, there were few channels through which to advertise and capture new audiences.As digital adoption skyrocketed, social networks heralded the dawn of Web 2.0.Organisations shifted their priorities to digital marketing rather than purely traditional means, and audiences adopted a mobile-first, always-on attitude to staying connected. Cloud-driven computing also strengthened the ability of businesses to operate digitally and deploy more robust marketing strategies that delivered a healthy return on investment.Evolution of the internet continues unabated, and we are now in the midst of Web 3.0 – defined by AI-driven services, edge computing infrastructure, crypto and NFTs, the blockchain, and decentralised data architecture. For brands, this presents an exciting opportunity to break free from centralised marketing channels and infiltrate new spaces to connect with unknown audiences.

Entirely decentralised and owned by the people

Centralised networks dominated the Web 2.0 era. This was a wonderful time for brands who were suddenly able to interact with customers through two-way communication. From Facebook to Twitter to YouTube and beyond, these platforms enabled user-generated content and empowered brands to connect, communicate and market directly to their audience – with the ultimate goal to not just convert a sale, but to create brand ambassadors.Cost, however, has always been a drawback. Over the years, a rapid uptick in online advertising empowered these platforms to charge more, with little increase in benefits to either the brands or the users. But Web 3.0 threatens to shake the very foundations that have allowed corporate entities to profit from the most common Web 2.0 marketing tactics. While Web 3.0 has inherently been linked with cryptocurrency – and indeed crypto brands – every organisation should be exploring the value of Web 3.0 to make an impact in this growing space.

Building a community

Some of the biggest opportunities for penetrating Web 3.0 audiences include platforms like Discord, Medium, Telegram and Lenster. Drawing attention for their decentralised and permissionless nature, they are enabling crypto brands and businesses in other sectors to break free of the shackles of Web 2.0 platforms.In previous years, the majority of advertising for crypto brands took place on Twitter and Reddit. While a platform like Reddit has typically been seen as standing apart from more traditional 2.0 services like Facebook, it still has restrictions in place that don’t allow brands to take advantage of new marketing techniques – at least not compared to decentralised communities. Even claims that Reddit and other Web 2.0 platforms are looking to adopt Web 3.0 practices – such as by giving their users more freedom to generate their own content – pales in comparison to fully decentralised platforms.Ultimately, for brands looking to take advantage of Web 3.0 and build a community of loyal followers, you need a new approach to media. This is because the 3.0 space, and crypto in particular, is traditionally against conventional advertising due to privacy concerns, a thirst for transparency, and the fact that they want to own the platforms, not be owned by the platform. As Alex Taub, the co-founder of Upstream puts it: “In Web 1.0 your community is IRL… in Web 2.0 your community was a URL… in 3.0 the community is all about ownership. Being part of a community means you’re providing funding to run the community and gaining transparency and voting power.”

Marketing in a Web 3.0 environment

It’s still early days for Web 3.0, so approaching marketing in this environment requires a new mindset and a shift from more traditional advertising practices that deliver ROI on Web 2.0 platforms. Instead, consider more innovative approaches such as:
  • Engaging consumers organically in the metaverse through experimentation.
  • Running competitions on your brand’s dedicated Discord server.
  • Building partnerships and affiliations with other brands operating in the Web 3.0 space to help spread the word.
  • Guerrilla marketing tactics to reach unknown audiences, as part of a broader strategy involving organic social strategy and community engagement.
  • Collaborations with other Web 3.0 apps to help advocate for the brand and demonstrate utility in a space that is ripe with potential.
  • Ready to embrace the wild and exciting world of Web 3.0? Brands can reach new heights by leveraging non-traditional digital platforms.

Charlotte Ward, founder and director at Agnes Media.


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