Fanny Lakoubay, Co-founder, Blockchain Art Directory 2.0
Dylan Dedi, Marketing, TZ Connect
📜 Course Description
In this session, we will understand how communication and promotion is being made in Web3. Whether it is through your website, social media or relation with the press, we will share practical guidelines and tools so you can launch your Web3 project smoothly.
🗝 Key learnings
Key ingredients to an external marketing plan
In partnership with Fanny Lakoubay from LAL Art and Reid Yager from Blokhaus, this week’s WAC Fellowship focuses on how to leverage your brand into a Web3 paradigm, how to make best practices of current tools in use, and how these can differ from traditional tools used in Web3 communications.
1. Define your position.
A good strategic positioning serves as the base of communication. Components that define positioning - which include a matching ethos and aesthetic, a vision, a mission statement, goals, audiences, and challenges - should be outlined and well-defined. This is especially true for a legacy’s brand positioning in Web3. When the NFT wave hit, people, artists, and cultural institutions that wanted to jump into the Web3 world didn’t have a sustained model of what that identity looked like. Take for example the way in which NFTs have been received by the gaming community. There has been a slightly awkward dance between gamers and gaming companies to figure out what is new and what is well-received. When Ubisoft launched a low-level NFT integration the fan reaction was poor - they didn’t give any indication as to why they did it. In other instances where public statements were issues, explaining a release and why they were doing so, was well-received by communities. Entities within this space cannot be operating within a collaborative world but in a closed system. People want trust, thought leadership in content marketing, and to know what’s happening and that it’s happening for a good reason.
As cultural institutions, it’s useful to remember that your Web3 brand won’t be the same as your main legacy brand. Rather, there is an opportunity here to leverage who you are into who you want to be in the Web3 world. There is an abundance of space to create a foundation for your position where it isn’t necessary to replicate existing brands. Find out who you are in Web3 and leverage your brand into the communities you wish to build. It is important to communicate you understand the new code in Web3 space, that your project does not represent a cash grab. A thoughtful communication of a brand’s position will speak beyond the hype. Typical advise is to start at Twitter and develop a Public Relations strategy, but the more you prepare for this initially, the easier outlets will be to manage down the line (more on this below).
2. Prepare your website.
What makes content effective or a project well constructed or ill received? The questions should be considered a-proiri when crafting a website, as this serves as the core of communication where messaging is best controlled. In comparison to social media, which has a small reach and can be time-consuming, the message and story displayed on a website has a deeper impact in expressing branding identity as it is the central place where curated content lives.
When building a website, care should be taken as to the domain name chosen. Communities tend to be built around domain names, which on one hand can lead to pricier rates for the exclusive domain rights, but on the other can also lead to greater discoverability. Examples include .art, which tends to be directive in both the Web2 and Web3 art space; .org, a bit more mainstream; and .xyz, .io, .co, which all tend to be more tech related.
Determining the budget for marketing, content management and SEO optimization specialist resources can be tricky, so it’s good to just have a checklist agenda of what to do with design, social medial best practices, and content and structure design. Additional key success factors in a strong website include front end, back end and SEO optimization, automation integrations (i.e. Zapier), and evergreen content using 3rd party platforms like medium and notion - which is good for social discoverability. Using a CMS like Wordpress or Squarespace helps with content management elements but it’s worthwhile to checkout the SEO guidelines below for understanding the most optimal page ranking keywords, the right structure, and correct content to help people best make sense of your website.
When defining a brand’s positioning in Web3, a strong communications plan will meet audiences where they are at. This can be done by including links to a white paper/light paper and a link to the Web3 app, or a section to the new product to bring the vision and purpose out of the white papers and into a more concrete representation. Doing so helps people to understand in one place, what is the project and what is the brand’s Web3 identity. Information can often drown in the Crypto news and Twitter space, but it is still useful to provide as many cross links between LinkedIn, Twitter, Discord, blogs or repositories on 3rd party publication platforms and website as possible to make content discoverable. It does take time to generate content, so a good communications strategy will think operationally on how to execute and use shortcuts. Take your own content in 500 words or less, from a blog or articles that talks about what you want to do or something that has already happened, and re-spin the stories to represent your Web3 brand. Any content created should be split into as many pieces as possible and modular enough components to serve as repurposed words on a website.
3. Augment your website.
One piece of puzzle is finding a way to tell your story the cleanest way possible; including a tab to tell your product’s story and linking to a Web3 platform is advisable over embedding a page from OpenSea as it looks really bad. Alternatively, websites might be designed similar to alterHEN, which encourages audiences to navigate the website, holding a user’s hand and inviting them to understand the tools and language in a single space. In either case, conveying a consistent story is key. Find your middle ground through continuous exploration and augmentation, especially if your story includes various prototypes in different spheres.
It is good to have real data and analytics to gauge and track improvements on a website, and unfortunately a certain leading Web2 search engine is still dominating the space as the main tool to analyze data on website. Google has been fighting GDPR and local regulations on data privacy, but websites must alert users when using an analytic tool.
When diving into the Web3 market you will have preconceived notions about what and what won’t work, as will the stakeholders, funders, and donators contributing to the project. All that should be thrown out the window - be nimble and flexible in product and thought leadership as you dive into the Web3 world. We are all still learning about place in these communities, and members give value to the group as a whole. Accordingly, each community member should be evaluating what their value and utility is in Web3.
4. Consider the reach of communication.
To reach a greater network, you must ask yourself who do you want to reach? On the pr/communications side, the main audiences tend to be crypto native, blockchain native, Web3 native, and everyone else.The nature of the mainstream coverage of this sector has gone from somewhat snarky and dismissive to an intention for deeper understanding and education. Top tier publications like CoinDesk, Cointelegraph and Cypto news tend to move the needle while everything else sits below in random nonsense. Tier 2 and 3 publications in crypto media are really only applicable in generating social media interest in places like Twitter or other NFT press such as Right Click Save and nft now.
The fact that legacy brands are entering into this world means a greater reach - and you as fellows in this program have press books they want. The key in a well-delivered communications plan will expand on why this is relevant to their mainstream publication. There is major potential for cross-pollination that cultural institutions can bring to this space and the duality should be embraced.
Image campaigns, social media initiatives and press releases existing in a current marketing plan should leverage what is currently existing in a brand’s identity and any additional Web3 components and new community should be an extension rather than a re-representation. Taking that as inspiration, what arts, cultural, and Web3 events would make the most impact? Consider a panel at Art Basel, attending auction weeks, art festivals, crypto conferences, or organizing a Twitter space or symposium.
5. Practical tips for a marketing plan.
In terms of a marketing plan, get organized and apply consistency! It can make a lot of difference just by having clear calendar dates of marketing plan/communication launches on the different platforms and campaigns running. Of course any service or platform can be used, but whichever one selected - simplest is best. Make a reverse plan from the start date, assign one owner per task, and get the whole company to get on board to distribute information and help spread the work. Diligently give your audience the tools necessary to follow you on this journey and ease them through, but don’t overthink it or try too hard. A plan of action could be as simple as make a social media post every day: Monday a news article, Tuesday an update on a piece of work, on Wednesday a short bio of a key stakeholder and what they’re contributing. Make something feasible that can be sustained in the long-term.