Should Content Marketers View Web3 as More Than the Internet’s Next Version?

Dhanisa Mashilfa

Editor’s note: This week, we’re giving everyone a taste of Content Marketing World 2022 by featuring recaps of articles filled with insights from this year’s speakers.

On the Web3 spectrum, marketers’ interest usually falls on one end or the other.

For one group, you see the term and your eyes glaze over. For the other group, your eyes open wide and your mind starts racing.

No matter where on the Web3 spectrum you fall, take the next few minutes to read 10 Web3 thoughts from some of the experts speaking at Content Marketing World. You’ll see that they run the gamut of thought, too.

1. Take a breath

No. 1: Don’t panic about Web3. You’re not missing out on anything yet. Web3, cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and NFTs are all in their gestation phase. That means we know the technology might provide value in the future; we’re just unsure exactly how it will reliably provide value to us as marketers. And that’s OK. Right now, most marketers shouldn’t spend more than 5% of their time, energy, and budget on all the stuff in the Web3 world. It’s good to keep your eye on it but let go of your FOMO. – Andrew Davis, author and keynote speaker, Monumental Shift

Most marketers shouldn’t spend more than 5% of their time and budget on the #Web3 world, says @DrewDavisHere via @AnnGynn @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

2. Recognize frivolity and proceed with caution

I’m not sold on Web3, crypto, NFTs, or the metaverse. None of them produces a lasting positive impact on consumers. They don’t significantly change the way consumers buy, think, or act. While I do enjoy 360-degree video experiences on YouTube with my VR headset, the rest of it doesn’t seem to have a significant change in consumer behavior.

Until it does, Web3 is frivolous and reserved for the risk takers and those with disposable time and income. If that’s your audience, then, by all means, pay attention and explore. But for most of us, success is nothing more than a PR stunt.

The barrier to entry is expensive and prohibitive for consumers. So only wealthier people are even able to participate. My best advice is to pay attention, don’t ignore, but proceed with caution. I just don’t see most of it having lasting meaning until the socio-economic gap is closed. – Jason Falls, senior influence strategist, Cornett

3. Get ahead of the learning curve

At a minimum, content marketers should be learning about Web3. What is it? How can it be harnessed? Where does it make sense to engage or experiment? It’s still the early days for Web3, but just like the internet in the 1990s, those curious enough to learn about it profited as it matured. The same principle applies to Web3. – Bernie Borges, vice president global content marketing, iQor

4. Be optimistic and cautious

As it’s tempting to go all in with NFTs and creator coins, and we can show you great examples like my friend Mark Schaefer’s RISE coin, the industry is still in early adopter mode. So, brands with big budgets should dip their toes in and have someone on their team watching it weekly and reporting back to the team about what the next course of action is. – Jon Burkhart, founder, TBC Global Limited

5. Appreciate the win-win opportunities

For marketers, Web3 should be an opportunity to learn and experiment. Web3 marketing is all about building relationships and partnering up so everyone wins. Businesses need to stop thinking of customers as metrics but rather about how to build shared outcomes with customers. It is going to be a shift in mindset as well as technology.

A #Web3 mindset means businesses need to stop thinking of customers as metrics and start thinking about building shared outcomes with customers, says @JacquieChak via @AnnGynn @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Build a community around your purpose, then align your growth strategy and community incentives for that go-to-market community. I love the way this has been explained in several marketing blogs: Web 1.0 marketing helped customers find something better. Web 2.0 marketing helped customers experience something better. The promise of Web 3.0 marketing is to help customers create something better. As marketers, we need to learn more about the tools to help us get there together. – Jacquie Chakirelis, chief digital strategy officer, Quest Digital/Great Lakes Publishing

6. Think community and privacy compliance

Learn about it. Consider how a more community-based, privacy-compliant web experience will enable them to engage with, build trust, and develop ongoing relationships online. – Mark Emond, president, Demand Spring

7. Immerse in knowledge-building

Start by reading everything you can about Web3 and join a community like the one Joe Pulizzi is building with his Tilt community. Then, pick one new area you want to explore and start there. Just as you can’t try to be amazing across every new social media platform, you shouldn’t try to do all the Web3 things at once, either. – Erika Heald, founder, lead consultant, Erika Heald Marketing Consulting

8. Study the blockchain

At the minimum, content marketers need to learn about Web3. Even if you don’t understand NFTs and are disillusioned by the idea of overpriced JPGs, the blockchain technology that powers Web3 is going to change the way we connect with audiences, build communities, and use our content. The opportunities in Web3 are just beginning to be discovered. Start learning about different blockchain applications and pay attention to the implementations that work. Web3 will revolutionize content marketing. – Brian Piper, director of content strategy and assessment, University of Rochester

The blockchain tech powering #Web3 is going to change the way we connect with audiences, build communities, and use #content, says @brianwpiper via @AnnGynn @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

9. Gain first-hand experience

Content marketers should be experimenting with Web3. Get involved in some token communities. Create a digital wallet. Buy an inexpensive NFT or two. Web3 is about community ownership. That comes with a lot of responsibility, but it’s difficult to see what’s possible if you don’t know how the basics work. – Joe Pulizzi, founder, The Tilt

10. Consider B2C and B2B possibilities

In the near term, I think Web3 is more applicable to B2C businesses than B2B. The loyalty programs that are a hallmark of B2C businesses have interesting analogies in the Web3 world. For both B2C and B2B, it’s important to understand what Web3 is. Observe the use cases that exist and understand the business results. For B2C, it might be time to experiment with a small initiative. For B2B, it’s best to sit back and continue watching but be ready to take action when the time is right. – Dennis Shiao, founder, Attention Retention

While not everyone envisions Web3’s impact the same, they likely would agree on these two points: Web3 is a subject with which you should familiarize yourself, and you shouldn’t put all your content marketing eggs into its basket.

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT: How Content Marketing Fits Into Web 3.0 (You Might Be Surprised)
Want more insight from these and other Content Marketing World speakers? Register for a virtual pass to get on-demand access through Dec. 31, 2021. Use code CMIBLOG100 to save $100.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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