Influencer marketing has become a driving force in the industry. An industry report by Partipost and Quest Ventures found that the number of brands in Southeast Asia spending more than 30% of their total marketing budget on influencer marketing has increased to 25.4% in 2022, up from 21.4% last year. Meanwhile, 69.4% of brands are spending 1% to 30% of their total marketing budget on influencer marketing.
While influencer marketing has become popular among brands, another up-and-coming engagement strategy is NFTs, which has seen more brands jump on board the trend. Metaverse-linked NFTs, for example, will be the fastest-growing NFT segment over the next five years, according to Juniper Research, increasing from 600,000 transactions in 2022 to 9.8 million by 2027.
That said, all is not rosy for the NFT scene as sales dipped sharply during the third quarter of the year, Reuters said quoting blockchain tracker DappRadar. In fact, the period recorded US$3.4 billion in NFT sales, a dip from US$8.4 billion compared to the previous quarter and US$12.5 billion at the market's peak in the first quarter of 2022, Reuters said.
Nonetheless, NFTs can still be seen as a game changer for creators, allowing them to now reach out directly to their loyal fans as well as a wider global audience. In this latest podcast episode, MARKETING-INTERACTIVE spoke to Jeffrey Hau (pictured left), co-founder and director of PRIZM Group Hong Kong; Avery Akkineni (pictured second from left), president of Vayner3; Shannon Dix (pictured second from right), CMO of Virtually Human; and Robby Yung (pictured right), CEO of Animoca Brands on how NFTs will change the influencer marketing game for creators.
MARKETING-INTERACTIVE: How will NFT transform the creator and influencer marketing landscape?
Hau: We need the influencers to be involved in the project early on, even at the planning stage. A lot of charities come to us and say "Hey, I should partner with an artist and I want to launch an NFT project on Open Sea. Can you guys market it for us?" But when they come to us, they have already worked with the artist or the collaborator, and the series is already on Open Sea.
The marketing strategy with influencers for NFTs starts from day zero, unlike other campaigns.
There's a habit of brands developing their products before going to agencies and asking for marketing plans. For NFT, it starts much earlier.
MARKETING-INTERACTIVE: Why is authenticity so crucial in this space?
Akkineni: I think that paid influencers promoting an NFT project are a little bit cringe. It comes across as super authentic and awesome when someone is really involved in a project from day one. They understand it and are personally passionate about it. You have so many advocates and influential people who speak up on their behalf, so I think that is amazing when they're authentically in it.
We do have partners coming to us and an inbox full of people asking us to tweet about their projects, which while we appreciate, in the world of NFTs, people can sniff out authenticity really well because everyone can see your wallet, everyone can see what you have what you're interested in. So I think that idea of just pumping different projects isn't one that will be well-received over the long term.
Dix: For a brand as well, when they're thinking about the sort of NFT projects, they should also be thinking about it being aligned to the brand, its DNA, and product. And if the brand is talking with influencers, have they genuinely been in the space for a while? Are they actually active? Do they have any followers and how many are in the NFT community? Are they active on Discord? A lot of people will detect NF T bullshit projects a mile away. So yes, authenticity is the takeaway.
MARKETING-INTERACTIVE: Are NFTs just a fad?
Yung: The easiest way to answer this question is also kind of framing for people who aren't familiar with NFTs to think about them. Think of an NFT as a website. If somebody said to you in 1995 "Why do I need a website? And what is it going to do for me?" Think of an NFT in the same way. It's an extremely generic tool, and it's up to you what you make of it. You can use it for almost anything, it can be as simple or as complex as you like because it's basically a blank slate.
So yes, I think they're going to be around because I do believe personally that this is where the entire Internet is headed, which is why we like to call it Web3 to make ourselves sound fancy. But I also think it's that experience. If you ever rented a flat before and then have the luxury of actually owning one for the first time, you'd ask yourself "Why did I ever rent before?". But the thing is that you can't understand that feeling until you actually own something. And I think within NFTs people get that joy of ownership for the first time in a digital sense. And once they get that it's very, very difficult to think about going back.
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Marketing podcast: So, your brand already has NFTs. What's next?