8 Plays Growth Experts Can Steal from the World of NFTs
Matt Bilotti: Hello, and welcome to another episode of The Growth Podcast. I'm your host, Matt Bilotti, and today we're doing something a little different from my last episode, which is a solo one. So it's just going to be me chatting here. It'll probably a lot shorter than usual if you haven't done. So go ahead and subscribe to this podcast. Usually I have amazing expert guests on, and we talk about different growth strategies, channels, and tactics, and all that fun stuff. So recently I've been digging into the world of NFTs, trying to understand why it's growing so much. What's interesting about it, what's going on? And I've noticed that there are a ton of fascinating growth strategies and growth tactics that the world of NFTs are employing and using. And I would love to zoom out, extract those, and put them in a useful context for anybody that's doing growth product work or growth marketing work. Because the stuff that they're doing is what is making the world of NFTs boom, both in a specific project growth, like this NFT growing, and the macro community as a whole. They are really, really good at growth stuff. I do think, separately, the world of NFTs needs to be a little bit more inclusive, a little bit more accessible. My hope here is not necessarily to explain NFTs. It is more to talk about what is going on there. And then if you're in interested go look at some of these projects, see what they're doing, see how you can apply it to your own world and your own day- to- day. Because I do think that there's some really, really good stuff there. So let's go ahead and jump in. We're going to call this The Eight Things That Growth People Can Learn From The World Of NFTs. I don't know if we're going to end up with eight, but we're going to end up with somewhere in that range. So the first one is community. So I've had some guests on this podcast before, and we've talked about community. And I think that this is one of the most fascinating aspects of the world of NFTs. If you look at any given NFT project, and by the way, to just quickly zoom out, an NFT is a non- fungible token. It is a digital file that you are basically the owner of. Owning that file means that you can then get access to certain things. You get what's called airdropped stuff, so you can get airdropped additional things. You can log into portals because you own that NFT. You can get access to, some communities do, you can get certain merchandise that you could only access if you hold an NFT. Things like that. Licensing is a really interesting thing around royalties. But separate from that, we're going to talk about those tactics. So the first one I was talking about is community. And it's really amazing to see, because all these separate NFT projects have a Discord. And if you go look at their Discord, they have thousands of people that are in there, hundreds and hundreds are online at any point in time, they're interacting, and chatting, and having different conversations in different the channels. And what's fascinating about it is, it's basically, a lot of these communities are built before the NFT launches. And so looking at that and saying, how can I apply that for my own world? The question I would pose is, how can you build a community before your product or service launches, right? Because if you could build this community, you build all these fans, and all these people that are excited to then go to their own social media accounts, and Twitter. And share, hey, I've been a part of this thing for a while. It's now available, you can sign up too. That is something that I'm seeing the power in more and more. And it's what leads certain projects to sell out immediately when they start minting, when they open up for people to access them. They sell out immediately because they build these communities. And so if you're building a consumer app, think about, how can you build a community of people that are excited about the type of product that you're about to build? If you're building something in B2B, think about, how can your brand message hold people together so that there is an excited community about this stuff that you're doing, right? I think about, there are marketing groups, Facebook marketing groups, that's a community that you can build before you launch a product. Right? That is, I think, one of the biggest drivers of the world of NFTs. It's the community first. And so if you could think about your product, and your service, and your marketing as a community- first, provide value, provide a place for people that are excited about a certain thing to get together and talk and build upon each other, that can allow you to have this massive army of people that are excited to share your product and service moving forward. And again it's not about starting the community by figuring out who can you sell to, but starting community around this excitement for a thing that you're building and the problem that you're solving. The next is, which I think ties into to the community piece, is pitching for future value. So leading with future value. A lot of these NFT projects that are taking off, that aren't just like own this image, it's cool, look at it when you want, a lot of these other ones are pitching future value. So a lot of these NFT projects, the ones that are taking off, have these public roadmaps. So they have public roadmap. You can go to their website and you could see, here's what we're doing. They all have phase zero, phase one, phase two, phase three. They have it broken out sometimes by months. They have it broken out by, here's what we're doing next year. And I think that is another really fascinating way to drive the value of what they are creating, and the perceived value, and the future value, right? It's not about just, what can this thing do for me today? It's what will I get by becoming a part of this? By becoming a user, by becoming an owner, by adopting this product or service? I will get, hopefully if you're building something that is useful, your customers will get value. They will get a solved problem that they have. But if you can find a way to position it as not just, here is a problem that we can solve for you. Use the product. If you can position it as, here's a problem that we can solve for you. We know that you also have these three, four, five other problems, and we're excited to work on it. Here's how we're going to be working on that. And we want to bring you into the fold, start you here, but have you know that you're going to get all this value down the line. Another thing, I mean, we've seen this one in the world of B2B, especially in consumer, and seeing a decent amount of it in direct to consumer is white listing, or wait listing. So wait listing, classic example's Robin Hood. They made this super long wait list, they still do with all their product launches today. You basically get thrown on a wait list, and then they unlock your ability to sign up for the product or use the service as time goes on. And a lot of these NFT communities are doing this similar thing. They're saying we're going to be minting, so creating, 10,000 NFTs. 10, 000 of this NFT. We are going to create a wait list of a thousand people, and they will get first access to it. And they are going to be our early adopters, and we will build a community around that. That is something that you can think about for your product or service as well. Right? It's another way and form of thinking about building that community. You can create this super early adopter segment, right? And give special access to features, right? So maybe you think about, the first thousand people that sign up for your product are going to get beta access indefinitely, right? And you build the system to make sure that they always get the products early. That is the kind of thinking that you can have around that. The next is scarcity. This one's a little bit more tricky in a B2B or direct- to- consumer humor context. The biggest thing about a lot of the projects that are taking off in the world of NFTs is that there's a scarcity to them. There's only N number amount of that thing. Obviously you don't want to say that you could only have a thousand customers, that only a thousand customers can sign up. But I would think about it from a marketing perspective or product perspective. Is there something that you can all offer that does have scarcity? A decent amount of these projects do merchandise or swag, and that has direct scarcity limits to it, right? And so you can offer that as a marketing campaign in an ABM context, or in an early adopter context, right? Offers something that has some scarcity, that is something that people get excited about. And maybe you do it in a way that they have to work for something. They have to work for it in some way, right? Share on social three times, all that. The other thing that I didn't even have on my list here is giveaways. Giveaways are a huge thing in the world of NFTs. It usually looks like a tweet that says, like, comment on this, tag three friends and retweet, and you'll be entered to win one of these NFTs. Or one, a theory, or X, Y, Z. And I think that that's something that you might want to consider in your own marketing strategies. Of, what can you give away that's valuable? Maybe not something that's unrelated from your product or service, but something that sits a little closer to it. If you are a blockchain company, obviously giving away your token or something to that effect might be great. But think about, are there specific things that your marketing team can give away? Access to things? Are there certain product features that you might want to give away, of somebody in the product? The next one is equity sharing and decentralized work. So this one's a little bit more relevant for product development, right? So if you're thinking of, how can we get more done with less resources? What you can consider is something that's happening in the world of NFTs is decentralized autonomous organizations, or DAOs. D- A- Os. And the idea behind it is there's this, basically a pool of equity, and you get some by completing certain tasks. So if you think about this from a marketing perspective, can you create some system of equity or access to stuff that, if people do certain marketing things on your behalf, if you can get influencers to take X, Y, Z action, they can get access to some of that. In the product if you have them, you can even think about it from a development perspective. If you have people do X, Y, or Z growth product experiment, or create X content. Another one is expanding ecosystem. So this one's really fascinating. I mean, it's kind of fundamental to how we think about products, especially SaaS today. Is you get access to it, you pay for it, and then you get this expanding ecosystem of new features and things like that. And it's something that I continue to see parallels with certain NFT projects like the Bored Ape Community. That whole thing is they started with bored apes, and then they airdropped, so they basically airdropped people another NFT that they could combine with their first one. And then it gave them something completely brand new, and it opened up the ecosystem even further. It let other people in, let other people have access to it. So I know that that might sound a little bit unclear, a little bit muddy. But the takeaway there is, see if you could find ways to not just expand the ecosystem of your product or service over time, but prove that value, show that value, and continue to grow it. The last thing, which kind of ties this last one that I just talked about, is surprise value. So a lot of these NFT groups and communities, if you own one, they can airdrop you something. So they can just send something to the wallet where that NFT is held. So if I hold one NFT from some project, they can airdrop me a new file. They can Airdrop you something. Here's an example. Ethereum Name Service, ENS, so this is the thing on Twitter that you may or may not have seen where people have their name. eth. It's basically a domain. I'd sort of think about it as like a Venmo handle or Twitter handle for crypto. It's like your address. It's where you can go to send something to somebody's wallet, or see what they have in their wallet, see the transactions. But anyway, ENS basically did a thing where they created the token and then they airdropped those tokens to everybody that had already purchased a domain from them before, thus creating this value. It was a surprise thing. It was something that got the community really excited. It was a thing that NFT Twitter was talking about like crazy. So I would think about it from, are there these surprise value moments that you can create and provide for your users, for your customers, that get people talking? Get people excited, get them sharing that, oh, I just got this really cool thing from this product that I use. Right? That surprise element and unexpected element of new value is something that I think can be a big strategy that's borrowed from that group. All right, that kind of runs through my stuff. I think I hit on eight or nine things. I don't know. We'll count them up and add it up to put in the title of the podcast itself. But thank you for listening. I know there's tons of other people that you can listen to rant, or things you could watch, or things you could spend your time on or work on, or whatever it might be. I super appreciate you spending it here. My email's matt @ drift. com. If you got any feedback, ideas, whatever it might be, drop me a note. Thank you so much for listening. Check out those other episodes. I usually have people way smarter than me joining me on here to talk about really fascinating topics. So check it out. Subscribe. Would love a review if you're a fan of the episode. But otherwise I will stop rambling now, and I will catch you on the next episode. Thanks.
The world of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) is growing fast, but why? In this episode, host Matt Bilotti extracts eight growth tactics he sees NFT communities using, and he puts them into context for all growth experts to leverage in their own businesses.
(4:37) Pitching with Future Value
(8:58) Equity sharing & Decentralized Work
(9:58) Expanding Ecosystem
(10:56) Surprise Value
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