NFTs and Digital Marketing: A Match made in heaven
Every week there is a new and exciting trend to add to the marketing sector. This time around it is NFTs. But what are NFTs? And why are they taking the marketing industry by storm?
What are NFTs?
NFT stands for non-fungible token. This is a unique digital asset that can be bought with a cryptocurrency via the Ethereum Blockchain. If you buy a NFT, you are essentially buying crypto art. An NFT can be anything digital: it could be a drawing, music, a video etc.
At this moment in time, the most readily available NFTs are digital art. If you buy a NFT of a digital art piece, you now have total ownership of the original piece. Others can still download copies of the artwork but with your NFT, you have the original digital work because your token is unique and cannot be copied or replaced.
The NFT exists permanently as part of the Ethereum Blockchain, which is a cryptocurrency that supports NFTs by storing their information.
Examples of some NFTs
Jack Dorsey, the founder of Twitter, sold the first-ever published tweet as an NFT for $2.9 million.
Beeple, a digital CG artist, who created a unique piece of CG art for 5000 days, just sold his entire collection as an NFT for $69 million.
William Shatner, of Star Trek fame, sold portraits from his illustrious career as NFTs and was shocked to garner 125,000 purchases in 9 minutes.
The creator of popular internet meme Nyan Cat, sold the original video for $825,300, stating ‘I hope this inspires future artists to get into NFT universe as they can get proper recognition for their work’.
Nike has applied for and secured a patent that will enable then to sell NFTs of virtual shoes that can be manufactured in the real world should the buyer want to.
Taco Bell even used NFTs to set up an art competition amongst their followers. They then sold the art for $1 a piece and donated all the proceeds to their charity arm, The Taco Bell Foundation.
A match made in heaven?
Marketing, in any industry, has always yearned to be personal and direct to the targeted customer. With NFTs, brands or artists can create a personal connection by offering something unique.
For instance, musicians, sports teams and artists can use dynamic NFTs to offer rewards and renewable opportunities thus keeping that connection with the customer even after an initial transaction. A fan could purchase a VIP pass as an NFT that is renewable. They have a unique digital ticket that they purchased and can renew whilst keeping all the existing rewards.
It is true that for some organisations, NFTs are more a PR stunt than a financial one but that doesn’t mean both strategies are not valid. NFTs allow artists that may never have been compensated due to no real authentication of ownership (i.e. Nyan Cat creator) to make money on their work. It also allows brands to form closer connections with their dedicated fan bases by giving them something unique.
On the other hand, NFTs can be fun way to increase social media engagement and gain some shareable posts and new followers as a result.
In conclusion, NFTs take digital art that is readily available online and turns it into an original, unique and uncopiable token that allows artists to monetise their work. It gives online creators an avenue to sell their own products (with authentication) and if done directly, cuts out all middle men.