Issue #7: Could web3 solve content saturation?
Happy Monday and a big welcome to the 39 new subscribers who have joined us since last week's issue.
The great news is that Ethereum successfully merged, and the blockchain now operates as Proof of Stake, meaning that everything I'm talking about below now uses 99% less energy. That's a big win for the planet.
What's coming up below:
Starbucks is set to onboard around 27 million users to web3—a case study for marketers to keep an eye on.
Could web3 have a solution to the content saturation we currently face?
It turns out that web3 social has more than just one problem...
1. The low-down on the new Starbucks NFT community and loyalty program
In a grande moment for the web3 world, Starbucks announced that they're moving their loyalty program—currently with 27 million active members—onto the blockchain.
So does that mean that millions of new users are about to be onboarded into web3? Yes and no. While their members will be interacting with the blockchain and NFTs through their loyalty program, in-app games and virtual experiences, most won't even realise they're using web3 technology.
They won't need to set up a wallet. They won't need to pay for anything in crypto. They'll collect "journey stamps" instead of NFTs. So although Starbucks is onboarding these people into web3, I don't think it's going to suddenly turn web3 mainstream.
After all, their users probably won't care about the underlying tech any more than an online shopper cares about whether a store uses Shopify or Woocommerce. They care about the front-end experience.
Regardless, this is a great example of how to use web3 in your marketing without the selling point being NFTs or web3-related hype.
What this means for you: Keep an eye on how Starbucks executes this, because it could be a useful case study on how to use web3 in your marketing without scaring off those who are new to the technology.
Subscribe for free to receive this weekly newsletter direct to your inbox.
2. Could this be the answer to content saturation?
The advent of Web 2.0 in the early 2000s meant that anyone could contribute to the internet. You no longer needed to own your domain or know HTML—you could simply sign up for Blogger and start writing. YouTube made this possible for vlogging. Anchor did the same for podcasting.
The result? There are now more than 2.5 billion blog posts published each year (source). There are between 2 million and 4 million podcast shows, depending on who you ask. And don't get me started on Instagram or TikTok.
Most of this content sucks. It was created to generate leads or keep Google happy. It wasn't designed with the reader (or viewer, or listener) in mind.
I can't help but notice that web3 presents some solutions to the content overwhelm we face as consumers—and the endless content creation hamster wheel we face as marketers.
Firstly, token-gating: where someone must hold a particular NFT or coin to access your content. It gives brands a way to monetise their best content without placing ads throughout it. It incentivises content creators to write truly valuable content. And it gives content consumers a way to vote with their feet if they no longer find the content worthwhile.
This is already doable. Tools like Pinata make it easy to build a token-gated podcast or blog.
Web3 could also reframe our perception of content entirely.
Web3 social media apps like Lenster already feature a "collect" button, which turns a post into an NFT that you can store in your wallet. This frames content as a collectible—something to keep and value, rather than consume and dispose of. This could incentivise creators to publish content worth collecting, and consumers to become more intentional in their content consumption.
What this means for you: Releasing an NFT collection for your brand doesn't always have to mean creating a community. Instead, you could offer exclusive content as a perk for NFT-holders.
3. A deeper dive on web3 social media
Last week, I wrote about web3 social's content problem in this newsletter. About how, until the content on these new apps improves, people will keep using the social media platforms they already use.
But when I thought about it a little more, I realised that there is more than just one major problem preventing the adoption of web3 social.
You can read my full deep-dive here.
(Or if you prefer short-form reads, you can read my Twitter thread summarising what I wrote).
Either I'm doing a great job at explaining the concepts, or you're afraid to ask "silly" questions, because nobody submitted a question to be answered in this week's newsletter.
Hit reply and ask me any questions you have about web3 and marketing, and I might include it in next week's issue. There is no such thing as a silly question.
If you've made it all the way down here, that means either you found this interesting, or you're on your way to the unsubscribe button at the bottom.
Either way, I'd love it if you could please take 2 minutes to let me know how I'm doing. What would you like to see more of? Less of?
Until next week,
This should go without saying, but I am a marketer, not a financial advisor. The content in this email is for educational purposes only and should not be taken as financial advice. Please take care and do your own research before investing in any web3 projects.