What will change, and what will stay the same in Web 3.0 marketing?
Web 3.0 is still evolving and hasn’t been officially presented to the public just yet.
But it’s no longer a distant sci-fi fantasy. Web 3.0 apps and websites like Mirror have already emerged and are growing at a rapid scale.
That’s why I decided to take a deeper dive into web3 and see how digital marketers should adapt to the upcoming changes.
I’ll share my key insights in this article.
A (Very) Brief Intro To Web 3.0
Web 3.0 is the third wave of the Internet — and the Internet’s most user-centric iteration to date. To understand what that means, you need to know a few things about the first two waves of the Internet:
- Web 1.0 (1990–2004) was characterized by static pages and commercial websites that didn’t allow for user contribution. Its users were passive consumers, not active creators.
- Web 2.0 (2004 — now) is characterized by dynamic pages, social media, and user-generated content. Most apps we use today would fall under this category.
Web 3.0 will offer more opportunities for user contribution and give users more independence and control.
But let’s see how it differs from its predecessors in more depth.
Web 3.0 = One Big, Open Platform
Firstly, individual websites and apps will no longer be separate. They’ll be united in one unique ecosystem, a metaverse.
This will allow us to experience a new level of virtual reality — one that mimics our physical world almost perfectly.
Let me give you an example of what I mean.
In the physical world, your possessions have value no matter where you go and where you are.
Say you own a record you bought in the U.S. You can sell it worldwide, as it has universal value.
This isn’t the case with digital possessions on the current version of the Internet.
Your possessions have value (and are considered “real”) only within one individual platform.
If you buy a song on Spotify, you can’t sell it, play it, or use it in any way on any other platform.
This will change with Web 3.0. The Internet will become interoperable, and you’ll be able to add all your possessions to virtual suitcases and take them with you anywhere you go.
That might lead to an explosion in the value of digital possessions (NFTs, anyone?).
More Data Privacy
Web 3.0 will also give users more control over their data.
Until now, large tech corporations like Amazon, Google, and Meta have largely dictated how we use the web and what we give in return. Essentially, we had no choice but to give them access to our data if we wanted to use their services.
But, in the third phase of the Internet, users will be able to exchange value directly among themselves without intermediates (like Google, Amazon, or Meta).
That’s because Web 3.0 will be based on blockchain and because we’ll use decentralized apps (dApps). More on that in the next section.
The third-generation Internet will belong to all users and not just a few big corporations. This is a massive shift from how the Internet works today.
Just consider that approximately 90% of the web is currently stored with just four hosting providers — the biggest of which is Amazon Web Services (AWS).
AWS runs apps and websites we use daily, like Twitter, LinkedIn, Netflix, and even Slack.
So, if AWS decides to kick any one of these sites from their hosting servers (like they did to Parler), it can basically wipe them off the Internet. You and I wouldn’t be able to access or use them just because a tech giant said so.
This won’t be possible in Web 3.0, thanks to dApps.
To explain how dApps work, let’s take BitTorrent as an example. The well-known software is based on a different technology (P2P network) but works similarly to real dApps.
It eliminates the need for intermediates and allows users to exchange value among themselves. Every user can access content seeded by other users, and vice versa — seed content for others.
dApps will work in a similar way, except they’ll be based on blockchain.
How Will Web 3.0 Change Marketing?
Web 3.0 is still in its infancy, so we can’t know for sure how it will affect our industry. But we can make informed guesses based on the technologies it relies on:
- Semantic Web
Here are my and other experts’ predictions.
- Limited User Data
The future is decentralized. That means you’ll no longer be able to get exhaustive data from a single platform like Facebook.
In fact, the only way you’ll be able to get any data will be to entice users to share it voluntarily. As marketers, we’ll have to find new, creative ways to do so.
You could consider offering users NFTs, free credits or subscriptions, or even monetary compensation in exchange for their data.
- The Central Role Of NFTs
We don’t know yet what role NFTs will play in Web 3.0, but most experts agree that that role will be important.
Marketers can start preparing by creating branded NFTs.
Actually, many brands have already released limited NFTs and allowed users to exchange them for merchandise, event tickets, and similar goodies that aren’t available otherwise.
This helped the brands build brand awareness, expand their communities, and increase their bottom lines. For example, Adidas moved close to $43,000,000 in NFTs:
- Immersive Digital Experiences
AI will allow marketers to provide more immersive experiences for their customers.
For example, dynamic websites (the hallmarks of Web 2.0) will be transformed into virtual shopping malls (metamalls).
Users will be able to move around these malls and stores, interact with others, and try out different products virtually — just like they do in physical malls.
What Will Stay The Same?
First off, content marketing and content creation will continue to be important. They’ll only become more vital and more independent. Creators will have more freedom to express their opinions, as they won’t be restricted by the publishing platforms.
Community building will also stay important. Actually, just like content creation, it will only become more important.
The thing is, brands will have a harder time reaching their target audience and harvesting user data. So, they’ll have to rely on their communities for both reach and insights.
Lastly, marketers will continue to focus on users and continuously work on improving user experience. There’ll be no space for brand-centric copy and tactics, but this is more or less the case already.
Web 3.0 Platforms [Examples]
As I’ve said, Web 3.0 is not a distant sci-fi fantasy. Here are a few web3 apps that are already up and running:
- Mirror — A web3 toolkit for content sharing and project funding.
- Brave Browser — An open source browser that relies on blockchain technology and lets users sell their data for tokens.
- Sapien — A decentralized social platform with “unprecedented tools for content organization and communication.”
- Livepeer — A decentralized video streaming network that connects two users and lets them watch streaming videos together.
Will Web 3.0 Marketing Be Monumentally Different?
In my opinion, the foundations will stay the same.
Web 2.0 kickstarted a user-centric revolution, and Web 3.0 will simply take it to the next level.
All we have to do is keep focusing on user experience — and treat our customers as people rather than numbers.
I think most marketers are already doing a good job at it. Let’s just make sure we continue to do so, for the sake of both our bottom lines and our communities.
Of course, including AI and NFTs in your strategy should be on your bucket list, too. But focusing on your customers will be enough for starters.
What do you think? Will the changes be more monumental than I believe? Let me know in the comments.