This article will take a deep look at some of the most successful NFT projects and analyze how they approached their marketing.
We’ll try to reverse engineer every step they took, so you can get an accurate picture of what you are to do for your project.
After this article, you will be able to outline a detailed game plan for your project or decide if the NFT project you are potentially looking to invest in is approaching marketing in the right way.
Here at Brenton Way, we offer a wide range of marketing solutions for NFT projects. Interested in what we can do for you? Contact us here for a free consultation.
Why Marketing Is Crucial To Your NFT Project Success
NFT projects have the potential to blow up fast and attract a big audience, but they can also go completely unnoticed and fly under the radar on a path to a silent death.
Like in the Crypto space, NFTs are all about supply and demand, and your marketing efforts should focus on creating this demand.
The marketing of NFT projects comes in two main stages:
- Marketing pre-mint: This part of the marketing strategy leads up to the project’s initial mint and is designed to create as much awareness and create a robust and engaged community as possible to ensure your project sells out.
- Marketing post-reveal: After your project is minted, it will be revealed on the secondary marketplace. This is the stage where your business has customers and where it’s up to you to make sure their purchase has value and that you start to deliver on your roadmap and keep communicating this through your marketing efforts.
Now, how you market your NFT project for these specific stages is highly dependent on the NFT project itself.
Some projects run purely on the hype behind the artwork, and other projects succeed because of the powerful utility behind their project and the partnerships they create because of it.
Knowing what marketing efforts to focus on specifically will be highly customized, and it’s essential to have a professional assess this for you if you’re unsure about it yourself. Be sure to shoot us a message if you need any help; we offer free consultations.
Let’s go on to one of the most critical aspects of marketing: Audience Discovery.
I believe the basics of marketing will never change.
Like creating a business, marketing has too many aspects that are deeply rooted in human psychology.
For any business to market its product successfully to its customers, it’s crucial to map out an ideal client persona.
So we have a solid idea of precisely who to focus our marketing efforts on.
Who is your ideal customer? What does he like to do? What does he talk like? Where does he hang out? And so on.
What target audience matches your value proposition?
NFTs these days are often more than just profile picture collections. There is usually some type of utility behind them.
And just like in any business, the basic principle of determining who is most likely to buy your product also holds for NFT projects.
So this also includes trying to figure out what persona your ideal customer has.
However, what is very different from normal business is the artwork aspect.
In the NFT space, the artwork is usually the most crucial aspect of a project, so you’ll also have to assess what type of personas typically like the style of art you are trying to sell.
Here’s a list of items that will help you assess what your target audience looks like:
- What type of movies/series/anime do they like?
- What’s their tone of voice like?
- What idea’s do they emotionally connect with?
- What are the people close to them like?
- What are the ideas that resonate with them?
- What’s their general approach towards the NFT -and Crypto space?
- Any other markets that are relevant to your NFT project? Like the financial markets for example.
As an example, the Invisible Friends collection tied their artwork in with the general notion of people who feel invisible in this big, sometimes cruel world.
NFT collectors can often be loners, so they did an excellent job using this as an emotional anchor and connecting these people into a larger community and creating a sense of togetherness.
Assess your artwork
Let’s take inventory of our artwork and dissect what we are creating and for who.
I know it may seem basic, but it can help to write out what the artwork is like and what the specifics of the collection are going to be like:
- What type of artwork have you created? Anime, thick lines, 3d, et cetera.
- How large is your collection going to be? More extensive collections typically favor blockchains with more volume. This is a particular matter, however, so contact a professional if you’re unsure.
- Do you already have a following on social media?
- Have you sold any work yet?
- Try to inventory what communities you’re currently a part of and relationships you have in your network that could potentially be part of valuable communities that could help kickstart your NFT marketing efforts.
I assume you have answered all these questions and now have a better idea of who your ideal customer is.
Now it’s time to start figuring out where they hang out.
Determine the Blockchain & Marketplace to sell your NFT on
Deciding what channels and audiences to focus on is also highly reliant on the specific Blockchain you’re planning to sell your collection.
People who are heavily invested in the Solana blockchain, for example, follow different people than users who are most invested in the Ethereum network.
Now, I’m going to assume that you, as a project have decided on what Blockchain your project will operate. And this will lead to a pretty severe extent how much your potential market size is.
For example, the current market size of NFTs on OpenSea currently hovers around $2.4 billion, making up 80% of the total NFT market.
You would think it’s probably best to operate in the most significant pool, right?
Well, that entirely depends on your project and your target audience.
Just like in the traditional markets, it can be harder to differentiate yourself from the vast amount of competition in the biggest Blockchain in the NFT market, Ethereum.
On the blockchains that have a bit less volume, like Solana for example, there is a smaller pool, but it’s easier to differentiate from your competitor and truly stand out.
The most important thing, however, is that the Blockchain (s) (you can also launch on multiple chains simultaneously) you’re selling your collection on fits the utility of your project.
This is ultimately up to the founders of the project to decide.
The most important thing for you is to figure out how to target people that are more geared toward the specific Blockchain you are launching your project on.
A big aspect of this is figuring out where your prospects hang out.
How To Find Your Target Customers
A lot of people typically hang out on one specific Blockchain, with their own specific blockchain maxi friends, talking trash about the other Blockchain.
You’ll often hear Ethereum maxis say something like “I hung out with a Solana maxi yesterday, and now I feel sick. Coincidence?”.
All jokes aside, most people are open to other blockchains as well, so you shouldn’t run into too many issues, but it is important to take into consideration.
Here are some useful tips to go with:
- Look at profiles who’ve put an extension on their Twitter username with Cryptocurrencies tickers. Like “username.ETH” or “username.SOL”
- Search for usernames with crypto tickers in their username ($ETH, $SOL, etc).
- Search for hashtags with NFT related terms combined with crypto tickers
- Look for communities on Reddit for specific marketplaces. For ETH these are mainly r/OpenSea and r/LooksRare. For Solana r/MagicEden is most prevalent.
- Merge with their communities. Go to their websites and find their Discord and Telegram handles. Especially for smaller blockchains.
- If your project is relevant to the chain and its development, you could also reach out to the founding team to see if they want to mention your project on their socials! You’ll need to have an impressive NFT project for them to showcase in this specific instance though.
This will give you a good starting point to start looking for your new community members!
Determine key marketing activities
In the NFT space, there are a lot of potential marketing activities for projects to choose from. I’ll list the most important ones below:
Ask Me Anythings’s (AMA)
An AMA, short for “ask me anything,” is usually a streaming event where questions are answered, usually in real-time.
The AMA concept began on Reddit, but AMAs are now popping up in other social settings, like Discord communities, YouTube live streams, and many more.
Collaborate with influencers & recruit them as advisors
The important people in the influencer community can sometimes be a little bit hard to reach, as they have thousands of people messaging them every day for all kinds of opportunities.
But they are often interested in advising for specific projects if they see potential in the project.
So get out there and start creating a list of some of the influencers that you would like to get on board with your project and start reaching out.
Be sure to reach out on all their socials and emails so you will get max exposure.
Create meaningful partnerships with other projects
Typically you will see other NFT projects do whitelist partnerships with projects where you both give away whitelist spots for users.
These are great to get some more exposure and be introduced to a new audience. I definitely recommend doing this.
But if you want to add some spice and uniqueness to your partnerships, try to actually host specific events in the other communities. Think of events like a live stream, a poker event, a crab game, whatever you can think of that actually engages the community with your brand!
List your project on platforms that list upcoming NFT drops
There are many websites out there where you can list your NFT project. Websites like NFTCalendar and Rarity.Tools have upcoming NFT drop calendars where users get an overview of all the NFT projects that will be launching in the future.
Cold Outreach activities
One big method of getting new people in your community is cold outreach through Twitter and Reddit DMs.
Now there are several methods to do this, and we can’t give you all of our secret sauce, but we here at Brenton Way have specific methods to reach out to your target audience on autopilot.
At massive scale.
Ensuring you will get results.
Reddit and Twitter both have paid advertising platforms that you can use to push your project to your target audience.
Twitter also has a powerful tool where you can target lookalike audiences of your favorite NFT influencers. A powerful tool to use if you know how to use it.
Even though the volume in the market has died down since its big boom in 2021, there is still a lot of room for projects to innovate in the space and become highly successful.
I know this term may feel a bit overused, but the NFT space is still incredibly early!
We see more and more companies adopting NFT technologies in their everyday business practices.
With patience and the right marketing strategy, you can stand out from the crowd and successfully promote your NFT project.
Need help with promoting your NFT project? Contact us for a free consultation.
Now, let’s look into some case studies.
NFT Marketing Case studies
As you’ve probably gauged from the above text, NFT marketing is a different ballgame.
It has its own unique little quirks that you will not see anywhere else.
These quirks really make NFT marketing an interesting challenge, especially in the current day and age where it’s not that easy anymore to just sell out a project.
To give you a more concise overview of what marketing NFT projects actually look like, I’m going to dissect a couple of recent popular NFT projects and really dig deep into what they have done to become successful.
So without further ado, let’s put our diving goggles on and dive a bit deeper.
Phantom Network (PxN)
Nanoverses Phantom Network truly managed to capture the rebellious zeitgeist of Crypto Twitter and the NFT space alike.
With Rei Cannon his strong technical capabilities, and establishment in the space as an influencer, it was pretty clear right away that this project was going to be big.
At the core of their philosophy, they hooked into the concept of establishing and growing your own personal network.
Rei Canon believes, that each individual, has the capacity to have an online or offline relationship with roughly 100 people simultaneously.
In theory, most people use Dunbar’s number for this; a suggested cognitive limit with whom one can maintain a stable relationship. Which technically is 150. But let’s not nitpick over minor details too much.
The idea is, that through these 100 relationships, which he coined “ghosts”, the Phantom Network can grow to an estimated 10,000 people. 100 ghosts, within 10 factions, are all able to sustain 100 relationships.
Each of these factions has one leader, called Phantoms. Creating a tight-knit secret network of anti-establishment rebels.
Their Zero-Cost Marketing Approach
People latched on to the project fast, and they were able to grow with 100% organic real traffic through zero-cost marketing campaigns.
They managed to do this through their own relations, and various collaborations with well-known projects and being picked up organically by influencers.
Both their female marketing leads are Twitch streamers are they were also able to attract and engage their audience through them.
I found this overview below of their entire personal network and its reach:
Their entire personal network has a staggering reach of close to 1.2 million people. Almost triple the amount of followers that Phantom Network owns Twitter page has, now totaling 400k followers.
With this much firepower and influence, it was almost impossible for PxN to not be the huge success that it is today.
Mysterious and Grimy Storytelling
Phantom Network already had an established following through their previous Nanoverse collection and their respective Nano passes.
Having the following of these successful collections in their back pocket allowed them to open their content marketing strategy with a sense of mystery while getting traction straight out of the gate.
They posted an intriguing Tweet that showed a console attempting to connect to a server, and failing multiple times. Denying access.
This type of “Hackermann” or “Mr. Robot” style of storytelling really captures the spirit of Crypto and rings close to many people in the space.
When they started revealing their NFTs, you could see how well thought out their story was.
Every NFT had its own unique identity that ties into its story. Often combined with a sleek animation backed by grimy underground dubstep music
Community is the Utility
The founder has been involved with the community every step along the way, which is fairly uncommon for founders.
Over a relatively short timespan, Rei has typed over 4,000 sentences in the Nanoverse Discord, and over 3,000 sentences in PxN’s Discord.
Rei interacts with the community a lot through announcements.
He does this with humorous language keeping the community up to date and also inviting them to vote on certain activities.
Rei truly has his finger on the pulse and knows exactly what his communities want.
I believe that this is one of the key reasons why Rei is so successful in basically everything he does.
Further Empowering The Community
If you think Rei and his team didn’t have more up their sleeves, you are sadly mistaken.
They propelled the strength of their community further into the stratosphere by creating several unique tools for their ghosts to use.
In total the PxN community, as of now, has access to the following 3 tools:
1. A Peer-to-Peer marketplace similar to eBay, which allows their ghosts to trade with one another with the PxN network native token, and ETH.
They guarantee performance through their layer-2 solution to allow for cheap fees and fast transactions.
2. A communication tool outside of Discord that allows PxN holders to communicate with each other through their own exclusive tool. In here missions are being shared, and trades are executed.
3. PxN will be launching a white box system, which basically has a similar mechanism to the Nanopass. Users buy an NFT access pass, and they get access to other project whitelists.
Amazing utility that really hones into building a strong community packed with value.
I can’t wait to see what the Nanoverse team has in mind for the future!
This project is something else…
Truly a phenomenon in the space. A space that’s now been invaded by these hideous goblins urinating all over Crypto Twitter.
Invading Twitter spaces with their own unique language, asking if they CANNN TAK URRRR ORDDRRR???!!!
This project may seem ordinary to some, or like just another fad project, but they truly managed to capture the zeitgeist of the market and bring joy back into the NFT space.
While the founders are anonymous, one thing is sure: they know exactly who their audience is and what they want.
And that’s definitely not VCs running the space and people talking about all kinds of Ph.D. blockchain tech mumbo-jumbo.
Degens just want to trade pictures, make money, and take the piss out of everything.
And look pretty doing it…
Grotesque But Beautiful Artwork
The goblins from Goblintown are disfigured, hairy, and just plain grotesque, but for some reason, they are also adorable.
Esthetically, and purely going off of symmetry technically the goblins look hideous, but they also have a certain cuteness about them.
The artists have used an extremely well thought out grungy-earthy color palette that has only natural tones.
The earth tone color pallet and unique playful traits give each goblin its own unique personality.
It is difficult to make something “ugly” look good.
Especially since culturally we are all brainwashed by Disney -and Pixar shows where soft features and symmetrical faces are the ideals.
In the NFT space, this is no different. Most of the NFT projects that are considered cute are joyful and colorful.
I think it’s fair to say that the Goblins are the first ugly and simultaneously cute beings in the space.
Truly Original Concepts
The goblins have managed to come up with some unseen marketing angles.
One thing they did was consistently break into Twitter spaces and bring their own weird trolly vibes.
During a bleak market downturn, the goblins were truly capable of bringing some joy back into NFT traders’ lives.
Twitter had become dominated by projects preaching about their tokenomics, metaverses, and roadmaps.
Usually, just fluff to trick unsuspecting NFT investors to invest in a future that was most likely never going to come to fruition.
The gargles, gobbledygook, and GaAaARY PEeaA SaaUcCE make infinitely more sense than the discussions Crypto twitter had become accustomed to.
Too many people talking blockchain blabla isn’t interesting to goblins.
This is not how the goblins roll.
Goblins don’t do roadmaps. Goblins don’t talk about utility. They just do.
The goblin’s branding has been consistent throughout all its marketing efforts.
Their website doesn’t have a whole lot of unnecessary information. It just displays the Goblins walking into their town.
And a button asking you to “f***ing enter already”…
After you’ve entered it’s just some Goblins texting each other nonsense, and a text telling you they sold out (in a pretty unique way…)
The goblintown branding is consistent on every level of its execution.
They have their own music tracks and even jobs at the McGoblin Burger.
Goblin speech is even used for the collection’s traits – “STANKFINDER” is a nose, and a goblin wearing a fast-food servers hat has the “TAK UR ORDRR?” trait.
Bored Ape Yacht Club
Having covered some more recent projects above, I would like to dissect a classic NFT project that’s been around since the beginning of the new NFT pump and has taken the top 3 positions forever since.
For the people who are not familiar with NFTs, the infamous “Monkey Profile Pictures” for the wealthy usually ring a bell with the mainstream folk.
They are the ones who transcended NFT culture, with celebrities like Justin Bieber, Eminem, and Snoop dog buying them and using them as profile pictures.
You’ve probably seen them around. And you probably weren’t aware of how much these monkey pictures go for.
Bored Ape Yacht Club is currently at a floor price of 94 ETH. Which, at the current price of ETH, is about $180,000.
Not too bad for a “monkey picture,” right?
So, how did Bored Ape Yacht Club become such a huge success?
Let’s take a closer look.
Creating the Big Idea
In the early days of the NFT space, the BAYC founders saw how NFTs were turning into a cultural currency.
A digital flex for the people ahead of the Web3 curve to show off to ‘normies.’
They also saw Crypto Twitter (CT) snowballing, and they had a good hunch very early about how the NFT space was going to develop itself.
Based on this, they started to develop a story, an idea.
Apes are not just apes.
They are bored Crypto billionaire apes hanging out together in a swampy yacht club. Far away from ordinary people.
This specific narrative, the idea of having a tight-knit community of Crypto-minded people, was what inherently made them able to sell out.
One year later, many projects have tried to replicate this idea of community.
Some have succeeded, but many have failed.
Creating a backstory that hooks into specific emotions and gets people involved in a story is not an easy feat.
But, we at Brenton Way are here to help. We would love to look at your NFT project and see how we can make it shine!
Adding Unique Utility To Skyrocket Growth
After they successfully sold out their collection after 12 hours, they did many things to market their project and kept their owners happy.
First, they launched an initiative where BAYC holders got access to the Bored Ape Kennel CLub.
Within this kennel, holders could adopt BAYC dog NFTs that had similar traits to their bored ape.
The second freebie they did came in August. And this one changed the game for them.
They gave digital vials of mutant serum.
These vials transformed the apes they were holding into a super cool mutated version of it: enter Mutant Ape Yacht Club.
This was when BAYC started popping!
People noticed what kind of cool, innovative stuff they were doing, and the price for BAYC nearly doubled in a brief period.
Community is Key
Besides giving holders special freebies, the BAYC NFT also functioned as a membership to their exclusive community. Another related example is our own Digital marketing community called The Marketing Collective.
Since many high-level people are hanging around in the BAYC community, people have difficulty selling their NFT.
The fewer people want to sell their NFT, the more scarce it becomes, and simultaneously the more valuable it becomes.
This membership pass gives the community access to specific Discord channels and very high-end live events.
Combining massive utility and community has been an enormous win for BAYC itself and its holders.
And now, with their Metaverse coming out and even a TV show in development, they’re looking to create a forever-lasting brand out of the Bored Ape Yacht Club.
The Digital Marketing Collective
The Digital Marketing Collective is a collective started by Brenton Way, focused on helping marketers grow through free digital marketing tips from established marketing professionals.
Here at Brenton Way we deeply believe in the value of a strong community.
A community where like-minded people can come together and really be beneficial to each other.
Read through our top guides from marketers, or speak directly to growth hackers in our Discord community and get new growth strategies to implement.
As you can see from the more recent projects I’ve posted there are a lot of innovative things going on in the NFT space.
And with innovation comes opportunities.
As we progress into the future, I personally can’t wait to see what type of other innovations develop in the space.
Seeing a project like the Goblins dominating in the way they did, is truly exciting to me.
There is no other space where a project like this can disrupt it in the way that they have.
And that’s why NFTs are awesome, and in my opinion, here to stay!
Would you like a free consultation for your NFT project? Reach out, and one of our experts will get back to you.