While the underlying architecture of Web3 has yet to be finalized, its decentralized nature is a core part of its proposed architecture. Additionally, the content models that Web3 facilitates will put control back in the hands of content producers and consumers.
How will new Web3 content models affect the way brands approach content, marketing and advertising?
Web3 Returns Control to Content Creators and Consumers
The Web 2.0 content model favored the large tech brands that own media hosting mechanisms, such as Twitch, YouTube, TikTok, etc.
Michael Gaizutis, founder and CXO at RNO1, a branding and digital design agency, spoke with CMSWire about the new paradigm that Web3 is offering forward-thinking brands.
Gaizutis said many brands are still trying to determine where they fit into the Web3 metaverse. “Things are changing at a rapid pace, so not only do they need to evaluate what best aligns with their brand identity, they also need their digital infrastructure to be nimble, scalable and adaptive,” he said.
Gaizutis views the unlimited creative potential of Web3 as a huge improvement and is excited to consider how brands decide to fit within this new space. “Once brands craft their vision and where they fit within all the options, full brand immersion is an exciting space,” he said.
“While the layers of experiences and realities may be intimidating, it is really another step for brands to differentiate themselves in choosing what works for them,” Gaizutis added. “In the same way social media channels unfolded, these next steps will help brands refine their offerings.
“We learned over time that not every channel serves our storytelling needs. We won’t all need a Tumblr in the same way we don’t all need a VR experience. It’s the focus on the user and their experience and the agile thinking that enables constant iteration that will separate content planning going forward.”
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How Will Web3 Affect the Current Content Model?
Brands have to consider that although the technology and mechanisms of Web3 are different than Web 2.0, it’s primarily about customers and potential customers — if anything, it’s a people-centric medium, something brands are used to after the last two years. As such, the potential for community building and customer loyalty is far greater, but undoubtedly the content model will continue to change.
A Need for More Content
TJ Leonard, CEO of Storyblocks, a royalty-free media provider, told CMSWire that Web3 “will change the content model by requiring brands to produce more video content than they do now, and will also provide an environment for community builders and participants to realize the economic upside of content creation.”
However, said Leonard, brands are already struggling with content production, and those who can’t keep up will see a significant impact on growth.
“In the same way that the web today demands 100 times more content than it did a decade ago, the transition to the metaverse will require companies to churn out 100 times more content than they do today,” said Leonard.
It’s not just traditional media that will be needed either. Adobe, for instance, is encouraging brands to get started now on 3D designs, while others race to build “digital twins” of their current offerings for the metaverse.
A Chance to Boost Loyalty
Rob Frasca, managing partner of Cosimo Ventures, a venture capital firm, told CMSWire that Web3 provides a game-changing, home run approach to brands and their content, and a huge opportunity to enhance brand loyalty.
With Web3-style content, “you are engaging with your fans, creating loyalty and creating ownership. You are creating access and privilege with that content,” said Frasca. “We are only scratching the surface as to what’s possible with this. We are switching from a model that used to be instant to more of a long-term ownership model, which creates significant brand loyalty.”
A New Digital Collectibles Market
Unlike Web 2.0, Web3 is not just about 2D text, images, audio or video content, but rather, it also includes what can be based around that content.
Digital versions of physical items can be bought and sold by customers and fans. “Imagine you are a sports team, and you create a cool set of content around your players and their matchups. Today, the fans love watching the games and purchasing merchandise, but imagine you extend that into the digital world,” said Frasca.
“Web 3.0 allows you to take those digital items and attach real rights to them. Say you own all the digital collectibles, and that gives you free tickets to a game. Your content in the digital world translates to real-life fan benefits, which in turn builds loyalty.
“Because the fan owns this content, and it’s Web 3.0, they can later sell it to someone else (like baseball cards.) But Web 3.0 makes it so royalties are always paid back to the original brand, no matter how many times it’s sold and by whom,” he said.
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Direct Integrations for Web 2.0 Content
Currently, brands are struggling with the inability to use their current Web 2.0 content within Web3 applications without complete recreation. API3, a first-party blockchain oracle solution provider, has a seamless Web3 wrapper that allows Web API providers to offer their data directly on-chain. As such, brands can integrate their legacy Web 2.0 content directly into Web3 applications and networks.
Ryan Boder, marketing director at API3, spoke with CMSWire about the ways that Web3 is changing the content model. He said that, unlike what many may think, Web3 won’t change marketing’s fundamentals. “It won’t change basic human psychology, needs or desires. Our job is still to create, communicate and deliver value. But it will change the landscape we have to work on. Those who learn quickly and adapt will have a big advantage,” explained Boder.
The current content model revolves around publishers that are the gateways between the content creators and content consumers. “Publishers are the producers. Advertisers are the customers. Consumers’ eyeballs are the product. Content is the bait.” said Boder.
“When content creators can reach viewers directly and publishers are bypassed, then advertisers need a new place to buy eyeballs from,” he added. “The Brave Browser and Basic Attention Token (BAT) are pioneering how advertising might work in Web 3.0. Advertisers will need to target and influence Web 3.0 consumers with much less personal data than they’re accustomed to. Web 3.0 will be a challenge for advertisers and an opportunity for content marketers.”
The Rise of Basic Attention Tokens (BATs)
The Brave web browser brings together multiple benefits for users, content producers and advertisers. It has a privacy-based search engine, enables user privacy (it blocks ads, cookies and cross-site trackers by default) and is said to be three times faster than Chrome.
For ads to be displayed, the user has to opt in and agree to be a part of the BAT system. It also uses anonymous network routing, has IPFS integration, videoconferencing, its own crypto wallet and rewards users who opt in to advertising with Basic Attention Tokens (BATs).
Based on the Ethereum blockchain, BATs are utility tokens used by digital marketers to place ads on the Brave web browser. BATs pay publishers for their content and users for their attention while providing advertisers with the data needed to verify that advertising campaigns are working.
BATs are currently traded on cryptocurrency exchanges and are earned by using the Brave web browser. How it works:
- Users opt-in to receive advertising in the Brave browser
- Their attention (the commodity they represent) is privately monitored in the Brave browser, without tracking
- Publishers are paid with BATs, and users get a share of those tokens for participating
The Question of Ethics in Data Privacy
Web3 is all about privacy, the content creator and the content consumer, and the economy it creates will undoubtedly reflect that. Charlie Neer, Chief Revenue Officer at MiQ, a leading programmatic media partner, spoke with CMSWire about the changing economics of the internet, and how Web3 will affect the future of advertising and marketing.
“With this change of terrain focused on privacy and fairly compensating creators, marketers and advertisers are scrambling to adjust to these means as they rapidly approach,” said Neer.
The concept of BATs is a Web3 solution to the problem of brands making money off of users’ identities and behaviors. “Another topic being addressed by Web 3.0 from the current environment is the fact that corporations are gaining millions off users’ identities,” said Neer.
“These millions of dollars are made from recording users’ web behaviors and then positioning advertising and marketing efforts accordingly. Being that identity is a vehicle of value on the internet, and with the depreciation of the cookie, this begs the question — is this an ethical exchange?” asked Neer.
Web3 is going to change the playing field when it comes to content creation, consumption and marketing. With new content and advertising models, marketers will have to think outside of the box and embrace the new Web3 economy of creation, consumption and compensation.