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How will NFTs transform the influencer marketing landscape?
August 26, 2021
If you’ve found yourself browsing the internet in recent months, you’ve likely come across the buzz of something called NFTs. We’re seeing more and more celebrities and influencers talk about them and create digital collectables using them.
So what exactly is an NFT? What are they for, and why are they appearing all over the place? More than simply the latest trend, can brands and influencers use NTF’s to their benefit and within the influencer marketing landscape overall?
What are NFTs?
NFT means ‘Non-fungible token’. That means that is a unique code that cannot be replaced with something else. For example, a twenty-dollar bill can be changed for another one and you’ll have the same thing back-That would be called fungible. But if you were to use that twenty dollars to buy a bespoke, one-of-a-kind piece of art from an artist, that would be known as non-fungible.
NFTs are a file type that transfers and keeps data unique- like a code for a picture you would upload on social media.
NFT stands for non-fungible tokens. They are unique digital assets in the form of a special type of cryptographic token. Similarly to how bitcoin tokens can be seen as blockchain-verified dollar bills. NFTs are blockchain-verified works of art or other media files. In other words, they are essentially a form of a file that enables information transfer, such as a Png. jpeg or GIf files.
To better understand and grasp the concept, a good example is if you and a friend both had a twenty-dollar bill each, it would not matter if you were to swap them over since every twenty-dollar bill holds the same value as the next. They’re interchangeable. However, when it comes to art, or in this case NFTs, we wouldn’t be swapping an exclusive piece of art with that same friend because each work of art holds a different type of value. However, is important to understand that today NFTs are beyond art and brands, across industries are already tapping into the technology to drive innovation.
Each NFT gets assigned a unique hash during the encryption process that will distinguish it from every other NFT of its kind. NFTs are however not a tangible product that you can display. However, as brands start to embrace and incorporate them into their marketing strategies, the limits between a virtual asset and experiential experience either online or offline will become more blurry with time.
How can NFTs transform the influencer marketing landscape?
One key aspect that draws influencers and content creators towards NFTs is their potential to create a new world of intellectual property with copyright royalties for the content creator and influencer-generated content. Over the past decade, we have seen that viral moments can create a potential financial income for their creators. This can go from memes to short videos and products. It can be used as a potential revenue stream that a lot of individuals and corporations are moving into, from professional sports leagues to artists and more who could now sell the NFT behind their brands rather than having to negotiate a three or five-year usage of their image.
Furthermore, content creators and brands can join forces to create NFTs experiences for both of their audiences, as a new form of technology that will allow them to drive innovation and new customer journeys. With the inclusion of NFTs, both partners can create unique content that can be monetized and allow followers to own a collectable piece. These pieces will not only be made available to the creator’s audience, but also to brands who would like to leverage this content and to be a part of an iconic moment.
How can brands and influencers work with NFTs together?
It is key to understand that NFTs are not posing a threat to the Brand and influencers partnerships. On the contrary, they'll be able to enhance their partnerships to continue to build their relationships using NFTs as a newer form of technology that will allow them to drive innovation.
The digital and crypto worlds are taking the world by storm, as customer generations are getting more used to it and seeing the huge value this form of transaction and investment has. For example, around 27% of Millenials say that they are investing in NFTs. According to the Adweek and Harry’s Poll survey that was conducted this year, the type of NFTs that this generation is most interested in is: “36% ‘said they would want a song, 35% said that they would be interested in artwork, 33% said [...] videos and 17% said they’d want to buy NFTs of a Tweet”.
Brands can work with influencers to create exclusive video content to show the “behind the scenes”, or perhaps a video brand experience that can only be accessible to those who purchase NFTs. These pieces will not only be made available to the creator’s audience, but also to brands with a similar demographic who would like to take leverage from this content and to be a part of an iconic moment.
How will NFTs empower brand and influencer collaborations?
The main appeal of NFTs is their uniqueness and collectable factor. Using limited collaborations between brands and influencers and creating products will be a whole new form of revenue stream for both the brand and the influencer. Through NFTs, customers get access to a unique piece of the digital world.
Today, brands are tapping into the creation of experiences that are exclusive to “ticket holders” such as Livestream product launches or to other experience sessions with influencers in the form of tutorials.
Brands will come into partnership with content creators who will develop content that will become unique collector cards of things such as interviews with influencers, available only to those who are members of the exclusive club. Some brands already use this model of tapping into the creation of these unique experiences such as members-only Livestreams for their product launches or meet and greet experiences with the influencers who work alongside them.
However, now instead of having a ticket that allows access one time only, brands are now able to create NFT content assets that play a pivotal role in a successful brand and influencer collaboration. An example of this would be a brand working alongside an influencer and creating unique products in collaboration with that influencer, only for members.
Brands will come into partnership with content creators who will develop content that will become collectable cards of things like unique ‘behind the scenes footage’, like being part of an exclusive membership club. Brands are already using this model of tapping into the creation of exclusive experiences such as members-only live streams for product launches or experiences with influencers. However, instead of a one-time access ticket, brands can now create NFT content assets that are pivotal in a successful brand and influencer collaboration. As we move into an era of NFTs, the potential to earn money through them may be strongly connected to how effectively influencers can authentically capture the connection they have with their audiences through NFT creations.
- Possibilities for Collaboration: Brands can work alongside influencers to create exclusive NFTs for their customers. It works in the same way as any brand/influencer collaboration, but with a higher and more exciting innovation touch.
- Ownership: NFTs are like having an ownership log, similar to taking a book out from the library. When an influencer has had ownership of an NFT, the hype is already driven. Influencer and Brand NFT collaboration is the digital equivalent of auctioning off a piece of clothing or item belonging to a person of influence.
- Brand/Influencer collaboration breeds awareness: Like influencers who promote products on their social media, they could use their popularity to influence people to invest in NFTs.