Partner at Ascendant, a CEO branding agency & #3 ranked overall firm (Ad World Masters) helping CEOs increase visibility for their companies
NFTs (non-fungible tokens) and the metaverse have recently emerged in the mainstream and are positioned to drastically change our digital ecosystem. It is clear that NFTs and the metaverse are not a trend; they are the future. NFTs made $25 billion in sales in 2021. Furthermore, the larger ecosystem that NFTs often exist within, the metaverse, is pegged to become a $783 billion market by 2024. It is especially important that CEOs and other leaders in the NFT and metaverse spaces learn how to communicate in a way that balances their passion and vision with simplicity and clarity.
What are NFTs?
NFTs are unique, collectible digital assets that represent real-world objects like music, art, videos and in-game items. NFTs hold form in cryptocurrency and are managed on a blockchain. The most noteworthy characteristic of NFTs is that they are completely unique from each other. Even identical copies of an NFT must be distinguishable.
What is the metaverse?
The metaverse is a 3D version of the internet and computing at large. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are two technologies that are included in the metaverse experience. The metaverse is a digital economy where users can buy, sell and create goods. Moreover, the metaverse is ideally interoperable, meaning users can take virtual items like clothes or cars from one platform to another.
How This Relates To PR
I recently took a trip to Dubai—the world’s emerging center of the NFT and metaverse space—where I spoke to numerous industry experts and gained valuable knowledge. After speaking with them, I was able to confirm many of my instincts about the space and gain additional insights on how industry experts can improve their PR and branding strategies to dominate in these spaces.
Overall, the way that experts are communicating about the metaverse and NFTs can be hard to understand for those who are not experts in these spaces. Their explanations are often filled with tech-speak, which can be confusing or so abstract that it becomes difficult to distinguish aspiration from reality. Or, to be more straightforward, they exist within a bubble.
According to data from a Harris Poll, 58% of Americans claim to not understand the metaverse and NFTs, yet 70% of participants under 40 (Gen Z and millennials) say they’re interested in interacting in these digital realms. So, there is a discrepancy between how well the general public understands this space versus how those under 40 engage or plan to engage with it. That is why it is so important for industry experts to articulate the NFT and metaverse spaces in a way that is easy to understand. Closing the communication gap will allow more people to engage in these spaces.
In order for leaders in the NFT and metaverse spaces to ameliorate their branding strategies, it is important for them to communicate about the metaverse and NFTs effectively. Here are four key tips to help make this happen:
• Educate your market in a clear, digestible way. Industry experts love what they do, but at times they can come across as “roadrunners” at the speed they communicate. It is important to slow down when communicating these complex topics to others. Make sure your audience understands—otherwise, it can come across as youth and passion without direction.
• Make it practical. NFTs are the digitization of art, and art has been a part of human history since the beginning of time. When talking about the NFT space, address it from the angle of the democratization of art rather than just making a quick buck. People will care more about your project if there is some type of deeper purpose—something that contributes to the greater good. Let monetary gains be a benefit but not your primary motivation when in the NFT space. Ask yourself: What is the why? Then, be ready to articulate that value to others.
• Use relevant anecdotes. When talking about things like the metaverse, it is easy for people to get lost in translation. Try explaining it using relevant anecdotes. For example, it is helpful to tie the metaverse to movies like Ready Player One, shows like Amazon’s Upload or even the hologram machine in Star Trek. These all can serve as easy-to-understand examples of what the metaverse could eventually grow into.
• Tie it to a purpose. When articulating the importance of NFTs and the metaverse, make sure to tie it to a cause, make it matter and demonstrate why it makes the world better. If people don’t understand the value, they will not understand the significance of these markets and the immense potential they hold in changing the future of our digital ecosystem.
I can verify through our recent client work that if you utilize all of these tips, mixed in with the common best-known practices the industry generally knows (like building a community on Discord and social media platforms), then your project is guaranteed to stand out because your communication will be clearer than your peers.
NFTs and the metaverse will drastically impact our digital ecosystem because it is changing the way we consume and share digital content. Furthermore, NFTs and the metaverse are only going to increase in market size as they continue to gain popularity. So it is critical for industry experts to start having these conversations now and stay one step ahead of the rest.