What are dApps?
Decentralized applications, popularly known as Dapps, are smart contract-powered versions of apps which are based on blockchain. They have open-source code and are not controlled by a central authority. They are an efficient method to safeguard user privacy along with fulfilling the needs of the user. Users do not need to give personal information to use the function that the app provides. They can be classified on the basis of how users interact with them.
Dapps can be categorized into 3 types- The first kind of Dapps exist on their own in a blockchain-based environment and require a consensus algorithm and baked-in rules. Bitcoin is an example of the first kind of app. The second kind of Dapps is built generally over the first type and uses tokens for interactions. Examples of type 2 dapps are – Ethereum, Solana, Uniswap etc. This can be considered a layered system, transactions may process on the second layer before they come to the first which could reduce the load on the main chain. The third type can be seen as a 3-layer system in which the third layer might store APIs and scripts necessary for the first and second layers to operate. An example of the third type is The SAFE Network, which is a decentralized data storage and communications network.
Below are some examples of Dapps available in the market.
- Uniswap allows users to directly swap between two ERC-20 tokens to reduce total transactions.
- OpenSea is a decentralized NFT marketplace for trading, buying, and selling digital goods.
- Splinterlands is a play-to-earn digital card game. Moreover, the game uses NFTs to provide ownership to the players for their in-game assets and digital playing cards.
dApps and Marketing
The Dapp market has been growing rapidly in recent times, starting with Ethereum Dapps and Steem, Tron and EOS following up. The popularity was reached not by mere luck, it was the brains behind the Dapps which created various marketing strategies to get them noticed in the way they are these days.
Many decentralized entities are relying on partnering with experienced digital marketing agencies that are proficient enough to conduct business development professionally and in a timely manner. After you build a product, you need to gather eyeballs for it, which with the help of the network that can be built through the internet, can be done on a global level through promoting the product.
Marketing and reaching more audiences globally requires a great deal of planning and it turns out to be a long process which if done effectively can get you loads of customers.
dApps Marketing Strategies
While marketing your Dapp one thing to keep in mind is that the target should be growing the audience organically. This can be done by making use of the different communities and marketing through crypto forums and websites that build a loyal network can be the way to go forward. The popular ways of Dapp marketing are some of the following.
- One of the steps can be conducting real world private events, holding community meetups to present your product and showing them the vision and process behind it.
- Getting listed on Dapp reviewing websites can be another great way that can get your Dapp noticed by the public through which you can gain some customer base and then it can further spread through them. Promoting your project through listing websites and forums can help you list and promote your project and update its progress. Some popular Dapp reviewing websites are – DappRadar, State of the Dapps, Dapp.com, Dapp.review, etc.
- Influencer marketing is another effective way to go forward with getting more and more customers. This will create a feeling of trust and relatability among the people you market to and can reap a lot of benefits. The more influencers you collaborate with, the more people will know about your Dapp and the hype created as a result can be game changing. Affiliate Marketing can be another way to connect with content creators to promote your Dapp.
- Creating a community around your Dapp can be a make-or-break factor for your Dapp as strong and local communities go a long way in contributing to the growth of your Dapp. Continuously working and managing your community can be a distinguishing factor in the long run between the Dapps that grow a lot and the ones that don’t. A community for your token holders can be a place to discuss your project and build its future along with a strong community.
To build and maintain a community, you need to first define your audience, as knowing the people you are catering to is very helpful in the long run, you need to set a vision which the community firmly believes in, then choose a channel which would suit your community like Twitter, Reddit, Discord, Linkedin or some others. You need to make your community excited through announcements, limited time events and awarding early adopters.
- Attending developers and investment targeted conferences is another technique through which Dapps can be promoted. Blockchain Economy Dubai Summit, Crypto Expo Dubai, Devcon Bogota are some of the conferences.
- Creating an SEO Strategy becomes a crucial aspect of marketing when your Dapp starts to get noticed a bit as curious people tend to search about it on the web and ensuring that it has the necessary keywords and proper information that attracts people and would attract them towards the Dapp becomes necessary. Better SEO means a better ranking on the web.
- Leverage the power of PR: To build a fanbase/user base, public relations is very important, establishing contacts in the right places will get you the exposure your product needs to become a big one.
- Donating to nonprofit organizations can be an out-of-the-box way to create a connection between the customers and the product and gain customers’ respect.
- Engagement Incentives are a great tactic to make the audience engage with the product in a multitude of ways. There can be different kinds of incentives, NFT projects can give incentives to get contact details of users through whitelist, while some others like gaming projects can encourage users to play their game by building in play-to-earn-economics.
Web2 vs Web3 Marketing: A big makeover
Along with a major change in basic functioning of how the web works, a lot has changed in terms of ways of marketing since this gigantic transformation in the world of technology known as Web3 came into existence. With Web2, the era of signboard and television broadcast advertisement got transformed to digital platforms, and access to all of it became commonplace and easy. As time passed, the internet gave various companies the access to user data, and as user needs started to get noted, marketing became analytics and performance oriented, even directly connecting to emotions of the customers.
- In Web2 various steps of marketing like market research(takes around $5k to $15k according to an estimate), influencer marketing($10k to $18k as per an estimate), marketing agency cost($25k according to an estimate) which sums up to around $50k or so and therefore takes up a lot of investment but reaps great results if done in a planned and organized manner.
- In the Web3 space, a case study of a cryptocurrency exchange known as FTX saw a scale up from $7 million to $ 32 billion evaluation in 36 months through effective marketing. They are known to have spent $20 million in influencer marketing campaigns which is a huge number and collaborated with various sports stars and teams too.
In the Web3 space, the focus is on the advancements in the backend, assisted by data transferring ownership to private citizens instead of private entities. From methods like social media, running targeted and data driven campaigns, to advertising through a network of NFTs, tokens, AI etc., marketing has come a long way.
Centralized companies own our data and can use that data to inform or optimize their platform for engagement. But no entity or person owns the data at decentralized companies.
Decentralized companies achieve this by using smart contracts, or programs stored on a blockchain that run when predetermined conditions are met. These smart contracts are the basic concepts around which web3 mechanics such as NFTs, have emerged.
Going forward Web3 is about to take the community management and marketing system to great heights and make it a popular way of marketing, especially with the number of stakeholders expanding and changing from just users to developers, and investors.
The growing need for a customer acquisition platform
Deploying the various marketing strategies has been a mostly hit – sometimes a miss kind of a method of expanding the user base for Dapps making their way in the Web3 space. With the move to Web3 taking up speed there is a need for a full-fledged customer acquisition platform for Dapps to reach more audience and promote their product. This can lead to more Return on Investment for the investment they put in marketing and to gain more reach on a global level.