We’ve heard of Web 1.0 and we’ve heard of Web 2.0, but Web3? What’s that when it’s at home? In essence, these names simply refer to the evolution of the internet over the years, since it first went live back in 1999.
The first iteration of the internet, as conceived by Tim Berners-Lee, was read-only, with users unable to participate in the online conversation. In 2004 or thereabouts, this began to change, with users becoming more involved in line with the rise of social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook – and the era of the read-write internet had begun.
But nothing lasts forever and the dawn of Web3 is now upon us, with the onus very much on read-write-own.
What is Web3?
Web2.0 – the version of the internet that we use today – requires users to part with personal data in exchange for services. But Web3 is blockchain-integrated, with cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens built into digital platforms.
This puts the power back into the hands of the end users and, in turn, releases the grip that proprietors such as Facebook, Google and Amazon have on the world wide web.
While some critics believe that Web3 is nothing but a pipedream and could never truly come to fruition, increasing amounts of cash are now being ploughed into Web3 startups and there may well be a surge in consumer interest in this next phase of the internet, as concerns over Big Tech, data privacy and digital identities start to bubble over.
What does it all mean for businesses?
An online presence is essential for companies in all industries and all sectors these days. If you can’t be found online, then you can bet that your customers will head off to one of your competitors without a second thought.
As such, paying close attention to emerging trends and new ways of operating in the digital space is vital for brands keen to flourish and thrive as time goes on.
As Web3 starts to come increasingly to the fore, businesses will need to prioritise transparency and user orientation.
Data usage will need to change to help improve transparency and really build trust with customers and blockchain technology will need to be used to deliver a record of transactions that can be kept safe, secure and protected.
This does have benefits for companies, of course, and you’ll likely find that Web3 is both safer and cheaper than its predecessors, since the decentralised nature of the space means that user data isn’t stored in a single place on a single server, which helps make it less vulnerable to hackers.
Decentralisation also means that you’re far less likely to experience network downtime because there are fewer central servers being used. This can help protect your business reputation and keep your companies happy, no matter what’s happening externally that could have caused server interruption in the past.
Efficiency gains can also be made because cryptocurrencies like Ethereum or bitcoin are used to make transactions, so they take place in real time and don’t have to go through any banking systems, which means transactions take place in mere minutes, rather than days.
How will Web3 affect digital marketing?
Digital marketing and advertising is an absolute must for any brand keen to make a lasting name for itself… but Web3 is likely to deliver some big changes for online marketing, so preparing now could make all the difference between swim or sink in the future.
Firstly, it will become increasingly important for companies to find new ways of gathering data while ensuring that privacy continues to be paramount. People are likely to become more and more protective over their data as time goes on, so making this a top priority can really help brands win new customers and build a truly loyal following over the years.
As for the marketing campaigns themselves, putting personalisation at the top of the agenda will help you reach and engage with more people. It’s all about the user experience right now and this is only going to become more important in the future, so cast a critical eye over your ad campaigns and see if there’s any room for improvement.
There are sure to be all sorts of different ways in which you can personalise your Web3 marketing campaigns, but something that could be worth looking into right now is the idea of social tokens.
These are virtual currencies that exist on the blockchain and can be used to help reward your customers for staying loyal to you… and they’re quickly rising in popularity as the weeks go by.
Research shows, in fact, that last year the social token market climbed by more than 500 per cent between January and June – so now could well be the time to investigate the benefits of making your own brand-specific social token.
It only takes a few minutes to do but the rewards could be huge, helping you to build genuine and direct connections with your customers… all with very little effort on your part. By using social tokens, you can set out your mission and values as a brand very clearly indeed, as well as showing people exactly how you’ll reward them for doing business with you.
For example, you could use these tokens to reward people for liking, commenting and sharing social media posts. Consumers can collect these tokens to exchange for some kind of perk or a different cryptocurrency and you may well find that your return on investment is quite high, leading to more engagement and more sales.
If you’d like to find out more about Web3 and how it’s likely to affect the digital landscape for businesses, get in touch with Manchester SEO agency Ad Rank One today.