Over the past few months, NFTs and the “metaverse” have created a buzz in the tech and cryptocurrency world. Naturally, this buzz has also sparked the interest of many people involved in e-commerce, such as B2B merchants, as there is a common digital element.
In this article, we will discuss what an NFT is and how NFTs could be connected to B2B marketing. We will assess if there is a future for NFTs in B2B marketing and what it might look like.
Let’s start by looking at what an NFT is and the role it plays in the metaverse.
What is an NFT?
NFT is short for “non-fungible token”. It is a digital asset that exists in the metaverse with unique ownership rights to the person who created or purchased it. NFTs can include images, videos, audio clips, and other digital files, and they are traded on metaverse marketplaces.1
If you’re unfamiliar with the metaverse, the term covers the worldwide collection of digital “realities.” The metaverse has different dimensions, but one of the most tangible explanations is the world people enter with virtual realities with dedicated headsets and games.
It is common for NFTs and cryptocurrency to be discussed in the same conversation as many NFT trading platforms use cryptocurrency for trading. Plus, both are key parts of the Metaverse, so this connection makes sense.
However, there is one key difference between NFTs and cryptocurrency: NFTs are not fungible and cryptocurrency is fungible.2
Is the NFT craze affecting B2B companies?
B2B commerce has seen a major push towards digitalization in recent years.
There is still so much room for the growth and development of NFTs, so it is difficult to fully understand the effects of this technology on B2B businesses.
At this point, however, it appears that NFTs are having a mostly neutral or positive effect on B2B businesses. There doesn’t seem to be any major negative effect at this point.
A likely intersection between B2B businesses and NFTs could be marketing. As NFTs continue to develop, crossover may increase.
Potential Use Cases of NFT for B2B Marketing
The use cases for NFTs are currently quite extensive. Basically, businesses are free to use them in any way that suits their brand, so they can be as creative as they want to incorporate NFTs into their marketing strategies.
That said, B2B companies can use NFTs for marketing purposes in different ways.3 Let’s check them out.
1. Stay on the cutting edge
Since NFTs are a relatively new concept, a B2B company’s participation in this trend demonstrates that it is following and circumventing its competition.
The will and ability to stay in tune with the times is a good reflection of brands because it shows that companies are innovative. This connects with B2B buyers who are looking for innovation-driven business partners.
If anything, staying on trend allows B2B companies to capitalize on the hype that trends, like NFTs, create. This helps attract the attention of other forward-thinking companies.
2. Build customer loyalty
Customer loyalty is essential for B2B companies because it is more profitable to retain customers for long-term contracts than to generate new leads.
Fortunately, B2B companies can use NFTs to build brand loyalty through customer loyalty programs.
For example, NFTs can serve as a kind of punch card that provides customers with a real asset representative of your brand. Businesses can give buyers an NFT after they reach a certain number of orders or a specific amount of dollars spent with your business.
Ownership of the NFT should come with special benefits. It can come with discounts and benefits within your company, or it comes in the form of an NFT that is expected to increase in value.
Another interesting use of NFTs for brand loyalty is to offer equity to the company in the form of NFTs. Sure, it’s a little more involved than some other NFT strategies, but it’s an aggressive way to build a connection with your most loyal supporters.
3. Build brand awareness
NFTs can also be used to build brand awareness. B2B companies can create a collection of trendy and engaging NFTs for their target audience.
The idea is to create NFTs that will go viral and become highly sought after. It will require the support of a creative team that can bring something ingenious to life.
The collection should include some branding touches so that as NFTs spread, your brand will be recognized. This will help build brand awareness.
4. Create Memberships
Some NFTs have something called “utility”. This means that by purchasing a specific NFT, buyers are entitled to a membership, service or some kind of exclusive access.
For example, B2B sellers can sell NFTs that come with exclusive group memberships that include priority service, discounted shipping, or other benefits.
You can keep it exclusive by only allowing a set number of members. This way, your members who may want to leave the group in the future can sell the NFT at a great rate to other customers who want it.
By offering a small number of memberships, the competitive nature will keep the rates high.
Companies that choose this model are advised to add a small percentage fee when they mint NFTs so that they also generate revenue as they change hands.
Risks of NFTs for B2B Marketing
Since the idea of the metaverse is relatively new, there is still a lot to discover. With the unknown comes inherent risk.4
An example of risk with NFT is related to the fact that many NFTs have assumed the role of a means of investment, such as cryptocurrency. Although both of these things were meant to be digital assets to be traded in the metaverse, they have become minimal investments in their respective markets.
This market structure has created some volatility. The market can skyrocket, but it can also fall just as quickly. For example, NFT sales recently hit a 12-month low. This decline coincided with a major collapse in the cryptocurrency market.5
It should be noted that a common sentiment in business is the idea that high risk can yield high reward. Sometimes calculated risk can propel your business in ways that go beyond security.
Looking for more ways to connect with your customers online? A B2B e-commerce marketplace, like Alibaba.com, can help you do just that. Alibaba.com is a platform that connects buyers and sellers around the world.
In addition to the typical e-commerce marketplace that allows buyers to browse sellers’ products, Alibaba.com also offers an RFQ marketplace that allows potential buyers to post RFQs. This allows suppliers to easily and regularly connect with new B2B buyers.
Sign up on Alibaba.com to start selling more in no time.