Influencer Marketing In The Web 3.0 Era
The world wide web is a wild place. Since its inception during the 90s tech boom, its growth in terms of content and capability has been astronomical. What was once a tentative collection of AOL chat rooms and rudimentary-coded web pages has burgeoned into a business-driven hub of socialization, shopping, learning, trading and so much more.
The Information Web: 1989-2005
We can break the Internet’s lifetime into iterations: Web 1.0, Web 2.0, and Web 3.0. Think of Web 1.0 as breaking ground on a construction project. It doesn’t look pretty, but the foundation is there and it’s static; stable. Web 1.0 was driven by consumers. The idea of a content creator or an influencer was more than a decade away, and the only “social networks” were non-dynamic pages that were available to read and nothing more. Interactive elements like calls-to-action, buttons, and forms were but a dream for young Information Web.
The Social Web: 2005-present
But as they say, if we build it, they will come — and they did. As the Internet began swelling into a playground for early adopters and curious hustlers (😉), new technological advances swooped in. Dial-up Internet, the mortal enemy of Millennial pre-teens with parents waiting on a phone call, was eventually retired for lightning-fast wireless connections.
Then there’s the social network takeover: MySpace gave way to Friendster, which became Facebook (and now Meta); YouTube was born; ambitious start-ups called Twitter and Instagram pushed for creator-driven content. Online communities sprung up as users realized that the Internet was enabling them to connect with people with shared interests (who were perhaps living thousands of miles away), all from the comfort of their personal computers at home.
Indeed, Web 2.0 was a siren call for creators to join the landscape and make it their own. Gone were the days of a handful of static pages authored by a minority. Web 2.0, by contrast, encourages creation and sharing — championing the idea of using the Internet “as a platform,” according to Newsweek.
Web 2.0 paved the way for content creators and influencers as we know them today, growing from celebrity appearances at public events to everyday people monetizing their social media accounts. It may feel like a wildly short amount of time to accommodate Web 2.0’s growth; indeed, it feels like the Internet of 2000 is but a distant memory. And the advances in the last tech generation are nothing to scoff at. But innovation is the name of the game — and it’s only going to grow faster from here.
A New Frontier with Web 3.0
According to Sir Tim Burners-Lee, father of the world wide web, Web 3.0 is going to be all about autonomy and decentralization. When we talk about a centralized world wide web, we’re referring to the idea that the web we know today is stored in a central location. Well, this isn’t the case with Web 3.0, which is anticipated to be much more disruptive and highly experimental. This will likely be fueled by one of the primary cornerstones of Web 3.0: artificial intelligence (AI).
AI, which is more than lifelike video games played via goggles, is a noteworthy contributor to the new web that aims to fuel a smarter environment that anticipates consumer needs. This, along with advances in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, are predicted to push the Internet forward into a highly deregulated future. And even though this technology and its predicted impact are not new, it’s still going to be a shock for the consumer as it inevitably will change the way we live, just as Web 1.0 and 2.0 did before.
But what does that mean for content creators and brands?
While it’s tough to predict just how much Web 3.0’s advancements could change the creator landscape, one thing is certain: creators and brands will adapt just as they have before. In the last year alone, so many new technological innovations and changes have advanced creators from being just a one-off partner to a key player in supporting a brand’s overall marketing strategy.
Influencer marketing and its impact on the modern marketing mix has resulted in successes we’ve seen first-hand, like Express achieving a 168% ROI growth from in-store purchases — a metric gleaned as a direct result of their influencer marketing strategy. The name, image, and likeness (NIL) laws that were passed this summer have resulted in an agency boom specializing in a specific need to support college athletes. Non-fungible tokens (NFT) have taken over the Internet, with some experts saying that cryptocurrency and similar practices will become so commonplace in the near future that you’ll be able to pay your mortgage with them. Believe it or not, but there are already specific farms devoted not to agriculture, but to crypto mining.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way. And while the future and all its unknowns are as daunting as exciting, we know that brands and creators will be there to enhance the transition toward a newer tomorrow with Web 3.0. Here’s to 2022 and beyond!
What Brands Need To Know: 2022 Influencer Marketing Predictions
In 2021 we’ve seen the continued popularity of TikTok, the rise and fall of social audio, Facebook’s constant coverage in the news, and how platforms have elevated the importance of creators, empowering them with new features and monetization opportunities across platforms.
Brands and creators navigated sensitive topics like mental health, adjusted to a return of in-person events, and participated in or actively avoided the topic of politics, diversity, equity, and inclusion—all while grappling with unpredictable buying trends stemming from the pandemic.
Marketers are challenged to not only keep up with this ever-changing industry but also pave the way forward for their brands as innovative thought leaders for years to come. Attend our webinar on Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021, as industry experts discuss their influencer marketing predictions for the upcoming year.
Our predictions include:
- The rise of the creator middle class
- Creators and NFTs will pave the way for the metaverse to become a reality
- TikTok will overtake Facebook and Instagram as the most popular social network—especially for creators
- Retailers will turn creators into a revenue stream to promote products as part of shopper marketing budgets
- Influencer and brand rating systems will emerge—measuring creators based on trust scores, not just engagements
- Creator unionization will occur
15 webinar attendees will be chosen randomly to receive a free Apple AirTag. Can we count on seeing you there? Register today.