The term ‘Web3’ is getting thrown around a lot these days. It’s time we remove it from our ‘jargon dictionary,’ understand its meaning and realize the impact it will have on Content Marketing.
Just before the pandemic, the talks around Web3 had gone stagnant. No one had a reason to think or talk about the ‘new internet’ as according to them, everything was fine. It was just a bunch of tech enthusiasts who the rest of the world didn’t believe. But the pandemic saw a sudden surge of interest in Web3. People’s online presence increased quickly; there was a boom in e-banking, e-commerce, and social media. With this boom also came an understanding of the present-day internet; there were instances of data leaks and censorship. The distrust was fueled by our techies, and the Web3 wave began rising.
According to a report by
So it’s not gossip anymore.
In this article, we’ll dive into the basics of Web3 and the blockchain technology it works on. We’ll also see its impacts on the content marketing industry, with reference to some future trends.
The third phase of the internet, Web3, refers to a decentralized online ecosystem that is not controlled by some supreme authorities like present-day Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc. and where users have autonomy over their data and assets.
To understand it better, let’s go a little back in time.
The internet came into being around the 1970s but was used only by the governments during the cold war. It was a centralized system. Soon, these governments realized that keeping all the data in one place was not a good idea, so they decided to have multiple servers. This was the first step toward decentralization.
Tim Berners-Lee created the World Wide Web in 1990, and a few years down the line, we had the Web1. Web1 was when people would just surf the internet; it was decentralized. Anyone could post their content online, and others could consume it. However, the interaction was zero. Hence Web1 was static.
Around 2005, we saw the emergence of Web2 with companies like Twitter, Youtube, and Facebook. These platforms have excellent user experience, and they are interactive. The big problem? The internet got centralized by these big tech giants.
Web3 aims to decentralize the internet again. The decision-making process will lie in the hands of the users instead of a handful of influential people. Web3 works on blockchain technology. A blockchain is a digital, shared ledger that records every transaction of a network within blocks. These blocks are attached together, forming a chain. The information that is once locked inside a block cannot be changed or destroyed. The blockchain is also shared across the network, which ensures transparency.
Decentralized applications (dApps) that run on blockchain technology will replace our current apps. These will be applications that aren’t under the control of a single entity but rather the entire community. They will also ensure stricter rules for user privacy, more accessibility, and security.
Our content marketing strategies are based on the present nature of the internet, that is, Web2. However, with the Web3 revolution in progress, these strategies will have to evolve too. Today, the tech giants design the rules and methods of marketing on the internet. For example, we must comply with Google’s ad rules to run a campaign; Youtube takes massive cuts from a creator’s ad revenue, and
Web3 will bring more freedom to the users. Of course, there’ll be rules, regulations, and censors, but the community of users will decide them by the census. This will have a significant impact on the present content marketing structure.
As Web3 is still in the making, it’s impossible to say what the future content marketing structure will look like. However, considering everything we know presently, some future trends are predictable.
Here are four content marketing trends in Web3 that you shouldn’t miss:
Web3 is all about building communities. Since it’s going to be a decentralized system, these online communities will be the strong bases of the internet. It’s the people who will decide what they would like to see. Therefore, marketers will have to focus on the users’ demand rather than just the brands’ demand. Brands will need to have their own community of dedicated users for content marketing. This means they will have to come out in the open and market themselves not just as a ‘brand,’ ‘product,’ or a ‘service,’ but rather as someone who is a part of the user community.
There has been an enormous increase in ‘cohorts’ in the past couple of years. These cohorts are nothing but educational, professional, or recreational communities whose users share a specific interest or are working towards the same goal.
Another big problem in Web2 is the privacy issue. The big techs and governments worldwide are fighting to own the user data. Companies are making a ton of money by using this acquired data for their own purposes or just by selling it. One example of this is when the British firm, Cambridge Analytica harvested the data of about
Web3 aims to resolve such conflicts by giving users autonomy over their own data. This means that data privacy will become more transparent, and it’ll be in the hands of the user to decide who has access.
It might mean more difficulty for marketers in the data collection process as they’ll have to develop new ways to acquire consumer information. In addition, you will need to have your target audience’s consent for marketing your content, which basically means being more creative with your strategies.
The semantic web is a technology that provides computer software with descriptions of the already present data on the internet so that such software can interpret and process the data like a human being. As a result, such software will be able to retrieve the required information without human interference and help them achieve their goals.
In short, the software will become more intelligent. Siri and Alexa are some examples of how the semantic web is being used today.
In the Web3 space, the semantic web will help different web technologies to refine, generate and share content better as the software will be more adept at understanding the content in the first place. Today, content marketers struggle to find the right keywords so that their content piece ranks better. However, by incorporating the semantic web, the software will decide what best answers the user’s query and provide search results accordingly.
Today, content creators are solely dependent on the platforms they publish their content. These creators get a tiny percentage of the revenue, most of which is earned by the platform.
The content creator wave is at its peak now. They are educating, entertaining, and influencing people like never before, so much that they are replacing movie stars. As a result, many brands are making sure to take advantage of this wave and reach their target audience.
In their recently-running marketing campaign #ImpossibleIsNothing, Adidas collaborated with various women content creators from different backgrounds. It shared their stories with the tagline
Web3 with its decentralized platforms will give more power to these creators. Because of this increased importance, there’ll be changes in the entire creator economy leading to changes in marketing and revenue models.
Consumer data is something that won’t be easily accessible in Web3. Try coming up with ways through which your customer will give you their information willingly.
Technologies like semantic web and AI should be taken positively. Whatever happens, they can’t take your place as long as you keep upskilling yourself. These technologies are here to make things easier.
Choosing to be in the dark has never helped anyone. We are in the making of a new internet. We don’t know when it’ll be operational or how things will be a few years down the line. The point is, being prepared never hurts anyone, right?
Also checkout this next post by yours truly: 22 Ways SaaS Content Marketing Can Bring You Business in 2022.