How to start with a community for a Web3 loyalty program

Published by
Geert Roete
Last update:
February 14, 2023

Unlike traditional web applications, web3 projects which include membership and loyalty programs, are designed to be decentralized and governed by their communities, rather than centralized entities. That being said, in a loyalty context it is often not necessary to go fully decentralized and often it is advised to be semi-decentralised and in some cases to be centralized, as long as customers are still owners of their membership card (NFT) and the perks that come with it.

This shift towards community-driven development offers an exciting opportunity for building innovative and engaging projects that prioritize user participation and ownership. However, setting up a community for a web3 project can be daunting, particularly for those new to the space. 

With Sayl we support businesses and brands in their shift towards loyalty 3.0
where we have to draw the attention on the fact that starting with a community requires a different approach and ultimately, different KPIs that should be measured. Knowing that typically it is the marketer or marketing division that gets the responsibility to “do something with communities”, it is important to make a distinction between a traditional go-to-market and a go-to-community.

Go-To-Market versus Go-To-Community

While "go-to-market" (GTM) and "go-to-community" (GTC) are both strategies aimed at introducing a product or service to a target audience, they differ in several key ways. GTM focuses on the overall marketing plan, such as identifying target markets, developing a pricing strategy, and creating a promotional campaign. GTM aims to drive revenue and gain market share by selling a product or service. 

In contrast, GTC is focused on building and nurturing a community of users or stakeholders around a product or service. GTC aims to create an engaged community that is invested in the project's success, with members who provide feedback, help develop new features, and spread the word about the project to others. While GTM may be appropriate for traditional businesses seeking to maximize profit, GTC may be better suited for community-driven projects seeking to build a loyal user base that supports the project's long-term goals.

Outcomes for go-to-community need to be measured by the growth and retention of the community itself, as well as by less tangible but equally important qualities such as the number of new relationships and the amount of trust developed.

The key difference between the incentives in go-to-market vs. go-to-community strategy can be summarized as the difference between value capture vs. value creation.

To create that ongoing value, as a marketer you must be aware of concepts such as the community flywheel.

The community flywheel

The community flywheel is a concept that describes the virtuous cycle of user engagement and community growth that many successful web3 projects rely on. At its core, the community flywheel is powered by user incentives and rewards that encourage ongoing participation and contribution. For a web3 loyalty program, the community flywheel could be activated by offering incentives to users who provide feedback, create content, or invite others to join the program. As more users engage with the program and the community grows, the value of the program increases, which in turn attracts new users and further fuels the cycle.

To get started with the community flywheel in a web3 loyalty program, the first step is to define clear incentives that encourage ongoing user participation. This could include offering rewards for completing specific tasks or milestones, such as creating content or referring new users. The rewards could take the form of NFTs or other types of digital assets that hold value within the web3 ecosystem, like POAPs or vouchers. Once the incentives are established, it's important to have an easy to understand wallet that makes it easy for users to store their assets and engage with the program and each other. By fostering an engaged community, the program can leverage the community flywheel to drive ongoing growth and success.

Tracking and measuring

Tracking and measuring user engagement and behavior is crucial for building and growing a successful web3 community. Some key metrics that can be tracked and measured include the number of active users, the frequency of user activity, the amount and quality of user-generated content, and the level of user satisfaction or sentiment. Tracking user growth over time can help identify trends and areas for improvement, while analyzing user behavior can provide insights into what types of content and features are most popular and effective. 

Tracking user feedback and suggestions can provide valuable insights into what users want and need from the community. Other important metrics to track might include the number and value of transactions within the community. By carefully tracking and measuring these and other key metrics, web3 communities can optimize their performance, user engagement, and overall success.

The AAR funnel

Acquisition, activation, and retention are key components of a successful web3 loyalty program that aims to build and grow a community. Acquisition refers to the process of attracting new users to the program and community. This could involve various marketing and outreach strategies, such as social media campaigns, targeted advertising, or referral programs. Activation refers to the process of getting new users to engage with the program and community. This could involve onboarding processes that help new users understand how the program works and how they can participate. Retention refers to the process of keeping users engaged and active over time. This could involve ongoing incentives, such as rewards for continued participation or special privileges for highly engaged users.

To effectively drive acquisition, activation, and retention in a web3 loyalty program with communities, it's important to focus on creating a compelling value proposition for users. This might include offering unique rewards or digital assets that hold value within the web3 ecosystem, providing opportunities for user-generated content and collaboration, or creating a vibrant and engaging social platform for users to interact with each other. 

Finally, it's important to continually iterate and improve the program based on user feedback and behavior, to ensure that it remains relevant and valuable over time. By focusing on acquisition, activation, and retention, web3 loyalty programs can build and grow thriving communities of engaged users, driving ongoing success and growth for the program and its participants.

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