Growth Strategies to Dethrone a King 👑 - Insights from Blur.io
Web3 Marketing & GTM principles from Blur’s ascent: What can Web3 founders emulate
Becoming the Largest Gas Guzzler on ETH and poaching almost all pro users of the nearest competitor is perhaps the strongest, boldest GTM results that any Web3 project has crafted.
Not to mention the dent they made in OpenSea’s market and user base.
And of course, the Web3 project is Blur - the proverbial dark horse of the NFT trading space.
For the uninitiated though, let's have a quick introduction to what Blur is.
What exactly is Blur?
Blur.io is an NFT marketplace that operates on Ethereum's mainnet, which debuted on October 19, 2022, and has rapidly gained prominence as the top NFT trading platform in terms of volume. Unlike other marketplaces that focus on individual users, Blur.io is aimed more toward professional NFT traders (snipe & sweep features).
The platform provides batch shelf and floor-sweeping transactions, as well as order book NFT transactions, enabling traders to perform batch operations more conveniently. On Blur.io, buyers can browse NFTs, as well as those on other NFT marketplaces, and place orders directly with instant liquidity, similar to buying or selling cryptocurrencies.
Blur’s growth as a relatively new player in the NFT trading space, has raised quite a few eyebrows - considering how it became the largest gas guzzler on ETH, surpassing Uniswap - and that too in a bear market.
This growth trajectory MUST be interesting to any Web3 marketer or founder looking to scale their project.
In this article, we’ve broken down the growth strategies employed by Blur.io, and provided key actionable takeaways for founders & marketers in the Web3 space.
Product-led growth directed at a specific niche → audience combination
Smart incentives that assure loyalty & adoption
Building in Public
Capturing Market trends & Audience needs/grievances with the ecosystem
Incorporating Marketing psychology - fundamental growth principles
Leveraging Community collabs for brand advocacy
Web3 Growth Marketing Principles
Focusing on the Product Niche - NFT Marketplace
Blur.io found the whitespace in the NFT trading space and created a product that caters to serious NFT traders. To capitalize on their ideal target persona’s needs, they made it easier to sweep NFT collections, have instant arbitrages after metadata reveal, and make more profitable trades via analytics.
The simplified design was just an added benefit - since they offered the choice to remove individual images in the portfolio (based on the take that traders care about the price more than the art)
These feature additions were targeted at the pro-traders who trade at high volumes and by focusing on:
Analytics: 1-day and 7-day floor price change and volume, recent activity, the sales chart, and the top bid for each NFT
Zero fees: no charge on trades
Royalty flexibility: Choice to pay royalties & even incentivizing royalty payment through tokens
Speed: Crucial when you're up against numerous traders trying to snatch up inexpensive NFTs the moment they become available.
Sweeping: In addition to listings on Blur's own platform, it also showcases top deals on OpenSea, X2Y2, and LooksRare.
GTM Takeaway: Target a niche and a specific audience. Verticalize your features for this audience, and sell the heck out of your product.
Intelligent Reward Structure - Seasonal Airdrops
Blur.io put up a masterclass in using tokens and NFT airdrops to grow their early community, with a phased approach to sustain the hype.
Also, Blur has tied heir rewards to real platform usage. Blur’s contest encouraged users to "market make" via granular incentive design, with rewards for creating demand, supply, and quality circulation.
Furthermore, Blur allowed traders to claim mysterious crates as NFTs, which would convert into $BLUR closer to the TGE (February 14), giving an ambiguous reward now with future hopes of victory.
Delayed + mystery gratification 101.
And if you’re following Season 2 Airdrops - Blur has already induced loyalty by adding certain tenets to maximize airdrops based on trader activity like:
More listings, more earnings
Listing active NFT collections
Using Blur’s listings tools, etc.
PS: Blur season 2 rewards are the #1 reason why some people are still sticking to Blur.
Loyalty program: Blur's customers will also receive a "loyalty score" based on their interaction with and commitment to the trading platform. Buyers and sellers who exclusively use Blur's NFT marketplace will receive a perfect score of 100%. That means sticking to Blur for NFT trading for long-term platform loyalty.
Blur rewarded users with early access and NFT drops for social shoutouts, new user referrals, and space engagement sporadically, building a growth loop that balances on-chain revenue metrics growth with social media uptick.
GTM Takeaway: Keep the incentives. Phase them for utility, ie: Make sure the incentives that you place trigger product adoption, community participation, brand loyalty, etc.
Incentives and Drops just for the sake of getting shillers & farmers would probably bankrupt you and dent your tokenomics.
Fast Build in Public
Blur.io's tech team has been able to ship fast, which has helped the company to quickly bootstrap hype and gain early adopters. They were also able to act fast on user feedback and earned public advocates to unlock virality.
The build-in-public initiative is also bolstered by the founding team of Blur.io - which has been transparent about their investors, getting industry veterans to buy in and doxing themselves too when the time comes.
For Web3 founders, build-in-public can be a good way to create a community of early adopters - ones who are plugged into your progress. This can also serve as a base to kickstart a creator/brand ambassador program.
Imagine the traction you’d be able to pull with organic users vouching for your product’s features, simplicity, and brilliance.
GTM Takeaway: Don’t be all clandestine in your operations. Build-in-public and let your product gather its own advocates for itself. The better the product, the quicker the hype train, the fast the adoption.
Ride the Market Trends
Blur has shown a keen sense of market trends, creating strong emotional narratives that drive positive brand association and loyalty. For instance, their supportive take on creator royalties won over artists, and they became the good Samaritan in the NFT space.
This move kind of tested existing loyalties, and throttled Blur’s growth in NFT trading.
GTM Takeaway: Find thematic requirements & trends in the industry, leverage them to gather goodwill, and induce product exploration or adoption.
Leveraging Fundamental Marketing Ideas
Web3 growth can be done on top of tested Web2 strategies, such as
Invite-only beta access: Cool NFT marketing strategy. Blur awarded off-chain points to their beta testers, which were later redeemed into additional $BLUR drops, rewarding the early adapters who built the hype.
Competitive appeal: ‘Fastest NFT marketplace’ with no marketplace fee
Social proofing: Platform ambassadors vouching for the platform’s utility and advantages
Gamification: Blur introduced points for top traders for their last 24 hours' activity, rewarding both early starters and recent top gainers of the platform.
On-point UI: Trader-focused, no BS.
What is a Growth loop?
In simple terms, a growth loop is like a cycle that keeps going and growing. It starts with getting new customers, then helping them start using your product, making sure they keep using it, and finally, getting them to refer others to use it too.
GTM Takeaway: Identify fundamental marketing principles that you can replicate for your product.
Leaderboards are fun. Gamification is immersive. Exclusive swag is cool.
Give your users something that they can care about - apart from financial incentives.
Blur.io has done timely collaborations and AMA sessions throughout its launch, partnering with Metaverse_HQ and WumboLabs.
This Community-led growth and collaboration initiative are essential for the success of any NFT project, which is why NFT marketing and community building play such an important role. Blur.io has recognized the importance of building a strong community and has partnered with Metaverse_HQ and WumboLabs for collaborations and AMA sessions.
By actively engaging with the community and forming partnerships, NFT projects can attract new users and investors, increase adoption, and drive up the value of their NFTs.
These initiatives not only provide opportunities for Blur.io to showcase its offerings to the wider NFT community, but they also enable it to tap into the expertise and resources of these established NFT communities.
By continuing to prioritize community building and collaborations, Blur.io is setting itself up for long-term growth and success in the NFT market.
To further establish trust within the community, Blur announced Zero rewards for actual NFT purchase/sale disincentivized wash trading, with regular monitoring of suspicious actors and a process for the community to challenge Blur's decision.
GTM Takeaway: Craft an active community and keep the community members engaged (consider community analytics tools) - apart from social proofing and brand advocates, this community would hype your product to the right people, bringing early traction & adoption.
Oh, and while you do that, do try and have a product USP that the community can use, explore, shill & share.
Ties with the Product-led growth & niche-based marketing ;)
The Web3 growth strategies that Blur incorporated in its go-to-market did change the NFT marketplace dynamics for good. That said, Opensea Pro has the resources & the users to put all these GTM nuggets into the trashbin.
- Well, for one Blur Season 2 airdrop farming period has been extended.
- And OS Pro already has picked up the UX, Product, and Reward initiatives and replicated them into their own GTM (free NFTs, easy trading)
So the endgame in the NFT marketplace tussle could be a war of attrition wherein both OS pro and Blur continue to introduce newer incentives, and rewards, or bring newer features.
wink Blend wink
That said, NFTs themselves has to have an appeal beyond that of a financial instrument - one that offers the same swag, the same cool pfp vibe, and the same fervor around art & digitalization - for the continued growth of the space.
Otherwise, there is always the recurring pump-and-dump cycle waiting even for NFT enthusiasts.
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