How to engage communities with “To earn” NFT models

The “to earn” NFT is basically something taken from past marketing habits. Since it has become so popular, the NFT has not just given back value to dematerialized properties. It is giving back a sense of liberty and fairness to consumers. While big tech companies, especially the web giants (GAFAM) as they are so called, used data as a currency within the Web 2.0, the Web3 is taking things differently. As Web3 is built on the principle of decentralization, users become major players and can decide how they aim at “playing the game”.

This paradigm builds a path to create quantities of experiences through NFTs. The “to earn” model being the most liked and used of them all, it has been decomposed in several forms. Yet, the purpose has not changed so far. It is always a matter of engaging communities and getting the best of them. The only difference is that users are no longer cash cows, in a sense that they are called to gain somehow too. Brands using this model are then winners as well.

Five “to earn” NFT models as an engagement lever

Creating NFTs can be much more than a tremendous and virtual show to impress consumers. As much as NFTs can gather people to build NFT communities centered, they can also be used to structure the levels of brand loyalty. The “to earn” model is one of the best ways to reward brand users, as people would like to get the freedom to choose how they like to be rewarded. We can count as model, the following:

Play-to-earn as the most popular to earn NFT model

This model is so popular because everyone likes to combine business with pleasure. And being paid to play could look like a dream coming true for lots of people. Play-to-earn is the act of playing to earn cryptocurrencies or assets they can invest or use on multiple platforms. A player being an owner of some asset can resell them on other market platforms if they want to. Play-to-earn model refers to GameFi, in other words, a mixed of Gaming and Finance and Decentralized Finance (DeFi) as it is on a blockchain.

This NFT model is easily found in the metaverse game Axie Infinity. In this game where it is possible to build an empire by buying land, each player has the possibility to make their game evolve. In this case, they will increase the value of their acquisitions by exploiting plots of land in order to sell them for more money. Since lands in the game are limited, they gain value over time and according to what the player does with them. The game’s avatars so axies and lands are sold in native cryptocurrencies, which can be converted into physical currency. Running on the Ethereum blockchain, Axie Infinity has about 2 million active users per month who benefit from this business model.

The SandBox metaverse also works on this principle. Also based on the same blockchain, it allows recreational paths where creation is valued and monetized. One buys plots of land that can be resold. Many metaverse games work on the Play-to-Earn principle. But it is important to remember that the reward is not necessarily monetary. They also offer to earn non-fungible tokens or other digital assets. Brands can position themselves in such earning mechanisms to reactivate their customers engagement as well as their brand loyalty.

Move-to-earn as a promising star in the to earn NFT model

The Move-to-earn concept follows the gamification logic of Play-to-earn. This reward mechanism was created in particular with the STEPN app, released in early 2022. The user to earn cryptocurrencies must simply walk, jog or run. But they must first acquire NFT sneakers from STEPN. Each pair of sneakers purchased unlocks specific features. But the rewards revolve around four main elements: the type of sneaker, its efficiency, its comfort and the speed at which the user moves. STEPN however operates on the Solana blockchain, and sneakers are purchased in SOL, the cryptocurrency of the said blockchain.

A rather revolutionary trend, Move-to-earn will allow users to combine earning with a healthy lifestyle, regaining motivation and doing more physical activities. Brands have to learn from those earning mechanisms in order to improve their users’ experiences.

Create-to-earn NFT model

The Create-to-earn model allows players to create their own NFTs and sell it in the market through a game or a dedicated platform. It is a level above the play-to-earn mechanism because users can create any type of asset they want, not limiting to the characters or asset they can play with in the game. This model allows people to own what they have created. Creators can now have complete control over what they generate and have a direct participation in their financial reward system.

In the blockchain gaming industry, Create-to-earn model is changing how people play and interact with games. By giving true ownership of their work to players, it forges better experiences, provide users with a safer system, and cultivate a more open-source community. It welcomes an ecosystem where the gaming is shaping by creators. With the right skills and creativity, players can create NFTs they can use within the game. Besides being able to be part of a game’s cultural landscape, they can also get compensated financially for their creations by selling them on secondary marketplaces or in-game. The player’s role becomes more meaningful as they can make and share their own content. Game developers will also benefit from this opportunity by making these player-designed assets transferable over different games. The Create-to-earn model enables the masses to gain access to a distinct type of ownership of virtual assets.

Although designed as a true P2E (Play-to-earn) game, Sandbox has a meaningful role in the Create-to-earn model. The freedom of creating and earning is not just limited to the creators. It is also available to players, who even have their own tools, like Sandbox VoxEdit. Moreover, players can use their NFTs in the Sandverse. For example, users will be able to customize their avatar with a Bored Ape NFT Head. This model as well as the others build paths for brands to design a virtual users’ involvement in the construction of their brand image in the metaverse.

Engage-to-earn

The Engage-to-earn mechanism is about rewarding the user’s participation in some activities related to a platform, developing, understanding and sharing the value around a project. In an NFT project for example, users will be asked to comment, to like, to share their thoughts, to bring more members in the community to get rewarded with giveaway or free NFTs. This model is no different to the Contribute-to-earn mechanism.

In a game for example, players will trade their dematerialized properties to other members in order to increase the value of their possessions and in a knock-on effect, boost the value of the game. It is a win-on win concept, as any other in the “to earn” model. The Engage-to-earn model can stand as a game changer in this industry. It is a user-friendly strategy that encourages players to earn and own highly valuable NFT digital assets. Through this process, the community gains ownership of their digital property, the creators earn money through tokenization, and gamers have fun while they learn.

Players who engage with certain NFT projects can earn rewards in exchange for their in-game achievements such as performing well in multiplayer competitions or winning high scores in a single player campaign. It establishes a fair dynamic economy between users and the platform they use. Brands building an experience on metaverse can apply their earning model to boost their way of activating their user’s engagement and make them be part of the brand adventure.

Hold-to-earn

This one is simply about holding tokens to get thereafter passive income. It can work on the principle of redistributing a percentage trade amongst token holders. It is a financial way to get multiple sources of income.

As an example, we can count the HODL as a DeFi project with a smart contract at its core. It applies for funds from the tax pool and sends everything back in rewards to all its holders. Holding a HODL means getting a weekly reward in form of share.

The NFT project Bored Ape Yacht Club somehow works on this principle because BAYC holders have gained a lot of cryptocurrencies by just holding this NFT collection.

 

From the basic Play-to-earn to the Hold-to-earn NFT model, users will experience numerous ways to enjoy NFTs. NFTs are a way to create systems that engage communities. It is a way to build virtual worlds where users can build their own experiences and earn their fair share of goods. Users should have their feeling of accomplishment through the process of acquisition and usage, it will create an experience that gives meaning to their time and effort.