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In this episode of Marketing Nerds, SEJ Executive Editor Kelsey Jones was joined by Brody Dorland, co-founder of DivvyHQ, a content management platform for teams, to talk about how to craft a content marketing strategy. Brody and Kelsey also discuss what types of content you should be creating for your industry, and how to repurpose content in different ways to make it last longer.

Do you think there’s a sweet spot when it comes to content quantity, or should it be a focus only on quality? What are your thoughts on that?

Brody: There’s different schools of thought. I think I subscribe to the school that teaches to do the most amount of content that is possible while maintaining a high standard. In other words, if you ramp up your quantity to a point where the quality starts to diminish, then you’re probably overdoing it, especially in the marketplace where there is so much noise.

You’re trying to gain readership and build trust, and you might only have so many opportunities for a customer or prospect that’s coming in your virtual front door. If they happen upon a piece of content that’s less than stellar, that might have been your only opportunity. They’re gone and you might never get them back. Make sure that everything you’re putting out there is high quality, and do it as frequently as you can while maintaining quality standards.

Kelsey: Yeah, I agree. At Search Engine Journal, we’ve had a lot of talks about that because we ramped up our content quantity a little bit over the last year. But then we’ve seen huge gains in traffic from improving our past content. The majority of our website traffic comes from evergreen articles. We’ve put a little bit more manpower in updating those articles, making sure all the images and statistics are updated. As a result, we’ve seen really big gains.

Brody: Whatever way you can find to refresh on a regular basis, especially if it’s an evergreen topic, that’s going to be relevant for the long haul. But there’s always evolution no matter what you’re talking about. No matter what industry or product category, there’s always an evolution and another angle. There are all kinds of angles that you can go with when you’re thinking about refreshing.

Let’s say the original post or article you wrote was geared towards one target audience. Could you take the same topic and rewrite it with another target audience in mind? You should be able to use the same message and the same language but put a different spin on it. Put a different hat on and rewrite it for another type of person that might be another target.

Refreshing or reworking content is something I’ve presented on in the past, specifically content repurposing. Maybe you’re translating a video interview to a podcast or a white paper, or you’re going to dilute that down into several different blog posts. Is that something you do over at Divvy?

Brody: Absolutely. Even in Divvy itself, we have a nice duplicate function. You take a past blog post or any content and you can just hit a duplicate button. It makes an exact copy of it so you can start editing it to do whatever repurpose you want to.

There was an article I read awhile back, Content Recycling: A to Z. They came up with basically 26 — the whole alphabet — of different ways to repackage and repurpose a single content asset. It’s great to have that as a guide, for inspiration. If you do have a post, an article, or anything that has done well, you can read through that A to Z list and think of ways to repurpose or repackage it.

Do you do any other types of content besides written content? Do you do webinars or podcasts or anything like that? How does that fit into your content strategy?

Brody: We’re a small team. I think one strategy that hits home is to focus on the types of content or the content channels where you’re most comfortable and it’s easy for you to produce. Don’t try to spread yourself too thin on too many channels.

There’s certainly been times where we got a little overboard on everything we were doing. I would say we got burned out. The content schedule we had at various times overloaded us. But there are channels that are really important to the business. Based on our overall content strategy and the people we’re serving, we know we have to be doing certain things.

For us, the blog is important. General website content and landing pages for different things are very important. Email is huge. Social is important from the sense that it’s an engagement channel. It’s less important as a content promotion channel.

We do a lot of videos because we’re a software application, [and] people want to see how our software works. They want to learn how to do different things and learn different functionality so we do a lot of product videos. I think that has helped in a big way to get people comfortable, especially if they’re early in the buyer journey — trying to understand how our software would fit into their world and their process. They want to see how it works before they even sign up for a trial.

What are some of your tips for letting your content sell your products naturally or in a way that comes across as not pushy to the customer?

Brody: The number one thing is just doing a solid buyer profiling or persona development exercise. When you go through a process like that, it becomes obvious that what you’ve been doing is more self-centered than your customers would like. When I’ve spoken on this before, I’ll draw a big Venn diagram where one of the circles is all the stuff you want to talk about, and the other circle is the stuff your audience actually cares about. There’s that cross-section in the middle where you should be focusing on.

When you go through the process of doing either buyer profiling or persona development, it helps you understand what your customers care about and how it relates to your products: the needs they have, the pain, the skepticisms, the trigger events that might happen in their world that would get them researching a product like yours.

Kelsey: Yeah, exactly. I was at the State of Search conference earlier this month, and Casey Markee did a presentation about content. He talked about this persona generator by HubSpot. It’s free and it’s at chúng tôi It’s a generator that walks you through creating a persona. I think that making a persona isn’t as hard as people think it is, but it’s really important.

Brody: It can be difficult, I think, depending on the size of the organization. There’s a quick and dirty way to go about it. I think the HubSpot model is more on the quick and dirty side of things. There’s the more in-depth side of things, where you’re bringing in a content strategy consultant or a content strategy agency to walk you through and facilitate the process.

There are also platforms out there like Akoonu. Akoonu is a cool platform that helps develop buyer personas and helps map those personas — the buyer’s journey of those personas — so you can understand the different stages of the process. Having a framework helps to make sure you’re thinking through everything.

What are you and your team looking forward to next year? Any trends you’re looking to capitalize on, any goals you have?

Brody: Most folks in our world would love to have tools that connect and are integrated with one another so that it makes our day-to-day processes and our day-to-day jobs as easy, efficient, and seamless as possible. One of our big agenda items for 2023 is to do more integrations to try to connect Divvy with the larger ecosystem. That’s a big focus for us.

We also want to make sure that we don’t over-complicate things. Just because there’s a lot of tools out there that can do a lot of things doesn’t mean they’re going to save us time. Sometimes, at the end of the day, you just want something simple that helps you do one thing and does it well.

There’s an overall message that the content process is big and has a lot of things to it. But, at least from our perspective, let’s focus on trying to help customers have a better plan and a more efficient workflow process. If we can focus on that and be really good at it then we’re going to be okay.

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Our View: The Five Ws Of Building A Branded Content Strategy

Remember learning about the five Ws back in grammar school? Who, what, when, where, and why are key foundational questions used to gather information to tell an effective story.

As branded content strategists, we utilize the five Ws to craft an effective plan that delivers on client asks and reaches our audience in a way that’s impactful. The result? Happy clients who come back for more.

Here’s a look at the five Ws of building a branded content strategy ““ how it works, and why it matters.

Who?

Beyond what sounds “cool” or “fun,” we think about what works for the audience the business wants to reach. For instance, while virtual reality is one of the most innovative and engaging ways to tell a story, if we’re looking to target over the age of 65, a demographic least likely to own a smartphone, should we create a campaign that would require them to download an app to view our content? Partnering our business mindset with our creative brain, we strategize on if the product fits the need of the audience.

Related: 12 Questions to Ask to Identify Your Target Audience

What?

What budget are we working with? We want to present ideas that are going to work most efficiently within the scope of the spend. If the investment level for the campaign is on the lower end of things, rather than spread the opportunity too thin by producing a 10-part series in three months, it’s more strategic to focus on quality content that delivers on business objectives versus high volume.

When?

When will this campaign run, and how long would the client like to partner with us? Much of our audience comes to us for news and information, so we aim to align business owner content with timely themes where and when it makes sense.

For example: a grocery store wants to run a winter campaign highlighting its wide variety of locally-sourced produce. Winter is peak cold and flu season, so inserting these offerings into a timely conversation about the best fruits and vegetables to boost your immune system is relevant for our audience and delivers on the store’s awareness goals. A winning combination.

Timing also informs how many pieces of content we recommend running. If a business wants a month-long campaign, suggesting six articles wouldn’t make sense ““ they’d end up competing with one another. Giving each piece more time to perform will yield stronger numbers.

Where?

Where does the business want their branded content to run? We want to ensure there’s enough promotion behind each piece we propose, so this information helps inform our strategy. Recommending the right placement to business owners and marketers is an integral part of building a successful branded content strategy. To determine this, we take targeting, share of voice, scale, and strategy into consideration.

Why?

This is an important one: Why does the business want to run branded content with us? Based on this answer, we craft a convincing strategy that proves how branded content will help achieve the goals they’ve laid out for us.

Related: Brand Stories Matter & Need to be Told

How?

Often, with branded content, we think we should pitch the creative concept first and figure out the pricing logistics later. But when we marry thoughtful business with innovative content, pitching concepts without a media plan can be like leading the cart before the horse. Taking the time to consider a business’s goals from all angles helps our team build a branded content strategy that performs well.

To learn more about branded content or to work with one of our specialists to build a strategy that helps your business get in front of new audiences, contact us today.

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Abbie Kopf

Abbie is the senior branded content strategist for GET Creative, where she creates, edits, and analyzes the success of copy and creative. With extensive experience as an editorial writer and marketing executive, she works to find and tell engaging stories that readers will love.

Other posts by Abbie Kopf

How To Win With 10X Content

Case studies and best practices for producing truly outstanding content

With the ongoing rise in content marketing, smarter search engines and increased competition within the earned media space, what does it take to really stand out and gain attention?

As we start the New Year, now is as good a time as any to aim for a new set of higher standards for the content we’ll be producing in 2024 and onwards.

Recently, Rand Fishkin produced an excellent Whiteboard Friday explaining why the creation of ‘reasonably good, unique content’ must die:

Rand’s main point was that the days of producing reasonably good, useful, unique content is no longer an acceptable level of quality for those aiming to compete by ranking highly and generate interest in search. Instead, we must set our sights much higher:

Source: Moz

Inbound.org defines 10x content as:

“Content that has gravitas, is enduring and worth paying attention to”

The term ‘10x content’ is just another way of articulating the need for content producers to go above and beyond. The modern criteria for content has changed as a result of the emergence of content marketing as a discipline, the increased focus on user experience, the transition from link building to link earning and ultimately a shift in user expectations. People simply expect more from content today (faster page load, great design, quick answers to questions).

Content creators therefore need to respond. The criteria for 10x content includes:

Entertaining/ moving/ thought provoking

If a piece of content is genuinely entertaining, moving or thought-provoking, it is more likely to evoke an emotional response and generate interest.

Provides genuine utility

Providing utility adds real value. Content should solve a problem for the user, answer a question or help them achieve a goal.

Educational

Similarly to the above, content that fulfils customer needs by educating and teaching them something new or interesting is more likely to build a trusted and emotional connection.

Absorbing/ immersive

An immersive experience is a web environment that uses compelling imagery or video as the focal point of the content to absorb the user’s attention from the moment they hit the site.

Visually stunning

Great visuals and design can be used to augment and add value to other content formats, such as articles, apps and videos.

Detailed

Detailed, long-form content that provides value for the reader has been shown to have higher success rates within search and social and is something that has again been picked up as a possible ranking factor following the release of Google’s quality guidlines.

Includes in-depth research

Content that is well-researched and/ or backed up by sound data and reasoning adds credibility and provides a point of differentiation.

Provides a uniquely positive user experience

Providing a positive user experience should be the minimum standard. 10x content is about providing a uniquely positive user experience that integrates design, branding and UX principles to stand out and offer something different.

Designed and produced for the right web experience (mobile, desktop, tablet, browser)

Content should always be optimised correctly for the target user’s preferred channels and platforms. And with users expecting quick results page load speed is essential, too.

Includes optimised data visualisation/ infographics

Infographics and data visualisations should offer a clear purpose, message and value, backed up by good data and design.

Not all of the above criteria needs to be met in order to be 10x content but it helps when there’s a combination, for example entertaining + visually stunning or data visualisation/ infographic + genuine utility (there are many infographics that look pretty but offer very little value!).

Examples of 10x content

Inbound.org provides a superb list of curated examples of 10x content to ecourage great work. This list inspired me to seek out some 10x content examples of my own which I’ve highlighted here along with some thoughts on what I believe makes the content so good:

Chasing the Chariot: In search of the soul of English rugby

An example from the Guardian of a very well-researched, in-depth piece of content that uses imagery, video and sound recordings to provide a genuinely absorbing reading experience.

McDonald’s Killed Burger King’s McWhopper, so We Made it Ourselves

When the McWhopper was proposed in summer 2024, there was a lot of coverage both from the mainstream press and across social media. Nevertheless, Serious Eats still managed to rank highly in search by offering their own unique approach to the creation of the McWhopper with content that combined entertainment with education and provided genuine utility for the reader.

How To Suck At Social Media: An Indispensable Guide For Businesses

At over 9,000 words, Avinash Kaushik has produced a social media user guide for businesses that is not only very detailed and well-researched but also educates, provides great utility and includes a number of very useful graphics to bring the frameworks, case studies and examples to life.

Steps to creating 10x content Focus on user experience

Content should be readable, optimised for multiple devices and be easy to interact with.

A.B.R. – Always Be Researching

Good content starts with a true understanding of what your target audience will respond to. What are users already searching for? What is generating buzz within the social space?

There are a number of really useful competitor benchmarking tools for content marketing tools such as chúng tôi Quick Sprout and BuzzSumo, all of which can help to identify the type of content activity, strategies and tactics that are working for others and what, as a result, might best work for you.

Solve problems

The goal should be to fulfil the searcher’s task and not just their query.

Stop producing standard quality content

Standard, ‘1x content’ content is a waste of time. Unless you’re providing real value by being genuinely unique, outstanding or engaging, you’re unlikely to get results.

The days of producing lots and lots of mediocre content optimised around specific keywords are gone. Even large brands with strong domain authority need to create content that goes above and beyond to realise any kind of impact.

Build relationships

Finally, look to build relationships. Share great content by others that’s relevant to your industry, co-operate with other thought-leaders and influencers and engage with customers and prospects across your different social and online platforms.

This type of activity will help foster ties with other content creators, leading to better reputation and visibility.

Source: Moz

Summary

As content creators, we have a responsibility to think carefully about the longevity of the content deluge. With so much content being created, there is a risk of ‘content shock’ and therefore we must raise our standards to stay relevant and add value for consumers.

Not all content can and should be ‘hero’ content. This takes a great deal of time and effort and simply isn’t possible to produce time after time. However, we nevertheless must acknowledge that the criteria for modern content has changed and that more is required to stand out and make an impact.

The goal now is to produce content that is better known, better trusted and better referenced.

Techtarget And Brighttalk Together: Engaging More Active Buyers With The Content They Prefer

TechTarget and BrightTALK Together: Engaging More Active Buyers with the Content They Prefer Andrew Briney

Chief Product Officer

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Say you just bought a new Peloton and want to learn how to use it. You have a choice: Watch a video, read the manual or Zoom with an expert. Which one would you choose?

According to a leading study of learning styles, about 20% would read the manual, 40% would watch a video and 40% would Zoom. You might say, “it depends on what I’m trying to buy/learn,” which is true enough. Approximately two-thirds of us are multi-modal learners. We rely on multiple info formats and our preferences shift depending on what we’re trying to understand or buy.

The point is, we all default to a learning style, or styles. And those deeply ingrained preferences guide not just our consumer-oriented decisions but how we acquire knowledge and make decisions in our business life, too. The same can be said for the enterprise tech buyers we market and sell to. Learning preferences don’t change just because you’re buying cloud backup or network management versus a stationary bike.

How learning preference impacts buying teams (and your ability to engage them)

TechTarget’s recent acquisition of BrightTALK offers an intriguing glimpse into the relationship between individual learning styles and what it takes to engage prospects at the right moment. A close look at the composition, overlap and behavioral patterns of the two audiences underscores how critically important a multi-media, multi-channel presence is in an age where buyers control the terms of engagement with your content and brand.

In terms of pure audience reach, TechTarget and BrightTALK represent millions of 1st party prospects across the two communities. TechTarget has just over 21 million registered members, while BrightTALK has 10 million (members are defined as verified tech and business professionals who have self-registered and opted-in to our respective 1st party databases). Collectively, these members form the buying units at hundreds of thousands of accounts that, throughout each year and across the globe, cycle through millions of new business technology purchases, upgrades and implementations.

Despite strong similarities in overall audience makeup (company size, industry and job title/function are remarkably consistent), there’s only a 10%-20% overlap in members between the databases, depending on geo. The reason the communities are so unique is that each network caters to different learning preferences.

With its roots in online publishing, 140 independent Web sites and over 40,000 vendor-syndicated content campaigns each year, TechTarget caters to buyers who prefer text- and download-based content, such as website articles, whitepapers, technical guides, product sheets and other PDF-based content. Asked what content formats they prefer, TechTarget members rank whitepapers (59%) and product spec sheets (57%) over everything else. Webinars (40%) and videos (33%) are further down the list.

Learning preference and behavior is quite different for members of BrightTALK, the host to more than 30,000 new webinars and videos each year. While the content topics, focus and quality is very similar to what’s offered on the TechTarget network, BrightTALK members prefer the immersive, interactive learning experiences delivered by webinars (85%) and videos (61%) over downloadable PDF content like whitepapers (47%) and e-Books (42%). Given this preference, it’s not surprising BrightTALK members average more than 30 minutes in view-time per webinar/video.

It’s not who you know; it’s who knows you

In the digital age it’s a given that buyers are in control of where, how and when they research purchases. Most of the time that journey starts not with a visit to your company’s website but with independent online sources that feature a variety of expert and vendor viewpoints. This is even more-so the case today than a year ago, when face-to-face interactions filled part of the information void. When buyer research activity results in a visit to your company solution pages, BrightTALK-embedded channels enable you to cast an even wider net for your interactive-learning content, while also ensuring users have a consistent engagement experience.

What the small audience overlap between TechTarget and BrightTALK tells us is just how important having a multi-media content presence is to engaging the full buying team. You could have the Web’s deepest library of strategy and solution PDFs — or B2B’s most-viewed and entertaining webcasts. But if you’re not doing both, you could be completely missing half of in-market buyers.

It’s one thing to conceptualize this in terms of overall market access. It’s another to think about this in terms of your ability to move fast with specific account buying teams.

Consider the IT department at Walmart, for example. The giant retailer employs more than 15,000 developers, engineers and tech support professionals worldwide. At any given time, there are probably dozens if not hundreds of new technology projects underway, each with 8-12 or more individuals on the buying committee. Best case scenario, half of these influencers and decision-makers are multi-modal learners; you’ll have a chance to reach them on either or both TechTarget and BrightTALK, or via your BrightTALK channel page on your own site. But the other half, who are single- or preferred-modal learners, are probably only visiting one place and not the others, increasing the chances you’ll miss them at the moment they are in a buying motion.

A peek ahead

The combined market access of TechTarget and BrightTALK isn’t just an opportunity to ensure you have a presence where buyers go to learn, or that you’re catering the experience to their preferred learning style. It’s also about leveraging the combined purchase intent insights these audiences offer across your marketing, sales and ABM initiatives.

Over the next year, we’ll be working on integrating our audiences, products and delivery systems to directly help you accelerate progress against all of these important initiatives. You’ll begin to see the benefits of that work in Q2, with much more to come throughout the rest of 2023 and into 2023. Stay tuned!

b2b technology buyers, BrightTALK, content development, digital content, TechTarget

What Is Perfect Forward Secrecy?

In cryptography, some ciphers may be labelled with the acronym PFS. This stands for Perfect Forward Secrecy. Some implementations may simply refer to PFS as FS. This acronym means Forward Secrecy or Forward Secure. In any case, they all talk about the same thing. Understanding what Perfect Forward Secrecy means, requires you to understand the basics of cryptographic key exchange.

Cryptography basics

To communicate securely the ideal solution is to use symmetric encryption algorithms. These are fast, much faster than asymmetric algorithms. They, however, have a fundamental problem. Because the same key is used to encrypt and decrypt a message, you cannot send the key over an insecure channel. As such you need to be able to secure the channel first. This is done using asymmetric cryptography in practice.

Note: It would also be possible, if infeasible to use an out-of-band, secure channel, though the difficulty remains in securing that channel.

To secure an insecure channel a process called Diffie-Hellman key exchange is performed. In Diffie-Hellman key exchange, one party, Alice, sends their public key to the other party, Bob. Bob then combines his private key with Alice’s public key to generate a secret. Bob then sends his public key to Alice, who combines it with her private key, allowing her to generate the same secret. In this method, both parties can transmit public information but end up generating the same secret, without ever having to transmit it. This secret can then be used as the encryption key for a fast symmetric encryption algorithm.

Note: Diffie-Hellman key exchange doesn’t natively offer any authentication. An attacker in a Man in the Middle or MitM position could negotiate a secure connection with both Alice and Bob, and quietly monitor the decrypted communications. This issue is solved via PKI or Public Key Infrastructure. On the Internet, this takes the form of trusted Certificate Authorities signing certificates of websites. This allows a user to verify that they’re connecting to the server they expect to.

The problem with standard Diffie-Hellman

While the authentication problem is easy to solve, that’s not the only issue. Websites have a certificate, signed by a certificate authority. This certificate includes a public key, for which the server has the private key. You can use this set of asymmetric keys to communicate securely, however, what happens if that private key is ever compromised?

If an interested, malicious party wanted to decrypt encrypted data, they’d have a hard time of it. Modern encryption has been designed in such a way that it would take at least many millions of years to have a reasonable chance at guessing a single encryption key. A cryptographic system, however, is only as secure as the key. So if the attacker is able to compromise the key, say by hacking into the server, they can use it to decrypt any traffic it was used to encrypt.

This issue obviously has some large requirements. First, the key needs to be compromised. The attacker also needs any encrypted traffic that they want to decrypt. For your average attacker, this is quite a difficult requirement. If, however, the attacker is a malicious ISP, VPN provider, Wi-Fi hotspot owner, or nation-state, they are in a good place to capture vast amounts of encrypted traffic which they may be able to decrypt at some point.

The problem here is that with the server’s private key, the attacker could then generate the secret and use that to decrypt all traffic it was ever used to encrypt. This could allow the attacker to decrypt years of network traffic for all users to a website in one fell swoop.

Perfect Forward Secrecy

The solution to this is to not use the same encryption key for everything. Instead, you want to use ephemeral keys. Perfect forward secrecy requires the server to generate a new asymmetric key pair for each connection. The certificate is still used for authentication but is not actually used for the key negotiation process. The private key is kept in memory only long enough to negotiate the secret before being wiped. Likewise, the secret is only kept for as long as it’s in use before it is cleared. In particularly long sessions, it may even be renegotiated.

Tip: In cipher names, ciphers featuring Perfect Forward Secrecy are typically labelled with DHE or ECDHE. The DH stands or Diffie-Hellman, while the E on the end stands for Ephemeral.

By using a unique secret for each session, the risk of the private key being compromised is greatly reduced. If an attacker is able to compromise the private key, they can decrypt current and future traffic, but they can’t use it to bulk decrypt historical traffic.

As such perfect forward secrecy provides broad protection against blanket network traffic capture. While in the case of the server being compromised, some data may be decrypted, it is only current data, not all historical data. Additionally, once the compromise has been detected the issue can be resolved leaving only a relatively small amount of total lifetime traffic being decryptable by the attacker.

Conclusion

Perfect Forward Secrecy is a tool to protect against blanket historical surveillance. An attacker capable of collecting and storing vast troves of encrypted communications may be able to decrypt those if they ever gain access to the private key. PFS ensures that each session uses unique ephemeral keys. This limits the ability of the attacker to “only” be able to decrypt current traffic, rather than all historical traffic.

Moonbirds: A Perfect Storm That Highlights The State Of The Nft Ecosystem

Things move fast in the NFT space. Although the ecosystem as a whole does experience periods of stagnancy, for the most part, trading NFTs has become a “blink and you’ll miss it” sort of game. Just in case that wasn’t clear already, a new project called Moonbirds popped up recently, taking the NFT market by storm and reminding traders of the difference a single day can make.

A generative, large-scale avatar NFT endeavor, Moonbirds shocked the NFT ecosystem by quickly becoming one of the highest-grossing NFT collections of all time – and it’s only been around for less than a week.

What the heck is a Moonbird?

Over the past few months, we’ve only seen a few collections (i.e. Azuki and Doodles) cause significant ripple effects throughout the NFT ecosystem. Yet Moonbirds – created as part of prominent American Internet entrepreneur Kevin Rose’s PROOF Collective – has served to blow numerous established PFP collections straight out of the water, illustrating the dominance that both avatar-style NFTs and prominent NFT influencers have on the market.

As of April 21, Moonbirds (launched April 16) has achieved upwards of 100,000 ETH (around $295 million) in secondary sales volume. This is of course after the project raked in around 19,687 ETH (just over $61 million) from the public sale of 78 percent of the full token supply (with the rest reserved for PROOF Collective members and future brand endeavors).

Although undeniably a monumental moment for the weird wide world of nonfungibles, the explosive nature of the Moonbirds collection has both revealed some interesting insights about the state of the NFT ecosystem, while also stirring up a bit of controversy throughout the community.

Moonbirds and the PFP NFT market

Moonbirds has come at a time when PFP NFT sales are surging. Projects like CryptoPunks and the Bored Ape Yacht Club undoubtedly helped set the stage for endeavors like Moonbirds to exist, and membership-based avatar projects have continued to maintain their popular status in the NFT space.

Yet, the ever-expanding PFP market should be taken with a grain of salt. Although PFP projects have made some collectors rich, they also seem to be the perfect method for scammers to relieve uneducated NFT enthusiasts of their crypto.

Similarly, many within the NFT community have also become wary of the PFP NFT trend, remarking that these large-batch NFTs are but one use-case of non-fungible tokens, and are not indicative of the health of the entire NFT ecosystem. This is especially true as NFT gaming, science NFTs, music NFTs, NFT films, and more are having to fight to gain traction in the shadow of the PFP market. While PFPs being the posterchild of the NFT market may be exciting to traders and investors, the general public has vastly differing opinions on pictures of cartoon apes.

It’s also important to address that Moonbirds entered into the space while the NFT community is currently clashing over the utility of 1/1, small-batch, and handcrafted art NFTs. As the market continues to be saturated with avatar projects, independent artists have continued to find displeasure in the state of the NFT ecosystem.

A slight bit of controversy with Moonbirds

With the success of Moonbirds, one thing has become clear: that the NFT market is still crazy about pixel-art PFPs as long as the conditions are just right. In this case, the Moonbirds project is far less about pixel art and much more related to the backing of Kevin Rose and his PROOF Collective.

Now, this isn’t uncommon in the NFT space. Many prominent public figures and influencers have launched projects completely backed by the success of their own personal brands. Notably, Gary Vaynerchuk created one of the most influential projects to ever exist with VeeFriends — a collection directly tied to his own VeeCon “superconference.”

Yet, instead of a potentially groundbreaking new endeavor, many are clashing over the possibility of Moonbirds being a “liquidity suck” — an endeavor, especially of the PFP variety, that serves no real purpose but to divert funding from other potentially more important projects and cause their prices to fall. There is no clear winner in this battle though, as market analysis can help serve both sides depending on when the numbers were pulled.

But whether or not Moonbirds is sucking liquidity from the market, many are still in opposition. So why is Moonbirds being treated differently than any other odd PFP project from the past few months/year? It seems to come down to a few key variables: the timing, the mint price, and most important of all, the involvement of Kevin Rose.

To sum it all up: a) Moonbirds launched at a time when many are disdainful of PFP NFTs and how they are saturating the market, b) the initial mint price was set at 2.5 ETH (around $7,600) — making the mint inaccessible to most NFT enthusiasts to begin with, and c) Rose seemed almost assured to make millions in the first place based on his social standing within the NFT space.

So did the NFT ecosystem need another large-scale PFP project? Maybe, maybe not. It all depends on who you ask. Surely the full scope of this argument isn’t to discount the efforts of the seasoned and capable Moonbirds team, but more so to highlight the fact that small artists are struggling to make ends meet, while success has been proven to breed more success in the NFT space.

No matter what side of the fence you’re on though, it’s hard to discount Moonbirds — a project that in less than a week is about to break into the top 10 highest-grossing collections of all time — as anything less than a historic moment in NFTs.

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