Challenges of Crypto Marketing Communication and How to Overcome Themby Sebastian Schuhl
In the previous two posts of our ICO Marketing series, we looked into the importance of the timing of your launch and why identifying your target audience is essential. Once these aspects are established, the next step is the active dialogue you’ll be having with your investor and customer base. While many “traditional” marketing tactics are still applicable, it’s important to understand the specific mechanism involved in ICO marketing and the new challenges these create regarding marketing strategy and execution. In the following we’ll be outlining these challenges and how to leverage aspects of classic social media outlets, as well as some of the new techniques and channels.
New Markets and Global Exposure
The borderless nature of decentralized technologies is one of it’s greatest breakthroughs. With Bitcoin, for instance, someone in Berlin can send a huge amount of value to someone in Vancouver for a fraction of the price of Western Union or Paypal. Not only that, but there are only two parties involved, the sender and the receiver. Like the Internet itself, cryptocurrencies omit third-parties and replace them with an agnostic, low-cost infrastructure.
This also means that any cryptocurrency (which hopefully includes your upcoming token) is also capable of these massive, global transfers. This characteristic does, however, mean that your marketing strategy needs to follow suit. With the exclusion of China, the United States, and a few others, your potential investor base will likely be an international crowd. Thus, the task becomes connecting this global crowd with a singular message via a diverse mix of marketing channels - and all of this from day one.
Traditional Marketing Boundaries
When it comes to leveraging “traditional” marketing channels, the crypto world poses some new challenges for marketers as Facebook, Twitter, and Google are, for the time being, off limits for ICO advertising. As crypto ads are banned on these major platforms for now, marketers have to re-focus much more on organic community building again. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it puts even more emphasis on good content creation and community engagement - something that stands in harsh contrast to what we’ve seen over the last 18 months, where many ICOs tried to boost their channels via armies of bots, paid advertising crazes, fake traffic, and fake followers.
Real interaction with your potential customers and investors is essential. So, while this doesn’t mean your influence will be omitted from the major networks, it just means getting your message across on these platforms will look quite different.
Furthermore, the global possibilities of ICOs also present significant challenges for a project’s global marketing strategy. To engage a global community, some regions, countries, and communities will require communication in their native language to achieve high engagement levels. Thus, it’s important to get dedicated community managers and ambassadors on board who can communicate in the target audience’s native tongue.
New Marketing Territory
Although classic marketing channels have some limitations when it comes to ICO marketing, many new channels such as Telegram, Reddit, Bitcointalk, Quora, and many others have emerged to reach potential investors.
Take Quora for example. The largest, digital question-and-answer forum out there has somewhat emerged into a FAQ for the crypto community, asking and debating all kinds of crypto-related topics. Consequently, actively participating in the neverending Q & A of Quora also boosts your status as a knowledgeable figure in your space. As a rule of thumb, consider this work as knowledge evangelism rather than a form of marketing. Signalling with real answers to real problems will attract an audience willing to listen and stick around for the long-term.
Mixing in crypto-exclusive communities on Bitcointalk, Steemit, sponsored articles with reputable publications, and ICO Rating sites such as ICO Bench is also critical. These are where the nitpicking and technical details of your project will shine. More general channels are helpful for providing context to your project, whereas a readership intellectually invested in the technology will quickly determine the merit of your web 3.0 business.
Refer back to our post on identifying your demographic for a bit more on the details of where certain conversations are happening and how. In the words of the media theorist Marshall Mcluhan, “The medium is the message.”, which brings us to our next point.
Focusing Your Resources
With this new and more comprehensive marketing channel landscape, successful ICO marketing will demand a lot of your resources. Managing all channels simultaneously is hard, and very time consuming, work. It’s far from uncommon that large numbers of investors are flooding Telegram chats with seemingly endless demands for updates on various topics. Thus, projects can quickly feel pressured by their (potential) investors.
Some projects even decided to cut back on their Telegram groups again due to the immense amount of speculators and bounty hunters spamming the channels with demands to get updated on, for example, when the token will be distributed, listed on an exchange, etc.
Additionally, there’s no such thing like a one-message-fits-all approach to distributing content via social media channels. Each channel has its own features, algorithms, and metrics; so it’s crucial to not just push the same generic message across all channels simultaneously, but to tailor and manage communication for each channel.
That’s why projects have to invest their resources wisely and concentrate on their target audience(s) - even if this means to start with only one or two main communication channels to get the community going. It’s certainly better to create high engagement among your loyal user base in one dedicated channel than covering communication across all channels with little to no constructive feedback from the crowd.
However, focusing resources does not mean neglecting to map out the infrastructure for a comprehensive channel communication and branding strategy. Projects must secure their brand’s channel domains, user IDs, and social media handles across all channels from day one. This not only demonstrates professionalism towards the community, but also ensures communication scalability in the future and prevents scammers from imitating your brand.
In the end, your individual target audience and your resources determine how strongly you should boost your communication via each channel.
To sum up, while many of the formal channels for marketing your ICO have limited applicability, and new challenges for global ICO marketing have popped up, this also means that new channels have emerged to reach your target audience. Carefully evaluating which medium best addresses your potential investors and customers, and creating genuine engagement within these selected channels, is key.
In our next article, we’ll be sharing some more insights on what we’ve learned on how to strategically manage the distribution of a project’s resources.