What about marketing, when there are some restrictions
In promoting crypto projects, traditional advertising tools are indispensable. It is already necessary to rethink about available options. Large social platforms and services — Google, Facebook, Twitter, MailChimp and others — have already banned advertising of cryptocurrencies. Many do not allow messages mentioning the blockchain, even if the company does not have any cryptocurrency, which is why advertising online monopolies create a problem for many innovative startups. It has become more difficult to advertise such projects, but this does not mean that it is impossible to promote them at all. There are some tools that marketers should look out for. Any advertising tools were available to marketers of projects related to cryptocurrencies and blockchain a couple of years ago. Such services were most actively promoted through advertising on Google, Facebook, Twitter. Today, on all these platforms, advertising of cryptocurrencies is officially prohibited, and soon even what has passed will be separately licensed by monopolists for advertising. In fact, there are no rules and guidelines that would govern such promotions. The platforms pass some messages, but bans for others. Projects can experiment with the format and see where it leads, but in practice, such experiments are costly and wasted time. Nobody knows how Facebook’s algorithms work (if they exist at all), so it is unknown what the experiments can lead to. Crypto projects can be roughly divided into two categories:
– The first is a “long-term” business: exchanges, services on the blockchain. They have a long strategy; it is extremely important for them that the advertisement works both tomorrow and in four months.
– The second category is fundraising (ICO / IEO / STO / IDO), whose task is to quickly get leads.
The first one works carefully and try to minimize their intrusions into the “forbidden territory”. For example, the exchange will not bet on a post with the message “invest in cryptocurrencies”, they will write “read what bitcoin is like”. But ICOs are actively experimenting, creating a large number of accounts. If one account is blocked, they will simply switch to another, shilling the monopolist platforms. That being said, crypto fundraising marketers have their own challenges. The main thing is that now there are no role models for making money on tokens. All fundraising can be roughly divided into two types:
– infrastructural for the blockchain (for example, when they create a faster protocol)
– to raise funds to create a product. These can be very interesting solutions: for example, car insurance on the blockchain or huge advertising networks on tokens or NFT projects. But so far there is not a single role model when an investor would invest in such a token and receive many times more at the output.
Despite the existing bans, monopolists have not yet clearly announced new rules for advertising crypto projects. It is impossible to accurately predict in August 2021 how Google and Facebook will resolve this issue. Maybe companies will impose even tougher restrictions — like the ones currently in force on Facebook. Or maybe they will allow advertising of crypto projects, but will prescribe clear rules for it. It’s like advertising for sex shops on Google. It is there, but the format must comply with the established rules. If you use a picture in the wrong aspect, you will get banned. One thing is clear that creating a policy and training moderators is a long process, especially in such large corporations. No one can say when exactly this issue will be resolved, in a month or in a year. But the most real scenario is to receive the first rules in August, which may be adapted depending on the market conditions.
What’s in the arsenal?
To promote crypto projects, you can use CPA networks, publications on specialized platforms, listings, ICO trackers, news aggregators. There are really many ways. In addition, you can rely on the specifics of the project itself and see which sites are relevant specifically for it. Let’s say esports startups are successfully promoting via Twitch or YouTube. And NFT projects are well advertised on Instagram and 4Chain. Affiliate systems, where you pay for registration or other targeted action performed by the user brought by the partner, have shown themselves well. But there is a lot of fraud in “affiliates”, so you need to carefully monitor what is happening with your traffic especially today. Click farms from India are not wonder for a long time, and now it is even a risk to pay for fake empty leads. In general, now we need to think outside the box and look for other platforms. This is what a good marketer in the cryptoindustry does: one looks for new channels and is not afraid of the constantly changing rules of the game. At Crynet.io, we are not afraid of difficulties and are always happy to try experiments. Of the popular and effective tools nowadays, one can name advertising on Quora, where banner ads and answers to questions convert well. You can try working with Reddit and Discord. To promote the project, very unexpected tools can work, such as Brave browser advertising products, bscscan, subtitle ads and a number of other non-traditional channels.
How to track results?
For analysis, it’s best not to reinvent the wheel, but to use already tested tools. Of course, whole aggregators of analytics systems are used in “long-running” projects on the blockchain, and Google Analytics is far from being the first, but for crypto fundraising, Google Analytics is the best. Even before launching an advertising campaign, you need to set up everything correctly and understand your funnel. For example, the first stage is traffic to the site, the second is registration, the third is the user goes through the KYC (know your client) identification procedure, and the fourth is an investment in the project. While it is easy to track traffic and registration, as well as calculate the cost of a lead at these stages, then with the following stages everything is much more complicated. Users do not want to go through KYC if they clicked on the advertising link, everyone is afraid of scam. So a person will manually enter your website address and go through KYC. Tracking the connection between different traffic sources is an important task that will help you build an advertising campaign more efficiently. Of course, these are all basic things, but they are often forgotten. In such harsh conditions — no testing at all. Marketing in crypto projects has no planning horizon because no one knows what will happen tomorrow. There is only one way out — to work with the tools that still remain, monitor changes in the rules and, in parallel, look for new sources of traffic.
When you need PR?
First, when you have a clear idea of what you want to get. Think about PR promotion if you:
● Need an investor
● Need to attract additional audience
● Need to restart the project or introduce additional services to the market
● Need strong employees who are important for the future of the project
Public relations in combination with a strong product and well-established teamwork can bring good results: increase investor interest, attract an audience when entering a new market and interest strong professionals in working for you. If you have a quality product that is perfect packed and growing sales figures, you probably thought about how to build an effective PR strategy and optimize work in this area. PR strategy is built on two priorities:
● Company, its goals, objectives and products
● Target audience
The task of the PR specialist is to serve the company in such a way as to satisfy the interests of the media readers, blog or consumers of the project product. To achieve this, it is necessary to formulate brand messages, and then understand the editorial specifics of key publishers, to understand how they reflect the agenda and which sections you can get into. Understanding industry problems is necessary not only for the PR manager, but also for the founder of the company: it helps to deliver sharp public speeches and more broadly evaluate business objectives.
Instruments may vary:
1. Press releases — Socially significant news about the company, which are based on information case (for example, the announcement of annual revenue, the launch of an innovative product, the announcement of the results of R&D, information about the event, etc.). Distribute no more than two releases per month
2. Founder’s columns about the activities of the company. An effective tool to increase expertise and improve karma reputation. On average, you can publish from three to five columns per month.
3. Interviews with top officials — to organize an interview, you need a significant news feed.
4. Comments — Monitor the agenda related to your field and do not hesitate to offer your comments to reporters. This works after you become recognizable.
5. Organization of events for the press, bloggers or other key audiences — depending on the occasion
What to do instead of preparing press releases
The era of press releases is passing away: publications that could lead you to the target audience are rarely published now. Instead of preparing press releases, it is worth to focus on forming an image of a leader in the company, where professionals in their field work. This is easier for technology startups than for “next” social businesses. If you offer an exceptional service, you need to establish yourself as an expert developer, using the technological advantage of your project. Thus, you will rely on the uniqueness of the product itself. So, PR activity should be reduced to actions that allow you to create a certain positive image in the business and technological environment. As the “karma” of the startup and its leader grows, more and more people will learn about the service, and there will certainly be customers among them. The number of mentions of your startup by satisfied users will grow so much that the media will become directly interested in serious coverage of the project. Typically, startups are a large volume of tasks and limited resources. How to save time and prioritize? You can use the services for PR specialists from the market. Three formats are still best known:
· native advertising, when you or the editorial staff write unique content
· a press release, and
· banner advertising
A crypto fundraising campaign has many similarities to organizing a PR campaign, because in addition to ‘’working out’’ all the details and clear planning, creativity and quick response are needed. The fundraising campaign uses a phased model and standard public relations tools. In order to start a fundraising campaign, you need to understand how much money will be required for a particular project, i.e. determine potential costs. And the most important thing is to set a specific task for yourself.
Sergey Golubev (Сергей Голубев)
Crynet Marketing Solutions, vtorov.tech, EU structural funds, ICO/STO/IEO projects, NGO & investment projects, project management
Fundraising PR for crypto projects was originally published in DataDrivenInvestor on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.