3 Reasons You Can’t Market Blockchains Like Traditional Tech
My move from traditional enterprise technology marketing to the crypto space was illuminating. Blockchain technology is still in its infancy. Similarly, the marketing landscape for the new tech is underdeveloped. You can’t market crypto like you would cloud software or CRM platforms; it’s a different monster.
Blockchain marketing has different audiences and obstacles independent from mainstream technology. Navigating the crypto field is treacherous, and even seasoned marketing vets are having trouble strategizing.
If you are new to blockchain marketing, there are three crucial truths you cannot ignore:
1. The Blockchain World is Pay-to-Play
Journalistic integrity in crypto can at times be … suspect. The sad truth is that for many people crypto is all about the quick buck. Outlets are no different. Print, video and digital media are capitalizing on the crypto trend. For many publications, simple PR won’t garner your project coverage. You need to pony up for headlines.
Unfortunately, the pay-to-play media is symptomatic of the underdeveloped technology landscape. Blockchain has evolved faster than the mainstream’s understanding. Many publications have shied away from ICOs because they are uncertain about the technologies future. Others are afraid they may lose readers if they accidently feature something that turns out to be a scam or failed project.
Regulatory uncertainty has prevented many reputable publications from dedicating staff to crypto economies. As a result, blockchain marketers and publicists have limited publications they can approach for exposure.
The demand for exposure is high and the supply is low. But blockchain projects still need exposure. Knowing this, some publications now charge an arm and a leg for a simple press release posting. Others prioritize their big spender stories over quality content.
Most marketers are accustomed to balancing both paid and unpaid tactics for their campaigns. However, those marketing professionals transitioning from other fields may be surprised at how often crypto media skews to favor paid placements.
2. Blockchain Politics Require Constant Monitoring
Without a central authority, most blockchain projects carry the burden of international regulation. Crypto markets are often referred to as the wild west. In some countries, crypto projects are under regulated. In others, they are over regulated.
Marketing crypto requires that you understand the rules and regulations everywhere you market. And those rules and regulations change daily. One minute you may be all clear to shill your coin with banner ads and social media campaigns. The next, the SEC might label you a security and limit you to community posts and event promotions.
Also, marketing in different countries requires different tactics. Crypto sentiments may hinge on the political support of the region you are targeting. The Asian markets respond differently to crypto than the U.S. A uniform global approach is too general. You have to alter tactics from one region to the next and remain cognizant of political developments. Partnerships are important for understanding cultural and political differences and crafting targeted campaigns that suit your audience.
3. Blockchain Communities can Make or Break Your Project
Unlike most technology today, blockchain was born in the dark corners of obscure online forums. Cypher punks, libertarians and meme enthusiast shaped the early adoption of crypto. Now, even as the technology matures and enters enterprise sight line, online forums and communities dictate crypto romanticism.
Several early crypto adopters have immortalized their voice on platforms like BitcoinTalk, Reddit, GitHub, Telegram, Twitter, Discord and WeChat. Today, when the crypto curious explore the space, they use these channels to find the best information. Online communities are where techies audit upcoming projects and where traders deify top performing investors for their prowess.
Sadly, the tones of these communities are often infantile. Take a look at #crypto twitter. To date, some of the most influential voices in the space still carry an immature tone. Founders of crypto projects often engage in contentious dialogue. Blockchain is stacked with competitive projects orchestrated by mostly young, libertarian cypher punks. And even though there is a broadening stream of mainstream interest in crypto, most of today’s crypto marketing still panders to the reddit reading juveniles.
To market successfully in blockchain communities it is important to be transparent. You can’t get caught in the banter of project trolls. It is important for you to meet (real) criticism with facts and timely responses. At the same time, you need to be fun and enthusiastic to maintain community excitement. Some projects struggle to keep professionalism while simultaneously humanizing their team. Social media experts are often the unsung heroes of those projects that successfully walk the line.
If you’ve started your adventure into the wonderful — albeit chaotic — world of crypto marketing, take some time to study successful projects. You don’t need to completely throw out your enterprise tech marketing handbook, but you should be aware of the differences.
Care to learn more? Check out our website and follow us on twitter! Multiplied represents some of the top crypto projects in the space. We are strong supporters of any marketers looking to enter the crypto world and welcome partnerships and collaboration when appropriate.