The blockchain industry is one of the fastest developing sectors in the business world. Ever-evolving open-source technology has allowed for significant innovations in NFT, DeFi and other blockchain spaces. Trends arise quickly, capturing the imagination of users and investors. One month, layer-2 solutions make headlines; the next, play-to-earn gaming or altcoin metaverse worlds take center stage. The blockchain sector is often compared to the Wild West due to its freewheeling nature, which often necessitates rapid shifts in business and marketing strategies.
Naturally, blockchain marketing is just as dynamic as the technologies it promotes. Furthermore, the overall shifting landscape of social media (Twitter, TikTok, Discord and others) makes for an ever-evolving environment that demands the ability to constantly re-evaluate the most effective ways to reach users, investors, collaborators and the wider public.
It is only natural that blockchain companies are looking for flexible and knowledgeable marketing specialists to help navigate this complex market. More and more, companies are seeking to maximize value by turning to fractional marketers who provide cutting-edge knowledge of the blockchain space, coupled with a clear focus and operating on a contractual basis.
They are also distinct from full-time marketing executives, as they are hired on a contractual basis and tend to be very performance-focused with clear, tangible goals for their time with the company.
Successful marketing in the blockchain space
For a marketer, the blockchain industry presents unique challenges and opportunities in terms of its technological, financial and communicative aspects. The industry requires a very “vertical” understanding of the many and varied aspects of Web3 growth parameters.
The following components are key to forming a complete blockchain marketing strategy.
Brand Story: It is essential to create a captivating and future-facing vision.
Ecosystem: Blockchain projects live and die by the health of their ecosystems. Too many projects falter because they neglect to understand the importance of growth through community.
User Experience (UX): Make it as easy as possible for your users to engage with your products.
Customer Onboarding: It may be as simple as a link to your whitepaper, an option on your website to join your mailing list or providing a Discord server for your community. The bottom line is: Don’t let your customers get lost along the way.
Analytics: Metrics are everything. Do you know where most of your traffic is coming from? Do you know which portion of it converts to sales? How do you measure conversion? These are key questions that often remain unasked or unanswered.
Influencers: They act as high-octane scaling in the crypto world. Influencers can make or break a company. Projects need a subtle touch to master this aspect of marketing.
Content Strategy (Includes SEO): The company’s content is its voice. Having a great content writer is essential. Great content writers are also great thinkers.
Press: Marshaling the press is essential, but not always straightforward. Navigating its pathways is often a combination of connections and an artistic touch.
Taken as a whole, marketing can mean the difference between a technology that is ignored (no matter how innovative or revolutionary) and one that gains broad acceptance and use.
Effective blockchain marketing campaigns
Blockchain marketing campaigns come in all shapes and sizes, tailored to the scope and goals of the particular blockchain company. One of the most established exchanges, Coinbase, has engaged in a number of effective marketing strategies to further its user base growth. Its referral program pays users $10 for each referred client who buys or sells $100 worth of crypto. The snowball effect of bloggers and influencers promoting a campaign further increases its effectiveness.
With one project I worked with, we had a “learn and earn” campaign on a modest budget that resulted in over 50,000 users joining our network. What was so compelling about it? We made it fun and engaging.
When you tell a good story, you don’t need to spend a lot to get people excited enough to try your product. In the case of the highly successful NFT collection, Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), branding was an intrinsic part of its approach since its inception. With BAYC, the parent company, Yuga Labs, created an NFT collection that was unique and memorable on multiple levels — from its logo and color scheme to its creative merchandising and forward-looking forays into the metaverse.
With the right Web3 brand, you gain the product flexibility to move multi-directionally.
Choosing the right marketer
Regardless of the nature of the blockchain business, there are several solid guidelines for choosing the right fractional marketer. As in any profession, a track record speaks volumes. In the case of the blockchain industry, with its large swings in valuation, it’s important to look at a marketer’s past successes in macroeconomic conditions.
Were they able to outperform the field during a bull run? Speaking from my own experience with several blockchain companies, I have seen how different companies require different marketing strategies.
For a decentralized prediction market that I worked with, we often pursued influencer acquisition to spur growth and heavily relied on analytics for data-driven decisions.
In contrast, some projects required a more multi-dimensional strategy. If the protocol or project has a diverse ecosystem with things such as NFTs, DeFi applications and other utilities, the project will likely require a multi-pronged approach.
With these types of projects, we would interact with its large community and launch precision-crafted branding campaigns that communicated product announcements and updates in a highly engaging manner. These campaigns were data- and KPI-driven objectives that vary from project to project.
Fractional marketing going forward
Fractional marketing is becoming increasingly common in the blockchain industry and it will likely continue to grow and evolve as more and more companies enter the space. The flexible nature of the fractional marketer position benefits both the marketer and the company, and companies are learning the advantages of tapping into a fractional marketer’s unique experience.
Former CMO at number of L1 blockchain projects. He is currently a Columbia University Lab to Market Blockchain Accelerator Advisor.
This article was published through Cointelegraph Innovation Circle, a vetted organization of senior executives and experts in the blockchain technology industry who are building the future through the power of connections, collaboration and thought leadership. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of Cointelegraph.