How to Make Your Blockchain Startup Go Viral in 7 Steps (+ 26 Essential Resources)
The biblical adage ‘build it and they will come’ may have applied to Noah’s ark and Kevin Costner’s Field of Dreams, but the world of start-ups is a whole other ballgame. The only way your business can stand out from the crowd of wannabe Facebooks and unicorns by having a great product and marketing it thoughtfully. Marketing requires an extra dose of creativity in the blockchain industry to overcome the boundaries placed on blockchain products by advertising platforms.
Before getting into the specifics of marketing techniques for blockchain businesses, let’s review some marketing basics. Whenever I start working on a campaign, I sit down to ask myself the following questions:
Who is My Target Customer?
Establish the typical characteristics of the people that your product is made for. This includes demographic characteristics like age, gender and income, and psychographic characteristics like their personality, values and buying behaviours.
It is essential to perform primary research to test your theories about who your customer is. You are likely to be surprised by the results.
Once you know who your product is geared towards, create some customer personas. These are incredibly useful for making sure that your campaign remains focused. Here are some useful resources for identifying your target audience and building a customer persona:
Every product should solve a problem — if it doesn’t, you’ll never be able to convince anyone that they need it. People don’t buy a nail because they like steel, they buy it to hang a picture on it. Get used to thinking about your product as a means to an end. Once you learn to detach yourself from the product and focus on the problem to be solved, you’ll be able to come up with far better solutions.
You can use the Jobs-to-be-Done framework to ensure that you’re targeting your messaging to your customers’ problem. Strategyn’s Job Map is a great resource to help you implement the Jobs-to-be-Done approach in your business.
Marketing = The right customer + the right message + the right time + the right channel
With your target customer and their problem in mind, let’s get into the nitty-gritty world of marketing a blockchain start-up.
2. Don’t Write Off Pay-Per-Click Ads
Yes, major ad networks have recently been clamping down on blockchain-related advertising, making it tougher to get the word out about your awesome blockchain start-up. That said, it’s not always impossible to get your PPC ads approved. Some ad platforms only ban cryptocurrency-related ads, so if your ad isn’t crypto-related, you may be able to get it approved.
Alternatively, many crypto/blockchain-related websites and blogs offer banner ads with looser restrictions. You may need to fill out some forms to be approved, but think of that as an advantage: it makes it more difficult for other blockchain businesses to advertise, giving you an edge over your competitors.
Here are a few ad platforms to explore
https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/532535307141067 — Register here to be approved to run Crypto ads on Facebook.
Twitter — I have achieved some good results with Twitter when part of a multistage funnel (and for brand awareness)
3. Build Up Your SEO
That sponsored top search result may have slipped out of reach thanks to Google’s regulations, but with proper search engine optimisation, you can drive your website to the top of the page organically. There are many things you can do to improve your Google ranking. The easiest is to ensure that every page on your website is optimised with the right, metadata, page structure and keywords.
Another great way to improve your ranking is through content writing- both on your own website and on relevant blogs. Tailor your on-site content to long-tail keywords: you’ll rank highly for those words, pushing your short-tail content up the Google rankings by association.
Make a list of relevant blogs that accept guest posts, and email them with a few ideas of content you could write for them in exchange for a backlink. Quality trumps quantity here, as the Google algorithm will penalise you for backlinks from poor quality sites. The process is time-consuming, but having some great backlinks from credible sources will pay off in your Google ranking (and beyond).
Facebook and Twitter can prevent you from creating ads, but your profile is yours to do what you want with. Sponsored ads may help you achieve quantity, but leads gained organically will always be better quality. Create outstanding content and post it consistently on your social networks. If you have a genuinely interesting and informative page carefully geared to your target audience, the likes, follows, and shares will come organically.
If you found out that all your target customers would be in a room together tomorrow, wouldn’t you want to be in that room? Online crypto-communities are an incredible way to reach your target audience. You can join or create communities on platforms like Telegram, Quora, Reddit and Bitcoin Talk. Become active in these communities, joining the conversation and contributing something new. Online communities are notoriously sceptical of salespeople, so be careful with your approach. You will need to build rapport with other members and introduce your business to violate their trust.
The blockchain community is active offline too, organising regular networking events, conferences and hackathons. Every day, there’s at least one blockchain event happening somewhere in the world. You must frequently attend these events. Introduce yourself and your business to as many people as possible. If you can, apply to be a speaker, and make sure your contribution is awesome. Hang around for the other speakers too: if you want to be a thought leader in the industry, you need to be up to date with new ideas and developments.
The blockchain industry is a very closed community: those interested knows where to get the best, most up-to-date information. If you become a useful source, you will grow your reach and get your product noticed organically. Join the community and make thoughtful, creative contributions in all the right places. Become a trusted source and offer people an amazing product. Build it, gain the trust of the right people, and then they will come.
I’m Daniel – a marketing & growth expert. I specialise in helping companies and startups acquire the right kind of high-quality users that are critical to your mission. I do this by deeply understanding who your customers are and by finding ways to bring them on board in a way that is scalable, predictable and repeatable by creating a Growth Machine. I have capacity to assist in advisory or execution roles, so do get in touch and let's see if I can help.
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