Even as cryptocurrencies rise in popularity, they’re still something that most people have difficulty understanding. This presents a major challenge for blockchain startups that are struggling to make their product more visible in a market that grows more saturated by the day. The less knowledge someone is equipped with about these new projects, the less likely they’ll be able to trust and invest in what you’re offering.
That’s why educating consumers is so important, especially in the blockchain industry. You need to step further than simply making people aware of what you’re offering; you need to also help them understand how it works and why they should choose your coin over another.
Here are 6 strategies you can use to gain traction for your ICO or newly established cryptocurrency.
1. Do an airdrop
A very popular marketing method for blockchain project teams is “airdropping” free tokens to people who have already invested in your cryptocurrency. Giving away free money might seem like an odd strategy, but it works similarly to handing out free samples or a promotional gift with your company’s name on it—giving recipients a taste of what you have to offer and planting your brand in their mind.
There are plenty of well-traveled websites based around tracking upcoming airdrops (such as EOS Drops), so announcing one for your cryptocurrency is a good way to generate hype and encourage investing. The more people you attract, the larger your community will grow—and that growth will, in turn, attract people who are only willing to purchase a coin with a well-established base.
2. Design unique branding
One of the ways in which altcoins set themselves apart from their competition is by branding themselves toward a particular subculture or demographic; this is a technique known as selective marketing. A good example of this is NoLimitCoin (NLC2), a project that aims to redefine the world of fantasy sports. All of NLC2’s branding is singularly focused toward the fantasy sports community. Currencies such as Dogecoin might seem a bit more difficult to parse, but they also have a very specific audience, one couched in irony and Internet memes.
Even if you decide not to give your cryptocurrency a gimmicky name or a hyper-specialized target, you can still create strong branding by keeping your logo, website, promotional products and stationery consistent with one another. Find some way to set your project apart, even if it’s just a distinctive logo or visual theme. Consistent branding informs audiences that you’re dedicated to a particular set of values and not just telling people what you think they want to hear.
3. Create a podcast
Podcasts allow you to engage with a large number of people without requiring them to physically travel to your location. They present a unique opportunity to educate a considerable audience all at once, which makes them very powerful for crypto marketing. Coin DMZ is an excellent example; it provides an informative overview of the cryptocurrency world and is co-hosted by the CEO of WAX Token. There are also video podcasts such as TenX Cryptoshow that allow you to engage audiences visually, helping them form a more personal connection with your brand.
Your first episode could be a basic introduction to the concept of cryptocurrency, aimed at beginners who aren’t at all familiar with the subject. Or you could focus on a particular topic relevant to more experienced investors, such as new developments in blockchain technology. The important thing is to avoid being too broad or vague; try to explain everything at once, and you’ll end up not explaining anything.
4. Do a guest interview
Being a guest on a podcast or video blog is an effective technique because you don’t need to build up your own audience completely from scratch; instead, you’re engaging with an audience that already exists and is already interested in your area of expertise.
Search for a cryptocurrency-related series that aligns with your brand and ideals. Before reaching out to the creators, watch or listen to several episodes to familiarize yourself with their format and style. Then, contact them via email and remember to emphasize what you can do for them. If you focus only on extracting a benefit from the relationship, you’re much less likely to get a positive result.
If you’re recording your end of the interview at home, make sure you have decent equipment so that you can provide your partner with high-quality recordings. Be fully prepared before the actual interview, but don’t over-rehearse; you probably don’t want this to come across as a scripted lecture.
If you’re not comfortable behind a microphone, you can also do a more casual Q&A in written form. Set up a Redditt AMA and answer questions from the general public.
5. Get involved with a conference
Devcons allow cryptocurrency developers and enthusiasts to meet and exchange ideas in person. Getting involved with one is an excellent way to share knowledge and give your brand some extra exposure.
There are multiple ways to take a prominent role in a conference. Members of your company’s leadership (including founders, engineers or designers) could moderate or host a panel; this allows them to demonstrate their authority and expertise in front of a large audience, who will associate that expertise with your brand.
You could also put on a solo presentation specifically designed to educate audiences about your project. Your presentation should be branded the same as the rest of your company; bring along a presentation folder custom printed with your cryptocurrency’s name or logo and bring extras to giveaway. Add handouts that detail your team and goals, along with infographics and digital media that supplement your points. Include promotional items such as stickers (for laptops or cars) and branded pens so that recipients can take notes during your talk.
Alternatively, consider becoming a sponsor of the conference itself. This is an unintrusive form of marketing that helps people connect your brand with something valuable.
6. Hold a giveaway to build your community
Many of the most productive discussions surrounding cryptocurrency happen on social media networks such as Reddit, Facebook and Twitter, as well as messaging apps like Discord, Telegram and Slack. It’s a good idea to maintain a presence on these platforms, but remember to think and act strategically; posting a self-promotional tagline or funny meme image every week or so can only take you so far.
Since cryptocurrency companies sometimes have to deal with severe marketing restrictions (Facebook recently banned all cryptocurrency-related advertising), you’ll have to get creative. Try holding a giveaway of free tokens to anyone who joins your community. A great example of this was demonstrated by Ontology, who distributed 1,000 free tokens to everyone who signed up for their newsletter. An extra bonus happened when the coins hit the exchanges and began trading at more than two dollars each, which translated to them giving away two thousand dollars to everyone who signed up for their newsletter. How’s that for marketing?
Remember to always be authentic in how you present yourself and your community. Waltonchain recently had their authenticity called into question when a team member excitedly announced that they had won the company’s giveaway but forgot to switch accounts and tweeted from the brand’s official Twitter instead.
The way we spend money is changing, and the way we do digital marketing will need to follow suit and also evolve with the times. These techniques are a great place to start, but as you market your cryptocurrency, remember to stay abreast of trends and new developments throughout the landscape.