May 3, 2018
CRYPTOCURRENCY MARKETING: PART II
Understanding Best Marketing Practices In The Cryptocurrency Industry
For those who jumped to Part II of this article, you should have no problem picking up from here provided you have a general understanding of blockchain, cryptocurrency, and the related industry. For those who continued from Part I of this article, you can expect to learn much more about the cryptocurrency industry but also how marketing interacts with these industries and the respective marketing best practices.
Regulations and Policies
Let’s now shift to a quick overview of the regulations and policies surrounding cryptocurrencies. Since cryptocurrency and blockchain are both rather new technologies, there is still a lot of ongoing discussion on how they should be regulated on a domestic and international level, on a state and federal level, and even on a business level.
Domestically in the US, the SEC has cracked down within the last year outlining several policies that cryptocurrency companies need to be wary of. For new cryptocurrency companies, the start up process can be even more difficult. Not only are they having to learn the rules of operating within the cryptocurrency realm, but to raise funds through an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) recently became more difficult. The SEC ruling in mid 2017 on the DAO token sale serves as a landmark event for regulation of cryptocurrencies as securities in the US. Furthermore, the SEC has made ICO’s more difficult; the test most commonly known to serve as a benchmark for companies looking to ICO is called The Howey Test. To read more on The Howey Test and ICO’s click here.
Internationally, the scene can be viewed (from a US perspective) as more complex due to several regulators weighing in on the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry. What’s important to note here, is that each country or state of authority has their own views, policies, and regulations surrounding cryptocurrency. From exchange regulations, to taxation, to accessibility, the regulator policies and law are ubiquitous just as they are in any global financial industry. The US may have more stringent policies when compared to many European countries, however, this does not take away or slight to any degree the intensity of operating in the newly formed regulations and laws.
Both domestically in the US and internationally, the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry is still very new. For this reason, it is not uncommon to see many state authorities scrambling to figure out and establish their own policies. As a marketer involved with representing cryptocurrency companies, these regulations and policies certainly will interact with your day-to-day work tasks. More so, it is important for you to stay as up to date as possible on these regulations and policies; one change by a government authority could completely derail your proposed or active marketing campaign.
Cryptocurrency Marketing 101
As previously discussed in Part I of this article, when you look at a cryptocurrency company who provides a service or product, it is very easy to see how they would place great importance on marketing. Operating a business with no marketing is more than challenging and cryptocurrency companies know this. Due to the relatively new fame of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, businesses operating in this realm have actually ramped up marketing efforts to help grow their crypto-companies and to help fund ICOs.
As mentioned, an ICO is an initial coin offering. An ICO is very comparable to an initial public offering (IPO) of stock by a business. The main difference is in the type of securities, one being a stock share, and one being a coin. Just as a mega corporation would promote, market, and advertise their IPO, cryptocurrency companies do the same with their ICOs.
Your company’s ICO is slated on the calendar and you’re head of the team running the marketing. Just like many good marketers, you probably start with a brainstorming session with your team to help generate ideas that can contribute to your company’s marketing campaign for the ICO.
That’s exactly what the team at Bloom Social has done and to aid you in your ICO journey we’ve detailed below some great ways to make your ICO marketing campaign a powerful one!
Strategic Planning - Usually Pre-ICO
Find your company’s whitepaper and comb through it to make sure it looks ready for publication. Begin to disseminate your whitepaper on cryptocurrency forums, group chats, media outlets, and more. Spreading your company’s whitepaper will help to explain what your cryptocurrency company does and its mission.
Creation of a lead generating website to host your Pre-ICO launch and details is very important. This is the digital facade of your crypto-company and should be fine tuned. If your audience thinks your website doesn’t look well put together do you think they will have faith in your product or service? Your whitepaper should also be easily accessible from your website.
Create the social media assets your company will use. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are must-haves. The cryptocurrency community is extremely active on Reddit as well so this should be in your wheelhouse. Evaluate other chat channels, such as Telegram, Slack, or Discord, for hosting communities around your cryptocurrency.
The aforementioned chat channels make an excellent place to disseminate information about your company but they also create a whitelist, also know as a subscriber list. You will want to establish and build your whitelist as soon as possible to maximize PR releases on behalf of your company and the ICO.
Strategic Execution - Pre-ICO, during, and after
Prepare press releases and reach out to major news outlets to negotiate pricing, terms, and other details regarding the sponsored press release. There are several cryptocurrency, bitcoin, blockchain, investing, and financial media outlets who you can find with a simple Google search. There’s a good chance you already know about them as you are an active marketer in this industry. Get those press releases moving!
Have a strategic and consistent plan for posting on your social media assets as well as in your group channels. These social mediums will act as the voice of your company and as you will see, they will require 24/7 oversight and high level of dedication to manage. Did we forget to mention the crypto-world is 24/7/365?
Vet social media cryptocurrency influencers to see if they can aid with press releases or other company promotions.
Set up your ad profile on Google and Facebook to begin…. Wait a minute….
Cryptocurrency Social Media & AdWords Promotion
Some the largest digital advertising giants, Facebook & Google, have banned cryptocurrency advertising. Why did this happen? The minority usually ruin it for the majority and this situation could be an example of that. The cryptocurrency realm is no stranger to shady situations including investor deceit and fraudulent activities. Due to some of the fraudulent ICOs or similar situations where investors were left bare handed, Facebook took the initiative in 2017 to review millions of cryptocurrency ads. Due to the outcomes in certain situations, Facebook banned all cryptocurrency advertisements on its platform as well as Instagram.
Not many months later, Google followed suit for various reasons, many of them aligning with Facebook’s approach to this advertising conundrum. While most cryptocurrency advertisements have been phased out of Google and third party owned platforms, such as YouTube, the policy changes are scheduled to go into full effect in June 2018. For more information on this you can find a good article here.
Bummer, right? Your cryptocurrency company will have to look for other sources of paid advertising spend and other avenues to distribute your marketing materials.
What You Can Expect As A Marketer Moving Forward
As a marketer engaging in the cryptocurrency and blockchain realm, it can be hard to predict what will be coming your way. Part of the reason this is, is due to the cryptocurrency industry being very unpredictable and volatile itself. However, you can rest assured all of your hard work in this industry isn’t going to waste. As we stated in Part I of this article, the blockchain industry and cryptocurrency industry are integrated in many aspects and are correlated in many more ways than the average consumer can see. As blockchain technology continues to pave the wave by providing technological innovation in various industries, businesses will come to fruition, ancillary services will grow with it, and this sector of the technology commerce will grow block by block.
While it may be near impossible for you to predict what’s next in this industry, you can take daily action to prepare yourself, your team, and your company for potential changes that could affect your marketing or business operations. Stayed tuned in with the biggest cryptocurrency, blockchain, and investing news outlets. Stay up to date on regulations and policies from authorities in each region. Create a diversified marketing strategy so you can maneuver if there is new legislation passed or if a new policy comes out that affects cryptocurrency.
Best of luck on becoming one with the blockchain!