Suggestions for Improved Marketing Of Hive For @valueplan

in Hive Marketing2 months ago (edited)

Recently, @lordbutterfly asked us to provide some suggestions for how to invest the renewed @valueplan marketing budget so as to grow Hive using direct digital marketing techniques. We were also asked to suggest ways to optimise the existing Rally car project, so that’s what’s in this post!

The goal here is to grow Hive through getting more ‘bang for the buck’ from the marketing budget. This requires us to introduce reliable tracking metrics that expose the performance of each marketing system/activity. Perfect tracking is a difficult challenge with decentralised networks, however, there are some clear opportunities which anyone can understand to be useful when onboarding new users onto Hive.

Important Note: The DeSo project is a direct competitor to Hive, is growing and continues to claim to be the only decentralised social network. It uses DPOS and is almost a mirror of Hive, except that they have significantly optimised their onboarding and growth systems.

See the whitepaper for their ‘Focus’ network here. Deso already claims $80M in reserved token sales and currently has 104k followers on X. They claim to be truly decentralised, yet are backed by Sequoia capital and others. In general, supporters of DeSo do not even know about Hive or Steem.

Aims of Improved Marketing for Hive:

  • Increase brand awareness.
  • Drive traffic to Hive sites.
  • Increase levels of onboarding of valuable new users.
  • Improved retention of exsiting users
  • Attract/onboard talented and motivated developers.
  • Attract investors for the Hive token and HBD.

1. Optimised Onboarding Process, ‘Traffic Funnel’ & Website

We currently have no mechanism in place to capture, shape and analyse traffic that comes into Hive’s main website(s). We need at least one high quality, regularly maintained/updated and engaging landing page and website that is independent of the decentralised dApps which will remain present throughout the life of Hive. Search Engine Optimisation and long term traffic growth requires a fixed domain to be continually used and improved upon - otherwise effort to build presence online dissipates over time.

Empowering users to onboard their own communities is paramount to improving retention long term. was a fine start for Hive during an emergency fork situation, but it has not been developed since - some of its content is out of date and it is in no way an exciting or educational place to drive prospective Hive users towards - yet it is the best we have!

This site needs to be informative and attention grabbing when compared to Hive’s competitors - demonstrating why Hive is attractive to each of the target audiences (currently mainly social network users, crypto fans, developers and investors).

The onboarding system for Hive has been broken for a long time. We need to support the improvement of this process urgently. Reliance on the various Hive dApps to provide reliable onboarding systems has not produced optimal outcomes so far - though several of them are actively focused on improving this situation.

Even if the dApps do solve their own issues, it is still not ideal for there to be no ‘core’ onboarding platform. dApps may come and go and it is not a particularly difficult challenge for Hive to have its own reliable onboarding system in the same way that the DHF funds the development of Hive Keychain.

Suggested features for the updated onboarding system:

  • Free ‘Lite’ Accounts: Aim to provide free accounts where possible. This would be made foolproof by adopting a ‘lite account’ (account incubation) approach, that enables anyone to create an account easily using an existing Web 2 login.

    They can then interact with Hive using an account that has been allocated to them by the onboarding system, but they do not have access to the actual Hive keys. Once they earn enough rewards through posting, they have the option to activate their own Hive account that has enough Hive Power already loaded to ensure they can continue posting. This can ideally be gamified and made interesting, rather than mechanical and drab.

  • Support transfer of account creation tokens: We face a situation where some dApps have been unable to onboard new users for free due to a lack of account creation tokens that they can access. Many accounts hold large numbers of unused ACTs but they cannot transfer them in order for them to be useful.

    Adding an ACT transfer feature to the core blockchain code would overcome this problem and add robustness to the overall onboarding process.

  • Integrated onboarding tools/tracking/rewards: We need to fuel growth and ‘network effect’ by empowering Hive users to easily onboard their friends/contacts. In addition to a reliable onboarding process and engaging marketing materials, it will help to offer rewards to users who onboard valuable users.

    This will require new software that can track the behaviour of new accounts and allot rewards to evangelists and marketers of Hive based on their performance. This could even take the form of a Layer 2 solution that uses smart contracts to track/reward growth activities.

    The most basic solution would be to track a ‘referrer’ variable added to the end of URLs which point to the onboarding system, allowing referrals to be tracked. This already exists on

  • Optimisation for easy sharing and mobile devices: We need to be able to onboard new people as easily as giving someone a business card. The system should include a mobile friendly version that includes a QR code to enable people to connect and onboard rapidly.

  • Support for new users: We currently do not have any kind of automated process to help new users to navigate Hive and to grow. Individual dApps would do well to build in ‘walkthrough’ systems, but a centralised onboarding system could provide people with a generic Hive exploration tool that includes a checklist of things to do for new users, plus could promote dApps based on the user’s own interests.

2. Quality Video Content Distribution on External Social/Video Sites

Whether we like to admit it or not, Jerry Banfield was instrumental in the growth of Steem into a multi Billion dollar project. His videos generated high levels of views on Web 2.0 sites and he was funneling rewards back into Web 2 in order to get even more views. His content was generally fairly low quality and not especially accurate a lot of the time, but regardless, he drove a lot of growth to Steem.

Just exposing people to the concepts behind the system in a non pushy, engaging way can be enough to attract them to sign up.

Hive needs intelligent, engaging, fun and well informed promoters to produce regular videos that both educate about Hive and also entertain the public. The videos can then be published both on Hive and also on external social/video sites. Creators should be rewarded via both direct payments and also commissions that are measured through link tracking that runs via the enhanced onboarding system.

Drawing from within the Hive community may be preferable to hiring external people since this eliminates the need to extensively educate them on Hive beforehand.

Create Video Content That:

  • Introduces and advertises Hive, its features and its community to the wider world. People outside of Hive rarely know anything about Hive and don’t understand why they would benefit from using it - so we need to urgently correct this and constantly improve/optimise the process.

  • Covers general crypto/tech/world news stories, but which lead people towards Hive in (ideally) subtle and non-annoying ways! These may then be shared on the merit of their own topics/messages but will contain links to Hive sites, which will provide free backlinks to Hive, drive traffic and also potentially improve SEO rankings.

Producing quality videos which are engaging, informative and educational is hugely needed for Hive’s growth.

Support of the right presenters, that speak to different target demographics, with correct messaging and promotion could solve several of Hive’s problems.

Careful management of paid advertising on external sites can be used to draw attention to the video content. This can also include paid promotion by existing larger web 2.0 ‘influencers’.

Bonus: Use Web 2.0 Paid Advertising to A/B Test Marketing Material

Opportunity exists here to run carefully managed and optimised ad campaigns in suitable web 2.0 locations in order to promote marketing videos.

Advertising strategies can be adopted that are already highly optimised by advertisers who have spent many billions of dollars refining their process over the years. Part of that involves running A/B split testing as part of a scientific process to identify which marketing language, images and designs convert users the best.

Split testing involves simultaneously running multiple versions of the same advertising but with altered images and text. This allows the performance of each option to be compared and to thus then discover which options produce the best results.

This is an essential tool for improving conversion rates. Not only will this draw attention to Hive, but it will also enable the optimisation of all marketing language used throughout all web assets and marketing materials.

3. Influencers, Evangelists & A Web 2 Social Airdrop?

Social systems require social marketing strategy and this means leveraging existing social groups outside of Hive. Rather than blindly throwing money at ‘celebrity influencers’ in the hope that they will do a good job of promoting Hive, it is possibly more desirable to motivate all users to promote Hive in a more decentralised way (as mentioned in point #1 - onboarding).

One of the novel marketing strategies advertised by Hive’s new competitor, DeSo, is a system that offers airdrops to existing web 2 users based on the calculated value of their followings on web 2 sites. They repeatedly aim to exploit the hype that can be generated on Web 2 by motivating existing Web 2 users through financial means.

While it remains to be seen if this is effective, they appear to have thought their approach out quite well and (provided that their services are high quality) it is reasonable to expect them to achieve a valuable level of onboarding from Web 2 users as a result. Perhaps some type of Layer 2 token could be employed for this on Hive that doesn't cost much to the network but is seen as valuable - possibly offering more reach on Hive to users with higher scores?

The DeSo airdrop tokens are locked for a number of years to ensure that there is no rapid devaluation of the token. Clearly this is a controversial strategy for growth for existing holders of Hive, but is certainly worth discussing.

At the very least, we need to develop systems that interact more deeply with web 2 networks in order to help every Hive user to promote Hive more effectively.

4. Optimisation of The Rally Car Project

Hive’s @valueplan has already invested significant amounts of resources into the Rally car project. A few options for optimising the benefit/return of this investment include:

  • Gaming: Look at getting skins made for rally racing games, so that Hive appears in rally sims. There is crossover between the two realms and it’s much cheaper to sponsor live streaming gamers. The traffic driven from live streamers is much more trackable too.

  • Communication: Improve the messaging in and outside the car, so that there is a catchy tagline and improved awareness of what Hive is, just by looking at the car. The car should sell, not just present a logo. (Note: This was already agreed with @lordbutterfly in private chat).

  • Promotion: Create articles and press releases to promote the story as an example of Hive making dreams come true. Potentially have promo videos made for the same purpose. Not everyone is interested in rally cars and racing, but we can all appreciate the value of changing people’s lives and bringing them fulfillment.


The possibilities for marketing Hive extend into many directions and identifying which is best will require some experimentation and careful measurement. We cannot know which approaches are most effective without the ability to capture data relating to each one, so there is a need to focus on predominantly online and digital strategies which support tracking by default.

No doubt there are numerous other possible strategies we could employ here, but the ones we have listed are known to be effective, can be tracked and are therefore straightforward to optimise over time. Additionally, they are flexible enough to be able to target a wide variety of demographics and audiences.

Thanks for reading and if you have any questions or comments, please let us know down below!

To our mutual success,
The @strategizer team!

Reminder: The @strategizer DHF proposal for market research funding is still active and as yet is not funded. Please consider reading/voting on it if you like this post.


I mean theres really not much to say in opposition to this.

  1. I have very little faith in our current social media dapps ever actually doing anything at all to standardize onboarding. Everyone seems to be doing their own thing. I proposed an AI tutorial system via Chatgpt, an extremely simple addition to any frontend that will help people navigate frontends. Many other sites use it.
    Theres also the issue of an outdated feel and frontends being too cluttered that I have received in some feedback given to me.
    I do not know how to fix our problem with frontends as theyre lead by people with 0 marketing or business acumen.
    I mean, maybe they could develop a more appealing product and launch a token. That is always something to consider.

  2. I agree here and we do need a new Jerry. Not a certifiably insane one but definitely someone like him in terms of content.
    Im working on that right now, I have a few people lined up and will explore this option in more depth in how it could work.

  3. Deso is lying. Theyve been lying since the creation of Deso. In crypto its preferable to lie about being decentralized than actually being decentralized. Its actually demanded by the market that you lie otherwise CEXes often ignore you.
    I know what you mean but I dont think anyone will approve of such a thing on Hive. The drain on DHF resources would be massive, tracking abuse impossible.
    You could do it only with a new token created from scratch like they did with Focus. ultimately you would need a l2 platform built on Hive. Wouldnt work with established assets like Hive.
    But the problem is that we dont know anyone. We are completely and utterly disconnected from VCs and investors of any kind outside Hive.
    I only know of Splinterlands having connections with some VCs.

We literally have only Crimsonclad to do all this and shes doing a 100 other things. She would only have to be working on developing connections and delving deep into these shitty covert whale and investor groups for months to get something out of it. And only working on that 1 thing.

Because of the nature of Hive there are no businessmen or marketing expert whales that hold a lot of staked Hive tokens. Its mostly developers that accumulated most of the tokens or people not involved in daily workings of Hive.
So we basically have just a handful of unpaid volunteers doing more than they can realistically handle. Overworked and paid nothing.

VCs are poison. We like to praise ourselves with not having any here but the simplest solution and a dirty one would probably be opening contact with a VC group and doing an OTC sale of Hive tokens at a discount covered by the DHF.
Our unpaid, low Hive stake volunteer group balancing real world work against love for Hive and 0 pay will always struggle.

This is great, and all, but in 2017 we drove over a million users off the chain. Merciless opinion flagging was employed without surcease on hundreds of influencers and drove them from the platform. Some very few of them have tried again, and almost all of them have again been met by flags that have successfully censored them here. TLAVagabond sticks it out despite the opinion flags, PressForTruth, RT, and some few others that have sizable audiences outside Hive stick it out here, despite most of them being so suppressed by flags that they receive no author rewards whatsoever. Many, many others, like Jerry Banfield, Pakman, DollarVigilante, that have thousands of millions of followers, and did bring them here once, have quit wasting their time here where their delivery of eyeballs is penalized financially by censors like HW, and the usual suspects - whales that guard their parasitic extraction of the rewards pool.

Hive has a problem that Steem revealed perfectly. It is governed purely by stake, and Sun Yuchen was unethical enough to use the Founder's stake to govern Steem despite the prior reticence of the Founders to use it that way. When Ned sold out, Sun's ethics thereafter applied. It was his stake to do with what he wanted, after all.

Any account can be flagged into the dust to drive authors off the platform. It is ridiculously claimed that silencing people and removing content from Hive in this way isn't censorship by retards that are either incapable of understanding the definition of censorship, or lying, but I reckon most people can understand that definition when they read it. Censorship is any suppression of speech or information, and flagging certainly suppresses speech, which is why it prevents spam, scams, and plagiarism.

By this means the current oligarchy has retained the majority of stake on the platform. In the event the platform gets hot, starts showing rapid growth that will attract investors, that control the oligarchy has is threatened, because all it takes to govern Hive is stake. As long as no one with deeper pockets comes here and buys up accounts and tokens, they will remain the primary recipients of the rewards pool. New investment is capable of dislodging them with facility - with relative lunch money from large stakeholders.

HW continues to flag away at accounts that post good content, all but completely depriving them of author rewards for their content. As long as that continues nothing anyone does to onboard users can keep them from being driven from the platform by flaggots.


Paying someone to come along for the ride because they have a market of 10000 followers doesn't bring 10000 to the platform, it brings one.

We have nearly eight years of experience watching that approach become a flop.

Using the alternative/independent news and information scene as a pristine example: Several had massive followings on the outside and their work here had trouble generating 10 views. People paid them with large votes just for showing up, as they did nothing to encourage their market to support their content here.

For some strange reason nobody told them they could make the equivalent of several "whales" out of tens of thousands of people with smaller votes, all on their own. They would have had eyes on their product combined with a decentralized revenue stream that rewards both the followed and the followers for as long as they wanted it, if they were encouraged to do so, rather than being paid not to.

The only reason anyone has a following is because they place their content in front of consumers. The platforms they use have millions of content consumers readily available. The only way to uproot and move that crowd is to offer them a better deal. A better deal that's been sitting on the table here, for a very long time. A better deal that somehow remains invisible any time we talk about marketing and mass adoption. This drives me nuts. Makes me feel like I'm living inside a simulation and I'm the only one that knows what a consumer is... lol I joke.

It's clear that there has always been a total lack of guidance, support, direction and tools on Steem/Hive that empower established creators to onboard other people and also to be motivated to do so. Typically, the web 2 'influencers' are busy and - regardless of their public image - are often highly motivated by money.

I think that the right combination of education, improved tools/UX and support can change the situation you described, but it has to be a process that includes the full suite of changes - on their own they are not enough. The barriers to entry are baked in to Hive and I see their effects on the majority of people I try to onboard, which was also repeated by Lord Butterfly's experiences with onboarding for his music community.

The independent news and information groups mostly disbanded after the fork due to them perceiving the new whales wanted them gone through persistent downvoting. If they had no alternative sites then they may have stuck around, but they had other options.

Ultimately, social media is about eyeballs and engagement and cultivating that requires a mixture of factors to be present - most of them have been missing on Hive for a long time.

Steemit outperformed Hive sites for traffic afaik, partially because it had a better SEO profile and was therefore more visible to the masses. None of this is likely to improve without structured marketing strategy and implementation. That, in turn, requires experimentation, investment and research.

I mentioned that crowd as an example because there's a large market that failed to attract the large market, for eight years, not four. Still happening today. That content struggles to get views and the creators do nothing to bring viewers, to this day, and it'll be the same tomorrow.

News and information attracts a lot of attention. So does entertainment, like music. 8 years of attracting content creators combined with 0 interest in onboarding consumers is why Vibes is sitting there with a metric shit-ton of content but very little consumption happening locally. Same video goes up on X and look, thousands of views. Why? Because people.

It doesn't cost $10000 worth of research to figure this out and find the problem. I know he's having problems onboarding talent. Consumers outnumber instances of content by a huge margin every time so yes it'll be difficult to onboard tens of thousands of consumers and even more confusing for them if they want to become paying supporters.

Eight years of the same, obvious problem. And here we are still trying to figure this out? Still doing brainstorming sessions that sound like the same ones from years ago?

Pardon me, dude. This is frustrating for me. Partially frustrating because I spent years making getting views and engagement look easy here, so I know what can be accomplished. And if I had the advantage of having a larger market outside I could have done a lot more, quite easily, even under these "difficult" and "confusing" circumstances beyond my control. I'm sure of it.

Still happening today.

They're still being censored here today. You neglected to recall that part, that they were driven away and their users too, by being flagged incessantly.

The point I'm trying to make is there's no interest in attracting consumers. Very simple and straightforward. I used that crowd as example because it was by far the biggest and most obvious flop.

I will agree with your above stated premise. I am simply adding that it isn't because most of us don't want growth, but that there are those that deliberately prevent it.

And I will point out failing to attract and maintain outside interest is an act of deliberate prevention as well. Right now there's a lot of news and information on the site with low views all around, everywhere I look, and no DVs in sight. That should be seen as an opportunity.

I know there have been struggles, all around. From my perspective I'd like to tip the scales in a more favorable position and that would require outside interest and money in the form of support, since that's currently not available but still a requirement. Applies to damn near everything here.

Your perspective from my view sounds like that of a defeatist, or it's a lost cause. I say don't give up. Stop chasing away that potential. You're scaring people... lol I joke.

If my issues here turned into productive solutions and realized potential, even that crowd could be back on track. Didn't use them as example to knock them down. In essence it's a system where we don't have to pay any attention to the things we don't like, yet they still can benefit us all indirectly. Plus utilizing content combined with this fancy support system we have with votes; consumers outnumbering content would only contribute to decentralizing this chain even further. All this is something I can't do myself and I have known that for far too long.

Having tried numerous ways to bring 'consumers' to Hive/Steem from web 2 platforms, it is clear to me that a combination of factors make that way harder than it needs to be. One of them is the unnecessarily complicated onboarding systems that have been used through most of the timeline. Another is that people can easily view content on Hive without creating an account and if they want to comment then they can do that on the web 2 platforms that they already frequent with their peers.

This is why onboarding content creators is key, however, yes - they need to be invested themselves into growing Hive so as to drive new users here, rather than just using it as a secondary content repository. Again, this is why treating the bigger accounts with some respect is key and why nuking their accounts because their supporters didn't come along for the ride is not a good look.

One solution to this problem that has been popular along the way is to completely shift from onboarding content creators towards trying to get people to create businesses on the chain. However what seems more practical to me is to empower content creators to expand their 'brand' and presence in web 3 by supporting their growth instead of stunting it. An obvious way to do this is to create a crypto version of patreon/subscribestar, but to date I haven't seen that done yet

I may be out of place saying this, but I came here from Twitch as a smaller content creator that was extremely disillusioned with the whole ecosystem after becoming an Affiliate. Gaining subscribers and some of the benefits from the program were nice (like some of the Beta collaboration features added not long before I left and some of the third party tooling made possible through the Channel Points system) but, by locking myself into the agreement for that program, I found myself almost restricted by it. When I made the decision to leave both Twitch and it, it was not a smooth transition with quite a bit of backlash from my own community (which have mostly moved on now).

The point I’m making: moving here would not be an easy decision for any serious content creator to make, so I don’t think you necessarily need to appeal to the ones with larger followings, especially when they have sponsorship agreements involved with businesses. One solution could be marketing to the communities of the smaller content creators directly instead. By doing such, you make it less risky to move here from other platforms. How that would be implemented, I’m not fully sure as someone who came here with the intention of mostly starting over. I’ve been enjoying the communities I’ve been actively writing for since around New Years and recently opened and am figuring out how to run my own now to help build appeal for a niche I’m a part of.

I never suggested nuking accounts as a consequence. Quite the opposite. I'm pointing out (or attempting to point out) how attracting paying supporters yields a higher chance of success. I'm aware the content can be viewed without an account but it cannot be supported without an account. I'm suggesting making it easier so it's common for people to reach outside for support like they would on any other platform. So I agree making the onboarding process run smoothly would be wise.

Yes, one could make a clone of Patreon but that doesn't make sense. The content creator could simply use Patreon and the supporter loses out on the benefits of staking and supporting with votes, then watching their support levels grow rather than throwing their money away. This method makes it incredibly affordable whereas the well dries up fairly quickly if someone is attempting to support many content creators using something like patreon or sporadic tips.

This approach can compete with something like Patreon, Twitch Bits and so on giving those methods a run for its money. I've always thought of it as being quite innovative and future friendly especially now since more and more people are paying content creators directly.

And sure one could also scale it up where their community as a whole seeks outside support. Strength in numbers. Not all content creators would succeed at gathering outside support on their own but together they stand a better chance. Those communities could be run like a business, that's for sure. If they don't seek outside support, each new content creator contributing to the community must share existing support with everyone else, making money harder and harder to earn as the community "grows" (it's actually stagnating as it becomes more popular without added support).

We're sitting on a novel concept here. I've always felt that way. Firmly believe after this many years it's time to embrace it.

Scaled up even further, there's enough variety on the platform in general someone simply browsing would want to support without even being asked, especially if they knew becoming a supporter allows them to earn as well. I don't see why these concepts are kept silent.

Hey @stoodkev, what are your thoughts about the open source, community run onboarding tools mentioned here? Is that something you would consider building in to keychain?

Congratulations @strategizer! You have completed the following achievement on the Hive blockchain And have been rewarded with New badge(s)

You got more than 50 replies.
Your next target is to reach 100 replies.

You can view your badges on your board and compare yourself to others in the Ranking
If you no longer want to receive notifications, reply to this comment with the word STOP

Check out our last posts:

Hive Power Up Day - April 1st 2024
Happy Birthday to the Hive Blockchain