Big Growth For LEO Finance & Hive Requires Education & Feeding Imaginations

in LeoFinance2 months ago

What do we need to focus on to rapidly grow Hive and Hive powered sites such as LEO, 3Speak and others? Let's talk about marketing!

For much of my life I hated marketing, I saw it as a purely exploitative industry, that mainly aimed to motivate people to buy things they didn't need at a higher price than they were worth. While this IS still true for a great deal of marketing and products today, I now realise that at the same time there is a genuine need for marketing. Without marketing, busy creators working to create exciting things can't easily be discovered. In a world of over stimulation, it's easy to get lost in the noise - so marketing is ok, but ETHICS are needed!

Ethical Marketing

This is part of why I created an Ethical Digital Marketing Company which specifically focuses on helping develop and promote projects that improve life on Earth in ways that don't exploit anyone. Regular readers will know I have written extensively on the psychology of mind control and how to break free from it - now I'm devising ways to empower people through marketing, as opposed to trap people as my 'competitors' have so often done in the past.

@crucialweb particularly focuses on decentralised systems and helping projects such as Hive is an exciting part of that. Marketing Hive is a challenge, though, since proving a strategy takes budget and defining a clearly amazing strategy is not simple to do without some experimentation that takes time/money. Usually, we would have access to detailed analytics data from website traffic to help us assess our approach, which we do not currently have for Hive - but we can still devise intelligent strategies and make prescient observations.

Successful marketing involves a combination of psychology, communication, maths, science and attention to detail. We must remember that people are not mere objects, they have feelings and will - so while we can predict their behaviour to some extent, we also need to measure their responses and adapt accordingly.

Often, a person's decision making comes down to their assessment of risk/reward - along with a whole host of other factors. What risks do people perceive when first opting to participate in a Hive powered site? What benefits might they perceive? If the risks outweigh the benefits (or if they just don't understand the benefits), then they are unlikely to explore Hive.

Years of working with Steem/Hive/Ureka have shown me that people are often hard to dislodge from their current social networks, even when presented with an opportunity to be paid to post! Sometimes people simply don't know why Hive is of benefit to them and also perceive significant risk in exploring it. Successful marketing communication has to overcome this.

Some Benefits of Hive Powered Sites

  • Fun - I might learn new things and meet new people, having a good time.
  • Get paid - I might earn money for doing what I enjoy and sharing it online.
  • Take control of online life - No more worries about being censored, spied on or exploited by corporate social networks.
  • Be surrounded by creative people - A cutting edge social space, where it's members build it directly, is a far cry from a corporate social network. Creative people enjoy being around other creatives.

Examples of Some Perceived Risks of Hive Powered Sites

  • Scam - Being paid to post must be too good to be true.
  • Time Consuming - Learning to use crypto takes too long.
  • Feelings of Rejection - I might realise I'm not smart/skilled enough to get upvotes.
  • Perceptions of being an outsider - People might think there's something 'strange' about me, since I think I need to use a special social network (maybe I am untrustworthy because Facebook has kicked me out?). haha.

Helping People Feel At Ease

We can see that objections to singing up to Hive are often centred on fear of loss of time, self respect or other concerns which can be addressed by education and non judgemental community support.

We are not just marketing Hive as a concept, but we are also marketing the Hive community as being a group of people that are enjoyable to connect with. The limited size of Hive (At the moment) as compared to the billions of users on Facebook, means that people have less choice when seeking people of like mind - so we can stress quality over quantity (turning a limitation into a benefit in the process).

The quality of the people in the community, combined with honest testimonials, can overcome the fear of being scammed by unscrupulous crypto pushers.

We can also convert the fear of a loss of time, into a benefit. We can demonstrate how the perceived pain of investing time into using Hive is actually buying in to a process of self expression, self reliance and real community. Instead of depending on a faceless corporation, Hive users rely on themselves and each other!

As you can see, we already have a few clear action points - which have never been taken on Steem or Hive (as far as I know) - yet which are obvious from a marketing standpoint. We could certainty take all of this a lot further.

Putting It Into Practice

Full User Experience design for Hive requires all of the pain points to be tackled in a consistent way and then for effective communication of the educational/transformative message to be delivered in key ways.

Websites should have testimonials added in prominent places, advertising messages can make use of people's concerns and turn them around into strong attractors that pique their curiosity and that inspire them to take action and to experiment with Hive.

Responses to any advertising campaigns needs to be carefully measured, with ad performance used as a metric to discern changes in opinion regarding the key factors that relate to the Hive brand. Consistent focus on benefits and the ways in which people's pain can be lessened by using Hive will likely generate positive results if the process is carefully managed.

Hive's Current Marketing

There is so much potential and so much to say when it comes to marketing Hive and Hive powered sites. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that a substantial amount of funding has been allocated by the Hive Proposal System to pay for professional marketing - something many have wanted to see for a long time.

From what I have seen, this process has only just started and so we don't have any data to go by with which to assess the performance of the Ignite Visibility marketing efforts for Hive. Despite Ignite being competitors, in a sense, to my company; I don't exactly seem that in that way because I want to see Hive thrive and am excited to see what Ignite can do. That said, I am not sure whether they have the necessary understanding of the social network and crypto spaces - but my mind is open!

It would be great to see Hive begin to thrive from proper marketing, but regardless of the outcome of the ignite promotion process, I will be carefully watching/learning - ready to use the experience to help Hive in future. Whether we put forward our own marketing proposal for Hive or help individual Hive powered sites (as our clients) to grow, we see a vast sea of potential and are eager to set sail!

If you've got a Hive project that you'd like to promote/grow and are interested in having us help out then drop us a line via the contact form at our website. We'll be happy to help!

Wishing you well,
Ura Soul

Read My User Guide for Hive Here

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I am founder of an ethical Digital Marketing Agency called @crucialweb. We help our clients to grow and innovate online and offer discounts for decentralised projects. Get in touch if you'd like to work with us.
I run a Social network for healing, balancing and evolving too. Meet compassionate co-creators of reality, learn, share & make life better!

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Thank you @ura-soul, this post just lit up my morning! I have been arguing in favor of sound ethics in everything for years now, most especially in marketing. Unfortunately very few in the world actually understand what ethical principles are and where they come from. As you say, education is absolutely critical.

My own academic background is a BA in Philosophy emphasizing ethics, ethical theory and the relationship of ethics to law and government. I joined the Hive ecosystem just a few weeks ago in the hope of promoting exactly what you have done with this post. I'm hoping to establish a community here that will lead to proactive projects which do what you are suggesting across the whole range of human endeavor. All linked together by a much broader common understanding of ethics and their part in the human world.

Looking forward to discovering more of your work and the possibilities I can see here.

Blessed Be.

Ahoy! Welcome to Hive - good to meet you, I'll be happy to help you out. My academic background is in systems and technology but quickly moved on to more human and social topics because... well, we aren't machines!

I definitely want to use Hive in powerful ways that help us all and our planet, so look forward to what we may co-create here. I am following a lot of people on here so I tend not to have time to read through many posts in my feed - but by all means stay in touch via commenting and if you create a community then let me know. :)

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Quick: How many clicks does it take to join Hive?

I'd like to see us remove or reduce the friction points and provide for a smoother experience for new people.

On Twitter for instance, I see many mentions of Hive, but rarely see a "join here" link. I'd also like to see a revamp of the singup process. A one-click button, just like Amazon. Also friendlier text. Right now it says "Signup"" I'd replace that with "Join Hive"

Treat it more like a family or a club. We're not signing up for cable.

Once in at: replace "signup for Hive" with "Join Hive" Some people don't like signing up for things as it infers an obligation or a payment. But they are more open to "joining" something like a club or association.

Next up we see the words "Registration Providers" another unfriendly phrase.

Sounds like an insurance company. Words matter.

The potential member is then hit with a dizzying array of NINE different ways to "register" again, friction. None of them has any explanation as to what they are. Written by geeks for geeks. Not at all welcoming to someone new. I'd scrap all of that and replace it with one big red button labeled "join."

I could go on, but you get the idea. Apple is particularly good at boiling multiple steps down to only what is needed. They realize that time is money and create an expierence that gets out of your way and just works. I'd like to see the same thing on Hive.

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Yes, simplicity is key in onboarding - with alternative options remaining available, but without introduction of friction. This recent video shows how changes to LeoFinance address this exact issue:

I think the process can be further refined, but it's a start.

Onboarding for Hive is more complex than usual, partially because of the issue of resource credits and partially due to the need to hold HP to interact with the network. This is what caused the idea of gamification to be presented as a solution - whereby new users could get free accounts and then earn their way to a full account. Still quite complicated, but can be made simple if worded and presented correctly.

Ultimately, there needs to be clear communication on all levels - we don't even have a tutorial built into the front ends on any hive sites I've seen. The familiar tooltip type popup boxes that point out areas of the site and educate new users can go a long way. People do make decent videos from time to time but they lack marketing budget to promote them... The decentralisation is both a benefit and a challenge at times. I'm sure if the community truly worked together we'd accelerate dramatically.

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With people such as yourself that "get it" I'm sure we will tackle this in time. I don't want to completely remove the numerous choices, just don't hit them with it right at the very beginning, thus scaring people away. Ease them in with a one-click join button and then gently introduce them to other options and slowly seep them into the complex parts.

When I was new to the net, like many others I joined (notice that word?) AOL. They had little animations that would show you exactly what to insert and click on. I had an issue once and it offered "Would you like AOL to help you with that?" I clicked yes and it went and did everything for me like magic. It was awesome and I stayed with them for a long time. I have every confidence that we can and will reduce friction for new people.

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Interesting thoughts and I also definitely believe that the 1st marketing campaign approved by the HFProposals is a big step forward.

Going to check your website right now.

Where would you advertise Hive or Hive related projects to bring more users ?

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Great ok. Any advertising campaign is limited by it's budget and shaped by it's objectives (plus adjusted in response to it's performance). E.g. If the budget is huge then things can be carefully designed to go mainstream with the right people fronting the message to the right audiences, in the right way. However, if we are talking a more modest budget with more expected objectives, then I would start by talking to the specialist decentralised ad companies and related platforms, since these are likely to offer good deals and relevant audiences. There are a variety of other less well known options that are not so cyrpto related - but knowing which ones will work best for any particular project is something that has to be calculated through experimentation.

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When the marketing is done by the people using it will be the best marketing I guess. I have asked a lot of my friends but again, either they are too lazy to post anything or as you said they think it as a scam.

Most of the eople are not aware of what blockchain is capable of and I guess that is one of the reasons I can thi k of. Again as you said with right education and with some personal marketing we can achieve this together.

I was quite surprised during the peak price of Steem that very few people that I knew were motivated to participate - even the more aware and 'rebelious' ones. Yes, connecting the right dots and putting out the right message/eduation is absolutely key.

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I hope that marketing approach isn't just like, for lack of a better term, generic brand influencers, smiling and saying happy things about money...

Ugh. Why do I even post comments like this...

Well, yeah, I hope that the expensive marketing company doesn't just hire Jerry - it's an understandable fear, given the group trauma we share in our past. lol
In terms of converting 'leads' into new users.. All new users have some benefit as they can all in turn bring on board other users - but clearly there are some who are more valuable to the network than others. Highly targeted marketing needs to define the brand identity and who it's target audience is - then devise strategy based on maths and research. I have no idea if Ignite are taking this more holistic approach or not. We shall see.

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Yeah, see, that's funny you mention it. I said generic brand Jerry's first, then changed it to something a little more politically correct...

We shall see. The waiting game is kind of awkward.

And yes, targeted marketing. I'm familiar. It's like when I mention or suggest we should attempt to attract consumers who'd be interested in staking just to come and entertain themselves, plus earn on the side, for having fun. Then I'm met with, "Investors don't want to do that though."

It's like, yeah, I'm not talking about investors. I'm talking about that market blah blah blah, and it gets so annoying.

Investors don't generally want to invest in an inflationary token either, so imo there needs to be a deeper awareness that Hive's value is in SOCIAL activities. If investors see others coming in and staking for the coin's utility value, then they can see potential for growth in it's use. Hive is quite a complicated concept and it's way too common for people to just consider a piece of it or a particular perspective of investment/business and to then make the mistake of thinking that their view is all there is.

Even trying to judge all people with money to invest as being the same is clearly a limiting approach.

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Yeah. Pitch an idea in a decentralized world and it's met with a centralized mindset. Consumers, who do spend a lot of money supporting content online and often get ripped off, could easily become investors here, even though their role is not 'investor'. But if 'investors' see consumers pouring disposable income into a product, then yes, there's their reason to invest.

The on boarding process and learning how everything works is a bit complicated but then again in a way it should be to those new coming in as Hive is truly a unique platform and blockchain. I have to say if it wasn't for a friend of mine that helped me figure it all out I most likely wouldn't be here today.

I feel like Hive onboarding is going to require a lot of hand holding and word of month in order to continue to grow. There are some great projects being built around Hive though that I feel will help reduce friction of on boarding and make earning rewards easier and then guide them into Hive itself as a blogging platform.

I can totally understand the part about feeling like an outsider to Hive when you first arrive. It can be difficult to get known and I'm sure within communities little subset communities have been born over the years in terms of voting and commenting. With saying that though I've meet a lot of great new people already from Hive and felt welcomed and I think that's in part of having other "tribes" to write on where people with related interest can talk about content.

I feel the need of a basic newbie guid3 to be pinned at every community top. So anynewcomer will find it easy to know the basic and not have to look up where to start.

At the same time, I feel it is too much to ask from a newbie to write long high quality posts. They should be given very small incentive or support on their initial posts. It will encourage them to be more active and more engaging with community in their next posts and blogs. Seeing zero on their starting posts is very discouraging and they feel only big users get support here. This leads them to leave the system and we can never get increase in engagement at larger scale.

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