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!
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,
Read My User Guide for Hive Here
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