The lives of marketers were beautiful until blockchain PR came.
From running a marketing campaign without intense time pressure and insane competition, to releasing a few PR articles on a daily basis, focusing on dozens of different social media platforms and communities. All of this while looking for ways to overcome the lack of confidence people have in blockchain projects.
In this article, I will tell you the untold story of how traditional PR shifted to online marketing and how the blockchain industry required its own unique strategy.
Over the last three years, I have worked with dozens of blockchain companies helping them to raise millions of dollars and successfully complete their ICO/IEO/STO.
Traditional PR was used before the internet era. A few examples of traditional PR would be: word of mouth, telemarketers, radio, television ads, posters, banners, etc…
Nowadays, traditional marketing refers to any type of promotion that has a proven success rate.
Even with traditional PR seeing a decline in the last few years, it’s still a great way for companies to reach their local audience, whilst allowing larger businesses to expand their brand.
The internet opened new ways for PR agencies to promote their clients on a scale they couldn’t imagine before.
Companies could display ads at the houses of the clients, inside their computers.
Sites like Google and Facebook built great platforms for marketers to promote their clients and run measurable ad campaigns.
For the first time in history, a business could know that there’s a high chance of receiving a $1.2 return, on a $1 investment.
In the traditional PR world, nothing is guaranteed.
You could pay $100k for a commercial on TV that will get you no sales, and another commercial could generate $300k in returns.
The uncertainty and the high costs of traditional PR made many businesses avoid the risks and high costs that are involved. That’s why digital PR became so popular. Many businesses who would never imagine of investing in traditional PR, suddenly started running ads campaigns on Google and Facebook.
With the rise of cryptocurrencies, many new projects joined the blockchain ecosystem. The way ICOs fundraising was designed was that each project had a limited amount of time to raise funds.
The high competition, time pressures and the ban by social media helped to shape a new PR approach: Blockchain PR.
When I first got into blockchain I immediately noticed how digital PR is not 100% suitable for this industry.
It felt like a combination of traditional and digital PR.
Companies try to target many different social media platforms, but because of insane time pressure, they couldn’t measure the impact of their campaigns.
Blockchain companies have spent enormous amounts on marketing with the sole purpose of creating a lot of buzz in the crypto community and with the hope that it will drive investors into their ICO/IEO/STO.
Companies were producing poor content that gave no value to the readers. The majority of the companies didn’t reach their fundraising target. After many ICOs fooled their investors and disappeared with the money the ICO bubble burst.
Those actions destroyed the confidence of investors in blockchain projects.
That’s when I saw an opportunity.
I began working on developing unique ways to run effective blockchain PR campaigns and came up with a few conclusions:
Down To Earth:
In Blockchain PR, projects need to stop talking about how great they are and how they will change the world.
Instead, they should be honest with their community and investors, share with them the progress and even difficulties of the project.
One of the advantages of the blockchain world is the number of active communities with crypto enthusiasts.
On Steemit, Reddit, and BitcoinTalk companies can find thousands of potential investors and people who might care about their company.
The goal is to know how to push content Blockchain PR articles in those communities in a way which wouldn’t be considered spam, whilst giving value to the community members.
Many blockchain companies fail because of a lack of understanding when it comes to SEO.
When a company spends high amounts on PR they should think about three things:
- Does this content have a chance to be ranked? If so, in which search term?
- Does this content help my company to grow its brand?
- Does the content give value to the readers? If so, are they likely to share it?
Keep In Mind That
Marketing is expensive and your budget is not endless.
When you involve SEO strategy in your blockchain PR, you increase the chance that your content will drive traffic to your site weeks/months after the article was published.
Ford Test Driving Blockchain for Energy-Efficient Vehicles
Ford is giving a little more road to a blockchain pilot program aimed at improving fuel efficiency.
On Tuesday, the auto-giant said it will use blockchain to monitor and automatically implement fuel efficient driving modes for a fleet of vehicles in Cologne, Germany. This is part of a wider pilot program also happening in London and Valencia, Spain.
In collaboration with the City of Cologne, Ford outfitted 10 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles with cellular modems that enable geofencing. As the vehicles enter low-emission zones, they will automatically switch to electric-drive.
The metadata, such as when the vehicle enters or exits a zone as well as the miles driven, will be recorded to a blockchain.
The pilot addresses the issues municipal authorities face in administering and implementing low-emissions zones by transmitting data to officials in real-time.
“Security, trust and transparency of emissions data are of paramount importance to all stakeholders in this project, and are key for our vision of cleaner air in the city,” said Gunnar Herrmann, chairman of the management board, Ford-Werke GmbH.
The pilot is part of SmartCity Cologne, a collaborative program to promote climate protection and energy transition.
On Monday, CoinDesk reported that 5 major automakers including BMW, Honda and Ford are working with the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI) to implement automatic payments for tolls, parking meters and similar vehicular payments.
Italian Banking Association Uses Blockchain to Test Data Reconciliation Successfully
The banks from the Italian Banking Association (ABI) have processed a reconciliation of data from an entire activity of the year using the blockchain technology. According to the group’s press release, the tests were successful and proved that the technology could be very useful to local banks.
During this first test, the group processed around 200 million data entries using the blockchain system, which is called Spunta Project. The success is proof that the platform can be used to verify the data quickly.
At the moment, the project has eighteen Italian banks participating and 35 nodes that process the transactions and operations. This means that 78% of the banks present in the country are a part of this project.
According to the reports, the system will be officially implemented on March 1, 2020. Most of the necessary tests were already made, so the technology is ready to be more widely used by the banks which are a part of the national association.
The Spunta Project is officially led by ABI Lab, a research team created by the ABI. It also has the participation of NTT Data, Sia network and the R3 network with its Corda technology.
This is far from the only case in which banks are using the blockchain to achieve better results when processing data. In fact, blockchain technology is impacting the banking sector more than almost any other sector and specialists believe that it will be responsible for huge changes in the upcoming years.
Swedish central bank now looking into plausibility of issuing ‘e-krona’ CBDC
According to the Head of the Swedish central bank, Facebook‘s Libra project has given incentive to central banks across the world to review and investigate the development of new financial technologies. Stefan Ingves, Governor of Sveriges Riksbank, told CNBC,
“It has been an incredibly important catalytic event to sort of shake the tree when Libra showed up out of the blue, and that forced us to think hard about what we do. Part of my job is to produce a good/service called the Swedish krona which is convenient to use for Swedish citizens, and if I’m good at that in a technical sense then I don’t have a problem. But if I were to start issuing 20-kilo copper coins the way we did in 1668, then we soon would be out of business.”
As the use of cash continues to fall in Sweden, the Swedish central bank has been looking into the possibility of issuing its own digital currency. Several local business in the country no longer accept physical currency, with some even putting up signs to warn customers before they enter the store. As of now, Sveriges Riksbank is looking to investigate the plausibility of an ‘e-krona’ digital currency, which it says could be introduced if it decides to do so. However, it isn’t the only central bank looking into this.
China has already announced that it is close to launching its own digital currency while just last week, the Swiss National Bank declared that it was looking into the use of digital currencies in trading.
With Libra having lost backing from more than a few companies recently, Ingves warned that Facebook would be faced with challenges as it moves forward with the project. He said,
“In this day and age we have to twist things in our heads and do things based on the assumption that nothing is on paper, and then when we talk about money everything is going to be digital in one form or the other. But the old issues — private sector money or public sector money — they are basically identical, and if history gives us any guidance at all then almost all private sector initiatives have collapsed sooner or later.”
Just yesterday, The Libra Association announced the appointment of members to the Board of Directors, with the Board including David Marcus, former PayPal executive and Head of Facebook’s blockchain strategy. Currently, the group has 21 members, 7 fewer than its original 28 after Mastercard, PayPal, Visa and four more members backed out.