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Learn all you need to know about Blockchain PR by reading this definitive guide.
In this article, I take the experience I have gained over the last four years of dealing with digital and blockchain marketing, working with more than 50 crypto clients from all over the world, and put it all into one, summarised, easy to understand guide.
What is Blockchain PR?
Blockchain PR is a digital marketing strategy that makes use of the decentralized nature of the blockchain to build trust and credibility for a company or project within the crypto community.
It is a relatively new and emerging field, so there is a lot of confusion around what it is and how it works.
To better understand what Blockchain PR (Blockchain Public Relations) is, we need to discuss how it is different from other PR methods.
PR is something you see everywhere. You’ve probably seen it so much that at one point, you stopped paying attention to it.
For those of you who don’t know, It’s common to split PR into two categories: Traditional PR and Digital PR.
Traditional PR: Focuses mostly on traditional channels (brilliant answer, right?). Traditional channels can be TV, Radio, etc.
Digital PR: With the rise of giant tech companies like Google and Facebook, digital became the most common marketing channel for PR companies.
Digital PR focuses on different forms of social media, blogs, online news sites, influencer marketing, and more.
With the ICO boom in 2017, a new kind of PR has been involved in the crypto market: Blockchain PR. ICOs, Crypto scams, and negative news about the crypto industry made it difficult for legit projects to run PR campaigns since the perception of crypto was extremely negative.
Running a public relations campaign in the blockchain space is an art form. You need to build brand awareness, and trust around a blockchain project using creative methods and strategies.
PR in the crypto space is challenging because blockchain startups can’t run PPC campaigns on many social networks, making their pricing higher than digital PR for non crypto companies [Update 2022: Facebook retreats from crypto ad ban].
All of these factors made crypto projects’ life difficult, and blockchain PR provided a solution.
Disclaimer: This article was written during the ban of giant tech companies on crypto ads. Since Facebook changes its mind about crypto ads kinda often, I will keep relevant information about it in the article.
Why Your Blockchain PR campaign isn’t working:
You’ve tried everything. You’ve read all the guides, you’ve hired the best PR agency, and you’re still not getting results. Why?
There are a few reasons why your crypto PR campaign might not be working:
1. You’re targeting the wrong audience:
When it comes to targeting, blockchain projects make the same mistake over and over. They try to reach everyone instead of a specific group of people that is more likely to be interested in their product or service. If for example, you hired a crypto pr agency to launch a campaign for your GameFi project, you should focus on gaming and developers’ news sites as well to reach your target audience.
2. You’re not being creative enough:
People are tired of reading about how blockchain technology is taking over the world. Make sure your marketing firm knows how to give a creative twist in your PR campaign to maximize the media coverage you can potentially get.
3. You’re not being transparent:
The crypto community is a savvy one. Your PR campaign will fail if you are not transparent about your project and the people behind it. You can enhance transparency by creating a Crunchbase page that lists all your founders (CEO, CTO, CMO etc), and a Linkedin profile where people can see your entire team.
4. You’re not building relationships:
In any PR campaign, one of the most important things you need to focus on is building relationships with journalists, bloggers, and influencers. If you don’t have a good relationship with them, they are not going to write about your project.
5. Become a Thought Leader:
The most successful PR campaigns have a thought leader. This person is responsible for developing the overall strategy and messaging for the campaign, and they are the one who writes the opinion articles for several sites. If you don’t have a thought leader, your PR campaign will suffer. Usually, it’s recommended that your CEO or CTO should be the thought leader for your project.
How much does Blockchain PR Cost?
“Love is like money… hard to find, easy to lose.” — Ally Mbululo
One of the first questions I get from our blockchain clients is: How much does Blockchain Public Relations cost?
The answer: It depends.
You will probably find this answer annoying, but it does depend on many factors.
Assuming you have $6,000/month to spend on your blockchain PR campaign (keep in mind, the amounts are usually at least x10 more than the amount I mentioned). Let’s run two scenarios:
- We will launch your PR only on large news sites.
- We will launch your PR on medium-size news sites.
Scenario 1: Launching your Blockchain PR on large publications:
When it comes to PR, everyone wants to get mentioned in large, credible sites.
If your target audience sees you on CoinTelegraph or Forbes, you gain credibility, and your message becomes more trustworthy.
Assuming you have $5000 per month for your blockchain PR campaign.
One PR article on CoinTelegraph costs around $3000. On Forbes, many freelancers sell backlinks/mentions for around $1700
The problem with those backlinks is that they are likely to get removed by the editors, and many times they are done in an unprofessional manner.
So we launched an article on two large crypto news sites, paying almost $5000. Adding your writer costs, and we have reached our monthly budget.
- Add the publication logo to your site.
- High-quality backlink.
- Improve your branding and authority.
- More likely to get media coverage than an article in a small-medium publication.
- High costs.
- In many cases, you can’t add a link to the article in a mention (some sites don’t allow hyperlinks).
- Those sites’ glory slowly fades with the years as people understand that a lot of the content is biased.
Scenario 2: Launching your PR on medium-size publications:
There are dozens of medium size news sites that are suitable for your creative blockchain PR campaign. They might not have millions of views like Forbes, but the target audience is extremely relevant for your IEO/ICO/STO.
Launching your article on a medium-size publication can cost you, on average, from 300-700 dollars, depending on the site’s popularity.
Unlike Forbes & other large sites that generate dozens of articles per day on an array of different subjects, medium-size publications usually release only a few articles per day, giving each article more time in the “spotlight.”
- Low costs.
- Launching articles in a few medium-size publications with authority in the industry can help your branding.
- The right target audience. Unlike large publications like Forbes, where many people there are not coming to the site to read about crypto, In Medium size publications, most of the visitors DO care about crypto.
But like everything in life, you need to find the balance:
The best results can be achieved by launching a PR campaign that includes large crypto news sites and medium ones as well.
So why are so many companies who launch blockchain public relations campaigns (including large and medium publications) not achieving their goals? That’s precisely what we are going to discuss in the next chapter.
Blockchain PR Challenges
You’ve launched your PR campaign for your IDO on large and medium publications, you’ve spent thousands of dollars per month, and yet, you still feel like you’re in the same spot.
You’re not alone. In 2017, when I worked with many different crypto projects, the ICO marketing campaigns were shorter.
We could launch a PR campaign for 3–4 months, and because of the hype around cryptocurrencies and ICOs, projects could run relatively fast fundraising and reach their hard-cap.
The Times They Are a-Changin’ — Bob Dylan
But in 2018, the ICO bubble burst, and the crypto community became wiser.
Few companies who betrayed their investors put a red mark all over the blockchain industry.
Google, Facebook, and other social networks decided to ban ads related to cryptocurrencies and ICOs.
All of the above made it extremely difficult to run a blockchain marketing campaign.
But when one door closes, another opens. The ban pushed blockchain companies to focus more on crypto communities. Bitcointalk, Reddit, and Steemit came to the rescue.
By submitting your PR article to Reddit, Bitcointalk, Steemit, and more crypto communities, you could significantly increase each article’s reach.
Sounds great, right?
Well, most companies failed to push their content to these communities, making it even more challenging to run the blockchain PR campaign.
In short, the people in those communities are smart.
They can sense when a company is trying to sell them something. When they sense something is wrong, they warn the community to gain respect.
This respect-based economy can be a great thing, as a great project can earn the community’s support and gain enormous buzz around its brand.
Companies that fail to define their target are not delivering the right message.
Most of the crypto traders and investors are males between the age of 25–34. We are talking about millennials with a passion for tech and innovation.
Pro Tip: community members can sense promoted content. You need to stop thinking like you’re running a promotion and start feeling like you’re part of the target crypto community for your campaign.
The importance of SEO for your crypto public relations campaign:
Most Blockchain companies don’t pay attention to SEO because they only have a short time to create a large amount of buzz (ICOs/STOs/IEOs).
Imagine this: Your PR article is on fire (in a good way). It’s getting hundreds of views and driving traffic into your site.
But the day after, it’s all gone.
Give a Man a 100$ for PPC campaign, and You Feed Him for a Day. Teach a Man To SEO, and You Feed Him for a Lifetime.
Running blockchain PR keeping SEO in mind will help you step up your game, direct traffic to your site over time, and improve your branding.
What is SEO?
According to Moz:
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.
My advice to you is simple: Focus on SEO from day one. Whenever it’s in a blog or PR article, try to ask yourself these questions: Will this content get ranked?
If the answer is YES, for which search terms?
If the answer is NO, what can you do to make it rank?
What do I want to achieve from this content? SEO is not only about traffic. It’s about presence. Being there when your target audience is looking for an answer and gaining authority within your niche. When you work on a new piece of content, think about what you want to get from it.
GuerrillaBuzz, for example, is a creative PR and Web3 marketing agency.
Still, you will be able to find us ranked 1st on Google for many different search terms that are less related to our capabilities.
How to strategize SEO?
How to launch an STO brought us thousand of views and many leads over the last year.
We are not providing that kind of service, but we have partners who do.
But that’s not the point here.
The point is that we write a lot of quality content that’s relevant to our target audience. In this case, we might not have STO launch services, but companies who look for these kinds of facilities will also need a blockchain marketing campaign.
These companies are more likely to remember our brand because we bring free value to our potential customers all the time.
It’s never too late to begin with SEO strategy:
Let’s say your company has been up and running for a while but has ignored SEO. Don’t worry; it’s not too late. I’ll break it down.
Start by understanding where your company stands in regards to SEO. What keywords do you rank for? How many backlinks does your site have? Are they good quality? Do they come from relevant, reliable sources?
How to Launch an SEO Blockchain PR Campaign
After conducting keyword research and better understanding your current situation, you should also know the keyword for which you want your site to rank. You can also find out if any keywords have already ranked and want to improve their position.
When it comes to the Blockchain PR campaign, if your company is already being featured on a high authority site, make sure every time you get featured counts. Ask the journalist to create a backlink for potential keywords.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with backlinks and the importance of backlinks to your domain, here’s a short explanation by Moz.
Tips for SEO oriented crypto public relations campaign:
Imagine you have hired a content marketing writer, given them an idea of what you want the article to be about, and what to say about your company.
You have spent time and energy doing all those things.
Then the article gets published, and the only ones who share it are part of your team.
This is the reality of 99% of the companies who create their own content.
Buzzsumo found that the median shares of articles have fallen from 8 in 2015 to just 4 in 2017.
In 2019, Dean and BuzzSumo reviewed 912 million blog posts and discovered that:
“Long-form content gets an average of 77.2% more links than short articles. Therefore, long-form content appears to be ideal for backlink acquisition.”
Throughout the years at GuerrillaBuzz, we have written and promoted thousands of articles, and I believe this helped us understand which content marketing strategies work and which don’t.
Many factors will determine if your content will get shared and if it will achieve the purpose for which it was made.
We want to make it clear that if you’re looking for guaranteed results, and you don’t have an understanding of how to create an SEO strategy, write great content (SEO-oriented content), and promote it, then you might not gain the results you want. Great content requires time and effort, and it takes many months for SEO to show any impact. So be patient, and you’ll see positive impact in the long run.
Giving real value to the readers:
Don’t just write an article because it’s on your checklist. Think about what to write and how your target audience will benefit from reading it. Blockchain Public Relations agencies often overlook the quality side of content – don’t be like them!
Don’t try to sell:
Have you ever walked into a Nike store, and the person who worked there pitched to you why Nike is the best company in the whole world? Did that make you want to buy their products?
The answer is absolutely NOT.
But when new clients approach us and I check the PR they have launched previously, I’m surprised to see how companies don’t understand this concept.
When you read an article, you don’t want anyone to sell you anything. Instead, it is your opportunity to shine. The reader is already inside an article written by you (or for you), and by giving them valuable information, you can gain the readers’ trust.
Longer content usually gets more shares and backlinks. But it depends on the context.
A 10,000-word article on a news site that usually writes about scoops (short pieces in its nature) won’t belong to that domain. In your blog, an in-depth article with the right focus keywords is more likely to get shares/backlinks than a short one.
The modern world has brought ADHD to most of us. People rarely read the whole paragraph and look for essential parts of the article.
This behavior has made readers cynical towards long paragraph articles without images and links.
One of your crypto PR agency campaign goals is to keep the readers in the article for as long as possible.
By writing an article with short-medium paragraphs, choosing the right images, and even inserting some emotions into the article, you will increase your readers’ chance to do what they do the worst: keep reading!
Your potential customers sees many different articles and ads every day. The average person is exposed to around 5,000 ads per day.
That’s a lot. In a world where everyone wants to sell you something, your title should catch the eye of your target audience without making it clickbait.
The problem with clickbait titles is basically everything. You lie to your readers so that they will enter the article. After they do, in most cases, the content doesn’t justify the title’s excitement, and then users leave.
When it comes to the title, you want to make sure that it’s attractive but realistic. It can bring valuable information but don’t reveal everything to ensure the user wants to read more.
Blockchain PR KPIs
When it comes to PR, the word ‘KPI’ is always mentioned in any conversation with a new client. According to Wikipedia:
Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is a type of performance measurement. KPIs evaluate the success of an organization or of a particular activity (such as projects, programs, products, and other initiatives) in which it engages.
In a PPC campaign, everything is measurable. Google, Facebook, and other similar sites created such a great platform that as a company owner, you can know that when you invest x amount of dollars into an ad campaign, you can get 1.5x in return.
In a PR campaign, this is not the case.
When you launch an article on Forbes that costs you $10,000, how can you know the impact of this article?
If the article brought you only 50 views, is that the only KPI?
What about brand awareness and the authority that your company gains from being featured on Forbes?
It’s much more difficult to measure those things, which makes the KPIs in a PR campaign somewhat a grey area. When it comes to crypto PR, things are getting even more complicated!
There are time pressures and dozens of social media channels you need to focus on. In many of those channels, understanding the KPIs is hard. Consider adding social media management to your job requirements when hiring a marketing manager for your team.
Blockchain Public Relations Case Studies
Take Reddit, for instance. Let’s look now at /r/cryptocurrency front page.
The 2nd top post this week is a PR article from CoinTelegraph.
The post received more than 1200 upvotes and almost 150 comments.
But what’s the impact of this post?
For some reason, it shows only two engagements on Reddit. In reality, this article received more than 1200 individual upvotes on Reddit. When a post goes viral on Reddit, it brings about a positive effect. Consequently, the article received dozens of backlinks, tweets, and shares.
Now let’s compare it to another blockchain PR article about the same announcement that wasn’t distributed on Reddit.
As you can see here, the buzz this article generated is nothing compared to the one that went viral on Reddit. When running a blockchain PR campaign, it’s crucial to maximize your reach and distribute the content on different social media.
Is Hiring a Blockchain Public Relations Firm Worth it?
Hiring a PR firm gives you access dozens of crypto related marketing services. While a traditional PR firm may only have experience in regular channels, a blockchain marketing & PR firm will actively cultivate your image within the crypto community.
You’ll be able to solidify your brand image, reach new customers, and cultivate an active community that supports and invests in your Play2earn, GameFi, IDO, DeFi, IEO, STO or ICO projects.
Blockchain PR FAQ
Let’s take a look at some of the most common questions about blockchain PR.
How Do I Choose a Crypto PR agency?
The best crypto public relations agency for you will have the following three things.
First of all, they’ll have a detailed knowledge of the crypto community space. They should be able to work within channels that specifically accommodate to the blockchain community. On an opening call with them, be sure to discuss exactly what their strategy is, asking about the various channels they primary target. You can ask about their media pitches workflow , media outlets there are working with and example of top blockchain companies they gave marketing service to.
Secondly, they’ll have detailed coverage reports that showcase their returns on previous campaigns. If they don’t have case studies that show their effectiveness, then they have no way of proving they can have the impact they say they do. Look for quantifiable data, cold hard facts that prove their efficiency.
Finally, you want to make sure that they align with your PR style and company goals. If you’re not comfortable with the type of press releases coverage they’re putting out, it may upset your long-term company goals. Similarly, considering that a campaign can run for several months or more at a time, you want to make sure you get on well with your public relations service provider.
How Do I Get The Most Out of My Crypto Public Relations Campaign?
If you’re looking to get the most out of your public relations, you should do these following things:
- Set realistic goals – Goals allow you to work towards something. When they’re quantifiable goals over time, like improve ROI by X% over 2 months, you’ll be able to see if you’re hitting your goals, and change your approach if you’re not.
- Measure your progress – Without measuring progress, you won’t know how well your campaign is doing. Tracking your metrics and changing things if need be are one of the keys to success.
- Make sure your blockchain PR agency knows what it’s doing – A more detailed explanation of this comes in the question above. However, just make sure that the marketing agency you choose has a solid history of impressive results.
Is Launching a Crypto PR Campaign Worth It?
A crypto PR campaign can create new leads, generate a buzz around your product, and keep investors (old and new) engaged in your project. If you’re looking for a sure-fire way to boost the success of your crypto launch, then investing in a crypto PR campaign will always be worth it.
Working with a reputable blockchain PR firm with a history of success will put your mind at ease as you’ll know there are results in your future.
What Can Good PR Do?
The benefits of great blockchain public relations really are endless. By engaging and promoting a campaign, you can expect to see:
- An increase in brand authority and brand authenticity
- Attracting new investors from your target marketing
- A boost in funding and exposure within the crypto community
- An increase in traffic to your IDO project
If you want to know even more about blockchain PR, why not get in contact with the GuerrillaBuzz team. We’ll be able to offer you a free consultation and answer any questions you may have.
These are only a few of the core benefits. When it rains, it pours. And when public relations campaign is good, it’s really good.
Paid Press Releases vs. Organic PR:
On most news sites, you can pay for press releases to appear on the site. Paid articles are easily recognizable since they are usually marked as ‘Paid’, ‘Advertisement’, etc. One of the reasons blockchain companies hire marketing and PR agencies is that those firms already have media relations. By pitching crypto journalists and news sites on your behalf, they can get organic PR considered to be of higher quality (specifically among the blockchain community).
If you plan on building your own blockchain company or aim to launch a PR campaign for your existing company, you may face different unexpected challenges. This guide gives you a great understanding of how PR works in the blockchain world, but at the end of the day, your ability to face those challenges and improvise along the way is the key to a great campaign.
Now, you’ve learned the basics of blockchain PR — from the challenges you might face to the KPIs that help you measure your campaign’s success. It’s important to remember that each campaign’s core idea is understanding your potential customers and giving them real value.
If you liked this article, feel free to share it with your colleagues and friends. If you want professional advice and help with your PR campaign, feel free to reach out to us.