by Yuval Halevi

Over the last few months there been a significant shift towards DeFi. If you’re one of those who already been in the crypto market for a few years you probably notice similarities to the ICO boom.

DeFi project can get disproportionate returns which attract many investors that are looking for quick gains.

Want to know how fast the DeFi market is growing? We can simplify verify it by checking defipulse traffic:

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DeFi PR – Everything You Need to Know

DeFi PR has taken the world by storm in recent months. Investors that are consistently looking for quick gains use DeFi projects to obtain disproportionate returns.

There has been an incredible increase in the DeFi market value growth in the last year. You can see this in the below graph.

What is the total value locked in DeFi?

The market continues to grow at an astonishing rate. The defipulse traffic for the past few months illustrates this further.

Traffic over time to DeFi projects.

With all this buzz, it’s no wonder many new projects are getting in DeFi and looking for PR solutions.

With more than three years of experience working with 50+ blockchain companies, I’ve decided to write and share with you all you need to know about DeFi PR.

This guide is for both companies and investors.

It will teach DeFi companies how to launch a PR campaign. I will also show investors how to detect high quality and transparent companies who run a great PR campaign.

What is DeFi (Decentralized Finance)?

DeFi is short for “decentralized finance”, which is a combination of traditional banking services with Blockchain technology. Specifically, they are financial services providers that make use of smart contracts so that financial agreements can be enacted without the use of lawyers, banks, and regulators.

The craze of DeFi has taken the public by storm for a number of reasons, mainly due to the provision of anonymity and fairness in financial services. For example, with traditional lending, the law states that lenders and lendees must know each other’s identities and credit checks ascertain loan affordability. This isn’t the case with DeFi, things are run on mutual trust between parties.

Furthermore, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, interest rates are being reduced, or are even becoming negative. This cans severely impact the investment potential of someone’s savings, DeFi is aiming to solve this problem by offering these savers bigger returns on their money.

Over the last few years, the blockchain market has shifted in many different directions. From ICO and STO to IEO and now DeFi, each project and fundraising method had its own unique PR and marketing strategy.

What is DeFi PR (Decentralized Finance Public Relations)?

DeFi PR is the practice of building credibility among the crypto community and spreading trustworthy information between the public and potential investors, making them understand the ideas behind the project and investing in it.

In my experience, one of the best ways to introduce your DeFi project is to write articles and guest posts that highlight the problem that your project is seeking to solve and how your project can solve these problems.

It is best to make sure that you stick to the facts in these posts and try to avoid sounding too promotional as this can turn investors and users away from your project.

Additionally, it is important to create and interact with a community as these are the people that will be spreading the word about your project. Word of mouth marketing is still a powerful tool even in this day and age.

Some examples of places where you can build a community are social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. Wherever you advertise, be sure to share informative, yet exciting updates that get people hyped for your project.

Another potential avenue to draw great repute and trustworthiness to your project is to get mentioned by DeFi influencers, YouTubers, and well-known people within the market segment. This strategy can highlight the great things about your product and why people should invest in it. Many of these people are also available on Telegram.

Another step that you will eventually need to take is to get your project listed on a DeFi Project Exchange, such as Uniswap. Your native token will see a lot more demand when you are seen on well-known and reputable exchanges. To build trust and avoid the reputation of rug-pull scams, it may be worth using a liquidity locking service such as LID Protocol.

DeFi PR KPIs

As someone who has lived and breathed marketing over the last decade, KPI (Key Performance Indicators) is the bread and butter for every marketing, PR, and growth campaign.

Without defining solid goals for your PR campaign and checking if you actually reach them, you’re walking in the wrong direction.

You might be wondering what KPIs to use in your DeFi PR campaign? Here are the KPIs I recommend using:

  • Real Community
  • Brand Awareness
  • Traffic
  • SEO

Let’s dive into each and every one of those KPIs to better understand how to measure them.

Real Community

One of the most important things for every tech company is its community. Community makes people want to follow the company’s new partnerships, developments, challenges, and achievements.

Great public relations campaigns should build a strategy that understands the value of the community. You’d be surprised that the size of the community is not a factor you should rely on before investing in a blockchain company.

Actually, most of the blockchain companies had the bad habit of faking their community, buying thousands of Twitter followers, and fake telegram community members.

The easiest way tracking it is by doing very quick maths and checking the ratio between the followers and the exposure of the post or tweet.

For example, if a company twitter page has 70,000 followers and each tweet gets only several likes/retweets/ and comments, something might be wrong.

If you want to go even deeper than this, there are online tools that can estimate how many fake followers a Twitter account has.

How to tell if someone has fake followers on twitter.

Why is real community an important KPI in your DeFi PR campaign?

A successful PR campaign can drive a lot of awareness of your company’s social media channels. Community members and investors will read about your company online, check your social channels, and get every piece of information before investing in your company. By having fake followers, you’re ruining the chance that an experienced investor will invest in your project. With a fake community,  your company becomes less reliable which harms the money you invest in your DeFi PR campaign.

Brand Awareness

When it comes to measuring, brand awareness can be tricky. It might not show as traffic on your site right away. Brand awareness is about recognising your project by its name and even understand its values. I might never have traded on Binance, but I do recognize their logo and know that they care about the trader community. It’s a higher level of marketing, which reflects people perceptive about your company.

A smart DeFi PR campaign knows how to get your company name out there, over and over again from different angles and the right context.

GuerrillaBuzz


It might not drive investors right away or cause an insane traffic spike in your site, but it’s necessary for your company to become a brand that is here to stay.

In 2018 most of the ICO’s I’ve worked with didn’t care about the future at all. They only wanted to raise money fast.

The result?

Even if they raised money and met their goal, they didn’t survive for long. They built a company, not a brand.

How can you measure your DeFi PR brand awareness?

By monitoring it.

You can use a professional brand monitoring tool or even use a free tool like Google Alerts.

Measure your brand awareness using Google Alerts.

By getting a notification every time someone is mentioning your company name online you can understand two things.

1. How often do you get the notification? If the number of notifications increases over time, you’re doing well (if the sentiment is positive)

2. Be there when your brand needs you. Some of those mentions will come from forums, and sites like Reddit. By participating in the conversation, giving some information, and answering people’s questions, you become a reputable source. That’s some of the best marketing you can have.

Your DeFi PR campaign will help in spreading the word about your project. When a PR campaign runs for a long time, it increases the chance people will see your company name over and over again in a positive context.

Combine this with your other marketing efforts and brand monitoring and you have already stepped up your game. This will give you an advantage over other blockchain companies.

Traffic

If you run a PR campaign only because you want traffic then you’re spending your time and money in the wrong place.

PR is not only about traffic. It’s about telling the world about your company.

But what about the traffic?

Well, I know companies who spent thousands of dollars on PR articles in a very popular news site that brought them no traffic at all. Meanwhile, some spent a few hundred dollars on low-tier publication with an article that went viral, bringing them lots of brand awareness and traffic.

The truth is that traffic from PR is unstable. Even if 10,000 people read the articles your company is being featured on, only a few dozen might visit your site.

How can you measure DeFi PR traffic?

You should measure your traffic using google analytics or any other alternative.

One of the KPIs I like to follow when it comes to traffic in DeFi PR campaigns is the diversity of the traffic and SEO.

If an article we write gets ranked high on Google, it might not bring a lot of traffic now, but over time it will strategically help the client to get traffic and improve their brand visibility.

The variety of traffic can tell a lot about a PR campaign. If your site keeps getting traffic from different high authority news sites and online publications it means you’re running a healthy PR campaign and you increase the chance a new audience will read about your company.

SEO

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.

For example, if you Google ‘IEO PR’ you might find the definitive guide we wrote at one of the top results.

IEO PR Google Search Result

The reason we rank high is because we write content that people spend time reading it, find it useful, and share it with their friends.

When we create content we follow many of the 200 factors Google is using to determine if this piece of content is worth ranking for.

Most of the DeFi PR campaigns don’t focus on SEO. They won’t link to strategic pages in your company site, and won’t think about writing articles that will get ranked.

In a healthy PR campaign, SEO should be one of your KPIs. Ask your marketing agency if the content they will produce will get ranked and if they have any backlinks strategy.

Top DeFi projects

Just imagine, being right there when your target audience is looking for many different search term in your niche.

For example, Bancor is being featured in both of these articles.

Top 20 DeFi coins in 2020, Bancor

Lets try another search term ‘Top DeFi ROI’

Top DeFi ROI

Bancor is featured again.

Top 5 Defi Tokens with Highest ROI for 2020

Will it drive an insane amount of traffic to their site? Probably not. But it without any doubt, it will help Bancor to mark themselves as an industry leader.

How do you measure SEO progress in a DeFi PR campaign?

You can measure your SEO progress by using a free tool like Ubersuggest.

How does Ubersuggest work?

Besides using external tools like Ubersuggest, you can use Google Search Console to get another look at your site backlinks, sitemap, and organic reach.

How to see backlinks with Google Search Console

If you want your PR campaign to improve your SEO, you need to have several pages besides your homepage you can improve on your site.

By doing this, your site will rank for more keywords. Each keyword is an opportunity to rank higher on search engines. This will drive organic traffic to your site over time.

My recommendation is to have at least 2 definitive guides in your blog before you begin with your PR campaign. You want your DeFi PR campaign to be diverse. Do this by linking to different strategic pages on your site. Alongside the hype, you want the PR campaign to help with your company’s SEO efforts.

Common PR mistakes

While working with dozens of blockchain companies over the last few years I started to notice a pattern. Many companies repeat the same mistakes in their PR campaigns.

The market has shifted from ICOs to STOs to IEOs. Each fundraising method may be different, but the mistakes companies had in their marketing campaigns are identical.

When it comes to DeFi, there’s no difference. That’s why it’s important to learn from trial and error. You can save time and money by reading about mistakes other companies have made and avoiding them.

Transparency

Blockchain companies tend to fake their community size. Don’t do it. A small community with real passionate followers is x10 times better than a large community with zero real conversations in it.

Don’t buy your title, earn it

People are tired of reading articles about ‘How X is changing the Y world’. The fact your company is aiming to solve a problem in a specific industry doesn’t mean you completely changed it.

By showing statistics and facts about the potential growth in a specific market, you will gain far more engagement in your articles.

Once your company starts to make progress, acquire new users. Then partner with companies also in the blockchain ecosystem. You will see that news sites will naturally start to mention your company in similar titles.

DeFi PR Diversity:

You can spend most of your marketing budget in no time if you will use it on the wrong things. Buying an article on popular sites like Forbes, WSJ, TNW, CoinTelegraph and others can cost thousands of dollars.

Being mention in some of those sites can help your company to gain great brand awareness and authority, but you might achieve far better results by diversifying your DeFi PR campaign in various sites and channels.

Small news sites might give you a lot more exposure in some cases.

DeFi PR Cost

One of the most asked questions by any DeFi company that’s approaching us is:

‘How much does a DeFi PR campaign actually cost?’

The answer is based on many different factors and the total budget the company has for all of its activities.

On average a PR campaign would cost you $7000–$20000 per month but we had clients who ran campaigns of $60000 per month.

It depends on the number of marketing activities a company want to receive. We had one client that wanted to create an insane buzz in the crypto community and have many articles in tier one publications every week.

In my opinion, the best way to decide on your PR budget is by finding an amount that will allow your company to run a long-term campaign of one year or more.

Most of the blockchain companies look for ‘quick buzz’. They run PR campaigns on very high amounts they can’t afford to hold for a long time without cancelling their marketing campaign.

No matter which blockchain marketing company you choose to go with (I hope it will be GuerrillBuzz but hey, I’m biased), aim for a long-term PR contract that will run for half a year at least. Follow the KPIs that I’ve mentioned in this definitive guide, and you will increase the chance your company will run a successful DeFi PR campaign.

DeFi PR challenges

Despite the rapid acceleration in the popularity of DeFi projects, there are still a number of PR challenges that are being encountered.

Authenticity

“Despite the name Decentralized Finance”, these applications are not actually always decentralized completely, with some elements being centralized. This presents some security risks to users and can make projects less authentic than they make themselves out to be. Users should always check to see if the project they are supporting is actually completely authentic.

Trustworthy

Due to the presence of numerous DeFi rug-pull scams, conning investors out of millions of dollars, there has naturally been some resistance for investors to trust in DeFi projects. One big challenge for these types of projects is going to be how they display their trustworthiness to their users.

Relevance

Similarly to any startup project, a DeFi project has to be relevant and needs to solve a problem. You need to make it clear that this problem is widespread and needs solving. If your project is trying to solve a minor issue, it is unlikely that you will gain traction.

Performance

Blockchain technology is naturally slower than its centralized counterparts and this is the same for any DeFi apps built on top of them. Developers of these applications need to ensure that they can optimize their builds to ensure ease-of-use by their users.

Conclusion

From all the different marketing activities, PR might be one of the most challenging ones. By just launching a DeFi PR campaign without any strategy you will waist your money. You must first have solid infrastructure and good understanding of what your target audience wants.

PR is not only about creating buzz, it’s about making people understand your company core idea, and the potential behind it.

The only way I know to run a successful PR campaign is by being transparent, provide high quality content, interact with the target audience and understand that some things like SEO, building a community and brand awareness takes many months, so patience it the key.

I wish you good luck in your DeFi PR campaign, please share this article if you found it useful.