Blockchain businesses arguably face a tougher challenge than the rest of the financial markets.
As well as greater market volatility, regulatory uncertainty, and the constant battle against skepticism, there’s another big obstacle that often goes unmentioned:-
Blockchain businesses have the task of marketing something intangible.
Trying to communicate the value of something that can’t be seen or touched is difficult. But many financial markets businesses deal with this to some extent.
What makes things harder for blockchain businesses is, they have to sell something that is often an alien concept to those that need it.
As marketers who specialize in helping businesses in blockchain and beyond, this is a challenge we’ve faced a lot. And, it’s one we’ve overcome time and again..
In this article, we’ll explain how you can overcome it too. Read on to learn how you can overcome the big blockchain challenge, and effectively market something invisible…
The need for education
Cryptocurrency might be emerging as a recognized asset class, but elsewhere, there is still a low level of understanding around blockchain technology as a whole.
And the less familiar people are with the idea of something, the harder that idea is to sell.
In a quiz about cryptocurrency recently administered by YouGov, 98% of respondents failed a quiz on basic concepts related to bitcoin, stablecoins, and NFTs.
This lower level of understanding means that if blockchain businesses want to communicate the value of their product or service, their marketing must first educate their audience on how it offers that value.
Because if your audience doesn’t understand this, your message won’t hit home.
So, how can you help people understand a brand new concept en masse? Save from sitting each one of them down, and explaining it to them face-to-face?
There are two methods you can use.
Method #1: The power of “picture superiority”
Most of us process the world around us based on what we see—our vision is the primary channel through which we process information.
It’s also the main way that we learn new things.
Research shows that not only do people understand concepts that are explained with images better than those that are explained in writing, they also find them easier to retain and recall in the long term.
This phenomenon is known as the “Picture Superiority Effect”, and it’s a powerful tool for showing people the value of your ingenious blockchain solution.
So when it comes to taking your blockchain business to market, think about the ways pictures and imagery could be used to communicate the value of what it is you offer.
Landing pages, slide decks, infographics, animations, display ads—there are endless ways you can harness the power of the Picture Superiority effect. (Especially if you’re not afraid to invest in the support of a specialist agency.)
Method #2: Have analogies in your arsenal
When it comes to helping an audience get their heads around an unfamiliar concept, the analogy is one of the most powerful tools in a marketer’s arsenal.
For clarity, the definition of an analogy is:-
A comparison between one thing and another, typically for the purpose of explanation or clarification.
Essentially, analogies use familiar ideas to help us understand unfamiliar ideas.
In education, analogies have been shown to help learners clarify their thinking, overcome misconceptions, and visualize what is being explained.
They’re particularly useful when trying to help someone understand an abstract concept—something that you can’t see or touch. Like a blockchain solution.
Let us give you an example. Here’s an incredibly effective analogy that was used in Forbes to describe the concept of Peer-to-Peer networking…
Imagine someone steals from a convenience store but there are no cameras to capture the theft. It would be very difficult to find the culprit. Now imagine there is a camera, but it was destroyed after the theft occurred. This doesn’t help solve the crime either. But what if the convenience store camera was connected to multiple cameras across the globe that also recorded the event? It would be extremely difficult for the thief to destroy all these cameras and get away with the crime.
Like this hypothetical network of cameras, the blockchain is stored on a network of computers or “nodes.” Any node that has ever transacted on the blockchain joins the network and takes part in validating every exchange that takes place; this goes for any attempted revisions to previous transactions as well. To attempt a fraudulent revision to the blockchain, a criminal would need to compromise all the nodes in the network. The larger the network, the more impossible this feat becomes.
Get an analogy right, and you can help any audience understand even the most complex and nuanced of service offerings. And, it’ll make it memorable.
Some other things to be aware of
Even equipped with helpful insights like those we’ve put together in this article, marketing is a significant challenge for blockchain businesses.
It can take a lot of time, persistence and repeated trial and error before you start making the impact you desire.
So don’t be disheartened if you don’t get the results you’re after right away.
There are two more things we think it’s helpful to be mindful of when marketing your blockchain business…
Commit to the long game
In all marketing, it can take a long time until someone is ready to act or buy from you. Especially when you’re creating inbound content.
Because blockchain businesses have a need to educate as well as engage and inform, this can take them even longer.
Sometimes it takes a while for the penny to drop with people. So have patience, and stay consistent.
And don’t feel self-conscious about repeating yourself. All the best brands do it.
Sure, it might help to find new and more creative ways to communicate your message every now and then, but ultimately, if your product or service has a strong value proposition, then it’s worth repeating.
To succeed, you need to commit to the long game, and keep telling people about your business until they “get it”.
Ask how much your audience needs to know
If your business is built around an innovative blockchain solution, you will need to have a very in-depth understanding of your solution on a technical level.
But it’s important to remember: your audience doesn’t.
The average person doesn’t need to understand coding to grasp the value of the internet. Nor do they need to know the inner workings of a clock to be told what time it is.
The same logic is true when it comes to marketing a new blockchain solution or technology.
It’s not easy, but you have to try and view your marketing messages through the eyes of someone who is new to it.
This is what will help you decide which details to include in your marketing materials, and which can be safely left out.
This is where a lot of blockchain businesses slip up. When it comes to marketing your offering, it’s important to not overcomplicate things. Because this is a surefire way to confuse (and lose) your audience.
How to sell what you can’t see: Key Takeaways
Even if you have to market the most complex, abstract, never-before-seen product or service, there’s always a way to get your message across.
Here’s a quick recap of the points covered:-
- On the whole, the general level of understanding around blockchain technology is still poor.
- This means blockchain businesses must use marketing to educate their audience, as well as engage them.
- One way to help audiences quickly grasp a new and unfamiliar concept is through the power of pictures and imagery.
- Another is to use analogies—drawing on a familiar idea, to explain one that is unfamiliar.
- Have patience, and stay committed in the long term. When you’re marketing a new idea, it can take a while for the penny to drop.
- Think carefully about how much your audience needs to know, so you don’t overcomplicate your marketing message. Remember, you don’t need to know how a clock works to be told the time.
If you have more questions about how to effectively market your blockchain solution, just drop us a line. We’re always happy to help.