Written by Jenny Corlett and Ellie Jackson
While initial media excitement around blockchain was a great boost for businesses in the space who wanted to be heard, that excitement has significantly diminished, and some of the press has grown wary of cryptocurrencies and the blockchain – making it harder for those new to the space to prove their credibility. Ellie Jackson and Jenny Corlett at Aspectus Group talk about how a streamlined approach to communications can help blockchain businesses looking for investment get heard, whilst staying credible.
With a new blockchain enterprise seemingly appearing every day, businesses find themselves tasked with the challenge of not only standing out from the crowd, but also maintaining credibility in a young market, which has attracted more than its fair share of ‘get-rich-quick’ schemes and scammers. In this kind of environment, having a solid and meticulous communications plan can mean the difference between attracting investors and scaring them off.
Master of one
For businesses starting out in a new space, the temptation can be to try too much too soon. While the wide-reaching implications of blockchain technology can be exciting, the best way to build your reputation is to first work out what you do best.
We’ve seen this already with companies who have entered the fintech space. Take Monzo for example – it found its niche in digital current accounts and its card has become the go-to card for millennials. Now the team has built their brand, they can look to expand into new ventures.
And it’s the same across the board – even the giants such as Amazon and Google started simple with one really great idea and didn’t expand their offering until they’d established their brand.
Once you’ve decided on a key venture, begin formulating a mission plan and working out what you stand for.
Standing out in a crowded market means having a clear, consistent message which ties in with who you are, what you do well, and why you matter.
Take the Ikea approach
Although this is a start, this doesn’t mean it will be plain sailing from there.
Now you have a message, you need to find a creative way of getting it across. This doesn’t necessarily mean trying to shout the loudest or most often – make sure you are selective and smart about the opportunities you choose to make your mark.
A cleverly thought out campaign which looks at your target audience and different ways to reach them with an overarching message that offers them something of real interest is worth more than several sporadic mentions for unrelated stories.
Take Ikea. Their marketing team takes the time to understand their international audiences and examine societal shifts around the world, as well as people’s perceptions of Ikea, to inform their product choices. Room layouts will vary from location to location even though their overarching elements stay the same. For example, in Japan, they will often feature traditional Japanese floor coverings. This proves far more effective than just sending out the same layouts and messaging to every region they target.
Although creativity and bold statements can play a key role in attracting attention from potential investors, staying credible means that you can’t lose sight of your message, your knowledge or your capabilities.
Always think about your audience when shaping campaigns or pursuing media opportunities: how does this make me look as a business? How will my core audience react to this? Is this the sort of content that they will find engaging or valuable?
The same applies to deciding which publications you aim for. While it’s tempting to immediately shoot for the likes of the FT or the Economist, these may not be the publications that your audience reads every day. Build a picture of where they get their news, what content works on those channels, and what content works for them, and tailor your target publications accordingly.
And finally, if you want to be bold, make sure you can back it up. In an environment which is already subject to some mistrust in the media, backing up your claims with clear evidence sets you apart as a business that has taken the time to do some serious market research.
Starting out in any crowded and growing space means it is always challenging to get your voice heard. But in the case of the blockchain industry, the level of distrust in the media makes it even more difficult to get people on your side. A strategic and creative communications plan, rooted in truths you can prove, is the best way to start. Just make sure your message stays at the heart of what you do, and you can cut through the noise and position yourself for success.