Disclaimer: Any ideas presented here are just guidelines. I encourage everyone to do whatever feels right for them, and in no way intend to tell anyone how to live/market. What I write is simply food for thought. Please do your best to consume it attentively, in the spirit that it’s offered, without self-triggering if at all possible. Thank you in advance.
Is it nice of me to label people as 'whiners?'
Probably not, but it’s pretty tame, and I've been labelled a lot worse recently. Plus, I’ve actually written a tutorial on when to use labels, and this is one of those times. Because ‘
whining’ is exactly what many commenters on my previous post were doing, whether they want to admit it or not.
And they’re easy to spot. Many people commenting on my post were kind, civil, open-minded, and understanding. Truly beautiful souls. But the ones I’d like to talk about went more like this:
Author: (Writes article.)
Commenter: “Hmm... interesting, precisely chosen words from a talented expert. Should I read this carefully? Nah, I’ll skim it with as little attention as possible. (Skims article.) Now, I wonder what a good response would be... A. Show appreciation? Nah. B. Maturely disagree? Too easy. How about C. Babyrage tantrum? Yasssss queen! Finger-pointing is totally the best approach! This will definitely achieve my goals and lead to a better life for all involved! ~starts typing~”
Basically, these commenters behaved like triggered, knee-jerk whiners, plain and simple.
But that’s ok, we’ve all been there. I’m sure each of us has been triggered and left petty comments once in our lives, right? I know I have, so I don’t take any of it too hard. Interestingly, even me pointing this out may flip certain people into defensive-mode again, but hopefully they’re able to see the good intentions and hours of work I've done both here and in my other post, almost entirely for their benefit. What work, you ask? Well, besides the countless explanations I’ve given, I figured I'd offer the people who insisted on other ways of marketing... a gift.
We'll get to that in a minute but first I'll give a quick recap for anyone who didn't see my original post.
It went like this:
I posted a marketing approach that was a) bolder, more nuanced, and more buzzworthy than has been done on Hive so far (yes I know it ‘failed’ on Steem already, but when we tripped as a child we didn't just give up on learning to walk, did we?) and b) almost certain to help Hive grow faster than it has up until this point. Now, the point of the post wasn’t that Hive should market in this way. The point of the post was to demonstrate a clear difference between subpar marketing and effective marketing. And in this post I happened to add an image. This image was just an example of buzz-generating marketing. It’s only purpose was to support the main crux of my post: that Hive could use some vastly superior marketing and brand-direction. I'm pretty sure many commenters didn't even read my post, but here's how the comments shook out:
- Many people saw the value in it, and praised my offering.
- Others saw some value in it, and questioned controversial parts maturely.
- A vocal minority couldn't find a positive word to say, and responded with what amounts to... well... whining.
These people acted like I had suggested murdering children. Or like I was somehow ruining all of Hive by posting an example of effective marketing. (It wouldn’t surprise me if these are the type of people who are afraid of ideas, but I can’t say for sure.) Apparently, by contributing my decades of expertise on a) how to create buzz effectively and b) how to bolster Hive's population of consumers, I deserved vilification in their eyes, lol.
(Note: I debated pasting screenshots of the less-than-flattering comments here in all their salty glory, but decided against it.)
Anway, that's the gist of what happened.
Now, what is this gift I’m offering these fine people?
Well, instead of meeting their saltiness with more salt, I figured I’d take the time to give them what they want. And what they want is for me to use a different marketing example than the rapid-growth, mass-adoption, consumer-focused one I chose. That’s literally their entire issue, that the example I used on how to create significant word of mouth was unpleasant to them.
So I created alternatives.
3 marketing approaches more aligned with their (incredibly vocal) preferences.
And here they are:
For those who think we should be targeting deplatformed people:
Target: Q-Anon-types, conspiracy-theorists, & censorship-sensitive people.
Size: Another fairly small target.
Offer/USP: Screw censorship, Hive’s what you get when free-speech meets social media.
Brands this may work for: Parler, Telegram, Hive.Blog(?)
How it'll likely play out here: “Post on Hive, where we replace censorship with ... downvoting by whales, being ignored due to ‘ghost-town’ syndrome, and people attacking you because of your different views just like anywhere else... but hey, at least it stays on the blockchain!”
For those who think we should be targeting developers:
Target: The devs / geeks / techy-people who make apps.
Size: Unsure as my app-dev knowledge is minimal. (But it’s a way smaller market than the consumers I’d planned to target.)
Offer/USP: Building on the blockchain is the future of app development. Fast. Scalable. Immutable. Decentralized. Plus your app can become an entire economy... Just add crypto. ;)
Brands this may work for: Realm, Firebase, Chainbase, Hive.io(?)
How it'll likely play out here: “Hey! Come make apps on our protocol! You'll have to learn a lot of new things, but hopefully it’ll work out for you?”
(Note: My app-development knowledge is minimal, so I may be off-base here, but hopefully the strategy/approach is clear enough that no one jumps down my throat.)
For those who think Hive should be targeting influencers:
Target: influencers looking for more control of their branding and the platform they're on.
Size: Meh, X amount of influencers.
Offer/USP: “Influencers! Sick of worrying that your platform may cut you off? Free yourself from corporate social platforms & claim real control of your brand.”
Brands this may work for: No idea, has this ever been done? Do influencers even want this? How many care, and how many are too comfortable on their platform to bother? How many will want to join Hive?*
(*without being paid, since according to the whiners... incentivizing with money = bad!)
How it'll likely play out here: “No influencer wants to ‘guinea-pig’ for a ‘ghost-town’ platform. Influencers seek platforms that already have large audiences, and would likely need substantial incentive to join one that is empty of fans / consumers.”
Note: You can easily swap in the words ‘content-creator’ for ‘influencer’ in the copy, since they’re basically the same thing, there’s very little difference between a 10k ‘influencer’ on Instagram and a 10k ‘content-creator’ on YouTube, as far as this marketing approach goes.
So there you have it, 3 alternate marketing approaches catering to the 3 most vocal groups of people in my comments-section. Examples that have nothing to do with the ‘consumers’ I so dearly love to target, because a) I wanted to gift commenters who are so sure their approach is superior, and because b) I can confidently market just about anything, from any angle if I want to. Consumers, influencers, devs, whatever.
If people were yelling “J! You can’t market Hive to adults! Bad J!” I’d simply market it to toddlers instead.
But not all marketing approaches are created equal.
And so, certain approaches I’ve outlined above can only reach a tiny demographic. Or can only have a weaker message. Or can only generate minimal buzz. And if anyone is in doubt about this, consider:
If the 3 strategies above were run with equally adept execution, and split-tested properly against the one I initially proposed…
...one approach would outperform the rest.
And since that hasn't happened (and likely won’t) we can all only speculate.
But if you had to guess which of the 3 (+1) approaches would lead to Hive’s mass-adoption, which would you guess?
No pressure. It’s just a fun thought-exercise. Ultimately, the answer doesn't really matter to me.
Because I’m not seeking anyone’s approval. I made the copy & design for all 4 brand directions, so if any of them are enjoyed by people, I win. And even if someone swings by to whine about all 4, I’ll still be happy and at peace with myself. I don’t need the Hive community to ‘buy in’ or to recognize my value. I don’t even need Hive to exist (though I do love it here). Hivers claim they want fire content-creators on here --of which I clearly am one-- but I don’t actually need to be here. I’m comfortable with decentralized or centralized. I'm happy to use any platform that works. I also don't need to be ‘right.’ Or need anyone to agree with my previous post. Or even get it. Sure, I know a lot about marketing, but marketing isn’t my deepest passion.
My passion is #ryzing others. I do it through teaching. I'm a teacher. And I teach things that matter to people who are receptive and interested in learning. I do this for my clients, and I've done this generously since I joined Hive, as with my 15,000+ words on free speech and censorship, or my 20,000+ word masterclass on communication. My aim here is to share wisdom that very few humans possess, and are unlikely ever to be taught.
I'm not here to quibble over 'which side is right' or 'which approach is best.'
Side-choosing was never the intention of my original post, nor is it my intention here. Some Hivers seem to love that game, and if it makes them happy, great. It's not my idea of how to create value or spread joy in the world. I’d rather approach things like this:
Commenters: Spends entire day internet-yelling at author.
Author: Creates 3 more pieces of copy/design/marketing just for them.
So in conclusion, I hope you were able to learn something from what I've expressed here and from the (3 + 1) examples I've offered freely. I hope you leave here more open-minded, with more insight on topics like branding, marketing, copy, and growth. I hope this post is more valuable than whatever other memes or content you would've ended up perusing instead. I hope you feel you've benefited from what you've seen here. And my biggest hope is that you're mature enough to show appreciation and engage civilly in the comments.
But if my hopes are dashed, that's ok too, I still love you.
Thanks for reading, commenting, engaging, or even skimming. I appreciate you.