Authors: Evan Duffield, Daniel Diaz, Robert Wiecko
Several weeks before the budget system delivered the first payment, we started working very hard on defining a campaign strategy. We started interviewing and selecting vendors and service providers and after an initial assessment on what were the best options, had several meetings with these companies to discuss their services and select the best options.
We needed a combined strategy of different things: a more immediate campaign to better inform people that are already inside crypto and a longer term plan to start building awareness with the general public.
The internal crypto campaign is important to keep momentum going, survive the short term and better inform people that are interested in the space but that do not read altcoin forums. For this we did the following in September.
This campaign also includes forum engagement of new users and activities in the 8BTC forum, for this we have a budget of 150 DASH a month that is divided between Lucky Wheel a roulette that runs on the 8BTC forum where one the winning options is Dash and then a campaign for new Chinese users to download the wallet and ask questions on a forum and get a little Dash. These activities are run by Alexy and Raico, our Chinese ambassadors, and have been helping us get new interested users in China. This has been extremely popular so far and we are very happy with the results, engaging directly with people in China has proven to be the best way to grow our community there.
Also we were able to host our client in the soft.8BTC.com app market, where before we had issues as Chinese users could not download from dashpay.io due to the Great Fire Wall. In China we are running banner ads as part of this same campaign since this is better accepted there and is important to raise awareness on this market where users are not as familiar with the project as in the West.
Examples of recent Chinese articles as a result of PR releases:
We also wanted to take our first steps outside of crypto and start testing the waters, so we decided to do a formal press release for Dash through the PRWEB financial package plus advanced placement for 879 USD.
This type of press releases are directed to the general public, they are good for building backlinks, raising awareness and just getting some automated media attention. You can see an example of the published release here:
Some of the results were the following:
I feel it performed very well, we also had additional benefits to this release as we sent this same press release via our own channels, which led to this article:
As you can see paid press releases can produce organic results and help to build public awareness and morale.
Completing our first animated video was a lot of work that took a few months, it has so far been a great success for us and an important milestone with more than 10K views on YouTube. We paid 2500 USD total for this video, 1250 USD before they started and 1250 USD recently after completion. The community collected 751 DASH which remained on escrow until after release, these coins were not enough to pay for the video it was necessary to complete the 2,500.00 USD with 290 DASH from the system.
Having the video ready was just not enough, besides having it ready we needed to distribute it in a way that would put the video in front of new users, outside of crypto, which was the whole objective of this video in the first place. We had been preparing for this for a couple of months and selected a video distribution tool which worked great for us and we plan to continue using in the future. This tool helps you put your video in front of potential viewers in the context of other relevant content the viewer is reading. For example, they will make a video available to a user as he reads a CNN article or a technology blog and these users are more inclined to view your video if it relates to the content they are reading. You are able to define profiles, age ranges, interests, etc. It is a fantastic tool.
We invested 2 BTC (they accept BTC through Coinbase), 460 USD and got more than 4000 YouTube views in 48 hours in important territories for us.
Here are some video stats from September when we did the initial push.
These numbers are mixed with our organic views from our video distribution efforts. Right now we are focused on distributing organically with the subtitles and translations, once we feel we are plateaued then we are planning to do another distribution push in specific territories and to certain profiles.
Audience Retention for the Video average time 00:01:02
Distribution tools will be important for us in the future, on more expensive programs you can do more detailed profiling like only showing a video to people that have recently bought Bitcoin. We are not yet at a point where we want to do this but as we become more successful and the budget grows, we definitely want to try some of the more refined techniques. For now, is on demand, we just spend what we want and are very happy with our initial 460 USD experiment.
They for example recently ran a campaign for Nike in which they would only show Nike videos to people that purchased Under Armour products.
We are in need of a new more professional looking website that is directed at attracting new users and optimized for conversion, with call to actions and proper landing pages. To makes this happen we are starting the website redesign with a professional graphic designer this is a onetime thing to revamp the website and will use and independent budget proposal but is important to take into consideration in the context of our overall strategy. Separate from this we have contracted with a digital marketing firm to provide ongoing assistance with our online marketing efforts, focused on content marketing and conversion.
We have sourced and contracted www.foxtailmarketing.com we are starting with a 2000 USD/month package, which is on the conservative end of this type of service, with a plan to ramp up in the future as we see results. First 2000 USD payment has been made. We are on the onboarding process at the moment.
They will be initially helping us with:
SEO, conversion, analytics, content audits and optimizations.
Besides what we already discussed we have an interest in raising public awareness about Dash in high domain authority sites like Forbes, Entrepreneur, Fortune, etc. In order to obtain articles and build a narrative in this type of site I have sourced and selected well reputed Public Relations services that will lobby for us and help us pitch stories to high domain authority sites. We have not done anything with them yet, but we are planning to start working on the first article in October that may come later as it takes a few weeks to coordinate. Now this is not a sure thing the service consists in lobbying for the articles and we only pay if they finally get published as these sort of high domain authority sites will decide if they are interested in the stories or not.
Another key area for growth is starting to go out into the world and presenting Dash to people face to face our first attempt at this was our Amsterdam presentation, it went really well and was an excellent experience.
We have gone into a partnership with Bitcoin Wednesday in which there will be several Dash presentations in Bitcoin Wednesday Amsterdam as part of the event. Also the organizers who has been organizing Bitcoin meet-ups and events for more than 3 years will consult for us and help us organize meetings in other places and find speaking opportunities with other crypto events.
In fact, thanks to our work in Amsterdam we were able to have dinner with the TNABC Miami organizers there and discuss our project in detail which resulted in our future participation in the event.
Our sponsorship was of 1250 EUR, this includes Dash presentations in Bitcoin Wednesday events and assistance in securing other speaking opportunities in other events.
This also came with properly produced videos of the presentations that help build awareness of the project beyond the attending audience. We made a payment of 6.10 BTC (1250 EUR).
There are more events coming that will go into the following budgets, more on that on our next reports.
DETAILS OF EXPENSES – PUBLIC AWARENES BUDGET SEPTEMBER
Expenses advanced by core team members waiting to be refunded in the upcoming budgets:
Foxtail Marketing (first month)
Bitcoin Wednesday Partnership
1250.00 EUR (610 DASH)
In September and October we received the core-team budget, which was 1176 DASH each month. This was then paid out in two separate payments for the September and October core-team budget. September’s payments were miscalculated, so we paid out the rest of the remaining September budget in October.
The core team compensation is meant purely as a token of appreciation for the work being done within the project, not as a means to work purely on Dash. In the future we expect this to eventually change as the project matures and our budget is enough to support those maintaining the project.
There’s two types of classes of membership within the core team presently, those that are paid a fixed fee, which is generally for writing, translating or community outreach roles. The second type of role is for software development, marketing, administration and automation.
Generally, we will paid 25 DASH per month for the first tier role, then divide the remaining Dash up among the rest of the team.
Here are the payments for September and October:
Trademark Lawyer bill: 1830 USD (798DASH) paid by Daniel. Our trademark process keeps moving forward and we expect to be able to give more specific news on this in the near future.
Why is there a 101.73 DASH balance left over in September while there are already paid activities waiting to be refunded to core team sponsors?
Because the 101.73 DASH was left at the end of September and are/were not enough to refund the pending expenses, foxtail marketing and Bitcoin Wednesday partnership. Those funds were added to October and used to cover these pending expenses and other projects that will be presented soon as part of the October report. Also the website redesign will have its own separate budget proposal.
Additionally, we wanted to say that it would be great if members of the community want to organize promotion activities or participation in events separate from what we are doing officially. We just advise that as a general rule, when you present a proposal make sure you have a plan as to how to secure a sponsor that would keep the required Dash OTC and pay for the FIAT expenses, at least in the short term as we would like to avoid budget funds going to exchanges. This is just a recommendation as a best practice for project execution.
We hope this document helps to get the community on the same page and confident about what we are doing. It is imperative that some of the information remains private. First, we don’t want to reveal our tools to the competition in public forums after working so hard in building the strategy, plus organic promotion activities require some privacy. We are trying to find a good balance where we publicly reveal every detail possible. We have also given detailed reports to trusted members that do not participate directly in the budget execution but can give faith of the expenses, specifically we see Flare and UdjinM6 playing this role.
We are professionals and have done this kind of work for real businesses in our “real life” ventures. That does not mean that there is any guarantee of success but it does mean that we will try to the best of our ability to do a good job and differentiate ourselves from any other crypto coin project. We will, without a doubt, make mistakes as A/B testing is a natural part of this process.
Finally, handling the budget is no privilege, is really hard work, it carries responsibility from OTC trading and puts us in the spotlight. We have been very lucky to form a group of really committed individuals that want to see Dash succeed. Again, we can’t guarantee success but we can definitely guarantee honesty.