Double the amount of trusted users on Incognito.org

Growing Incognito by Social Strategy

Hey folks, me again :cowboy_hat_face:
You may have seen my previous proposal about social strategy. The first month of that is over, so it’s time to use what I learned in the process and refocus it. Here’s a new proposal around the issue:

What privacy problem are you solving?

We want Incognito to grow, plain and simple. We’ve got various goals/metrics for this, but I’ll be focusing on one specifically: Growing the amount of trusted users here on Incognito.org by at least 250.

At the time this goal was decided, we were at 203, so the goal is to reach 453 by the end of April.

We have a few efforts toward growth, from collaborations to webinars and the like, but the act of growing the site has been rather general, and it’s time to focus on it directly.

What is the solution?

I will be taking a holistic but very directed approach to growth. I will continue posting on social media, focusing specifically on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Reddit, and Telegram, for the following reasons:

Platform Reason
Twitter highest followers & engagement
LinkedIn high organic reach
Facebook potential for pNode orders
Reddit ideal user type
Telegram many members not on the site yet

I will be running paid ads/boosting posts as well, since that is a primary way to reach unreached users.

I will also be developing the content which we post, and it will be designed with conversion in mind from the start. Content will still include articles posted here, but I will be shifting my focus to producing videos and hosting community events like the AMA we had on the 1st.

Data-oriented strategy will be a big part of this, so while half of the task is content and execution, half is essentially a think tank. For this, I’ll be using Hootsuite, Google Analytics, and the Discourse Admin data, in addition to what each of the social platforms provides. I may amend this proposal in the future with changes to the software I need, but this is sufficient for now.

What solutions do people resort to because this doesn’t exist yet?

My previous proposal was a start to this, but this proposal is more refined and should yield greater results. Additional growth strategies include @elena’s integrations, @raz’s proposal (which I may also be participating in to some extent initially), @andrey’s work toward growth, or @annie’s node sales.

While the work they do is fantastic and also contributes toward growth, we each focus on a different aspect. As stated, mine will be growing the number of community participants.

Who are you?

I’m glad you asked. I’m @aaron, the guy who was new but isn’t anymore, mostly. I do communication and growth strategy, as it relates to media/marketing.

Why do you care?

Incognito is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Its ground-up, MVP style hinges on participation, so if we really want it to grow and bring privacy to everyone, everyone needs to participate.

What’s your plan? What’s your schedule?

My plan is to design and execute a social and ad strategy to grow the community by adding 250 trusted users by the end of April (we’ll reassess and reinitiate this proposal monthly based on results). A “trusted user” is defined as someone who participates on this site enough to earn trust level 1 or greater.

There are many tasks and steps that go into this proposal, but there is only one key goal:

Deliverable Deadline
+250 trusted users (total of 453) End of April

To accomplish this, the main steps I will be focusing on are:

  • Bi-weekly webinar
  • Weekly podcast (Tentative launch date: April 15)
  • Daily Social Posts (see breakdown)
  • Ads (Min two ads running*)
  • Deep dive articles
  • Videos (tutorial, topical, review, update, etc)

Social posts breakdown:
Every day, I will post one piece of targeted content, one community highlight (favorite post on Incognito.org), and one other unscheduled post that is platform-specific.

*The ads will need to be tested and redone consistently. The frequency, type, and budget is something @henry and I will coordinate on. The details and budget will be updated as it is decided. I will put a maximum of 1500 PRV in the budget spreadsheet, but this is not reflective of the actual number and unused funds will not be allocated.

What’s your budget?

Resource Cost Quantity Monthly Cost
Growth strategist 1000 PRV 1 1000 PRV
Ad budget 1500 PRV 1 1500 PRV
TOTAL (1 x month) 2500 PRV

Is there an existing conversation around this idea?

Not specifically, but the links I provided above are relevant if you want to see other aspects of growth.

Is there anything else you would like the community to know?

I NEED YOUR HELP!
We need to grow holistically. Ads and social strategy are great, but they’re only one kind of growth. Friends bringing friends is the purest form there is, so reach out to people you know! Besides, bringing in new users earns you PRV rewards/badges :wink:

And, if you’re willing, share interesting posts you like from here or our social media on your social media. Not only can you earn PRV, but as Incognito grows, security, performance, privacy, and price all improve. It’s a win-win-win.

Thanks everyone. Feel free to offer your thoughts and suggestions as well!

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@aaron congrats! Your proposal got 4/5 vote and has been funded so I will move it under “funded proposals”.

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Weekly update:

The site has had 45 signups in the past week, 39 of which became trusted users.

Social media posts have been happening according to schedule, as well as the creation of content (Wherever you see my name posting in “tutorials” and “community updates”, as well as many places you don’t see my name :wink:. This week, I also created an ad for the node sale, but it was not approved by Facebook in time to run. I will need to apply for a special license to run crypto-related ads, which has a lengthy review process and may not be approved in time to be useful for this proposal. This is a setback, and given the number of signups this week, I will need to go all-in on targeting strategy (to make sure Incognito is connecting with the right audience) and content.

So starting this coming week, the first podcast episode will be created, a minimum of three more articles will be written, and I will be finding Youtubers and reputable voices in crypto to discuss collaborations. I will also be reaching out to participants in other forums like Incognito to bring them here. Another webinar will be scheduled, and I will put out a tutorial video for the Wallet, mirroring the written tutorial I posted.

If you have any ideas for collaborations or communities I should look into, let me know!

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DM you :slight_smile:

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hey @aaron - can you supply more details on your ad campaign? do you have any examples of ad content you’ve prepared so far for this, and who is your target audience?

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Ad Update:
Let me know your thoughts on this by replying to it :slight_smile:

By running ads on social media, we can grow quickly and target specifically. Organic reach is constantly declining on the existing platforms, and only allows us to target the users we need indirectly, with content. But by continuing/improving our organic efforts and coupling them with a paid strategy, we can exponentially grow our user base.

Advertising to get active users will also result in Wallet downloads, since the vast majority of our site users are wallet users.

Given the type of user we want active at incognito.org, I suggest tapping into Twitter ads first.

I’ve put together four ad styles to choose from:

Publication:

This type of ad would be a sponsored post, appearing in-feed. To do this effectively, I suggest creating a new category on the discourse, title TBD (something like Incognito Magazine).

It would be a collection of articles that outside users would find valuable, and are thematically, but not specifically, related to Incognito. Critical take on Industry news, tips on relevant skills, user-contributed articles, how-tos (not for our product, since that’s the help category), and more. Our own little Cointelegraph of sorts.

This would feed two birds with one scone (damn it PETA), in that it gives you another way to participate (by writing articles like on Medium), which you’ll want to share in your own media channels, and we can share articles and advertise them on Twitter. Every article will include CTAs to participate.

New York Times has a really high click-through rate, so that’s a good foundation stylistically, for ads and content titles.

A few ideas for sponsored publication posts:

  • Don’t make this mistake with your crypto.
  • What quarantine means for your financial future
  • Federal Stimulus Package and the Crypto Market: What you need to know
  • Will COVID be the end of crypto?
  • Cryptocurrency and the CIA: What to do about your newest security threat.
  • We interviewed Edward Snowden. Here’s what he has to say about privacy. (Worth a shot)
    Etc.

The captions will be content-specific, and the article titles should force attention, but not be hypersensational. I’d only produce articles on which I can write valuably on a topic. The point is not to get clicks, but to encourage thoughtful participation. Anyone can write on any relevant topic, and there would be guidelines but creative freedom in the category. The most liked ones can earn badges and get promoted, etc.

Contest:

An ad prompting a form of participation in exchange for the chance to win a prize. These ads would be best shown in feeds and banners.

Content: A prize (Node, PRV) for the winner of a task-based contest. We would only do one of these this month, and it would run for one week. The contest would be designed in a way that is not open to spamming and requires some form of valuable participation.

A few ideas for contests:

-Why does privacy matter to you? Tell us for a chance to win X

-Know an influencer? Introduce them to Incognito. If we partner, you and that influencer each get X.

-modification of the social media challenges for adults and with a clear purpose. No tide pods. Something like "Take a picture/video where you’re hiding somewhere in frame and tag #privacy.

Wallet:

Wallet ads are a great way to achieve both site sign ups and wallet downloads in the opposite order. GA shows that many of our users access the site from the app, and by adding an in-app message prompting users to sign up for the site we can maximize the return on this strategy.

Some ideas for wallet ads:

  • Graphic caption: Ditch that mixer. Go incognito.
    Post caption: Bitcoin anonymity is finally convenient. Take back your privacy with the Incognito Wallet

  • Graphic caption: Bitcoin Anonymity made useful.
    Post caption: Shield your bitcoin and start transacting privately in the Incognito Wallet.

  • Graphic caption: Incognito Mode for your crypto.
    Post caption: Your privacy is valuable. Go incognito to use the crypto you already own, safely.

Video:

Videos have the highest engagement rates on twitter in general, and strengthen the human aspect of Incognito. Tutorials, interviews/webinar clips, and more would be a good way to get engagement. I put this last because people are more likely to follow us on YouTube from this, but it’s valuable enough to consider since a trusted human face is important, and with constant in-video CTAs to sign up, this can still drive sign ups.

Target Demographic:

The specific target will depend on the ad type. The starting point of the demographic is:

Must match: M24-38, undergrad degree, top 25% income (based on US zip codes), lives in US

Must also match at least 1: likes/uses monero, coinbase, wasabi wallet, samourai, bitcoin mixer, bitcoin anonymity, ethereum, deFi, fintech, bitcointalk, binance

Additional interests may include: BAT/brave browser, libertarianism, IoT, early technology adopter (behavior), privacy-enhancing technologies, digital currency, cryptocurrency investment, Node (networking), cryptography, duckduckgo, crypto mining, privacy law, incognito mode/privacy mode/dark mode, cointelegraph.

Note: whichever ad style(s) we go with, I’d like to run an A/B test for location. One will run anywhere in the US by income, one will run in a specific city. Even in the internet age, proximity matters. By choosing either NY, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, Santa Monica, or San Jose, we can start a movement in a particular city, which will have more traction and spread better. Friends who all see the same/similar ads are more likely to talk about it and join together.

Note 2.0: The target demo might seem restrictive and you as a user might not fit into that demographic. That doesn’t mean you don’t belong here, or that we don’t want more people like you. It just means people like this are most likely to convert.

The goal is to run ads for ten days this month, from April 20th-29th, with a budget of 150 PRV per day split between 2 or 3 ads (either just the A/B test or the A/B test of one style and one ad of another style). After April, we’ll evaluate the results of the sprint for whether we optimize, redo, or scrap altogether.

3 Likes

thanks for this @aaron.

@henry, as our resident ads man, could you chime in? would be interested to know what you think, considering we’ve already tried a majority of approaches to mixed results.

@chi, would be great to have your input here too!

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Thank @ning for mentioning me.

Hi @aaron, your update on ads plan to grow trusted users on Incognito is amazingly extensive. This is a great start.

When it comes to running ads, I am yet a conservative. So please help consider several things before running any ads:

  1. You mention GA shows that many wallet users are site trusted users. How about the other way around? How many site trusted users are going to become Incognito products’ users? (I assume they include active wallet users, PRV holders, and validators). A clear conversion rate helps us calculate the impact of our work.

  2. How long does it take for them to become Incognito products’ users? The time-lag will help us understand when we expect to have a return on our investment.

  3. The quality of people who we attract by ads will never be as high as those we grow organically. Especially, you’re operating in an environment full of scam ones. Given this situation, what would be the adjusted numbers for the above figures?

As every Prv spent would be calculated directly to your customer acquisition cost later, ads budget would be justified only if those two metrics are clear. Or else, we’ll waste both money and effort not knowing if our work does contribute to growth. Then it leaves us no way to iterate and improve later on.

///side note: the number of Wallet downloads is actually a vanity metric. please weight your works/goals against good growth metrics such as prv holders/buyers or so.

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Update 04/17/2020

Key goal

In the past 5 days since my last weekly update, 18 people have become trusted site users.

This week was a fail in the metric that matters. What I did accomplish was continued posting, the beginning of the podcast (episode 1 is in scripting), wrote three articles which are being reviewed by the team, began gathering the company documents for the ad license, and reached out to three influencers on Twitter and Youtube, who I have yet to hear back from.

Ads

I also laid out an ad strategy that @chi left some valuable feedback for. For a good portion of the past two days, I’ve been looking for answers to her questions. So far, I have not found evidence that Incognito has measured those details, so time to conversion and the conversion rate from site users to prv holders is something we’d need to start measuring, a process expedited by running ads. That said, @henry might know otherwise.

As for adjusting vanity metrics, point noted. From here on out, return will be measured by conversion from site user to prv holder and by direct increase in prv holder population size resulting from any campaign with tracking.

Conclusion

I could have done better this week. I worked hard, but was consistently shortsighted and as a result made multiple mistakes. Today is a new day, and I welcome all of your feedback, since self assessment can only take you so far.

Next Week

This coming week, my plan is to add 100 trusted site users, to get back on track. Here’s how:

  • Finish Ad license application by Monday
  • Publish the podcast next week
  • If approved, create and begin organically promoting the Publication category, after writing minimum two articles in it
  • If approved, begin ad strategy with publication
  • Publish video weekly update
  • Continue organic social
  • Make 1 influencer collaboration (actual production, not agreement)
  • integrate your feedback

Thanks for reading, and have a good weekend!

3 Likes

Hey aaron, quick feedback from my side

  1. I think we were trying to do too many things the same time. I would suggest to define one direction which sounds the most promising in terms of achieving your goals and try to deliver this.

Regarding the collaboration with influencer, there is still four people are pending since our march activity. So if there is any specific you would like to do with it let’s coordinate with them directly. Just include Duy’s lates feeback regarding metrics, expectations and conversion.

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@aaron - i hate to be a wet blanket, but with 10 days left in the month, this may be an overly ambitious plan. podcasts, deep dives, news articles, ad campaigns, video updates, influencer collaborations, social, etc. are all well and good – but with limited resources, my preference is to pick a couple and do them well.

i would advise to refocus, choose select channels and select mediums, and run with those only. one way to prioritize initiatives is to keep in mind the ratio of effort to reward.

For example: podcast = high effort, low reward (following is not yet established, no natural follow through to join the forum).

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Not a wet blanket! My job is results, feedback is important.

@andrey and @ning, you’re both right.
For the remainder of the month, I have three things I think will yield results.

  1. I’d like to begin an outward-facing publication category on the site (like described in my ad post above), if it fits with the your overall goals for the site. I think its a good way for people to participate and to gain credibility and trust with people not yet in the community. It’s also a great way to consistently have content for social media that people want to see.

  2. I’ll continue to connect with the community we already have and get them to the site, now focusing more on Telegram and email lists.

  3. Ten days may not be enough to meet a goal organically, but with the right ads, we can still get there. The ad license for crypto won’t be approved in time given Facebook’s slow review process, but advertising publication posts (above) can be done without it and effective depending on how articles are written. Alternatively, I can work on a different style.

If you think there’s something that will be more effective to focus on, feel free to let me know. Thanks!

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would the news category fit your purposes?

can you post an update addressing @chi 's concerns so we can reach a consensus?

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That depends… The news category seems Incognito-focused, whereas publications would not be about Incognito directly. We’d include CTAs to join the site and can talk about Incognito where relevant, but it would be a “give” strategy rather than one centered around us.

It would also allow for opinion posts. Any site member can publish one (following guidelines like in any other category), like Medium, the incentive being a spot for their voice, sharing badges, etc.

If that can be true of the news category, that works. If not, we’d either create a new category or toss the idea if it doesn’t fit.

Coming soon! Working with Henry.

Weekly Update - 04/24/20

Hi everyone! So far, there have been 82 more trusted users from the initial proposal.

However, I’ve talked it over with a few other team members, and we’ve come to the conclusion that site signups are not the most impactful metric I can be working toward. Initially, the plan was to use ads and other tactics to grow the number of users. However, quality engagement and network growth are more useful, and protect against the scammier side of the cryptosphere while increasing the number of users. As a result, I will be shifting my focus to providing useful and engaging ways for existing and new users to participate, largely in the form of content.

For the remainder of April, I’ll be creating and publishing posts here and across social that aim to improve the quality and quantity of ways to engage with Incognito, and make for a better experience.

I also have a few ideas in development for my upcoming proposal in May, which I’ll list here and provide a more detailed proposal on at the beginning of the month.

A few ideas include:

  • producing the “20 questions” series
  • increasing awareness through publication collaborations
  • writing content to more fully explain Incognito and answer questions clearly
  • Using ads to help @annie grow the validators
  • Increasing the number of transactions on the network (strategy tbd)

and more. If you have any feedback or ideas, I’d love to hear them. Thanks!

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thanks aaron! we’re sitting at about 305 trusted users in total so far (goal of 450). i think that’s a pretty respectable number!

in terms of sign ups, we actually have almost 500. it would be amazing to be able to get the lurkers to start contributing too. what do you have planned for a final hurrah this week?

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Final Update:
After a month, the tally of additional trusted members is 150. That’s 50 shy of doubling the amount of trusted users (~174% of last month’s number) and 100 shy of the goal of adding 250.

We’ve seen many new members across the site, and I want to welcome them all! That said, more could have been done and I look forward to continuing to help grow Incognito.

Thanks for keeping up with my work! You can see my latest proposal here.

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