Communication is an afterthought for many web3 organizations.
The most common process for communicating with a community is by hitting send on a short Tweet, then linking to that Tweet in a Discord or Telegram announcement.
In a bull market where VCs are blowing up your DMs because your bio says “building in web3”, and anonymous users are willing to use any dApp that promises a future airdrop or profitable mint, you can get away with this.
But, web3 is evolving. The people still here want to find a signal in the noise. To reduce interference with your signal and share your mission with clarity, you need to up your communication game.
In the next sections, I’ll walk you through four main types of content that you can publish to stay in touch with your users and community and help them succeed with your product/protocol.
There’s no strict order to these, but I’d suggest starting with Layer 1, and working down through to Layer 4.
Once you have the fundamentals down, you can start to experiment with new formats and content assets to identify what your audience want to hear from you.
The first rung of the communication best practice ladder is keeping in touch with your community.
When you ship a new feature, launch a token, or call for DAO contributors to participate in a new initiative, you need your most active users to be involved.
The easiest methods of communications for this type of communication is:
Tweet out an announcement
Create a Discord or Telegram announcement
Send an email (if you have an list, which in itself is a challenge due to the pseudo-anonymous nature of web3)
Post an update on your company blog
Whenever something important happens in your ecosystem, use these channels to broadcast it.
You’ll see this being done in almost any well-run community.
Your community members are curious. They want to use your product and get involved with your ecosystem. Your job is to help them.
Depending on your product, the right way to help them will vary.
A DAO tooling company will need robust documentation designed for builders who are considering using the product in their DAO
An NFT marketplace needs instructions on how to buy, sell, and interact with NFTs on the platform.
A DEX needs a glossary of terms, and how-tos on doing the common trading activity on the platform.
The key is that you’re creating content that helps your core user complete the task they want to complete using your website, protocol, API, or whatever they want to interact with.
Tally.xyz is one of the best at this.
Their blog is deep dives on interesting, DAO-relevant content. They create their own content, as well as bringing in new contributors through their decentralized content arm, Content Guild.
It won’t be long before Tally is the go-to place for learning about DAOs, for both new entrants to the web3 world and experienced DAO contributors.
There is a caveat here: it only makes sense to invest in this type of content when you know who your ideal community member is. You want your articles, videos, or podcasts to be evergreen and be helpful for people today, and for new readers in six months or a year’s time.
The next layer of content is the social proof layer.
This is content that shows people you’re real, trustworthy, and have existing users.
Social proof is critical if your product is B2B in any sense.
DAO tooling companies
Products/APIs that other teams integrate into their own to add utility
A Discord analytics tool that a company will use to manage their community growth
The reason social proof is important is simple: people trust other people.
There are several types of social proof content you can include:
Testimonials on your landing page
A list of your notable investors
First, testimonials and investor mentions. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel here. A simple example of this done well is on Coinshift’s landing page.
Rather than just adding a Tiger Global or Sequoia logo (which would have already been a great start), they added names and photos of key investors and advisors. If a visitor already knows some of these people, they’ll trust the company more.
Another type of asset for building social proof is case studies.
These are one of my favorite types of content assets for web3 companies.
Even though much of web3 is trustless, case studies give transparency, trust, and context to a company or project.
Juicebox, a funding protocol for web3 builders and creators are one of the best at these.
Once a project uses Juicebox platform and sees good results, they’ll turn that into a long-form case study.
They give context on why the project chose Juicebox, the problem they had to solve, and show how Juicebox aided in the project’s success.
Most users or customers are happy to participate in case studies like these (if you ask nicely!).
Prepare questions for your customer around the pain points they had before discovering your solution, then conduct an interview. Run edits in a tool like Descript, then publish it to YouTube, and re-purpose the interview into a case study page for your website with the video embedded.
Once you’ve covered your bases, it’s time to think about the future.
This content layer is where you can arguably have the most fun. You can create thought-leadership content that makes your audience’s eyes light up and make them think about all of the possibilities open to them in the future.
One company that does this well is Zora.
The content that Zora puts out is intentionally in-depth and thought-provoking. There are in-jokes, specialized terms that only the most crypto native readers will know, and references to events in the history of crypto.
They use their Zine to explore what web3 means, where it leads, and explore various ways the road can fork along the way.
Another example of this done well is a16z’s Future publication.
While a16z isn’t a crypto company itself, the investment firm has skin in the game through financial investment in web3 companies.
This article from Elena Burger on Future explores how web3 companies can distribute resources to new entrants, use financial incentives to onboard users, and push teams to innovate.
What makes content like this so effective is that it taps into your subject matter expertise (SME).
SME is impossible to copy, and it enables you to put a unique spin on any content you put out and apply your lens to the world of web3.
If your community wanted a generic response to their questions, they’d use Chat GPT. Truth is, they want to hear what you have to say.
You don’t need a rigid structure when creating content.
But, you do need to consider the state of your existing audience.
For example, if you have a small Discord or Telegram server and just a few followers, you probably won’t break through the noise with Layer 1 content (announcements and general housekeeping). Instead, you might want to focus on content that helps you leverage your best users for building awareness, through case studies and stories, similar to those that we’ve looked at from JuiceboxDAO .
Alongside this, you’ll also want to create educational content to help your new and existing community members use your product more effectively and unlock new value in it.
Strike a balance between the content you create, spend time assessing your efforts, and double-down once you know what works.
We’ve looked at written content in the examples above. But, don’t get too attached to any single format and make sure to experiment.
Even if you have an awesome blog, you might want to consider turning those articles into YouTube videos that visual learners can follow more easily.
If you have a podcast, you might want to consider turning those audio files into structured articles that other users can read at their own pace.
Whatever medium you use, it needs to be easy for your community members, customers, and users to access.
An interesting product, protocol, or community always comes first.
But, these won’t communicate themselves to your audience.
The content needs to be genuinely useful to your audience. Different articles, videos, or graphic design work you put out may appeal to users at different stages of their user journey, but it must be useful for them at some point of that journey.