Kseniia Baziian, Web3 Branding Expert


Okay, so let's let's start. Hi, everyone. Welcome to the new poolside podcast session where we come together to share knowledge and experiences with the community in an informal and conversational way. Thank you all for joining us. On this episode and together with our guests, we will explore Web3 marketing strategies and how to build your brands in the blockchain space. So today to the today with us, we have Kseniia Baziian. She's a Web3 marketing and brand strategy experts. Welcome Kseniia,


thank you very much for inviting happy to be here.


Happy to have you. I'm very excited for this one. Don't forget that you will be able to claim an exclusive ot for the first 300 submitted valid emails. So after the session, sign up on Galxe to grab your OAT. So welcome to Kseniia. First of all, could you please introduce yourself share your background and how you got into the Web3


space. It was studying initially banking and finance and wanted to be an investment banker, which luckily never happened. So for the past 10 years, I work in Marketing, I worked in a range of different companies from consumer brands, such as fashion, and then move to my own business that wasn't healthcare, eventually, eventually nology. And then for the past over two years, I'm working in the blockchain industry as a chief marketing officer, advisor to different projects, and also mentor for a couple of accelerators.


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And how different is to develop a marketing strategy in Web3?


That's a very good question. Because I feel like on one side, it's different. On another side, it's the same but maybe a bit more elaborate than in the web two space. Because in Web3 additional complication is that we have limited information about people who are using the products, we have some projects that don't have a product even and need more brand recognition. We have the toolkit on top of the product itself. So I feel like the Web3 strategy is kind of like an extended web to strategy.


And a few episodes ago, we hosted an episode on the importance of user research. Exactly what you mentioned, how do you implement user research in your work?


Recently, what I've been doing to get more information about the users is doing it both in the active way. And also kind of observing what users do. So I try to get as much information as I can from the community if the project is already live, and they have the community already. And also to try to be active, active and gather this information in the form of different balls in the form of questions. And so anything where we'll see not just who the users are community members are, but who are the most active people in the community?


And can you walk us through the process of starting to develop a new strategy for brands,


I'm trying to tackle both the technical side because as we're working in the blockchain space, it's very important to showcase the technology and showcase what are the unique selling points of the product. But at the same time, I don't want to miss on the personal appeal. Because I felt like in marketing, the most important is to tell the story. And basically, I'm trying to merge the two sides. I'm trying to explain the product in the most digestible way and at the same time to explain the feel of the product in the personal way like to add the personal story of the founders to explain their vision to explain how they're planning to change the industry or to change the respective sector of the industry in general.


And what will be the main metrics you will use when evaluating specific marketing action results? In this case,


this really depends on a particular marketing activity and on the project and the product itself, because there are quite a lot of moving parts, we can have projects that are just launching, and they need a lot of brand awareness, we might have projects that actually have the working product. And in this case, it's going to be completely different metrics. But as I come from the perspective of growth marketing, I'm very metrics driven and numbers driven. So I try to gather as much information as I can, like, let's see, for the project, I'm currently working with the half the working platform. And our main target is our main goal, I would say is to get more users on the platform is to engage community more, and to grow the total value locked on the platform. In case of projects that are purely working on the Bronk awareness, I would say that majority of the metrics can be called like vanity metrics, but it's still a good tracker of the success. Like for example, everything connected with the community size, whether it's discord, whether it's Twitter, is a valid option to track whether you're successful or not in the space. And also, everything connected with engagement, like are people responding to your efforts in it can be even think the main issue of the space is that it's very difficult to quantify the data from the platforms that we're usually using. So currently, the current stage is either you try different platforms and figure it trial and error for the numbers that you are planning to get. Or there's going to be a lot of manual work, where you can kind of see the fill and see the sentiment in the community.


So correct me if I'm wrong. Looking at the four bases, like the four P's of marketing, we used to like product, price, place and promotion. And basically Web3 is adding like a fifth P to the equation. P for people.


Yeah, exactly. And I think in Web3, this is one of the most important parts, especially if we take into account that the industry is very young. And, for example, one of the pieces such as our product is missing in some in some projects, because they're just not at the stage when they have something in life and out there. So I think people is the main focus in Web3 in particular. And even in web two now, because the trend is that web two brands are also moving towards building the community.


Yeah. And can you share with us any personal hacks you have on building and keeping a community engaged?


Yeah, for sure. I think it's quite difficult to see like do X, Y Zed, and it's going to work out for you, because it always depends on the project. And it depends what you stand for. But this is actually how I like to tackle that I like to kind of equate the project to the personalities of the founders. Because I think it's very important to make a differentiation here. Because eventually, people want to want to have a strong thought leadership. And I think it's very important than the space now, especially in Web3, because there were so many hacks and so many, just, even if we don't take into account some things that were shady, there is so many gray areas, and so many difficult concepts to explain that I feel like people have the need of a strong leader for the project to be kind of more secure, that the project is going to have the future. So for building community, I really like to include the founders in the process, and make it more make the whole process more personal. I also feel like, it's very important to be honest with the users. So we know that with the Web3 projects, there are a lot of delays. And I feel like even the small things when you explain to the users that you did not launch at this particular date, because you wanted to do this and that were because you encountered this and that issues is going to go a long way for you in the future. And this is actually what we try to do when we're worked at Pokedex. We try to be super transparent with our community and to kind of navigate them through everything that's happening in the project through all the parts of the product and try to make it very understandable for them, even if it's a very highly technical thing.


Yeah, definitely agree with the with the founders part, I think it can bring a lot more confidence and a sense of like more transparency to the community. When it comes to onboarding new users and increasing adoption of, of a certain product or ecosystem, what kind of strategies can you can brands have in place to do so.


I think currently in the, in our recent conditions of bear or bearish market, there is a lot of lightshot on education, because still, there are people who are new to the industry. And there are people who are maybe just opening up a crypto for themselves for the first time. So there's a huge gap between the users who were there for, let's say, even a couple of years, and who understand how different protocols work, who don't need a great user experience, to be able to use the platforms, and the newbies to the space who are basically drowning and the amount of information and in the complexity of the whole industry. So what I see now is the huge trend on academies on different onboarding techniques, whether it's through discord, for example, like a welcome page, or really good support, and the discord for anything that the users might need, or in the written form as an academy with educational content and the topics both for the product side, and both for the relevant Web3 topics that user might encounter while going through the product usage. Also, what I can see, there is a trend for different online events, whether it's something simple, such as ama or a community Chat, where again, the users have connection to the team, they can ask their questions, and they can just in general, be kept informed, or something more elaborate, like the events together with partners that basically like showcase, maybe complementary products, or projects where the communities have some synergy.


And I know, I know, you've you've mentioned some of it in this interview before. But from your experience as a Web3 marketing experts, what are the main struggles when it comes to establish a brand in the Web3


spirit space. Basically, one of the main struggles is that, for example, in web two space, it's not 100% of cases, but it's usually quite easy to establish who is your target audience. And usually, there are quite a few sources, where you can find the information. In Web3, especially if you're working with a project that is completely decentralized. And following the real Web3 ethos, they don't want to gather information about the users. So you need to be very inventive, let's say, to find out the information that you need, and that you would have ready for you in the web to space. So the limited amount of information about the users would be like one of the main issues. And I think the second part, which is one of the main challenges of any marketer in this space, is simply the complexity of the products. And the fact that there are so many parts, it's not just one product that you project is doing, you have to tackle all the parts around it, you have to highlight the founders or the team, you have to make sure that your community knows that you have enough competence, especially if you're a new project, you have to explain the technology itself in the way that it will be appealing both to tech gurus and also to people who are new to the space. Also like showing that whatever you're seeing in your marketing copy is not just the words, but you can kind of support your claims by the expertise that you have in your company. So I feel like there are quite a few challenges that are also applicable to particular projects, and probably the stage at which the project is and a particular ecosystem. But in terms of the complexity, I think it's very important to be able to explain what your project is doing and what what it's standing for what is your product and what is unique about it simply even because the competition is growing very, very fast in this industry. So it's not just one decentralized exchange. Now, it's myriads of similar projects that will not stand out if you don't explain it properly. Yeah, do


you think that it leaves like little room for for failing?


Probably, it sounds quite dramatic. But I think now, there's more and more emphasis on marketing, even for the projects that are just starting out, which definitely wasn't the case, even two years ago. Because I feel like a couple of years ago, there were not so many projects that have the working product. Even this stage was like, not attainable for some of the projects. Now, when you are as a new project viewer coming into the space, you are competing, first of all with giants who don't care maybe about the user experience, because they already have quite a big mass of users. And they will just keep getting, keep tackling their goals with this group of users. But as the newbie to the space, you need to carve out your share of the market, and you need to carve out your place. So I feel like marketing is becoming extremely important in terms of, first of all, just grabbing the attention of the audience. Secondly, converting this audience into your loyal community members and your loyal product users.


Yeah, totally agree. Speaking of one of the hot topics of the moment, we have been watching the arising of Chad TPT as a marketing tool. How do you see it from a marketing perspective?


Yes, for sure. It's been a huge trend. And I think we've all seen our LinkedIn pages just flooded with different prompts from two bids. Sometimes it was hilarious. Sometimes it was too repetitive. I think it's a nice tool to play with. I don't see that the current stage as complete substitute for people for like copywriters. Because I think it also vastly depends on how much information you have about your company out there. Because basically, it works on the information that you provide. So let's say if you're an established project, I think it makes a lot of sense to use similar challenge up to three or similar AI tools, because it's just going to add an additional bandwidth to whatever your team can pull off during the week. But if you're a new project, you still need to work on the foundations for working with any sort of AI.


Yeah, and can you name your favorite Web3 brand initiatives so


far? That's quite difficult. I think it will be difficult to name a favorite initiative with one company in mind. But I think what kind of stuck with me across the years, I really liked the I really liked the digital events in general, because I think it's one of the best ways to grab attention to tap into community of other projects, and just in general to bring value to your community in terms of the content and in terms of like shaking things up. So what I remembered, and what I'm trying to incorporate in my work, whether it's for my full time project, or just advisory work is what flow blockchain has done. In terms of digital events. They had it about a year ago. And it was a huge multi day event where they were inviting their ecosystem projects, inviting their partners. And they had a very good layout of content. It was like a mix of topics connected to the product itself, but in a very organic way, because it was mixed in nicely with educational topics with giving the spotlight to their community and giving the spotlight to their ecosystem projects.


Okay, cool. I'm going to check it out. You spoke a lot about digital events. But do you think that for example, for community building in real life events can also be relevant and important? Yes, definitely.


I think I'm very happy first of all, that everything is coming back from the COVID slumber that was 100% identical to in real life. In real life events are definitely a go to especially like if it fits if it aligns well with your goals. I think if if you feel like your project is at the stage where you will benefit a lot from let's say showing thought leadership and explaining whatever, whatever you do to the larger public, or if you are the Stage One Business Development comes to You're in the first place. It's a great, it's a great event to connect. And it's a great opportunity to find people who are your potential partners. But then it always also depends, because I think the biggest caveat of in real life events is that they're very expensive. And as we work mainly with startups, a lot of projects don't even have budget dedicated to the events. And, along with this, I think it really depends how you do the events. And if you go there with a particular goal, or you just go there, just kind of going with the flow.


And are there are there any trends in the Web3 space that really excites you right now?


There are quite a few things right now. First of all, I think that the space is becoming usable and what I it's not a trend, it's probably kind of the evolution of the space. What I really like is that even a couple of years ago, Web3 space was all just bare claims, just simply because there were not so many platforms actually launching something to the world that can be usable. Now, I think that it's moving more to the direction one, Web3 is here to stay. And we're having a lot of amazing products in defy space. We're having a lot of amazing blockchain games with graphics. We're having Metaverse in full swing. And I really like to see that different industries are inside the web 3d space. They're collaborating with each other. So let's say you will have like NF T's for defy projects, which they're using either for their community building or to unlock certain perks to engage people. You will have like Metaverse included into other products. So there is a lot of synergy and a lot of interconnectivity in the space.


And speaking of Metaverse, do you think it's contributing or it's going to contribute to create, like more immersive and personalized branding experiences? For customers? I


think definitely. I really like seeing how Metaverse is evolving and where it's going to be even in a year's time. Because I think a bit brings me back to the time when I was working in fashion because the fashion industry has a lot of emphasis on clients experience. And as there is a lot of competition in the space. I remember that the brands I was working for they were using all sorts of different things to try to create a more immersive store experience. And I feel like Metaverse is kind of a perfect continuation. And even if you look at that, a lot of fashion brands are if they talk about Web3, they're probably talking about the metaverse experience. Yep. So it's very interesting to see like where it's going to be evolving.


And speaking of marketing tools, are there any specific Web3 platforms or tools that you use or that you know, that can be used to create engaging and interactive marketing campaigns.


I am currently in the creative search stage. So I've been connecting with a lot of companies that do analytics for Web3. And that helped with user research and just understanding the community better. And at the same time understanding the platforms better. So not just not just looking at the wallet addresses, but basically giving more information about who is behind the wallet address. So I think this is also one of the new trends in the Web3 space that is tied to the growth of the marketing in the space in general. And another trend that I'm seeing in this terms in terms of the platforms for marketing and activation and engagement is different Web3 native platforms for creating engaging campaigns. So sort of bounces like layer three or tight where you can incentivize users to do certain actions to get the certain bounty in return.


Yeah, thank you for sharing, for sharing that with us. You've been working as a marketing expert and a mentor for for quite a while. And I know that you've recently launched your I think it's your first Web3 marketing strategy course on the inevitable platform. Yeah, how do you see the role of education in the Web3 space and how do you see the interests of people like subscribing to these kinds of online courses?


I'm personally a big fan of education and I think it's actually in the both fast moving industries that I'm in marketing and Web3, education is inevitable just because things change so fast on the even month on month basis, not even talking about year on year. And I think also, now there are a lot of web two marketers that really want to move to the Web3 space, even from my personal connections, and from my friends, I know quite a few people who would love to jump into the blockchain space, but they lack the certain expertise. And also, on the other side of the marketplace, you have the projects that really need somebody to kickstart. And they don't have an opportunity to handhold and explain different things to the new person who's coming on board. So I feel like educational resources provide a lot of value. And, for example, in my course, what I tried to do is to grasp all the information that I got from working in the space from learning about the space, and just in general observing what do other projects do, and put it into one resource that's going to be digestible. And it's going to be quite actionable.


Yeah, I'm, I'm, I'm going to say I'm actually taking that course. Yeah, I'm in the middle of it. But yeah, I'm already taking the course. So if anyone wants to check it out, it's in the in app to inevitable platform. Speaking of learning, platforms, and how can people, what's your advice on what's the best way to keep up with new marketing strategies, new marketing trends in 2023? For the Web3 space? Where can people go to learn?


That's a very good question. Because I think one of the biggest challenges in this space is that there's so many different places, and so many different kinds of pockets of information that you can get. So what I would suggest is, first of all, to understand, personally, what is your goal, like? What do you want to do in this space? If you're already in the space? Like, do you want to upskill? If yes, what exactly are you like in your current work, and probably try to tailor your educational efforts to your current situation, because it's just going to be easier to choose the resources for yourself. What I'm personally trying to do is, I'm following quite a lot of marketers and Web3, on LinkedIn, I'm trying to read what they post on a daily basis, just to get the feel of where they see the industry going, and what they are trying to do. Also, I'm trying to follow the projects in the space, especially the projects, making waves currently, and kind of tried to reverse signs, what they're doing and like, why their marketing efforts paid off, versus projects that are not so well known through their marketing efforts. But I think it's a bit of like, trial and error. So you need to find your own base, and you need to find like, people and resources that fit your goals personally.


Yeah. Is there any like brand or marketing campaign that you would like, like to highlight for for the good performance or the there are good results that you've seen so far,


the campaign in particular would be again, difficult, but I think we can all agree that one of the top companies in terms of marketing is polygon. And, yeah, I really like their strategy, because I think they have one of the strongest ecosystems. And they kind of found the sweet spot between appealing to their community in general, and appealing to technical part of their community. And they mix in different initiatives really well, so that it's not overwhelming or boring for one or another group of their community.


Okay, that was my last question. Thank you so much, Kseniia, for joining us, is there anything you would like to address that we didn't talk about? Before we close?


I would say just to all the marketers in this space, probably because we're currently the market conditions that are not as fun from the first glance as it wasn't the bull market. But I think it's a great time to restructure your efforts repurpose, and invest into marketing foundations, whether it's brand marketing, whether it's educational efforts, and just in General try to invest your time and your efforts into something that's going to be long lasting.


Awesome. Thank you. Thank you Kseniia. This will be the end of our poolside podcasts. And if you have any topics or guests you would like to hear in the next weeks, do reach out to us and let us know. In case you've missed this entire live session, make sure to subscribe on Spotify, Apple and Google podcast channels and listen to this one and many other insightful episodes. I will see you next week.


Bye bye. Thank you for inviting me mine. I