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For Web 3.0 projects, the bear market can be a time of innovation and growth. It is a good time for developers to build and as it turns out, a good time for community building and marketing in Web 3.0.
Bear market benefits
A bear market should not be viewed as all negative. There are elements of a bear market cycle that Web 3.0 projects would be wise to take advantage of for boosting community growth and marketing.
Advertising and sponsorships become more affordable
For one, advertising and sponsorships become cheaper. Companies typically have more money to spend during a bull cycle, making it harder for smaller companies and smaller budgets to compete.
When the money is flowing, sponsorships, conference booths and advertising opportunities cost on average five to 10 times more than during a bear market.
Quality of advertising can also take a hit. A bear market levels the field and allows companies of any size to stretch their budgets farther to reach a broader audience.
Bear markets are a time to align on values
Community growth during a bull market is easy. According to an early 2022 Web 3.0 developer report, the number of developers hit an all-time high in December 2021 when crypto prices were also high.
Many projects continue to see growth during the bear market as wellhowever, those who are drawn to the project by a desire to get rich quick are not likely contributing to positive values-oriented conversations across social and community channels.
When token prices are down, those who joined the community for misguided reasons will fall away, leaving those who share values and believe in the project mission. Teams and communities that are aligned on values and mission can ultimately accomplish so much more.
Projects that take advantage of slow economic cycles to build a foundation of shared values and align on vision will be the best positioned to sustain themselves for the long-term.
Facing bear market challenges
No company is cycle-proof, and of course economic slowdowns present challenges from a financial and growth perspective. The question then becomeshow do projects overcome those challenges, using those challenges as stepping stones to launch ahead of the competition?
Even the strongest Web 3.0 companies are not immune to the pitfalls and challenges of the cycle. Take Coinbase, for example, which announced hiring freezes and layoffs due to the bear market. They are only one of many who have been hit hard by the drop in cryptocurrency prices.
Company growth and hiring becomes more difficult during a slowdown. Yet, this is an opportunity for smaller projects to snatch up experienced talent who believe in the project vision.
A bear market has a similar impact on growing and building Web 3.0 communities. For example, during a bull cycle, a community can gain thousands of followers per weekbut during a bear market, that number may slow to the low hundreds.
However, while organic growth slows, the opportunity to focus on and build existing community participation increases. An aligned community is a valuable asset that needs to be protected, regardless of where the economic cycle is at.
Another challenge during a bear market is overall morale. Company and community interests may no longer align, thanks to net losses or economic impact. It can be difficult to maintain the excitement for a project, and morale will take a hit. Discussions around markets and money can drive builders and community members away.
Retool, rework, regroup
There is no perfect fix to the challenges facing Web 3.0 communities during a bear market cycle, but there are ways projects can take advantage of the benefits to help navigate their way through it.
Retool goals and metrics to prioritize retention over growth. Double down on true believers, meet their needs and focus on development. Overall numbers may decrease but the quality of your community will only increase.
Rework your marketing budget. Trim the fat and go lean. Shift your focus to high quality audiences that will stick around, regardless of the type of cycle.
Bear market builders desire substance. Reach them organically with a quieter, more focused marketing message. Save what you can so you are ready when the next bull cycle hits.
Regroup. Focus on team morale and instill a ‘help build/growth’ mindset. Psychologically, a bear market can be difficult, especially for Web 3.0 teams who were working during a bull market.
Refocus your leadership efforts on supporting your team, sharing perspective and bringing them along for the journey with a shift in strategy. Emphasize the good work that is going on, champion builders in your ecosystem and work smarternot harder so you’re ready when the next cycle begins.
There will always be an ebb and flow between bull and bear market cycles. As we look to the future and the end of this current cycle, it is important to carry the benefits of this bear market into the next bull cycle.
Projects that continue to focus on the alignment of values and creating a strong shared vision within Web 3.0 communities and across marketing efforts will emerge from the downturn stronger and more resilient than before.
Claire Kart is the Vice President of marketing and communications for the Mina Foundation the public benefit corporation serving the Mina Protocol, the world’s lightest blockchain.
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