Introduction to crypto bounties:

From Wild Wild West to Web

The term ‘bounty hunting’ has come a long way from the American wild west to the world wide web. Once associated with the American bounty hunters who hunted absconding balers and got rewarded for their efforts, bounty hunting is a frequently used term in the crypto realm. With the bitcoin launch and its subsequent success, many developers started showing interest in cryptocurrencies and the associated technologies such as blockchain. However, new concepts require wide acceptance and adoption. Consequently, it became imperative to develop marketing strategies that helped promote their crypto projects, and one such marketing tool that became extremely popular was bounty marketing. 

What are crypto bounty campaigns, and how do they differ from airdrops?

A crypto bounty campaign is a marketing campaign in which participants are rewarded with crypto tokens to complete various tasks. Various bounties are given out to contributors who help the crypto companies by doing various tasks allotted to them during the campaign. They can be anything from bug reports and social media shares to translations of documents. The more they contribute, the bigger their reward will be. For example, companies can use bounties as incentives to get people to do beta testing and create content for their websites.

There are two main reasons why companies opt for bounty marketing:

  1. Startup companies looking to launch their ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) 
  2. Established companies wanting to expand their reach on the blockchain market 

However, people often mix the terms airdrops and bounties and end up thinking they are similar marketing tools, which is not the case. Although both require bounty hunters to complete the tasks allocated, the similarities between the two end there. Airdrops comprise simpler tasks involving social media, such as:

  • Following accounts on various social media platforms
  • Liking, posting comments or sharing a post
  • Creating new accounts
  • Enabling notifications
  • Perform crypto transactions using a particular platform or a digital wallet

Moreover, airdrops are one-time activities, while bounty marketing is ongoing. For instance, in ICO bounty marketing, hunters participate in both pre and post bounty campaigning and are required to undertake tasks repeatedly. Also, in comparison, assignments in bounty-hunting, especially in the post ICO stage are a little more complicated and often require a specific skill set, time and effort. Bounty tasks could vary depending on the company’s requirements, which we will discuss in detail in this guide. 

Another major difference is that taskers need a verified and authenticated account to qualify as a bounty hunter; however, airdropping doesn’t need such a criterion.

Crypto bounty campaign: Importance and Types of bounties

Bounty campaigns are the most preferred marketing tools initiated by companies looking to launch their crypto projects on the blockchain. These campaigns or programs are strategies developed by the companies to promote their projects through ICO. ICOs are similar to IPOs (Initial Public Offerings), where a company offers shares to investors to raise funds. Likewise, through ICOs, crypto-based companies offer tokens as incentives to investors.

Crypto bounty marketing is a widely popular modus operandi through which the company enlists bounty hunters to raise awareness among crypto enthusiasts about their project, aiming to retain their interest. In fact, crypto bounty hunting was conceptualised when an online gaming platform offered rewards to people for their participation in a game development program. This exercise helped the company in two ways. Firstly, the gaming company gained popularity through word of mouth. Secondly, the initiative caught the interest of other companies who saw this type of marketing as an effective and variable tool. 

Types of crypto bounty campaigns

Mainly there are two stages to the bounty marketing program – Pre ICO and Post ICO.

Pre ICO bounty hunting campaign

Before launching an ICO, companies need to bring their projects to the public eye and connect with the community. Bounty marketing at this stage is done by the following methods:

Signature bounty campaign 

A signature bounty campaign or Bitcointalk bounty campaign is a free program that enables sponsored bounty members to post on the Bitcointalk forum The companies initiating ICOs launch issue sponsored signatures to the individuals participating in the signature campaign. The bounty hunters may be asked to upload an avatar which could be the company’s logo or write posts promoting ICO. In return, the members are given bitcoin tokens as a reward. These stakes depend upon the ranking of a particular member. The higher the rank is, the better the stakes are. It is expected of the participants to make quality contributions to the campaign.

For instance, the posts must be constructive and value-adding. In addition, the members are supposed to keep their signatures and avatars until the end of the campaign, a detail that the company verifies regularly. Non-adherence to the guidelines of bitcointalk.org can lead to warnings and then maybe a permanent ban. 

There are two types of signature campaigns:

FIxed campaigns in which a participant gets a fixed number of bitcoins for a certain number of posts.

Pay per post in which members are rewarded per post. This campaign, unfortunately, is vulnerable to spammy posts. 

Eligibility criteria for the participants:

  1. Participants must have a junior rank or higher at the bitcointalk forum
  2. The signature code and the avatars should be corresponding to the rank of the participant
  3. They must write substantial posts relevant to the campaign and avoid spammy content or negative feedback
  4. They must have a digital wallet to receive awarded tokens

Guidelines for companies running the campaign:

  1. Consider choosing high ranking members for the campaign 
  2. Prefer not to run bots to write posts and keep their usage to the minimum, such as counting the number of posts, checking spam posts, etc.
  3. Consistent and regular monitoring of the activities of the participants
  4. Try and choose quality members over quantity

Twitter bounty campaign 

Twitter is the most preferred platform for crypto enthusiasts whether to market their projects or run promotional campaigns. Twitter bounty campaigns are an extremely popular medium to attract mass attention to a particular crypto project. Companies recruit bounty hunters to advertise their projects and reward them with tokens for their efforts. Usually, participants are required to like, retweet, share, and comment on the company’s Twitter account. 

Eligibility criteria to enter a campaign differ from company to company. However, there are certain general requirements to be met which are as follows: 

  1. The participants must have a certain number of Twitter followers to enter the campaign.
  2. They must have a decent Twitter audit score
  3. Participants are required to tweet as per campaign requirements 
  4. Follow company hashtags and tweet using those hashtags
  5. Tweets must be relevant to the campaign and posted after certain time intervals as guided by the company

Social Media bounty campaign

Apart from Twitter, companies run bounty campaigns across social media platforms for better engagement and to get their projects in the spotlight. Therefore, they recruit bounty hunters on platforms like Youtube, Facebook, Telegram, Instagram, Whatsapp, and others to promote their ICOs. Bounty hunters are required to perform various tasks such as liking, sharing, and commenting on the company’s account or marketing their projects through their personal accounts. In addition, they can also join referral programs. These participants receive bounty rewards for their efforts from the companies they are campaigning for. 

Blogging and Vlogging bounty programs

Companies may recruit social media influencers or bloggers to write articles for their websites and create videos promoting their ICO before its launch. These blogs and vlogs provide information on the project and create a pre-launch buzz around the company’s ICO. In return, these bloggers and vloggers receive a payout for their efforts. 

 

The problem with social media bounty campaigns

A bounty campaign’s success largely depends on its participants. More often, people sign up to these campaigns to earn quick bucks without really creating relevant content or adhering to the program’s guidelines. Therefore, it is imperative for the companies to choose serious participants who add value to the campaign. Often their performance is difficult to track due to the number of participants or some other reason. It is upto the campaign runners to ensure they get the maximum value out of their participants by issuing strict guidelines and identifying genuine bounty hunters and rewarding them accordingly.

Translation bounty campaigns

Companies may hire technical writers to write pre ICO white papers, ANN posts, or write posts for the bitcointalk community. These writeups highlight various details of the project and its various elements, such as the project structure, interface, design, etc. The bounties for these tasks may carry higher stakes as translations and white papers require high expertise. Bounty rewards share also depends on the impact and quality of the articles.

Post ICO bounty hunting campaign

Once the ICO is launched, the real work for the companies begins. Pre ICO bounty launch campaigns need to be succeeded by the Post ICO bounty marketing. Such programs help keep market interest stimulated in a company’s project. These promotional campaigns also are the best way to collect feedback. The companies can enlist participants with specialised skill sets such as developers, coders, technical writers etc., at this stage of the campaign. Post bounty programs may include:

Bug reporting campaigns

Bug Reporting bounties are the most sought after bounties as they could be the most lucrative deals for the participants. Also referred to as the Vulnerability Rewards Program (VRP), companies run these programs to find bugs in their websites. Software Developers, whitehat hackers, and coders are incentivised to spot bugs and report them to the website owners. In turn, these bounty seekers get rewarded with either cash or tokens. Giants like Google, Facebook, and Yahoo regularly conduct bug bounty programs and distribute cash prices for bug detection. 

  • The other post-ICO bounty marketing promotions include Project reviewing campaigns and Community Management programs. For such tasks, bounty managers are hired who are essentially high ranking members of bitcointalk without any negative profile scores.  

How to Run a Successful Crypto Bounty Campaign: A step by step process

  • Allotment of tokens: The first step in launching bounty programs is allocating funds to the campaigns. Companies launch bounty programs simultaneously across social media platforms, so creating a comprehensive bounty campaign pool becomes essential. For instance, companies can allocate an equal percentage to each program or not depending on the media’s usage and contribution. For example, a crypto company may choose to allocate 20% for Facebook, 30% for Twitter, and 20% for Reddit or may divide funds equally between the three. Also, companies must try and reserve at least 1% to 4% of their tokens for bounty programs. 
  • Task creation: Next step is to design tasks pertaining to the platform one chooses for the campaign. The success of the campaign will largely depend on the USP factor. It is crucial to create tasks that are unique and not copied from other campaigns, and a white paper at this point can come in handy. For instance, a company can design a task under the Redditt bounty campaign. Participants are required to join the Reddit community chat forum, write 2-3 posts per week, and leave a report on completed activity. Such tasks seriously engage bounty seekers and help retain their interest in the campaign. Similarly, for writing articles the participants can refer to the company’s white paper. 
  • Setting up rules: It is important to set certain rules and guidelines for the participants that clearly state the joining criteria and expectations of the company. However, it is also necessary to strike a balance when setting such rules. They should neither be too rigid nor too indulgent. Strict rules may make people hesitant to join the campaign, while too much leniency can adversely affect the campaign’s success. 
  • Employing a qualified bounty campaign manager: It is not easy to manage campaigns, and they need to be micromanaged for optimum results. Therefore, companies should consider hiring an experienced bounty campaign manager with the following traits:
  • Individuals who could deal with the stress and give enough time and dedication to the campaign.
  • They should be capable of imparting 24*7 support to the participants 
  • Excellent communication and organisational skills are a must
  • The ability to resolve discords and conflicting situations

         

       

  • Bounty campaign launch time: It is imperative to choose the right campaign time, which is ideally a few weeks earlier before the ICO launch. One way to begin the campaign is to start with airdrops and gradually move to bounties. The appropriate timing of the campaign will help create maximum influence and give enough time to bounty hunters to engage in their tasks. 
  • Making strategically designed alluring announcements: The companies usually spread the word of campaign launch by announcements made through forums like bitcointalk through the following options:
  • Choose an eye-catching format and add an image to attract bounty hunters’ interest. 
  • The program should be well structured with clearly defined rules and tasks to be performed. 
  • The number of tokens allocated and the time duration of bounty dispersals should be clearly mentioned. 
  • A report sheet must be included in the announcements where completed tasks could be submitted
  • Choosing appropriate bounty hunters for specialised tasks in pre and post ICO stages of bounty campaign:

Companies looking to recruit bounty seekers should stress enlisting individuals with high profile rank or with distinctive skill sets, particularly for specialised tasks. There is a high probability that campaigns could lose their effectiveness due to the hiring of a large number of individuals who might not put any effort into the campaign, and their sole purpose is to make easy and quick money. Therefore companies need to reflect on whether they want a highly effective campaign with participants who enrich the campaign or settle for mediocrity.

  • Marketing bounty programs across various social media platforms: Efficient marketing of the bounty campaigns across varied media platforms like ANN thread, Facebook, Twitter, Telegram, Bitcointalk, Reddit, Linkedin, Medium and others will ensure high participation and create maximum hype around the campaign. Also, human memory is fickle, so keep posting campaign announcements constantly at regular time intervals. 
  • Tracking each participant’s contribution: With so many participants on different media platforms campaigning for one project can be logistically challenging. Therefore it is prudent to maintain records of the participants and the tasks completed through google sheets or maintaining excel sheets. Companies can either hire a human task tracker or make use of bots for task tracking. Companies may also ask bounty hunters to maintain these sheets and submit them weekly. Synch reports help in the duly allocation of bounties and also come in handy for future projects

The problems with crypto bounty campaigns and their future

Crypto bounty campaigns became hyped between 2018 and 2019 and were extensively used as marketing tools by various companies for ICO launches. Unfortunately, more often than not, these bounty campaigns were used to promote fake tokens or projects, giving rise to defrauding. Such activities harmed the reputation of bounty campaigns making bounty seekers vary in participating in such programs.

Crypto is an unregulated market; therefore, such fraud has become common practice. SEC (securities and exchange commission) launched a crackdown on such companies and put a stop to increasing fraud. Additionally, The great crypto crash added salt to the injuries putting bounty campaigns in line with suspicion. Another aspect of bounty programs is the participation of unqualified bounty hunters who do more harm than good to such campaigns.

Crypto bounty campaigns are still perceived as an effective marketing strategy for ICO launches despite such issues. Infact specialised bounty hunters can earn a decent amount from bounty programs like bug bounty and translation bounties. Google alone dispersed $8.7 million as VRPs in the financial year 2021.

However, forums like bitcointalk have strict guidelines for companies and bounty hunters to curb fraudulent activities. Also, many organisations now seek KYC documents from the participants to establish their authenticity. This is not a widely spread practice but slowly gaining traction. 

Evomatntra’s mantra for a successful crypto bounty campaign

Many crypto companies struggle to find good quality PR firms to launch and market their ICOs. Evomantra is an innovative platform where our mantra is to design and create an effective bounty campaign that translates into long-lasting gains. Starting from pre-ICO launch to post, we run from pillar to post to make each step a step towards success. Evomantra doesn’t want to match your expectations; we want to surpass them and give you a campaign that people will talk about and bounty hunters will seek to be a part of. So when you think of launching an ICO, think of Evomantra. Get in touch with us to get a detailed roadmap of a successful crypto bounty campaign.

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