BALANCER ACADEMY PROPOSAL
We aim to build Balancer.Academy to teach new users about De-Fi and create public awareness for the Balancer protocol through education.
Consumer Education is the most powerful form of marketing for projects at the cutting edge of technology. With the Total Locked Value (TLV) of assets crossing $10B, De-Fi has emerged as the major hotspot of all Blockchain activity.
In capital markets, users follow liquidity and vice versa. With AMMs enabling (nearly) permission-less listings, liquidity providers directly profit by supplying liquidity through their portfolio. This disrupts the traditional finance model where users pay Fund managers to maintain their portfolios instead of being paid for it (through fees).
However, there is very little awareness of how it works beyond a small subset in the crypto community. Despite better UX, non-custodial transactions and other obvious advantages, De-Fi projects continue to depend on Ce-Fi businesses for new user growth, largely due to the lack of their own processes to onboard and educate new users.
With Balancer Academy, we want to build and scale up an Edtech platform that can deliver De-Fi education to users across the world. This would not only help grow the market for AMMs and De-Fi, but also build a powerful engine of growth to facilitate informed user growth for the Balancer project.
Education based Marketing - A successful model
A great example of education based marketing is implemented by Zerodha, a South Asian Stock-investing Decacorn.
Based on the robinhood exchange model, it relied heavily on consumer education as a powerful lead acquisition strategy to grow at an astronomical pace. Given the lack of financial literacy amongst ordinary users across South Asia, it’s consumer education portal varsity has proven to be very popular, gaining 2.5M page views a month, without much advertising.
It has also been covered very favourably in the media which has further strengthened the user acquisition funnel.
Here is an example of their media coverage with their education focused marketing covered :
In the blockchain space, Binance has led the pack on consumer education through their Research & Education Academy. Recently, Coinmarketcap (also Binance) has launched a new education product called Alexandria to help it’s vast userbase learn about cryptocurrencies and onboarding to Binance.
We will create, populate and extensively market an educational platform on Balancer dot Academy. This platform will be entirely focused on Open source De-Fi education. This project will seek to promote Balancer through Education-focused marketing.
While there are a few sources of content on Balancer (Youtube/Medium), most of them are scattered across platforms, with a high density of technical jargon. To leverage content for new user acquisition, it is important to be simple and structured - so ordinary users can learn without being daunted by the complexity of it all. Creating simple to understand will be our focus.
PHASE 1 :
The first phase of the project will last 6 to 8 Weeks and will focus on Content & Outreach.
1. Content Bank Creation - We will create a bank of initial content about De-Fi using Balancer examples. These articles will cover important aspects of De-Fi and Balancer like liquidity mining, impermanent loss, multi-asset pool and permissionless trading for users. We have an initial list of topics that new users will care the most about.
In the first build-up phase of this proposal, we will work on building a content bank consisting of easy-to-understand articles that explain the basics of De-Fi to new users.
2. Custom Animated Video - We will create a 60-90 second custom-animated video about the Balancer Academy to explain/promote the platform across social channels. The video will be high-quality and custom scripted with a voiceover.
3. Informational Book- We will also create a short, periodically updated PDF book on the essential concepts of AMMs and De-Fi. A number of users prefer to read in a text format and this book will cater to that audience. This book will be free to download on Balancer.academy and other channels, and will serve as an important tool to promote the platform.
Outreach Strategy : Marketing & PR
Promoting Balancer dot academy is an critical aspect of this proposal since engagement is central to its overall impact & success.
Our strategy to build this outreach will revolve around 3 major aspects :
1. SEO based acquisition - We will reverse engineer the platform to focus on high volume search keywords that users look for to ensure Balancer dot academy starts receiving organic traffic from search engines. This is the most sustainable form of traffic generation as direct marketing has poor ROI. We see this as a long term, low cost - high impact strategy to gain followers for balancer.academy.
2. Social Media Outreach - We will build and maintain channels on Reddit and Twitter to promote the Balancer.academy education platform to new users across the board. We will collaborate with the Balancer social media team (which has a sizeable twitter following) for onboarding early adopters.
3. Extensive PR - We will promote Balancer dot academy extensively through media by working with journalists and crypto blog platforms to spread the word. A large of media organizations in the traditional finance space loves to write about crypto-currencies and new development. We will reach out to these outlets to cover balancer academy.
Market Research on Strategy - Done
Platform Selection / Basic Customization - Done
November - December 2020:
Grant Amount Requested USDC $8,000 + 1000 BAL (as vested)
PHASE 2 : Future Roadmap
*Subject to Community Feedback
- Live educational Workshops
- Content Translation to multiple languages (Spanish / Mandarin)
- Developer Education to increase technical talent pipeline.
- Project Integrations and Use-case building
The project will be open-source and is publicly available at Balancer dot Academy
The project will be executed by a team of 2, working on different aspects of the project. More professionals will be hired on a freelance basis for scripting, voiceover, animations and content building/editing.
The team will be led by Gaurav Gupta, a marketing specialist with a decade of experience building growth for innovative digital businesses. His notable growth projects include Edtech companies like Labster (Raised $20M), where he led efforts to sign up universities and students for VR Education Courses. Some of his other clients include Bridallive (Shopify for the wedding retail industry) and Philips Netherlands.
He has worked extensively with developers as a part of his stint with Squads, a platform to assemble technology teams for software projects across Europe.
He also led various marketing projects for the Dash Treasury for the last two years - including efforts to sign up freelancers to use crypto payments, making business integrations with Dapps and the Dash Developer Advocacy program - an initiative to sign up blockchain developers worldwide to work on real-use cases on the Dash Blockchain.