The blockchain-cryptocurrency start-ups have raised US $ 5.6 billion through Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) in 2017. That’s huge! However, only 435 ICOs out of the 902 in 2017 were successful, and that’s just 48%! Your ICO marketing strategy determines whether you will be successful in this increasingly competitive market, hence, here I show you how to create a great ICO marketing strategy. Let’s do it!
Your ICO website is the most important piece in your ICO marketing strategy:
ICO marketing is entirely digital, and your ICO website is the first and the most important component of your marketing strategy. You need a clean, modern, and professional website for your blockchain-crypto project ICO.
You need to provide every relevant information about your project upfront on your website, giving the highest importance to the project team and the ICO whitepaper.
The investors will first want to know about your team, hence make sure you have the LinkedIn profile of your key project team members displayed prominently on your website. Many investors will look at your project with suspicion if the project team information is missing or insufficient.
The whitepaper is your vehicle to convey information about your project to the world. You must make it easy for the investors to find it on your website.
The following are also important:
- A professionally created short and clear video explaining your project is a big plus.
- All content on the website should be of great quality.
- You need to place call-to-action (CTA) buttons strategically on your website so that the visitors are encouraged to take the desired action.
- A good email sign-up option for your newsletters, promotional offers, and other announcement is a must.
- Your website must be SEO-optimized. There is a need to have a sound strategy for both on and off-page SEO. The work of building high-quality links to your site, and addressing negative noise about your project in various forums are important parts of your SEO strategy, and you need professional expertise.
You can’t cut corners when it comes to your website. Take professional help, because your website gives the prospective investors the first impression about your project.
Create a great ICO whitepaper:
I can’t stress the importance of your ICO whitepaper enough. Your prospective investors look at your website first, and then they check your whitepaper to understand more about your project.
You need to ensure the following:
- The whitepaper should be professionally written and shouldn’t have spelling and grammatical errors;
- It should describe your project team including their credentials in the blockchain-cryptocurrency space adequately;
- You must clearly describe the business problem or the market opportunity the project will address;
- The ICO whitepaper should describe the technology clearly without using too many jargons, and you should inform the investors whether you have a functional prototype or at least open-source code for them to review;
- The project team should explain why they are tokenizing their business and how the crypto token will appreciate;
- The whitepaper should describe the token-sale structure, for e.g. the number of tokens reserved for the project team, whether there is a private sale preceding the ICO, etc;
- Your whitepaper should talk about your legal and regulatory preparedness.
Get professional content experts for your whitepaper, it’s just too important for your ICO. For e.g., If the investors find plagiarism issues with your whitepaper then they will perceive your project as a scam!
Invest in public relations and media outreach to promote ICO:
Now that you have a great website and equally great whitepaper, you need to let the world know about your ICO. Consider the following steps:
- Issue press releases on top websites about your ICO;
- Publish articles in popular crypto media outlets;
- List your ICO in popular websites that track ICOs, for e.g. ICO Rating , ICO Bench, and ICO Alert.
The top websites charge you for publishing your press releases, and so do the popular crypto media outlets, for publishing your articles. Please consider taking professional help for managing media outreach. You need to factor these in your ICO marketing budget.
Use community and social media for ICO marketing:
Prospective investors know that crypto communities on social media are very knowledgeable and before investing in an ICO they look at what those communities think about your ICO. You need to present the ICO well to these communities, which will build their trust in it, and the investors will get positive vibes about the project from these communities.
Promote your project proactively by participating in the following:
- Facebook: Join the groups that discuss ICOs and highlight your project.
- Twitter: Be sure to promote your projects’ blog posts here.
- Reddit: It’s very popular with the crypto community. Consider creating subreddit and commenting on existing threads.
- Telegram: This messaging app is highly popular with the crypto enthusiasts. Be sure to actively promote your ICO here.
- Quora: Participate in the ICO-related threads and you can get good exposure for your project.
- LinkedIn: Focus on ICO-related groups, and you can reach tens of thousands of ICO enthusiasts.
- Crypto-specific forums: If you publish information about your project in popular forums like Bitcointalk, it will create good exposure about your ICO.
Seriously consider getting professional social media managers to promote your project on these platforms. While you can do-it-yourself (DIY), it requires significant specialized expertise and time.
ICO targeted advertising should be in your ICO marketing strategy:
With Facebook, Twitter, and now Google banning ICO ads, it’s now harder to advertise ICOs. Consider pay-per-click (PPC) advertising through crypto-specific networks like Cointraffic. You should also consider banner ads on relevant blogs and crypto-specific media outlets.
Email marketing of ICO: an optimizing component of your marketing strategy
Email marketing remains a fundamentally important component of digital marketing in any industry, and ICOs aren’t exceptions. However, volatility of the crypto market has made this also difficult like advertising ICOs, because MailChimp, one of the largest email marketing providers, has banned ICO email marketing.
You can still use other service providers, but take adequate care that you don’t send unsolicited emails that risk being marked as ‘spam’. I recommend that you take time to build your email list, which will bring long-term benefits for your project, even if it has a minimal positive effect on your upcoming ICO.
Include ICO bounty programs in your ICO marketing strategy:
Bounty programs reward entities through compensations and incentives for attracting investors and other stakeholders to the ICO. Consider including some in your strategy.
For e.g. ‘airdropping‘, which means giving away some tokens for free, is increasingly a popular form of bounty program. You need to apply good judgment though, because if you give too few tokens it makes the campaign ineffective, whereas giving away too many may make investors think of your project as a scam.
Attend blockchain technology events to boost your ICO marketing:
As a blockchain-crypto entrepreneur, you need to be present where the actions are. Attending blockchain technology events and presenting your project generates tremendous interest in it and can boost the chances of investment.
Blockchain and crypto events happen every week globally, and these provide you with valuable opportunities to network with stakeholders face-to-face. There is a cost involved in attending or sponsoring these, especially if travel is involved. However, the potential increase in investment in your ICO amply balances the cost, hence you should budget for these.
Note: I recommend that you understand the concept of ICO well, before starting with your marketing strategy. Also remember that the investors prepare before they invest in an ICO, hence tailor your marketing to assure them at every step.
Here’s wishing you success with your ICO marketing!