The popularity of the ICO (Initial Coin Offering) has been growing and may continue to grow for the foreseeable future. At the end of 2017, an average of three ICOs closed per day, and the number has been climbing in 2018.
Not every ICO is successful, however. Many ICOs fail to make their soft cap, proving that it’s not as easy to make it now as it was back in 2017. The “Garage ICO” mentality is a thing of the past. It’s time to approach your ICO with a comprehensive ICO marketing strategy. Read on for the six elements that are considered essential for ICO success.
1. ICO Listings
Make use of a combination of free and paid ICO listings. Contracting with an ICO Rating Agency will improve investor confidence by providing you with an audit and a report on the investment attractiveness of your ICO. These agencies may also choose to list you.
As ICOs are becoming more popular, investors are becoming more sophisticated. Your listings and materials need to be in investor-friendly language while also maintaining a professional tone in order to make the right impression.
2. Paid Advertising
Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising is the backbone of most online marketing plans. However, recent and upcoming bans on crypto-related advertising on Google Ads Network, Facebook, and Twitter have created a unique challenge for anyone looking to launch an ICO.
Work with an experienced ad manager who has both familiarity with the crypto community and knowledge of the ad bans. Within the industry, there’s hope that by complying with the bans, cryptocurrency companies may be able to get these platforms to reword their rules in order to only prosecute fraudsters.
In the meantime, the smart money is in advertising directly with ICO marketing agencies, such as CoinAd, and investing more time and energy into the other aspects of your ICO marketing campaign.
Perhaps the most important element of your ICO marketing strategy is participating in events. Do not discount the power of face-to-face meetings with potential investors. To get the most out of your event experience, connect with people ahead of time and set up concrete meetings rather than a vague “I’ll see you there.” Remember that the more work you’ve done on your ICO ahead of these meetings, the better you’ll look.
4. PR and Media Outreach
Press releases may feel old-fashioned but they’re still key in getting the word out. It can be beneficial to work with an ICO marketing agency that already has connections to the top trade publications, as this makes it more likely that your press release will be read and considered newsworthy.
In addition to press releases, look to provide high-quality articles related to cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. Because this is one of today’s hottest topics, sites are hungry for related content and will be willing to publish informative articles for free. You may even find yourself serving as their go-to expert for a quote.
5. Specialized Forums and Social Media Marketing
While events are great opportunities to make a face-to-face connection, specialized forums and social media are where you can truly get involved in the community. You, or someone on your team, should be active on subreddits related to cryptocurrency and popular forums like Bitcointalk.com. This not only helps you spread the word about your ICO, but also enables you to have an ear to the ground for changes in the community.
Your company should have a strong social media presence before announcing your ICO. In addition to the trifecta of Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, you’ll find the crypto community is especially active on Medium and Telegram. Each of these platforms should be part of your ICO marketing plan.
It’s important to spend your social media and forum time well. Because cryptocurrency is hot, there are a lot of groups dedicated to it. Make sure that you’re engaging with groups and platforms that have a good signal to noise ratio. If a group appears to mainly be spam and cross-posting, without a lot of genuine conversation, don’t waste your time on it. You want to be where the investors are, not where the small-timers hang out.
6. Native Ads — Tell The World About Your Product
Native ads and paid content are a way to advertise your ICO while also establishing your authority within the field. You can create the content yourself or outsource it to a strong writer. The key here is ensuring that your writing is clear, concise, and a good fit for the sites you’re targeting.
Because some sites have a long lead time (it can take as much as a month to be published in Entrepreneur, for example), don’t procrastinate on this step of your ICO marketing campaign. Start reaching out to your preferred publications well ahead of time to ensure optimal timing in the lead up to your ICO.
There are no guarantees in life, and no guarantees in ICOs, but a strong marketing plan can help you rise above the sea of others looking to make a splash in cryptocurrency. Plan ahead, invest your time and money wisely, partner with experts in advertising and marketing, and your ICO will be set up for success.