Successful ICO marketing campaigns rely on fusing conventional marketing and PR. To be effective, the ICO marketing campaign needs a fully harmonized collaborative effort. This includes social media blasts, innovative leadership, intensive research, and a high degree of credibility. Armed with the requisite knowledge, an ICO marketing campaign can be an instant hit.
From a cursory perspective, there are 4 tenets of successful ICO marketing campaigns:
- Outreach Initiatives through the cryptocurrency community, PRs, social media and conventional press
- Strategy-Based Research entails differentiating between demographics and target markets, and understanding the core strengths of the cryptocurrency community and the team.
- Generating Quality Content is essential to a successful ICO marketing campaign. The competitive nature of ICO’s requires more than simple white papers and glorified content formats – it’s all about compelling content that generates enthusiasm within the community.
- The Strength of Media Channels plays a big part in optimizing the ICO marketing strategy.
What ICO Resources Are Valuable to Your Marketing Campaign?
Initial Coin Offerings (ICO’s) are the hottest fundraising and investment options on the market right now. This token-based business model is facilitated through blockchain technology. Multiple businesses, cryptocurrency websites, and token offerings are making their way to market. ICO marketing experts are quickly learning how to separate the crème de la crème from the crème de la phlegm. ICO marketing strategists can learn a lot about the cryptocurrency market by consulting with leading digital currency websites such as Bitcoin Talk Forum, CoinSchedule, ICO List, ICO Tracker, Week in Ethereum, Newbium, Token Market, Token Investor, and Smith + Crown to name but a few.
How Are ICOs Raising Money in Markets?
ICO’s rely on tokens, not cash. There is a fundamental difference between the two from an investment perspective. If an investor buys into a start-up for a set amount and then the company generates additional equity through multiple rounds of funding, the investor’s stake in the company is diluted. With tokens, the investor can exit at any time. The tokens offered by cryptocurrency companies are just that – their product – not shares in their company. This product has a tangible resale value. Tokens are not expressly designed for raising funds. Many companies can leverage their cryptocurrency blockchain (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash) to facilitate rapid delivery of wages and salaries across borders. This increased momentum in P2P (peer to peer) platforms can incentivize company employees to build a community.
Marketing professionals are using blockchain in ways never thought possible. It is difficult to define blockchain technology, suffice it to say it is blocks of data that are pieced together on an open-source ledger running on a peer to peer network. This network safeguards the data, and authenticates it. Marketers are using this technology for multiple purposes. Today, many consumers and marketers associate blockchain technology with Bitcoin. While the two are indivisible, blockchain has innumerable applications on the World Wide Web. For marketing professionals, blockchain technology can be used to ensure the following:
- Minimization of fraud and cyber security.
- Full authentication and control mechanisms over contracts.
- Transparency in how data is utilized for marketing purposes
- Verification of advertising performance, delivery and engagement.
- Storage of digital assets as a feasible alternative to cloud-based storage.
- Security protocols with respect to agencies and employees and client data.
- Verification of sponsored contests and awards shows by ensuring that voters meet eligibility criteria.
- Payment of all stakeholders involved in the performance, creation or delivery of an advertisement.
- Payments and rewards for consumers vis-à-vis content creation (uploads), contributions etc.
Marketing ICO’s – A Comprehensive Guide to Success
ICO’s have picked up where IPOs dropped off. Everybody understands that digital currency and the blockchain technology that makes it all possible is the way of the future. People around the world are rushing to add investments in cryptocurrency to their financial portfolios. Consider that in Q2 2017, some $210 million in ICO issuance was reported versus $180 million in venture capital. The success of an ICO launch hinges upon the quality of the preparation that goes into the marketing campaign. Different standards are required when marketing traditional startups and ICO’s.
For starters, time is a critical component of a successful ICO marketing campaign. Plenty of lead time should be worked into the marketing campaign. All the while, business operations should be allowed to run smoothly. ICO marketing consultants recommend at least 30 days to 90 days lead time to create a robust, dynamic, and effective ICO marketing campaign. The duration of the initial coin offering campaign is another point worthy of consideration. For the most part, the most important time frames in an ICO model are the first 24 hours and the last 24 hours. The rapidly changing financial markets focus almost exclusively on these periods. The reason being – there are so many ICO launches that it’s near impossible to pay more attention to all of them.
The ICO marketing campaign should also focus on media channels such as blogs, forums, cryptocurrency websites, and niche communities. The efficacy of an ICO marketing campaign will be boosted or hamstrung by the choice of forum that is used. Qualitative audiences use specialized platforms to satiate their investment needs. These include ranking cryptocurrency websites such as BitcoinTalk, Coinbase and the like. Highly interactive communities allow for robust debate on the strengths and weaknesses of new blockchain technologies and token offerings. Once news of an imminent ICO breaks through to these ranking platforms, cryptocurrency traders and aficionados will start talking. Reviews will be generated, and valuable traffic to the blockchain website will be start flowing.
Top-Tier Cryptocurrency Platforms
Many companies have had remarkable results by using platforms like BitcoinTalk – Lampix is a case in point. Their announcement was posted on July 25, and the token crowd sale began on August 9. The exposé on BitcoinTalk featured a wealth of data on the company such as how it impacts the ecosystem, communication channels on social media platforms, Tech specs, the Lampix token, team members and the like. Early adopters of ICO technology are but one component of the greater blockchain macrocosm. Others include general investors, business journalists, financiers, and the like. To generate the publicity to reach this global audience, the following marketing media can be utilized:
- Conferences and meetups
- Pictures, videos and podcasts that can go viral
- Comprehensive interviews, press releases, Q&A and the like
- Social media channels such as YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter
- YouTube videos with commentary from the CEOs, directors and company management
How Connected Are You?
Companies that have connections to journalists and reporters may find it much easier to generate traditional PR in the press. There are paid press release services which can also provide data and analytics of who reads the content. Marketing consultants can make a convincing case to journalists by telling them why the ICO is important, and provide reasons why the story should be reported. The technology is largely uniform across the digital currency industry, but the back story of the company, the trials and tribulations, or the expectations of the founders are typically newsworthy.
The ICO launch should be neatly tied in with the PR campaign to ensure that maximum traction is gained from a well-timed, coordinated marketing effort. Of course, many other factors need to be taken into consideration such as budgetary constraints, free versus paid press coverage, and the level of clout that the marketing agency has with the media. If the journalist’s point of view is such that the ICO is worth covering, this is an added bonus for the start-up.
Videos and Influencer Marketing Initiatives
YouTube videos are effective multimedia options for promoting ICO’s. Third-party videos have greater credibility with investors than videos created by the start-up. The Blockchain Investors Community is a valuable resource to consider. Sometimes, it may be beneficial to incentivize customers/investors with tokens as a reward for promotional activities. Things like bounty campaigns for blog posts, subscriptions, avatar campaigns, and the like can be effective.
The more coverage you can generate through bounty campaigns, the further you cast your net into the community of potential investors. Many companies believe that a viral campaign is the best way to generate the publicity they seek. However, users must have a reason to share articles, guides, PRs, videos and the like. A company with a unique idea that is beneficial to the end-user has a natural advantage over a generic company with an ICO launch. By encouraging active registration, and downloads of pertinent information, the investment community can be prepared for the crowdsale.
Influencer marketing plays a big part in promoting the ICO launch. The cryptocurrency community is a niche group of well-connected individuals. By building successful relationships within this community, it is possible to determine where maximum engagement is possible. Paid advertisements may be one channel worth considering on high-powered social media platforms like LinkedIn, or Facebook. However, careful planning and preparation is needed to determine which social media campaigns will best serve the marketing purposes of the ICO. Google Analytics is a great tool to use to determine organic traffic flow and paid advertising. By having hard data at your fingertips, you can quickly shift resources where they will be most effective in promoting token sales.
The Final Word
Community marketing is equally important. It should be determined whether commercial marketing is permitted within the community, before posting. The last thing that an ICO launch can handle is being banned on platforms for commercial marketing purposes. Community influencers can provide important information.
While the aforementioned activities are taking place, it’s important to host professional events and conferences where industry leaders, delegates, and investors can learn about your company’s blockchain technology.
The costs and benefits of hosting events must be weighed up to determine whether they are worthwhile. These marketing channels, strategies, and resources should be combined in a synergistic way with precisely the right balance of resources allocated to each. Professional agencies can assist with ICO marketing and generate much better returns, publicity, and strategic success for the company.