Initial Coin Offering is a new direction of fund-raising, which not all businessmen and investors are familiar with, so the role of the proper ICO marketing is very essential. All the advantages of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology must be explained, as well as the specifics of tokens and their value – this and other tasks are facing those who take responsibility to promote the idea of a project.
Table of content:
- ICO in summary: its goals and objectives
- Features of marketing in this area
- Marketing advice: how to make an ICO successful?
The concept and objectives of ICO
Cryptocurrency, blockchain, coins - these words arouse interest and have already become so firmly in circulation that to some extent it is a shame not to have a single idea about such things. The fact, that you can mine bitcoins and buy goods, paying with cryptocurrency, is not a secret for anyone. How do the new technologies help implement an ambitious project, which promotion in the traditional business environment has a slight chance? ICO comes in!
ICO is just the unique opportunity that opens prospects for the start-up to be implemented in the nearest future. The authors of the idea with the support of a team and - history has witnessed - with a minimum of the seed capital will be able to achieve stunning results. Cryptocurrency technology, in particular the ETH platform, allows issuing tokens – coins that are both the internal currency of the project and company’s digital shares, and after the ICO can be sold on exchanges.
What is ICO marketing?
Marketing in the field of the Initial Coin Offering has a number of features. Firstly, the advertising campaign is not carried out for a long period. You need to act quickly, so 1-2 months is the best time. Secondly, marketing in this sphere is more dynamic compared to the traditional methods. Even such ways as banners and pop-ups are used and have a positive impact on the conversion. Placement on popular advertising platforms is of great importance too. A sore spot of marketing is its budget. Costs for 1-2 months can reach up to a third of a million dollars, and this is the annual cost estimate for the marketing of large brands!
What helps to make a successful ICO?
Experienced marketers immediately got the ride and from the point of view of their experience are able to give advice to beginners in the subject. How to make a strategy and what items should be included in the checklist?
Landing is crucial. Your potential partners and people who are only interested in such proposals will come here. Correct and well-written documents as Whitepaper and Onepager, functions, subscription and distribution, as well as detailed information about the team and the advisors is the compulsory minimum that must be placed on the website of the project.
Active usage of social networks will create hype around the project, present the idea in the most favourable light and most importantly get in direct contact with the audience, answer questions, discuss, work with the feedback.
Facebook and Reddit may be ideal advertising platforms, but while the first allows the use of appeals, images and advertising slogans, the latter is more designed for meaningful information. Reddit is suited to post there links to reviews, articles, documentation, etc. Twitter, in its turn, will be the best environment for the spread of news.
Twitter is a habitat of very useful and conversion audience, namely investors, directors of technology companies and others. In addition to active management of your channel, it is useful to include advertising placements — they are built organically and do not act irritably. It is also useful to promote your own publications to increase audience coverage.
YouTube is a good idea, but ICO marketing experts treat this tool carefully, so use it as a supplement. Undoubtedly, the video content will help to increase interest in the project. Alternatively, order a review of the upcoming ICO from a popular blogger in one of the thematic channels. Some bloggers do reviews on their own and for free, and often this format is more interesting and useful for people.
The essence of the bounty program is that users of social networks who are not indifferent to the world of cryptocurrency and blockchain are offered tokens for some useful actions within the framework of the upcoming ICO. It may be a publication on Twitter, a review on YouTube, attracting an audience to Medium — each project thinks about its own strategy and economy of the bounty program.
A certain number of tokens is allocated for the program. For example, 4,000 for Twitter followers, 2,000 for Facebook subscribers and so on. When having achieved these goals, all participants who have passed the test (at this stage fraudsters usually are revealed) are awarded tokens depending on the importance of the contribution and their number.
The spread of information about ICO within the bounty-campaign can be carried out by different methods. Below is a list of the most common types of actions that ICO organizers are willing to reward tokens:
- Active communication in social networks
- Posts on the forums (BitcoinTalk and other specialized ones)
- Interpretation of information about the ICO to other languages
- Publishing of the articles in blogs and news websites
- Filming and distribution of videos on YouTube and social networks
- Search for weak points in the software or smart contracts
- Booklets, logos, one-pagers design
- The development of mobile applications
- Sending e-mails presenting the ICO
ICO trackers give the biggest chances to find potential investors. However, niche sites do not publish information for free: for a line in the table or a banner you will have to pay a decent amount. But in this case, the game is worth the candle: the conversion will be tangible. Ideally, if on favourable terms it will be possible to agree on more information – posting reviews and articles.
Mailing lists give the effect if there is an opportunity to make them on the basis of platform subscribers. Letters have a stable and high open rate. Some resources offer the inclusion of news about the project in the mailings. As a rule they have a small base of subscribers but even these several thousand people are the target audience.
Experience first of all
The task of any marketing is to attract the audience. At further stages it is necessary to establish constant interaction with it, and here the role of community management, SMM, mailings is great. The main problem of the project promotion is time. We really have very little time. Therefore, the process should involve marketers who already have experience in this field and established contacts in the niche media. It doesn't matter if it's a person or a whole team. Feedback and experience are important.
The emphasis on conversion
What channel will attract the maximum number of potential partners? As already mentioned, we have several of them. Here, intuition and the above-mentioned experience play a role, as well as the content of the project itself. One idea will be attractive for Twitter users, the other will be more appreciated by the Facebook inhabitants. Even the same banners hosted at different sites give different results at similar rates of clicks.
Escape from the grey zone
ICO marketing still remains an “open field", and those who deal with it act on the basis of their experience, intuition and talent. At the moment, the ICO is in a grey area in terms of international law, but we should not expect that it will always be the same: regulation will catch up with technology - just as it was with bitcoin exchanges. It is obvious that the processes are coming to order and soon it will be possible to make definite conclusions on this issue.