45+ Useful ICO Marketing Tips
An ICO company’s marketing is one of the most important components which can determine the success of a startup. And, strange as it may sound, there are many who either don’t get it, or simply end up giving marketing much less attention than it deserves.
In this article, I’ve gathered the accumulated knowledge I have acquired helping to attract millions for start-ups. I have also talked with leading players in the ICO industry who have shared their tips.
1. Note that the duration of an advertising campaign is extremely short — an average of 2–3 months. Try to start marketing activities as early as possible, so that by the time you have started crowd-funding, you have already had high-quality traffic. Keep in mind that during the crowd-funding campaign, you will not have time for long-duration experiments and A / B tests.
2. Marketing is quite intense and aggressive. The use of obsolete marketing techniques, from annoying pop-ups, giant banners, and mass spamming to inflating site traffic and paying for experts and opinion leaders, are considered standard marketing activities in this niche. Be prepared for the fact that many will try to deceive you. Often.
3. The prices for all services in the ICO niche will be several times higher than usual. Be prepared to invest from $100,000 to $500,000 during the marketing campaign period.
4. Your landing page should look and work brilliantly. Spend the time and money to work with a good designer and developer. It should be an understandable and structured site which operates stably, and contains all the necessary information.
5. Here is what definitely must be on the site:
A Whitepaper and Onepager
A video explaining the project
A form for subscribing to newsletters
Links to your communities in all that social networks: Twitter, Facebook, Bitcointalk ANN thread, Medium, Telegram, GitHub, Reddit, BitcoinWiki
Information on the team and project advisers
A block with mentions in the press
A block with publications on trackers and rating
6. One of the most important steps which all ICO organizers should take is to get published on trackers. The more of these publications, the better. On average, ICO projects receive from 30 to 80% of high-quality traffic from trackers. Trackers help not only private investors, but also crypto hedge fund representatives, as well as crypto journalists, to find interesting ICO projects.
7. Pre-configure the analysis tools and goals in such a way that you can see from which channels the traffic is converted into registration and purchase of tokens. By knowing which channels bring in the most revenue, you will significantly reduce marketing costs.
8. Marketing teams often forget the importance of branding, even though it is specifically this that determines how your company looks in the eyes of its potential audience. From the very beginning of the crowd-funding campaign, you should have clarity with regard to the company logo and brand identity.
9. Since the ICO niche is still gaining momentum, most marketing and PR issues are best addressed through direct communications. The ability to negotiate will be one of the key success factors of your startup. First and foremost, look for talented negotiators, as well as people with connections.
10. Expect a great deal of manual work and personal communication. Almost all conditions will be discussed individually with each media platform. In the vast majority of cases, niche sites will not have clear and understandable price lists, and just to know the prices, you will need to spend some time on correspondence. On the other hand, lots of communication provides opportunities for bargaining and partnership. You can easily negotiate discounts or even free placements.
11. Investors will look at the quality of your work with social networks, and will assess not only the amount of subscribers you have, but also the quality of communications within the community. This is of importance to them since working with social networks reflects the team’s ability to build a successful business and attract broad interest to the project.
12. It is necessary to build knowledge and interest around the project and the upcoming ICO. Provide as much information about the project as possible, with a working version of the product (if it already exists), as well as information on your investors and team. And the most important thing — Be here and now: answer questions and comments; make sure you provide feedback.
13. It is important to begin an open dialogue with the community as early as possible in order to unite people around your idea. Enthusiastic followers of your project can significantly reduce costs related to marketing and PR, since, when they discuss it with their friends and followers, they are, in fact, doing your job for you.
14. Backers who have already purchased tokens for your project are your most important friends. They are more interested in the success of your product than anyone else; contact them, agree on partnerships with them, ask them for help, and encourage them to tell others about the project. It happens often that a relationship between projects and investors can develop into an advantageous partnership or that some of your backers will join your team.
15. Make sure your landing site has LinkedIn links to the profiles of all your team members and Advisers. Profiles of the team should be completed accurately, and there should be posts, or at least reposts, of articles about your project.
16. One of the main efforts in ICO-marketing today should be the “communitization” of your project. A major investor is always interested in who will buy your product, if people are already lining up to buy it, what future customers are saying about it, and whether you get feedback from users to adapt the product to their needs.
17. The second aspect related to the importance of having a good and high-quality community is being able to use it to help spread information about your project. Basic word of mouth has always worked more reliably than have many marketing tools, because there are no barriers resulting from the distrust of a new product or service. A community is capable of creating hype around a project.
18. I recommend that you create and pump up the community before the main token sale takes place. If it is large enough, then it will most probably guarantee that you close your soft cap after the first few days of open sale.
19. Don’t forget to use PR to closely integrate your community. It’s like twin brothers — they perfectly complement each other.
20. Advertisements on Reddit and LinkedIn will generate better traffic than those on Instagram and Facebook. It’s also fairly easy to set up.
21. You’ll need to have an active thread on https://bitcointalk.org as the more meaningful discussions you have there, the better. These threads are needed not just to convey information about the project to the community, but also to show investors how interested the audience is in the project.
22. On Twitter, there is a very useful and talkative audience — venture capital investors, directors of technology companies, and others. In addition to actively managing your channel, it is useful to include advertising layouts — they are organically built-in, and their advertising is easy on the eyes. It is also a good idea to promote your own publications in order to increase coverage.
23. Create a page for your project at https://en.bitcoinwiki.org/ Publication on this site will raise your rating on one of the largest ICO tracker, and that’s just another way to spread word about your project for free.
24. It is not enough to just create a page on a social network and sometimes publish something. You need to regularly publish news about your project on all the social networks, as well as links to other people’s publications about you, and discussions.
25. And do not ignore all the comments from your subscribers. Social networks should be supervised and monitored by community managers. Ideally, you will need to hire not just one or two, but a whole team of specialists.
26. Prepare for the reality that your subscribers will be contacted constantly by scammers on your behalf, and teach your community managers to be able to identify and quickly stop the activities of scammers. Constantly remind your subscribers that they may be contacted by scammers.
27. Telegram: This is the optimal channel for communicating to an audience. It is safe and convenient. ICO projects often create a channel for the publication of news and a chatroom for direct communication with the audience.
28. It is very useful to listen to the questions and comments in a Telegram chat: this is precisely the feedback you will need to help identify problems in your communication and related to technical documents.
29. When working with the media on the subject of crypto currency, you should establish a budget for the promotion of content. If you write high-quality and interesting articles, it’s not enough to just publish them in niche media, as the result will be minimal. If you want your material to go viral, promote it, and the content will give you a very good return.
30. Pay attention to the quality of your content. It is not enough to just have a good product. It is also important to be able to discuss it properly. In order to implement a successful token sale, you’ll need to take a serious approach to content development. You will need to explain to a general audience in the most lucid terms possible both the concept of your product, and why investing in your project is profitable.
31. Be more modest and more creative in your marketing texts. Investors are tired of all the pitches about ICO projects that are either revolutionizing or disrupting one industry or another. Differentiate yourself from the noise of your competitors; come up with something original.
32. If you publish only news about your project in your blog, and do not know where to get additional content, agree with your team members that everyone writes one short article per month. Give them the freedom to write about themselves, about the specifics of their job, about the project itself, generally about a niche, or simply post pretty photos of the office. The size of the average ICO team is about 15 people. This means that, with this approach, you will be able to post new and unique content on your blog every second day. Investors will see that the whole team is fully involved in the startup.
33. People are attracted to projects in which others have already invested. Conduct a few short interviews with your investors, and use quotes from them on your landing page.
34. Newsletters are an important communication channel with a potentially interested audience. You need to formulate a calendar and a content plan for supporting mailings. You should send out not just notices and promo materials, but interesting content as well.
35. Unobtrusively sign up visitors to receive PUSH notifications. These allow you to return some traffic almost for free, which in this niche is achieved with great difficulty.
36. Remember that PR is a long–term investment. I am approached almost weekly by blockchain companies that want to hire a PR person for a few weeks or a month. Earned media is just that, earned. It takes time to build trust with reporters and time to build momentum. It is not overnight. It’s important to orientate your expectations to a year–long strategy, not weeks or months.
37. Avoid using jargon. Blockchains and cryptocurrencies, in particular, are loaded with industry–specific jargon and buzzwords. Remember that a mainstream audience may not understand the terms that are used to describe the technology. Hire someone to translate the technical terms into plain language.
38. Be a thought leader in the space. Since the niche is so new, there are lots of opportunities out there for individuals to shine.
30. Make sure you hit your announced deadlines. This is extremely important. For your investors, the choice of ICO is a full-fledged business in itself, where all activities are planned for weeks and months in advance, especially where large investments are concerned. If you change the sale date, then you deprive yourself of your investors’ money.
40. When you buy a domain for your project, let’s say, yourico.com, try to buy the same domains in other popular zones (yourico.net, yourico.io, yourico.info, yourico.co). This will at least partially protect you from scammers who will try to copy your site and publish it on a website with a similar domain.
41. Do not involve the broad masses in bounty campaigns. The vast majority of professional bounty hunters provides extremely poor work quality, will try to scam ICO projects, spam, and generally spoil your reputation. At the same time, the organization of a large bounty campaign requires massive expenditures of both time and money. Instead, I recommend personally negotiating with experienced contractors for partial payment in tokens.
42. Prepare for the fact that you will have to work with audiences, investors and contractors in different time zones. You may call someone in the afternoon, someone else late at night, or early in the morning.
43. Do not be afraid to make mistakes and publicly write about your hits and misses. For ICO investors, corrected mistakes and properly vetted feedback are signs of the life and solvency of your project.
44. Both project founders and executive officer must actively participate in the fund-raising process. An active leadership is always a good sign for investors.
45. Keep in mind you will need to change your landing page’s layout often. You’ll be adding new information, changing the layouts of buttons, widgets, and so on. Have a technical expert on standby so that changes can be made as quickly as possible, including on weekends.
46. Having a working product, or even an MVP, will give you a great advantage over your competitors. This will greatly simplify fundraising, since about 90% of ICO projects are only at the idea stage of development.