6 Tips for Marketing Your ICO Like a Pro
2018 has proven to be a turbulent year for Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies and blockchain at large as the technology continues to develop.
New investors have brought renewed interest in ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) as the category of financial assets begin to overtake the dominant cryptocurrency known as Bitcoin for share of market and attention.
Individual ICOs have become more popular, raising millions and attracting new investors looking for a piece of the risky, but highly rewarding market.
Just looking at the ICO market in 2017, you can see that there's definitely interest:
Number of ICOs opened — 778
Number of ICOs closed — 503
Number of ICOs canceled — 87
Dollar amount closed — USD 5.955 billion
Number of deals opening per month (mean) — 64.5
That means that more than 500 ICOs have closed their funding round in 2017.
For each of these projects that sees success in 2018, there will be thousands of new entrepreneurs, developers, and investors that become interested in Initial Coin Offerings. That means more capital and investments into the ICO market, a snowball effect that will impact future investments. Many are reporting that this will be similar to what drove the internet stock boom; increased interest, increased investment and a stronger market for ICOs.
Predicting what will come is difficult, but if you're looking to launch an ICO, or if you've recently opened a public sale, you must be asking yourself one question, "How do I get more people to pay attention to my ICO?".
Considering how important completing a raise is for an ICO, it's important to focus on marketing.
To help you answer that question, here are some tips for marketing your ICO like a pro.
1. Not everyone is going to know what an ICO is.
While Bitcoin and cryptocurrency are more recognized, many still don't know what the acronym "ICO" stands for.
If you're creating marketing messages for your raise make sure your messaging makes sense. Pushing terms like ICO, Coin or Token in your marketing might lose some less up-to-date investors, so make sure to lead with your product.
Ask yourself, "What is my company offering?" and focus on that before using terms that may confuse potential investors.
Don't forget, your product is the focus and the ICO is not your product.
2. Don't make the purpose of your coin offering too difficult to understand.
While it's difficult to get your message in front of people, it's even more difficult for people to remember the information you're giving them.
You must present your ICO in a way that is understandable. Connect to your audience. Make every ad impression and private message count.
One way to test your messaging is through the use of surveys. Once your website is launched, consider polling your circle and asking them questions related to your ICO. Questions like: "Does the purpose of our token make sense?" or "Does my messaging identify our purpose?" are great to make sure your marketing messages makes sense. Your audience and friends make a great resource, so use them and don't be afraid to ask for help. Remember, your team does not represent the market, so ask those not directly connected to the project for advice.
3. Make your differentiators clear.
In the current ICO market, there are a lot of duplicate products gunning for investment.
In all your marketing materials it's important to show how your company is different. On social media, in newsletters, through your white papers always remember to remind potential investors what makes your offering unique and what it does that no other product does.
If you're launching a product for decentralizing an email client, for instance, you should be laying out all the benefits that you're offering; a lazy marketer will say "it's email, just decentralized." That's not enough. Consider detailing how your costs will be lower, your attention to customer service, or any other factors which make your offer different or preferably, better.
Know your points of differentiation, especially those which will drive user acquisition once your platform is launched. Some of the most successful social media campaigns are ones which target competing brands and identify ways one brand is better than the other. Use language that highlights your strongest differentiators.
4. Be a part of the ICO community.
While not everyone may know what an ICO is, there are definitely those who do.
Like REALLY, REALLY do. There are dozens of communities and forums online which can connect you other experts in the field. There may be communities specific to your market, so search around and get involved. You may meet new investors or others who can provide insights on completing your raise.
Make sure to get your ICO listed on sites which will share your project details. Sign up for Steemit and BitcoinTalk and look for other ICO-related forums. You want to make sure your ICO is discoverable and these forums and listing sites help new people discover your project.
5. Make sure someone owns the responsibility of “marketing” your ICO.
If people don't know about your ICO, then it really doesn't matter what kind of technology you're building.
Set goals, put a marketing plan together and make sure someone on your team is working on outreach. Consider putting someone in charge of PR and marketing, communicating your message through your social accounts and keeping your followers and early supporters updated.
There are a lot of metrics you can use to monitor your success, but only a few that will have a direct effect on revenue generation and brand awareness. One key metric to consider; the actions and messages that direct referrals to your ICO crowd-sale page. If you don't understand the metrics that will impact your short and long term goals - you'll make the wrong marketing decisions. Make sure you're tracking your KPIs to know what works.
6. Make advocates of your ICO investors.
The best marketers know that in order for a brand to succeed, you need to make advocates of your most loyal fans.
Early investors already have your interests at heart. Word-of-mouth is still the most powerful force in marketing, so make sure you do everything to empower your initial users or contributors to promote your ICO. Consider actual incentives for their promotional support and provide them signup links to encourage others in their network to get involved. Some of your early supporters may be recognized in the industry your ICO is working in, so never be shy to ask them to promote your project.
So just to recap, remember to keep your message and differentiators clear, join communities, make sure someone on your team is dedicated to marketing and make advocates of your initial users and investors.