An Online Focused ICO Marketing Strategy for 2019-2020
Initial Coin Offerings were extremely popular in 2017. Everyone was talking about them. There were 435 successful ICO projects last year that raised an average of $12.7 million. A total of $5.6 billion was raised for cryptocurrency ICO’s alone, a substantial increase from the $96.3 million raised in 2016. ICOs are becoming a new form of venture capital. Hundreds of ICOs are already scheduled for 2018.
However, not all ICOs are successful. About half of the ICOs raised the predicted capital and only 25% of the total money raised in 2017 was represented by the 10 largest ICOs. There are 1,500 cryptocurrencies that are being traded on over 200 exchanges. How your ICO is marketed in 2018-2019 will be the difference between failure and success in this progressively regulated and competitive world. The success of your ICO marketing strategy is even more important to the success of your project than the product itself. Products can change, but first impressions cannot.
Using a Website like a Shop Window
The main point of your ICO marketing strategy should always be your website because it’s a representation of your project that provides an overall first impression. The website needs to be concise, clear, and easy to navigate. It should have as much information about your project as possible along with the team who’s working on it. Most people expect and want transparency because they want to build trust. It never hurts to have a short video describing your project either. You need to keep in mind that if you decide to post a video, it could be attacked by other investors or hackers, so it is a good idea to have a roadmap, team, and a professional white paper. Without these, your ICO won’t be very successful.
The website should have a call to action that is clear and attracts investors to want to be a part of your project by becoming whitelisted or investing in pre-sales. Don’t rush into building a website right away and never make promises you can’t keep. Plan out what your message will be as well as the layout and blog article content and be sure that your expectations match the design of your innovative product. A lead capture form should be included on the website that should also be adjusted for SEO.
What Is Your Strategy?
The bedrock of your ICO marketing campaign should always be your SEO strategy. Unfortunately, this gets overlooked, sometimes in a bad light, in an ICO’s immediacy. An on-page and off-page SEO that uses a researched and intelligent approach will have a much clearer path on all of the routes that are needed to guarantee a long-term source of search traffic that is organic in nature.
Everything including your SEO strategy, management of your online reputation, and branding can be run on a building plan that is well-researched and with intelligent content generation. You can perform these functions in-house, but it is not required. A need for a long-term off-page and on-page SEO plan done professionally as part of a successful ICO marketing plan is becoming imperative for 2018.
Without an SEO strategy or optimization plan, your ICO will only have a short-term focus in mind. This might make your knowledgeable investors a bit uncomfortable, something you want to avoid altogether. With an ICO you should not only focus on today and what’s in front of you. In order for an ICO to be successful for a longer term, you have to figure out ways to deliver growth and quality post-ICO. An SEO website that’s professionally optimized with a smart off-page link plan and an online reputation management strategy will ensure continued visibility and viability well after your ICO project is launched. An SEO plan that is implemented carefully and thoroughly researched should be prominently featured in all ICO marketing campaigns.
Media Outreach and Press Releases
Now that your website is up and running, you are faced with the difficult task of getting the word out about your ICO to others. One of the most effective ways to do that is through press releases because they typically reach a large audience, therefore giving your ICO lots of exposure. They are an integral part of any ICO SEO strategy and while there are possible do-it-yourself approaches, the only way you can optimize one of the most essential channels for spreading the word is through the use of a professional press release agency.
There are numerous top-tier websites where press releases can be published including some websites that are unambiguous to the crypto sphere. There are many free sites available, but the better sites charge a significant amount of money to publish your press release. Be sure you include press releases in your budget as part of your ICO marketing plan.
Another excellent method to publicize your ICO as well as getting backlinks for your project is to use a guest blog post, which is posted in news media and cryptocurrency marketing article outlets. Many of these outlets are free and will post high-quality well-written content that will add value to your site. But in most cases, you will have to pay a premium to give your ICO exposure.
Professionals should handle media outreach and press releases. They know how to get your message out to a large group of people and they also know what messages to use. It costs quite a bit of money to do this, but their communication expertise will make your ICO invaluable.
Community Management and Social Media
Something else that is important for an ICO marketing plan to be successful is social media and community management. What can make or break an ICO is how well it’s communicated and to whom, such as using community and social media channels.
Some free channels that are powerful and popular include:
Reddit: One of the hardest nuts to crack is this particular community. It’s unforgiving, but also knowledgeable. The Reddit community can give your ICO a lot of exposure such as commentary on other threads and quality subreddits.
Facebook: ICOs can no longer be advertised on Facebook, but there are a number of pages and groups that discuss ICOs, cryptocurrencies, and blockchain. You can create and update ICO-related Facebook communities.
Quora: Another good way to address your target audience and receive some additional exposure is to post well-written content in threads on Quora. There are specialized forums and discussions you can tap into that will effectively communicate your ICO to a much larger audience who might be interested in learning more about it.
LinkedIn: There are many groups on LinkedIn that cover cryptocurrency, ICO, and blockchain that thousands of members can join.
Twitter: You can no longer advertise your ICO on Twitter either; however, this social media site is popular with the cryptocurrency community. There are thousands of targetable Twitter followers and influences.
Telegram: This site is relatively new but is becoming more influential and growing bigger by the day. Cryptocurrency and blockchain communities have embraced Telegram with open arms and have touted this site as another important channel for exposure.
Marketing via Email
Email is a conventional marketing strategy that can make an ICO plan effective even in 2018. But don’t ever send spam – this will damage your company’s reputation and you can receive a penalty that may hinder your ability to send future emails.
Many email providers such as MailChimp have banned ICO and cryptocurrency advertising, but there are other email providers that still support them. So don’t let this stop you from including email as part of your ICO marketing plan.
It takes time to build an email list, but will provide an interested base in the long term that you can communicate with. Agencies have lists too which are a good targeted foundation of exposure.
PPC – Pay Per Click Ad Strategies
Google banned ICO PPC advertising on June 2018, when the Crypto PPC ban went into effect. There are still many news sites, blogs, networks, and cryptocurrency sites that offer banner advertising along with package deals for emails, content, and banners. In 2018, Pay Per Click by Google Ads did lots of business. Other online banner advertisement agencies will need to be expanded upon and explored in 2018 after Google bans ICO advertising.
ICO Bounty programs are becoming a vital part of an ICO marketing strategy based on rewards and incentives. They are effective in that they help keep stakeholders and attract new investors needed for pre and post-ICO.
Airdropping tokens, which are free, can help to boost an ICO marketing plan, but must be handled carefully. Little to no rewards will not optimize ICO campaigns. If you give too much of your project away, your ICO might be viewed as a project that’s not financially viable or a scam.
Some popular sites will not only list your ICO, but will give it lots of exposure during the pre-ICO stage, which is very important. You will likely have to pay a premium for many of these sites, but there are a few that can help you list your ICO for free.
Events & Conferences
Cryptocurrency and blockchain events and conferences are appearing in places all over the world and are a tremendous channel to be able to communicate your ICO face-to-face. It can be expensive to have conferences and events, attendance, or sponsorship if you have to travel a lot. Likewise, conferences and overall events typically generate good ROI as part of your ICO marketing plan.
Founders should try to attend as many events and conferences before and after the ICO. You can build trust and communicate your message to others better by getting in front of other people. Plus, big deals are often closed at many events including road shows and cryptocurrency conferences. If you don’t attend, you won’t be able to give your ICO much opportunity to succeed. Make sure you attend these events so that your ICO won’t fail.
Opportunities & Challenges
ICOs are becoming multi-billion-dollar industries. And with more ICOs being launched and planned this year, competition has never been more aggressive. It is difficult to give your ICO the attention it deserves with tough advertising and regulation changes and restrictions. There’s a lot of expertise needed over many channels to make your ICO marketable pre-launch and post-launch and to make your ICO marketing agency a good investment in the long run despite the costs.
While you can try to promote your project on your own, there is a fine line between success and failure with an ICO. Making a first impression to optimize your project’s full potential should be more important than trying to save a little money.