What are the main marketing strategies used to promote ICOs?
If there is one thing all ICO marketers agree on, it is that the community supporting the project is Key to its success. All actions must converge to building and sustaining a supportive community around the project. An excellent example of that is the CIVIC ICO which raised $33 Million with 0 marketing costs : https://medium.com/@TammyCamp/how-civic-sold-33-million-dollars-in-tokens-with-zero-marketing-c91610a4f2c8.
There are several channel clusters to promote an ICO. Marketers exploit them all, with different degrees of focus, depending on their product nature and potential investor segment.
In the following, a listing of the main channel clusters used to promote an ICO :
Content creation :
It is the ultimate way to showcase the team’s expertise in its industry. Most teams start a medium blog in which they write extensively about study cases related to their product, their technology or just share their vision of their futur products.
The content can also covers some sensitive topics such as the laws and jurisdictions regulating the project or the financial planning and funds distribution of the ICO.
Constant communication feeds :
This task requires the founders to be reactive and to have a constantly open communication channel, it helps build trust with potential investors. The most used channels are : Telegram, Slack, Bitcoin Talk, Reddit, Etc,…. . In most cases, founders pick one channel in which they remain reachable (slack or telegram), the rest is handled by community managers.
The landing page & technical paper
The landing page must be carefully crafted to be user friendly. It must be simple enough to give a sens of the project and deep enough for anyone to understand.
The website needs to contain, easily accessible, information about the project, the team, the technology, the road map, the ICO details, …. . It should also have a set of documents such as the white paper, token sales details, project overview, … .
Several bes are used to facilitate the content as much as possible to the users. Some teams use a series of micro videos to explain several aspects of the project, while others focus on simplifying the white paper to make it understandable by non technical investors.
https://fansunite.io/whitepaper.pdf (simplified paper for non technicals)
https://playkey.io/ (User friendly interface)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s75_OZ7vtk8 (explanatory videos)
Paid traffic :
There are many websites that have blockchain enthusiasts as there main readers. Most of the time these websites propose a variety of displays for ICO promoters : banners, ad spaces in mailing lists, mid article mentions, … .
Offline events :
There are many blockchain events, meetups and conferences happening in major cities. To kickstart their initial fan base, teams start pitching at offline events, it is a slow way that grants the acquisition of early evangelists.
Offline events are also an opportunity to connect with investors that place big amounts on crypto projects. Big whales will always prefer to have a physical meeting with the founders to discuss more in details the strategy and the road map.
Bounty programs :
Bounty programs are maid by the team to reward people that wish to help promote an ICO. The rewards vary depending on the contribution : writing an article, sharing on social media, referral programs, translating websites and white papers, … .
Social Media :
It goes without saying that to gather a community around a product, social media networks are the go to platforms. ICO marketers try to capitalize on it by building a sustainable flow of content to engage their potential investors.
It is also the opportunity to engage influencers and tap in their followers pool.
PR : Articles / SEO :
Cryptocurrency related news websites are growing like mushrooms. Some teams, pay to have sponsored articles written about their technology. It is a good way to get the project in front of people interested in the blockchain technologies.
Listing / Rating websites :
There are a lot of ICO listing websites, some of them provide reviews for investors to assist them in their placement decisions. If an ICO is having enough Hype, reviews websites pick it organically and review it. If its not the case, the founders can pay to get their ICO listed and rated. It allows the team to get their ICO in front of a niche looking for projects to invest in.
ICO Marketing agencies :
Several marketing agencies are now specializing in accompanying founders on launching their ICOs. Some of these agencies offer specific services ( community management across social media channels) while others provide the all inclusive package that goes from assisting on structuring the whitepaper to contacting the press,… .
Launching an ICO takes a tremendous effort that needs to be kicked off at least 3 months prior to the Launch date. The team needs to prepare the necessary material to run the campaign and manage the crowd.
Finally it is important to note that the team, the goals and the protection of investors’ interests are the three topics which tend to interest the audience the most. They must be at the center of the communication of the team at all times.