TLDR — Outlines in 8 steps, what you need to do to ensure that your token gives good returns and maintains a stable and healthy price after your ICO.
Okay so the ICO is over, and you have managed to raise your dream amount. Good work :) Take a small breather and get ready for the next step, “Post ICO Marketing and Communication”
While marketing your ICO you have to concentrate on building an engaged community, getting the investors to believe in your vision and “contribute towards building it” (North Star Metric for ICO marketing). Check out this short but complete guide to ICO marketing for more details.
But for Post ICO, the north star metric for you has to be your token price and corresponding market cap. Your token price after your ICO will depend on 2 things —
The value that you are able to provide to your community.
The size of the community that you are catering to.
I would like to outline 8 things that the marketing team of a post ICO startup should do, to directly affect the above mentioned North Star Metric of token price and market cap after ICO.
Step 1 — Constant communication channel
For most of the blockchain startups that have completed their ICOs, the final products, mainnet versions etc will be released in the coming few months. Also the token listings on popular exchanges happen after the ICO is over. These 2 are biggest questions which will haunt the minds of your community.
- What are these guys doing with the money I gave them?
- When will this come on an exchange and I can remove a portion of my investment?
These things do not happen in day but the can be handled if the marketing and community team ensures a clear and transparent communication channel with the community. This can be in the form of weekly updates, on what the team is doing, especially until the product is built and the tokens have been listed on an exchange.
One of the best examples of a great Post ICO communication strategy is https://origintrail.io/
For 6 July 2018
For 29 June 2018
They even have a regular monthly update
Such timely and regular updates help in engaging the community while you are building your product.
Step 2 — Spend time in educating your users
This will be the first time your users, or your potential users, will use your platform. If they do not understand the difference it can create in their lives, or are not able to comprehend how to drive maximum value from it, you will not see adoption happening.
For a protocol level play educating your users would mean giving them a testnet to play with and complete technical documentation.
Latest landing page from Ziliqa showcasing the value it provides and how to extract it.
Complete documentation of Scilia for developers to understand easily
Let’s take the example of a trading tool which will help its users trade smarter Cindicator. They have regularly share their learning and objective proof of value that they provide to their users so that users are encouraged to use the platform even more.
Step 3 — If you are a protocol or a platform, encourage Innovation on top of it
Your platform/protocol will be successful if people build Products/Dapps on top of it.
Thus for all the protocol level players it becomes really important to encourage innovation. You can do this by conducting innovation hackathons and rewarding the winners with funding and support to pursue their projects.
Or you can take the route of request for startups that can built on top of your protocol to increase it’s value e.g. Stellar’s build challenge
Step 4 — Encourage stakeholder and Community participation
Remember you are building for a decentralised world.
What this means is if you do not involve your community in decision making and feedback on key actions like product development and marketing efforts then there was no point of doing it in the first place.
Here I would like to cite the example of Decred, though it has never had an ICO. Decred is known in the crypto circles for its governance. Placeholder VC even claimed that one of the biggest reasons of they funding Decred is its governance and the manner in which it involves the stakeholders.
Step 5 — Focus on organic channels of acquisition
You have just raised a lot of money… Please don’t spend it on ads !!
A lot of money buys you a lot of time. Spend that time on getting to a product market fit, before you start focussing on ads as a channel of user acquisition. The top organic channels of acquisition include —
- SEO powered content campaigns — Start creating high quality content on problems your users face. This is a long term investment and will continue to get you users for a long time.
- Use channels like Quora and Reddit to get readership for the content you create above. You can also try and make inroads into closed crypto groups and communities and distribute your content there.
- As what you are creating, will be of value to your potential users, it will not be treated as Spam, rather will drive acquisition.
Once you have objectively achieved product market fit (retention and churn numbers), the world is your playground to scale.
Step 6 — Showcase thought leadership and subject matter expertise
Since you are about to change the world, with your revolutionary concept, you should be able to talk about the issue at hand easily. You will have to showcase thought leadership and subject matter expertise about your product, idea by presenting it in offline events, collaborating with other industry leaders to solve a problem, PR on fundamental issues and doing AMAs and Video interviews etc. The main takeaway from this is that, an important part of Post ICO marketing is visibility in global events and media outlets as a thought leader.
Step 7 — Build a local brand ambassador network
There is nothing which works better than having local feet on ground. Involving local influencers and brand ambassadors in your growth can help you reach every nook and corner of the crypto universe effectively. If you are aiming for the moon then it is important that your feet are firmly planted on the ground.
Step 8 — Use Airdrops to accelerate engagement and adoption
Airdrops can be a great way to encourage engagement (until the product is not built) and adoption (after the product is built).
Until the product is not built, you can do airdrops to
- Encourage participation in your community
- Fund community meetups and initiatives
- Reward high quality organic content creation by the community
- Encourage feedback from your community
This will keep the momentum going until you release your product. It will also ensure high quality distribution of your tokens. These token holders would then your voice in their community.
After releasing your product,
You can still you airdrops for the above mentioned things after releasing but the product gives you the power of 2 more use cases which drive adoption of the product —
- An effective referral program
- A bug bounty program
Bug bounty program by Zen Protocol to encourage developers to find new bugs in the protocol. The reward is in Zen tokens 5 to 200 depending on the severity of the issue.
These are the 8 ways we could document looking at the best post ICO marketing examples globally. Let us know if you have more such steps, we can continue to edit this list if the steps are really good.