The Initial Coin Offering, or ICO, has gained a lot of attention in the last year, increasing 40 fold just in 2017. There's a ton of buzz and many crowdfunding ventures are turning to ICO as a good way to fund their project.
ICOs have only been around since 2014, so it's still a new way to fund your business. While investing is never a guaranteed venture, there have been some less scrupulous business practices used in this realm that have given ICOs a bad name and made investors more wary. Newer investors also don't know a great deal about the way ICOs works, which means that they need more education. In the last year, platforms, like Facebook, and search engines, such as Google, have announced bans on paid advertising for ICO.
On the plus side, the close scrutiny has meant that the industry is embracing transparency to weed out unscrupulous companies. But all of these aspects of the landscape also mean that your marketing strategy is essential in order for your ICO to gain traction and flourish.
Differentiating Your ICO
The first priority for marketing your ICO is to make sure that you differentiate your offering. Your investors should be able to read a detailed whitepaper and understand your business model. ICOs run much the same way that the traditional stock offerings do, but they're less regulated (though that is quickly changing). The newness of this type of investment model means that it's ripe for people to pull scams, like the ever famous pump and dump.
A pump and dump isn't new. The FTC highly regulates the traditional futures markets, but that is where the scam started and it's easy to get caught up in this one if you haven't done your research. The basic premise is that actors falsely drive up the price of the currency, innocent investors see this rapid rise and jump onboard, the initial investors dump all their interest at a premium position. The innocent investors wind up holding the bag, meaning they lose a great deal of money.
The biggest piece of advice given to new investors is to Do Your Own Research. This is where your marketing strategy should work in overdrive. Detailed whitepaper, research information on your offering, accessible web properties, and as much transparency as possible will make your ICO more trustworthy and understandable for your prospective investors.
Social Media and Online Marketing for ICO
With various platforms banning paid posts for ICOs, your marketing strategy might rely more heavily on organic search and SEO. A whitepaper is often the initial step in your content offerings because the research will be integral to help investors understand your purpose, company, and how it will benefit future customers. After creating your whitepaper, you'll need somewhere to put it. A clear and well designed website can help you address the various elements of your project when communicating with a less tech savvy audience.
Traditional online marketing tools can be used to greatly impact your ICO campaign. These might include social media marketing, finding and leveraging influencers in your marketing, guest posting on industry blogs, and email marketing campaigns. Improving organic search and leveraging the hype on particular platforms, such as Twitter and Reddit, to engage those already interested in the technology.
Community management is another important tool for a successful ICO, advocating the brand on social networks and providing education for your audience. ICOs should actively engage with their community, addressing the concerns of their audience on platforms like telegram, twitter, reddit, in facebook groups and other forums. This makes the process of transparency that much easier with a direct line to your consumer and/or user.
Bounty campaigns are also widely used in ICO marketing. You can run different types of bounty campaigns at different times, one for before the launch to get the word out and one for after. A bounty campaign basically gets the public involved in marketing your ICO. Typically this includes posting to their social media channels to increase your buzz. It's called a bounty campaign because the participants are given tokens in exchange for the amount of traffic they bring to your ICO.
It's important to stay up to date on new regulatory changes within the blockchain space and adjust the marketing strategy, as some of these newly developed practices are under SEC scrutiny.
Need Help Developing a Winning Marketing Strategy for Your ICO?
If you want to develop a great marketing strategy to give your ICO the best traction in the market and differentiate yourself from all of the other offerings out there, contact HexaGroup today. Our experienced staff has worked extensively in ICO marketing and the blockchain industry. We have a proven track record for helping our clients reach their target audience.