10 Steps to do an ICO Series: Step 3 Formulate a Marketing Strategy
Each specific company will need a different strategy depending on the type of business, the strengths/weaknesses of the team, region, etc. I wrote this as a guide to point you in the right direction regarding your marketing plan. The biggest mistake that I see here, is ICOs don’t properly allocate resources to marketing. You should budget close to 10% of your fundraise and 6-9 months for marketing.
- Reaching out to other:
- Blogs or publications
- Youtube Influencers
Paid Online Advertising
- Google ads
- Facebook ads
- Youtube ads
Blog — First ask what’s your purpose for setting up your blog. To get ICO participants or is it to grow your customer base for your product? Once you figure that out, come up with persona types for the the person that you are trying to target. Then figure out the keywords that they would use to search for. Then create articles for your blog based on those keywords.
For example if your company is a new type of cryptocurrency mining equipment, and you are trying to target people setting up data centers, your persona may be the CTO looking to learn about how to set up a mining data center. Then you come up with keywords and articles based on those keywords.
YouTube — Based on the above example, your YouTube channel would be related to a mining data center.
Podcast —You could set up a podcast interviewing key players in the cryptocurrency mining industry.
Twitter — “Crypto Twitter” is quite active, and putting out tweets relative to the current events in crypto is a good way to get attention.
Communities—In order for an ICO to be successful, you have to have a massive amount of people excited about your company. Growing your community on Telegram is laborious, and extremely time consuming but it will be worth it. I will devote a whole article on how to do this later.
First figure out the goals of your PR. If for example it’s to get as many people to whitelist your project as possible, your PR efforts should be focused on cryptocurrency related publications etc.
Blogs and publications — Only focus on blogs and publications that are related to cryptocurrency. Don’t waste your time and money reaching out to the Wall Street Journal when their readers have an extremely low chance of participating in your project.
YouTube Influencers — Now there are many crypto related YouTube influencers, however you can guarantee that they are being bombarded with requests for interviews etc. The less reputable, the higher their fee tends to be. Some influencers have been known to charge up to 100,000 USD for an interview. The reputable ones wont charge you a fee, but they must fall in love with your project in order to speak about you. I would advise not reaching out to influencers too early. A good way to meet with them is to approach them at events.
Podcast — There are only a few podcasts in the crypto space, which means that they are inundated with requests for interviews. I would advise you to contact them when there is an event in the news that is relevant to your project. If your project is about a new type of mining equipment, and there’s calls from the US government to ban crypto mining, that’s a good time to reach out to podcasts.
Twitter Influencers — Again, they are inundated with requests from other ICOs. The best way to contact these people is to be active on Twitter and interact with them publicly before ever sending a direct message.
Paid Online advertising
Google ads, Facebook ads, and Youtube ads are all powerful ways to target a specific persona and get them to do an action. For example if you are trying to get as many signups to your whitelist as possible, you create ads for those specific mediums, then target that persona that you are looking for, and finally run and continually refine your ads. Pad advertising specialists aren’t difficult to find. They key is testing and refining your ads.
A note about budgeting
If you are a new entrepreneur, or you are a bootstrapped founder my guess is that you’re in a bit shocked by how much time and money you will need to allocate to marketing.
For your content marketing, the purpose is to make your company an ‘influencer’ in your space. If personally you are already an influencer with 20,000+ followers, this is easier to do. If not, this can be costly.
PR is quite labor intensive, but if you’ve already got the contacts, or you are an influencer in the crypto space, PR will be easier for you. If not, it will be expensive.
Paid advertising has a steep learning curve, and if you try to do this yourself it’s time consuming and very costly. You need to budget not only for labor but for your ads.
If you’re spending about 150,000 USD per month on marketing, a large chunk of that will be your paid marketing campaigns.
It’s not easy to trust someone with that much budget. This is why your CMO is such an important role in your organization, and this role should not be outsourced to an agency.
Next up, in the the 10 Steps to Launching in ICO series:
Step 3.5 – BONUS A Word About ICO Agencies
First of all, congratulations for making it this far! You now have your MBA in how to run a blockchain business. Your post ICO strategy should be focused on delivering on the promises that you made during your ICO.
The cryptocurrency exchange dimension is what makes the difference between crowdfunding and an ICO. As a crowdfunding contributor, after contributing to a campaign you simply sit, wait, and hope that the project that you contributed to is completed.
This is a technical team’s webapp/website checklist for running an ICO. Note: Some of these steps are relevant only for ICOs with ERC20 tokens. While the rest is applicable to all ICOs.
Unlike typical startups, ICOs usually use advisors to help with various functions of the company. We have new projects signing up to our platform daily, so I have seen and evaluated over 400 ICOs.
You've got your product in place; you're implementing your marketing strategy, speaking with lawyers, building your community, now it’s time to hit the road.
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