ICOs have revolutionized the way startups raise funds for their projects. Generally, it involves the selling of a company’s token in exchange for fiat currency or even popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and ETH.
While the funds raised through ICO campaigns have declined in the last few years, it doesn’t mean that it’s impossible for your project to achieve its financial goal. To a larger extent, the success of your ICO project depends on the effectiveness of your marketing campaign.
Interestingly, the same marketing tools used in conventional advertising campaigns are also used in promoting an ICO project. The difference is in the way you use the tools. As such, an effective ICO campaign is one that seeks to inform investors of the benefits of the project and its contribution to the blockchain network. Here is how to do an effective ICO campaign.
1. Research on Your Market
It is anticipated that blockchain will find its way into all major industries improving their operations as a result. But, this blockchain takeover is still in its infancy, and as of now, not every company can embrace ICO.
So, before planning for an ICO marketing campaign, you need to ascertain whether integrating digital tokens into your business model brings any value. You may consider trying the IPO route if digital tokens aren’t suited for your startup.
If indeed ICO adds value to your product or service offering, you also have to do more market research to find out if what you intend to offer is on demand. Usually, demand arises from the scarcity of a product in the market. Ideally, your offering should be unique to bridge the market gap and eventually create demand.
2. Define Your Audience
A streamlined marketing approach works better than a general approach. It may seem counter-intuitive since marketing is all about getting your product out there to as many people as possible. But a wide approach means that you may end up marketing to people who are not interested in your offering in the first place.
On the other hand, narrowing down your marketing campaign to the right audience will certainly win you more investors.
You could start by identifying the personas of your ideal investors. Gather relevant information about then including their pain points and how your offering stands as a solution. To achieve this, you need to leverage existing cryptocurrency communities spread across various social media platforms. Most importantly, try and connect to those who are in the same industry as your offering.
3. Tailor your PR and Media Outreach
In the course of your interaction with the crypto-community, you’re likely to meet two distinctive audiences. The first are those with an extensive understanding of the digital currency while the second group are those who aren’t crypto savvy but understand the potential of blockchain technology.
It is your responsibility to build a comprehensive media and public relations outreach that address both groups of potential investors. As such, the content you publish on your website and social media platforms should offer deeper analysis and insight to cater to the audience who are well versed in the digital token market. At the same time, make sure you include basic information and guides for those with a limited understanding of the market.
4. Create a Winning Whitepaper
Your project’s whitepaper is one of the surest ways to connect to your audience. It’s a marketing tool by itself that attempts to convince investors why they should stake their funds in your company. The idea here is not to oversell your project idea but rather to win the investors’ trust.
Essentially, a good whitepaper should consist of the project’s outline with emphasis on its place in the current market. This will help investors examine if your solution stands out from the rest of the competitors in the market. Serious investors will stake in unique projects that demonstrate the resilience to survive in the market.
You should also state the exact amount of money you intend to raise and how the funds will help achieve certain milestones of the project. This can be captured perfectly by designing a roadmap detailing the timeline of the project development.
A whitepaper wouldn’t be complete without the project’s team section. Despite the fact that the section appears at the tail-end of the whitepaper document, it adds credibility and legitimacy to your project. So, it’s a good idea to have reputable professionals in your team to back up your project. Ideally, the team members should have had some success in the blockchain domain to demonstrate their authority on the subject.
5. Partnerships and Active Involvement in Blockchain Events
Forging partnerships with other startups is a marketing tool that is often overlooked by most ICO projects. This is mainly due to the fear that one party may overshadow the success of the other party. However, if done right, partnerships can actually win you more clients in addition to contributing to the growth of your project. As such, it’s recommended to partner with a company that complements what you offer. For instance, if you are a fintech crypto startup, you can partner with a blockchain payment processor company.
Also, active involvement in blockchain forums is a good way to get your ICO project known to the rest of the community. In these forums, you’ll not only interact with other potential partners but also investors and other interested parties.
6. Create a Bounty Program
A bounty program is a marketing strategy that uses incentive-based rewards to attract investors to your ICO. A good example of this program is airdropping. It entails rewarding some members of the crypto community with free tokens for helping spread the word about the ICO project. The free coins can be exchanged for other digital currencies or retained as an investment in the project. This is an affordable marketing strategy, especially if you can offer just the right amount of tokens to make the campaign effective.
Promoting an ICO can be overwhelming, given the sheer amount of work that goes into creating an effective marketing campaign. But with the guidance of the simple tips above, it can be easier since you’ll have an idea of what to pay attention to when designing your campaign.