Explosive Growth Marketing For Your ICO – The ICO fundraising mechanism took the world by storm in 2017. What was once an obscure fundraising method quickly gathered momentum until the space was saturated with blockchain startups all looking to access capital in this revolutionary way.
The hype surrounding ICOs built into such a frenzy that at the end of 2017 the average number of ICO campaigns reached three per day.
This momentum has since slowed down, but launching an ICO can still feel like trying to shout over a cacophony of voices, all clamoring to be heard over the sound of a thousand new companies all exploding onto the scene at once. Even the most revolutionary of ideas can get lost in the noise, so startups that want to stand out need a clear strategy, and a strong voice to cut through the crap.
Success is usually determined by the marketing strategy, which will outline how you’ll promote your ICO through free channels and advertising, and how your marketing materials will instill trust and inspiration among investors.
This strategy can be broken down into two key time periods – Pre-ICO and Post-ICO, and can be sped up with a few explosive growth-hacking tips that will send your startup high into the stratosphere until it rains down on the masses like nuclear hail!
The success of an ICO campaign is set long before the token launch. Pre-ICO marketing is all about developing a strong brand and then casting as wide a net as possible to lure in potential investors.
Do this by making sure you have a clear value proposition and key differentiators from competitors.
Make sure that your Whitepaper and website scream success, and then set up a multi-channel content campaign to get you on the radar of influencers and investors well in advance of your offering.
The two key strands of a successful ICO campaign are Content Strategy and Community Engagement:
Content Strategy – Romancin’ Your Audience
Good content strategy is a lot like romance—It’s a gradual process of gaining trust with potential investors by building yourself as an authority in the field until one day, investing becomes the natural choice.
This is achieved by carefully crafting a story that will resonate with your target audience, and building it to a natural crescendo.
To make sure your voice is strong enough to stand out, analyze your closest competitors and differentiate yourself. Make sure that potential investors, the media and the public will have a good sense of your company’s story before you launch.
Content can be rolled out across multiple channels and in multiple formats…be it videos, infographics, memes or medium posts—but tie it all together in a coherent editorial calendar.
Good content positioned in the right place at the right time can ignite a marketing strategy.
Community Engagement – Come together, over me!
Social proof is a powerful phenomenon, and it’s achieved through the community. Community engagement should work in tandem with a good content strategy to help build trust with your audience.
To be effective though, your efforts need to be focused in the right place. There are several channels that you can use to maximize community engagement, but each channel must be maintained. Stagnant channels just make you wonder if the team is already planning their exit scam!
Consistent, quality engagement can help build trust with the community, which will ultimately determine if your ICO will succeed or fail.
The Two Ts – Twitter & Telegram
The reigning king and queen of community engagement—Twitter and Telegram. Both are capable of reaching vast amounts of people and creating a tidal wave of interest in your ICO.
However, sporadic tweeting alone won’t cut it—use your content calendar to inform your schedule for tweeting and messaging. Tweet in advance if you must with a scheduling tool like Buffer, but keep them personal, authentic and original.
Telegram has the advantage of sending important messages directly, but don’t abuse this opportunity! Unless the channel is kept clean and tidy, important messages can get lost in an endless stream of inane chatter that isn’t really helping anyone.
Get Reddit Respect
It takes time and effort to build a subreddit, but with careful moderation and frequent updates, you can build a real community around a coin. And in doing so, you might create your own army of redditors that will promote your coin for free on the front page!
If your ICO has no substance, no white paper, no vision—then it probably won’t have a GitHub page. GitHub is a community of its own, and one that is worth penetrating to get the greatest possible reach. An active GitHub page, with decent content, will lend your project Creedence with more techy investors.
Other Social Media
More traditional social media, even Facebook, can still be used for general communication and building a community. Whether or not this will be appropriate depends on the nature of your product and the crowd you are targeting.
Incentivise Community Participation
One marketing method that can send ICOs super Saiyan is the bounty program, this is (another article) in itself, but is a way of offering rewards to attract investors to your ICO, and offering further rewards for those already invested – sort of like a Ponzi scheme – but no, not a Ponzi scheme!
Airdrops are essentially token giveaways, which can help get enthusiasts interested in the project. These have become more popular as they avoid some of the problems which have led ICOs to be scrutinized by the SEC.
Be careful though, giving too many tokens away can raise questions of their worth, and giving too few away might barely be worth doing.
Make the Media
If you can get outside of the bitcoin bubble, then you create such a hubbub that you might compel even normies to consider investing.
That’s what mainstream media can do for you – and while you might not be able to precipitate it, you can be prepared for it. Before the ICO launch, make sure you have a bombproof site, a solid public relations strategy, and a designated spokesperson armed with key talking points and responses to expected questions.
Post ICO: Avoid Post-ICO Apocalypse
After a successful ICO, morale should be high. But pride comes before a fall they say, and at this stage, many companies fail to capitalize on the success of their Pre-ICO marketing.
Once the dust has settled, you need to capture the momentum and continue a marketing strategy that keeps you from fading away.
Use feedback from the Pre-ICO marketing to inform a long-term strategy for scaling and steady growth.
Growth-Hacking ICO Marketing
Growth is the make-or-break metric of startups – you either grow fast enough, or you die.
So how can this growth be hacked?
The key is in constant review of what’s working and what isn’t.
The bullseye framework for Growth-hacking Suggests asking these three fundamental questions about your marketing efforts
- What channel is driving the most traffic (#)?
- What channel is driving the most valuable traffic, in other words, performs best (%) in terms of customer conversion?
- What channel has the lowest customer acquisition cost ($), i.e. cost per customer converted?
When you start marketing, you are likely to have many channels in place, and experimenting is vital, but not all of them will be successful. Constant review using metrics like AARRR can help you find the strategies that work and eliminate those that don’t.
Put simply, take that scattergun approach and transform it into a high-powered sniper, so you can focus on finding what works, and maximising it.