The rise of ‘the ICO’ in 2017 has been astonishing to watch. ICOs have followed the innovator's dilemma disruption path in much faster timeframes than technology has. The VC and Angel investor market, which maintains a chokehold on development projects, has now been uprooted by a decentralized, democratic model of global crowdfunding, that in some cases, is producing returns in the 1,000% range.
As the dawn of 2018 is upon us, and the ever-changing regulatory factors continue, companies looking to raise capital via an ICO need to tighten their marketing strategy and execution if they aim to be successful amongst the increasing competition. Here are 7 steps for companies that are running ICOs in 2018, and want to improve their chances of success.
#1. Know Your Audience
If your target investor or customer of your product or service is everyone, you will attract no one. I want you to re-read that sentence. If you are trying to speak to everyone your targeting and research is way too broad. You need to condense and crystallize to speak directly to your ideal customer.
Before you start marketing, you need to establish who you are trying to connect with and then you need to conduct in-depth research. Analyze the nature of your ICO and identify your target audience. After this step, you will be able to narrow your campaign scope down to get exactly the kind of investors/participants you want.
Is your ICO better suited for a community of 30,000 with an average investment of $1,000? Or are you only hunting fund managers and whale investors to participate in your program? Both groups speak very different languages and require very different marketing approaches.
#2. Content Strategy is a Must
Creating educational and engaging content can help you become an invaluable resource to your target audience. Giving your audience exactly what they want will help you grow organically and attract those who not only engage with your brand and follow you across social channels, but also advocate and recommend your brand by sharing that content with their friends and peers.
Many businesses don’t have the resources to hire an entire content team, but luckily that’s not necessary for implementing an effective content strategy. There are lots of ways to create content that gets your brand in front of the right people and grows an engaged audience that spreads the word about your business for you. You can quickly turn all of the frequently asked questions across your entire organization into a full calendar of content that will get your brand name found.
#3. Create a Blog
With the help of a blog, you can achieve a lot of your marketing goals. You can provide readers the latest updates on the progress of your project. A blog can also serve as an archive where your potential contributors can find valuable and relevant posts.
The blog serves as the base of your entire content marketing strategy, and can really push your ICO in front of a highly targeted audience.
#4. Embrace The AMA
You need to understand that your business model, your tokenomics and your strategy are not going to be perfect, and that’s a good thing. Embrace the fact that you will not have the answer to every question thrown at you in an AMA.
The key is to be honest and transparent with your community. Listen to their comments, understand their reservations and provide them with solutions. It is ok to have faults but just make sure you have a strong foundation in your business model, customer segments, and solutions with a clear path to revenue. Pro Tip - Use hashtags on every AMA webinar to increase social media awareness.
#5. Engage on Social Media
Social media is one of the most powerful weapons for ICOs. Start by understanding where your target audience is located. Not all channels will yield results based on your target segments and with limited time and resources be sure you are fishing where the fish are.
Even a hundred followers can take you nearer to your goal if those followers become evangelists for your brand. There are plenty of tools to integrate your social channels with your content strategy. Be smart and efficient with your most limited resource - time.
This is why knowing your audience is so important in your marketing strategy as different types of people gravitate towards specific social platforms. Your language needs to match that of your audience, and you need to tell your story in an impactful, authentic manner.
Remember your backstory is more important than your tagline, people crave insider info so let them see the wizard behind the curtain. In order to stand out, your brand needs to stop fixating on best practices and do something remarkable.
#6. Press Matters
A targeted story in a reputable media outlet can make all the difference in your token sale. I will share with you why this matters. This is the power of third-party endorsement, perceived or real, it still carries considerable weight.
If a significant mainstream news outlet or syndicated crypto news outlet runs a story on your project, it instills investor confidence. This is what I call a trust trigger; there is implied authority with your brand based on the media mention.
This is what I call a trust trigger; there is implied authority with your brand based on media mention. Don't dismiss press releases, both traditional and crypto news outlets provide you access to broaden your organic reach.
#7. Email Marketing
Email marketing still reigns supreme. One major fail in 90% of token sales is the lack of personalization in their email marketing. There is such a lack of marketplace sophistication when it comes to internal database segmentation to where you receive blanket generic marketing emails from ICO companies.
Again, take the time to understand your investor pool, why did they invest in your sale? Have you asked them? Use that info to create compelling messages to prompt them to share your token sale with their networks. Another great thing about email marketing is the price tag. It's cheap. Get them on your list and nurture them so when they open your emails, they are anticipating an update or something new about the project. You can promote your content, upcoming events, or any particular deals through email marketing.
Content is the key to making an ICO marketing strategy successful. Everything, from your white paper, pitch deck, executive summary, to blog posts or email marketing, depends on well-drafted content.
Keep in mind that your readers may belong to different parts of the world, which means the language you use needs to be simple and should focus on answering possible questions preemptively.
Only content which is written with the target audience in mind can help you grow and attract more participants.
To your success in 2018 and beyond! Feel free to connect with me at Midtown West Media.