Initial Coin Offering (ICOs) are seen as the most prominent confluence between traditional crowdfunding and new technology like the blockchain. The abundance of companies specializing in the creation and launching of ICOs has made it the go-to option for a lot of crypto entrepreneurs to raise funds. The possibilities of scams have also been effectively addressed by regulating ICOs. In this crowded space, what makes any resistible ICO stand out is the effectiveness of marketing.
This situation has given rise to a crucial question: how much does it cost for ICO marketing?
Marketing an ICO is almost like a separate project undertaking in itself. There are multiple pockets, platforms, strategies, and stages involved in marketing and ICO. At a higher level, the tasks involved in the ICO marketing campaign summed up as:
- Defining the product, the idea, and it’s positioning as a solution to converge at the ICO.
- Understand the global ICO market and establish the intensity of competition.
- Build a reliable and passively profitable relationship with the crypto community.
- Keeping all these pointers in mind, plan on the marketing budget of an ICO.
- Ensure that all the documents needed are in place, primed, and ready.
- Understand the regulatory framework involved in the process.
- At every stage, ensure that you have a competent and experienced team to handle your campaigns and activities.
Building a marketing strategy for your ICO involves putting together a lot of steps straight across content, editing, marketing, and public relations, social media, community management, designing, coding, targeting, and even some activities after the launch of your ICO. The cost of ICO marketing depends on the quality of service providers you will engage for every activity.
In all of this, it is important to keep every step and its details documented. It is also highly recommended that to handle PR, a firm with considerable experience in blockchain and ICO is hired. This experience comes in handy especially in managing the bad press.
Ask any marketing expert and they will swear by the epithet that content is the King. Content marketing is the centroid of all marketing activities that you will engage in the interest of your ICO. Every ICO marketing strategy should essentially have a content section in place.
Effective content ensures that the pain-point your customers face and the solution that you provide are communicated without any attenuation in intensity. This content, uncompromising on quality, also makes it a useful feed for Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, and Telegram.
To ensure that your content is in compliance with the best industry standards, it is recommended that professional copywriters and content managers are hired. Collaborating with them should also help in putting forward an effective content strategy.
Social media – Specific
In the context of an ICO, when we talk about social credibility, it does not essentially refer to the classic social media like Facebook and Twitter. They are specialized crypto communities and ICO communities where it is required that the project and the talking marks a presence.
Participating in these communities helps strengthen the credibility of your ICO, and credibility is an important currency when it comes to marketing it. There are specialized media resources like Hackernoon, BitcoinTalk, Startups, and Venture Capital where we can expect a lot of engagement. You can use this platform to keep key investors informed on the updates regarding your token sale and also about the upcoming trip to events. Engaging in these forms helps build a good image with your investors, so they get into a thought that you care about them.
Handling these communities requires skill sets that are proficient in knowing the crypto jargon, analyzing the pulse of the community, and addressing precise issues.
Listings and ratings
There are websites that are solely dedicated to listing ICOs. Listing your ICO on sites like CoinSchedule and ICO Bench goes a considerable distance in establishing the presence of your tokens in a place that matters for crypto enthusiasts. When you choose the site where you would like to list your ICO, ensure that the cost of this ICO marketing service is taken into consideration.
There are listing sites that can list your ICO for free, and there are sites that cost 35 bitcoins for a premium listing. Needless to say, there are a lot of websites whose costs fit in between these two extremes. These listing sites also have geographic affinity and language preferences. If your ICO targets a country like South Korea or Japan, it is strongly recommended that you ensure the availability of localization.
There are auditing companies that will evaluate your ICO and identify a parametric magnitude that represents the investment attractiveness of your ICO. Although this activity can be done by the company itself, it is strongly recommended that you outsource this task to an agency that specializes in ICO marketing services.
This is one of the most crucial and tricky areas of marketing your ICO. The primary goal of PR exercises is to build trust. To ensure that there is growth in trust, the contents published should not be labeled as sponsored content.
As discussed earlier, hiring a PR agency with experience in blockchain and ICOs will ensure that the media strategy, building of media relationships, creation of press release copies, publishing of contents on popular media platforms, and testing of marketing campaigns is effectively taken care of.
Another new area that is slowly but steadily growing in its relevance is YouTube influencers. The opinion of influencers is so powerful that about 60% of investors are likely to take that into consideration. In an endeavor to optimize costs, the quality of influencers that will talk about your ICO should not be compromised. Factors like the number of followers, their credibility, the recent endorsements, and specializations should be taken into consideration. It is quite likely that YouTube influencers will also amplify their content on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
Airdrops and bounty programs
The two strategies mentioned above are specific to ICOs and blockchain. Airdropping is passively an influencer program where your tokens get randomly dropped into the crypto wallets of enthusiasts and influencers. Airdropping has been found to be so effective that they have been instances of 10,000 subscribers being added to messaging communities by spending about $15,000.
Bounty programs, as the name implies, is designed to reward people for the task that they perform supporting the ICO. Before lunch, bounties can be avoided for content creation, white paper translation, and BitCoinTalk signatures. After the launch of the tokens, you can reward bounties for bug fixes and product improvement suggestions.
Note these marketing programs come in handy because mainstream advertising platforms like Facebook and Google have completely banned advertisements related to crypto and blockchain.
Social Media – Generic
In all of this, the classic social media should not be forgotten. It is to be numbered that platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn have highly dedicated groups discussing crypto, ICO, and its derivatives. Before launching your ICO, the focus of your social media presence should be about getting exposure and building trust. After your tokens are launched, the focus should be on moderation and engagement.
As you may have inferred, managing anything related to crypto on social media requires both technical and communication expertise. Social media can also be effectively used to generate traffic to the website. The website, as you may have known, should contain all the details about your ICO including but not limited to the white paper, the founding team, their credibility and credentials, and the tokenomics. If possible, the website should also give details on the timelines and schedules.
Off-line – sales and conferences
There is no question on the fact that ICO is digital engagement. The investors, however, belong to the real world. Therefore, it is important to mark an off-line presence as much as a digital presence.
In this endeavor, the two most established methods can be used-putting in place a sales team and participating in crypto conferences.
The sales team should be efficient in analyzing the pulse of the market. They should have deep knowledge of both the product and the investors.
Crypto conferences help you catch your best target audience in person. While conference participation in itself is a good place to talk about your ICO, a few additional engagements like side events, contests and competitions, personal meetings, and exchange of contacts can help in strengthening your presence.
In spite of the trough advent through in 2017, ICOs have bounced back to become a prominent avenue for crypto fundraising these days. Needless to say, marketing is what differentiates the mediocre from the excellent.
As much as you will need to depend on an ICO marketing company for creating your utility tokens, you will also need to partner with a company that specializes in ICO marketing services for working out your ICO marketing strategy. It should be remembered that the cost of ICO marketing service is not an expense but an investment.