In recent months Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have caused a global interest in blockchain technology and Initial Coin Offering (ICO) projects. I for one have seen hundreds of ICOs popping up on a monthly basis.
However, the difficulty isn’t starting an ICO, its making it a successful one and more importantly, gaining the competitive edge. How best to do this, with a water tight marketing strategy!
The right whitepaper is key!
If you are reading this it is probably no surprise that a whitepaper is the core element of each project. Your main goal has to be to attract some skilled blockchain professionals as well as quality investors, this then needs to be a water tight well branded document that attracts the right audience. In my experience the key ingreidnt to a solid whitepaper is the following:
- Commercial details: You must be transparent and let potential investors know more about the payment methods and what they get in return, after all to them this is just another investment. Is there any kind of investment protection mechanism or something to protect them? Everyone needs to be clear and transparent about the commercial policy of an ICO.
- Financial details: People who invest in a project expect to gain a profit, so you need to explain the existing market potential, this is where you really need to do your homework. Can you predict the value of your project after 6 months, or a year or two? The more precise you get, the more investors you attract, and its not just about big numbers, be diligent and get it right!
- Technological details: Describe how your product works and what kind of problem it can solve. This is the part where you really need to impress expert investors but at the same time ensure you explain everything in simple and easy to understand plain english – I always find using infographics and diagrams helps!
If you want to make everything look perfect, you can hire a specialist agency to beautify the document and make sure it is ‘on brand’, this is not the time for a ‘do it yourself’ job!
It’s all about the talent – investors are investing in you!
Investors often don’t trust projects but they tend to believe authoritative people behind those ideas. A part of your marketing strategy should be to reveal the names and resumes of professionals who develop your startup. This adds massive credibility to the project and sends positive signals to investors, I live by the rule that people buy from people they like!
Put yourself in a position of an investor: if you don’t know anything about the group of individuals and their key stakeholder, how can you trust them, in fact how do you know they even exist? You don’t need to go into war and peace on every member of the team but I suggest you post a short bio of all team members on the main website. Include their academic background, work experience, and previous results in blockchain industry if they have any.
Another great way to strengthen the reliability of your staff is to add links to their social media profiles preferably LinkedIn
– so that everyone can send them a message to learn more about this startup, use your staff to build relationships and generate word of mouth too – this is a great way to amplify your message!
A solid well-built and designed website
An official website is probably the first place where people will try to find you, so you need to keep it fresh, modern and up to date with relevant content. Don’t hesitate to publish important information about the campaign and follow the development through blog posts and social media activity.
In addition to the whitepaper, team bio’s and project overview its important to include a comprehensive FAQ page to answer the most common questions. Start from the simplest explanations for the first-time investors and then move on to the more complex, technical and financial issues.
It’s also really important to work with the likes of Google to ensure your website ranks well, it’s no good having a great website if no one can find it!
We live in a social universe, exploit every channel!
It’s hard to imagine any project being a success without some serious social media activity. Building a solid and robust social strategy will be paramount to your success, ensure you are utilising the best channels for your project and pushing out content on a regular basis. Remember, social is a two-way street, not only do you need to be pushing out content but you need to be engaging with potential investors and doing so in real time.
Make sure you have the right mix of content too, industry news, project developments, team information, it’s all relevant!
Another avenue worth exploring is social influencers, with the recent algorithm changes on platforms like Facebook Influencers hold real power at cutting through. However, they have to be highly credible individuals who match your style of work and know how to approach your target audience. Get this right and they can do a great job at amplifying your message!
One thing to bare in mind is that social media is time consuming and requires a number of different talents such as copywriter, graphic designer, analytics, the list goes on. With this in mind it might be worth looking to hire an agency to provide support.
All good things cost money, and paid advertising can work wonders!
The best way to grow a business is through organic searches. However, this can take time and relying on organic growth may not meet your deadlines and business requirements. Sometimes it’s impossible to achieve great results without paid advertising.
My one piece of advice here is to not look to save money and cut corners, paid advertising is a great way to reach investors who otherwise would not know you exist.
There are multiple options for paid activity, industry specific sites and forums, online communities, social channels, with serious investment amplifying your message and reaching a new audience can drive great results.
It also goes without saying that there is a huge number of specialised crypto topic sites, these should be maximised too!
Build and nurture your own online community
ICO supporters are a funny bunch, known for their devotion to brands and the feeling of belonging to the wider blockchain community. You should take full advantage of this fact and build a group of digital supporters for your startup. Online forums and social networks are the places where you should work on this task. Managing a community like this on platforms like Telegram can be a great way to communicate news and share the love!
Use the community to post information about the project and initiate discussions among new followers. Another great way to amplify the message and grow the base. You could even hold events for your community or use technology such as Facebook LIVE to organise QandA sessions, a great way to build trust and transparency, especially in todays socially driven environment. I always recommend the use of video content where possible, not only on your website and through social but via your online community too!
So in summary….
It goes without saying that Blockchain technology are the buzzwords of 2018 and with the volumes of ICOs not looking to slow down its as important as ever to get your marketing strategy right and cut through the competition. This has by no way means been an exhaustive list but for me these are some of the key ingredients that should make up your plan! Build a strategy, test and learn, and succeed!