While cryptocurrency has been around since 2009, Initial Coin Offering (ICO) is a relatively new venture that has proliferated because of new cryptocurrencies. Despite it’s good reputation, there have also been several unsuccessful ICOs as a result of increased competition in the market.
As with every other industry, for ICOs and other cryptocurrencies to be successful, they need an effective marketing plan.
What is ICO?
Initial Coin Offerings are how a company in the cryptocurrency industry looks to raise money to create a new coin, app, or service. They are a popular fundraising method primarily used by startups that plan to offer products and services related to the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry. Some ICOs are very successful, yielding massive returns for investors, but don’t reach their true potential or even turn out to be frauds. For this reason, to work with an ICO, investors need to have a high degree of caution when researching and investing. They also need a basic understanding of how to use cryptocurrency wallets and exchanges.
Once they have that knowledge, interested investors can buy into the offering and receive a new token from the company. This token may have some utility in using the product or service or just represent a stake in the company or project.
Before even using an ICO, a cryptocurrency startup should create a whitepaper to outline what the project is about, the need that will be fulfilled upon completion, how much money is needed, how many tokens will be kept within the company, why type of money will be accepted, and how long the campaign will be.
In layman’s terms, ICOs are like the Kickstarter for crypto projects. However, the critical reason why ICOs differ from crowdfunding is that backers of ICOs are motivated by a future return on their investments while crowdfunding campaigns are more like donations.
ICO has advantages and disadvantages, but it can be successful for the cryptocurrency startup if used and done correctly.
However, if you create the right ICO marketing plan, you will be able to influence people who are considering investing in the company.
How to start an ICO
Before even trying to market an ICO, you needs to launch your ICO campaign, which can be quite time-consuming. An ICO campaign can split into the pre-public engagement phase and the post-public engagement phase. Both steps can take up to a year because it includes all the processes before the big announcement to the actual sales of tokens. There is no set of rules for creating an ICO, but it can be complicated, even with the right guidance and a good team.
1) Make sure an ICO is necessary
Rather than jumping on the ICO bandwagon, you need to make sure that your project solves an actual problem that needs ICOs. For a project to be successful, it needs to offer a solution that the market needs at the moment. Ideally, the solution should be better than what the competition has to offer. Additionally, it needs to be something achievable. That is, as long as you have an understanding of the market, know your target audience, and know what your audience will be willing to spend their money on.
2) Research the legality
As mentioned previously, plenty of ICOs have been successful, but plenty more haven’t. At the moment, ICOs are the most regulated aspects of cryptocurrencies. This is the result of a high volume of ICOs shutting down and being checked for scams. There are certain countries where ICOs are legal, regulated, or subject to further regulation, and some have banned them outright. To stay on top of the competition, startups need to learn about the different rules and pay close attention in case there are any future changes.
Something that needs to be kept in mind is that even if you are not breaking any laws, any activity that isn’t transparent may result in the project being labeled as a scam. You need to obey all the laws and regulations related to ICOs, and you need to be completely open about how you are going to handle people’s money.
3) Create an ICO token
Once you have thoroughly researched and understood the first two steps, you can create your token and develop a solid distribution plan. There are many different token sale stages, including private sale, pre-sale, the actual ICO, and general sale. Having a solid plan gives you a higher success rate.
Once that happens, creating an ICO token is simple enough with online services that generate cryptocurrency tokens within seconds. Customizing certain aspects may take a bit more time. If necessary, you should consider hiring a tech-savvy professional to do this for you.
You also need to outline how the tokens will be distributed clearly. You should also decide how many will be issued in total, how many will kept within the company, and how many will be sold during each stage.
4) Market and promote the ICO
Like every other industry that needs visibility to attract potential clients and investors, it is essential to create an effective marketing plan to promote the company and the ICO. Public relations plays a significant role if you need to get the word out there about your business, product, or service.
Let us look at some PR and marketing strategies you can use to promote your business successfully.
How to build a successful PR and marketing plan for ICO
1) Design a great website
Before launching the ICO, you should have a well-optimized website to act as the foundation for your ICO marketing strategy. The website and its content will be the initial impression of the company’s target audience. It should be easy to navigate so that visitors can get as much information as possible in the shortest amount of time. Being transparent with all the information will build trust among site visitors, thus promoting the ICO.
2) Media Outreach and PR
Writing a cryptocurrency press release and launching a media outreach campaign is the best way to get a message out to the world. PR content should be professionally written and added to authority sites to get the most visibility. While this task can be done within the company, sometimes having an outside perspective works in your company’s favor. Hiring a PR agency allows companies like yours to gain expertise, experience, and relationships to create an effective marketing strategy.
Cryptocurrency startups can also establish authority within the industry by having their articles published on relevant and popular websites. Having a well-written, exciting, and informative article published can be a step-up to help you stand out from the competition. Public relations, by definition, is a process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.
Having a PR agency like Pressfarm to help you through this process takes the stress away from creating content, finding appropriate matches, and continuously monitoring the cryptocurrency market and the communication process that promotes the business.
ICO listings are also an excellent way for cryptocurrency startups to get credibility and visibility for their project. Top-tier ICO sites can be expensive, but they should definitely be factored into any marketing budget. Optimization of SEO and social media marketing plays a massive role in cryptocurrency and ICOs because everything is done digitally. For example, rather than receiving stock shares in a company in exchange for their investment, investors do not get any “shares” with ICO. Instead, companies that plan to raise funds through ICO provide a token, which is the share’s blockchain equivalent. Early investors are usually motivated to buy tokens in hopes that they will be successful after it launches.
3) Set up a calendar of regular events
Investors track your activities and achievements to get an idea of whether your brand is a worthwhile investment. Likewise, your clients (both current and prospective) want to hear from you regularly. Setting up a calendar of events is the best way to keep investors interested and your audience engaged.
You can use this calendar to share achievements with your online community. Celebrating your achievements gives the public more confidence in your crypto project. You can also use this calendar to invite your audience to events which you’re hosting. For example, you could host regular webinars to educate people on emerging trends in the crypto space. By hosting educational events, you can boost credibility for your crypto project and prove to investors that this project has potential.
Generating positive publicity for an ICO can seem daunting at first, especially since the industry is still new. This is compounded by the fact that many people are still hesitant to embrace the crypto space. Nevertheless, with the above tips, you can calm people’s fears and increase confidence in your crypto project.
Do you need help creating a memorable brand image for your crypto project? With a team of PR specialists, expert writers and certified designers from Pressfarm, you can do this! With a professional press release, some engaging guest posts and an eye-catching media kit – all designed to stand out in the crypto space – you can stand out.
In addition to creating this quality content for you, the team at Pressfarm is also skilled at putting brands in front of the right audiences. By submitting your content to the right media outlets and startup directories, Pressfarm can boost your online visibility. This distribution strategy is designed to help you feature in relevant search results across different search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing!
Finally, as a Pressfarm client, you get custom media lists that align with your niche as well as your business goals. Together with a media database of 1 million+ journalists, bloggers and influencers, these media lists are designed to help you connect with the best media professionals in your niche.
With a PR package from Pressfarm, you can generate positive publicity for your ICO and earn trust among the public.