Top Tips for Marketing your ICO
So you’re considering running an ICO or ITO for your new blockchain business. If you have found this article, you’re researching how best to run your campaign. Well, you’re in the right place and here are my top tips for marketing your ICO.
How to market your ICO
Knowing how to market your ICO may seem easy enough. Believe me, on paper it’s very simple. In practice however, you need to get your ducks in a row to ensure optimum results. Read on to learn my top tips for marketing your ICO.
Get the right ICO team
You need a reputable board or team. Nobody is buying the fact that you have this ICO agency or that ICO agency anymore. As 95% of all ICO in 2017 were scams, effectively, these same companies helped facilitate that fraud. What investors want to see now are credible boards or teams.
Personnel with relevant experience in your chosen industry.
Your marketing team should be professional marketers with long experience of working in your industry. The same for your sales team.
Your board can be made up of the founders, so CEO, Chairperson etc. These roles could also have someone with a pedigree reputation. Just because you founded the company doesn’t mean that you are the one who should lead it. Your skill may just be as a product developer. Knowing your limits is also good for the business.
Don’t be afraid to reach out and network before settling on your team. Remember, in 2018 and beyond, investors want to see a business plan that focuses on the post-ICO era. This would have a team capable of running a multi-million pound company.
Make no mistake, ICO fundraising is coming under ever increasing scrutiny and your board is key to your business and ICO success.
This is the first of my top tips for marketing your ICO.
The Technical White Paper(s)
Okay, so there are two sides to this. You need a technical white paper to explain the project and its development. Your investors, however, don’t necessarily want to read it.
These documents have two different ambitions and whilst some investors may be interested in the mechanics of the system, others are far more keen on their return.
Our advice is to work with an advisor who can help you define the merits and worthiness of the business your ICO will help bring to life. In addition to guiding the technical paper that should be created but often won’t be the deal breaker.
Investors are increasingly nervy, nobody looks at ICO’s these days as anything other than cash cows. Your job is to convince your investors this is a worthy project and not an exit scam.
Anything other than a solid white paper and investor pack simply won’t do. And ensure your investor pack has a clear business plan with timelines for expected delivery, launch and monetisation.
That concludes the second of my top tips for marketing your ICO.
The ICO Pitch Deck
The pitch deck is a key element of your fundraising. I’ve seen some poorly created pitch decks that look unloved and unprofessional.
As an advisor and marketer I am well connected with the London and Chinese investor funds and quite often what is sent to me is below par.
I believe the reason for this is that a lot of blockchain startups are run by technical people and typically, without offence, you are not creatives. Your output may be functional, list all the things you need but the presentation often involves some gradient backgrounds on a powerpoint slide deck and little else.
Believe me, people buy with their eyes and investors expected to be overwhelmed by both your pitch and your presentation. The number of times I’ve delivered the news that the investors’ advisors have asked for the pitch deck to be redesigned, only for the client to become indignant and defensive is off the scale.
A badly designed pitch deck, even if you believe it a suitable standard, infers you don’t care. It’s the one chance to garner support for your project from a stranger and you go in below sea level. It doesn’t make sense and professional pitch deck creators are worth their weight in gold. So why not utilise the service if it’s available to you. Sure there is a cost, but there is also a cost if I raise your funding. Nothing in business comes for free.
What are your thoughts on the third of my six top tips for marketing your ICO?
The ICO Website Design
Now, this is a bone of contention with me. Actually the whole ramped up marketing costs just because it’s an ICO annoy me too. However, that’s another point that I’ll get to later on.
So, the website. You do not need to pay tens of thousands for an ICO website. In fact, I would state that you need a more holistic overview of your campaign before you start.
Typically you need a website, smart contracts, bounty programs, airdrops, private sale/pre-ICO and ICO campaigns, email marketing, video and social media management.
Our ICO platform takes care of most of the services. We can’t give you an automated community manager or create video through our platform, but we can do everything else you can think of.
So that means we can develop a clean ICO website for a more cost-effective price, tied into standard website pricing rather than ramped up because the blockchain and ICO have been mentioned.
Typically you are looking at around £5000.
The fourth of my top tips for marketing your ICO.
ICO Marketing Strategy
Now, this really is a bone of contention for me. Around 70 to 75% of your budget should be allocated to paid spend marketing.
That means paid social ads, paid banner ads on the major crypto platforms and to list on some of the ICO platforms. Don’t get overly worried about this as there are a huge number of free listing platforms, but you want your project found in the key places, not just any places.
You need professional content writers and creators as well as a video marketing company, not a video production company.
Agencies like ours have been in content marketing lead generation or growth marketing for a number of years. I’ve been involved in Fintech which covers blockchain for around 8 years and up until recently was a top 40 global influencer. I’m not so active on social so my stock has fallen but at one point I was number 4 globally.
The blockchain isn’t a special animal that only a certain few can provide marketing skills for and inbound or growth marketing agencies spend far more time understanding who is your ideal customer/investor than other agencies. They do this by developing buyer personas before they even work on the strategy. Find out more about buyer personas here.
Why am I pushing this? It’s simple. Community-led projects like crypto, blockchain and Fintech all require you to have a better understanding of who your community is and what messages will resonate with them.
Even more important for blockchain so that you engage potential customers early rather than those simply invested in the volatility of your token or coin.
It makes sense for all involved to talk growth marketing for the long term, rather than ICO marketing for the short term.
The fifth but not final of my top tips for marketing your ICO.
Your Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
Your MVP is absolutely paramount to the success of your ICO/ITO. Nobody is investing in concepts anymore. Don’t get me wrong, at some point you have nothing but investors, even at the EIS or SEIS stage want to see something tangible.
Now we know the minimum viable product is the most scaled-back version of your platform that you can produce to show its effectiveness. But you must show its effectiveness.
Being able to see that you can manifest your idea into a working prototype will make your project more adhesive to an investment of significance.
We specialise in helping startups bring their MVP’s to the marketplace and have over 200 developers available in London, San Francisco and Serbia. We can deliver enterprise-level blockchain and AI, AR solutions with ease.
That was my sixth of my top tips for marketing your ICO.
It’s time to go to market
Now you have had time to digest my six top tips for marketing your ICO, it’s time to go to market. CCommittingto the process when it seems a daunting journey isn’t unheard of and you are not alone.
Adopting agency support in the ambition of achieving success isn’t a prerequisite but their experience and objectivity can definitely add value. Agencies build business marketing and sales funnels far more regularly than you or your team potentially do and that pays dividends.
If you would like to discuss your ICO strategy or MVP development book some time with Bias Digital and we’ll happily discuss your options.