CoinCheckup served more than 100 ICOs with our marketing services over the last year. We’ve gained a lot of knowledge on what works and what doesn’t work and we’re happy to share this “Ultimate ICO marketing guide” with you where we share our “lessons learned” so you can save yourself some time. We’re confident you can get value out of this guide and use it to maximize investment for your ICO and grow your success.
FYI: This guide does miss the 10 bonus tips to save you money; grow conversion; expand your reach, and optimize your ICO Marketing. Click here to get full access.
1) Gain the trust of investors with your whitepaper
Creating a Whitepaper for your ICO is the first step for any new Blockchain project. Your whitepaper should provide all details of your ICO project: Your idea/vision; preferably an in-depth explanation of your working project or proof of concept; your planning; legal aspects; and every detail that makes you better than the other ICOs out there.
Here’s a list of the different sections your ICO whitepaper should minimally contain:
- How your ICO stands out from its competitors?
Even if you don’t have real competitors you need to keep in mind there’s about 30- to 60 ICOs launching weekly, “stand out!”.
- Who will be benefited from your ICO and how will they benefit?
- How are you planning to grow your ICO and let it gain traction in the “real world”?
- How much capital do you need?
- How are the tokens/coins distributed?
- How are you realizing your vision from a technical perspective? (preferably include drawings and mockups)
- What are the benefits for society / What’s the “real world” benefit”
- What are the Legal aspects of your ICO?
- Who’s on your team and how is this team going to get from idea/beta/concept-phase to a full-scale blockchain project?
Remember: Your White Paper will decide the fortune for your company. So leaving a good impression is a must.
2) Create a: Website; Social media channels; and an initial organic promotion campaign.
Once you finished your white paper creating a website and a social media presence will be easier.
2a) Create a smashing & clean website.
Create a clean, simple and transparent website for your ICO. Your website is your first impression for your potential investors. You can’t afford to go wrong here because you’ll lose their trust.
Make sure that:
- the first impression is smashing;
- you’re as transparent as possible while managing the investor’s expectations;
- you have a clean website design with a good user experience;
- your website is fully SEO optimized;
Your ICO website should minimally have the following pages:
- An ‘About Us’ page/section
- A ‘Contact Us’ page/section incl. Links to all your social channels
- A white paper page/section
- An about the Token/Coin page/section, explaining how:
- You’ll spend the ICO funds and how long you expect your runway is (nobody likes coins/tokens that die);
- Investor return expectations – Potential benefits & growth of your ICO token/coin;
- How the tokens/coins are divided amongst token holders (X% for Team, Y% for presale, Z% for public sale, etc.)
- A blog page and/or link to your Medium blog – with (twice-)weekly articles and be as transparent as possible about your ICO and it’s progress.
- A Team page/section – Note that you need to have a minimum of one (preferably senior) blockchain developer/specialist on the team;
- A legal page/section – Who can join the ICO / What are the risks of joining the ICO?
- A “Buy the token/coin” page/section – explaining the process of how and when one can buy the token/coin;
2b) Create a social media presence
We advise ICOs to minimally have a social media presence on the following channels:
- Reddit – To gain initial organic traction and awareness around your brand.
- Telegram – To talk to your potential investors.
- Medium – To write (twice-)weekly articles and be as transparent as possible about your ICO and it’s progress.
- Bitcointalk page on the “Altcoin Discussion” board – Containing a stripped down, not too technical, version of your whitepaper. This could be a 1 or 2 pager.
- LinkedIn Business page – To share your posts and updates to a more business-minded audience.
- Facebook, Twitter & Youtube can definitely add a ton of value and awareness but you might have a harder time finding the right audience and paid promotions are not available anymore on these platforms.
3) Promote your ICO – Find a mixture between paid & organic marketing.
In short, the ideal mixture for a great ICO is:
- Phase 1: Promote your website organically to gain initial traction & awareness.
- Phase 2a: Just before and during your private- and public ICO you can start with paid advertising to get on the radar of the right audience directly.
- Phase 2b: While simultaneously start ramping up your organic social media marketing
- Phase 2c: And enforcing the awareness around your ICO project with organic social media and community marketing.
- Phase 3: Aftercare and support.
Phase 1 Promotion before your ICO starts: Promote your website organically to gain initial traction & awareness.
A couple of months before your ICO you have to make sure your ICO website is finished, it’s time for the initial organic promotion of your website on social media channels to create the first awareness flow for your project. Note that you don’t sell anything in this phase yet. Just use this phase to grow your social media channels, your telegram group, and your newsletter list. We’ll go more in-depth about organic & social marketing below.
In short, it’s important that you gain initial traction and awareness for your ICO (preferably months) before your Private or Public ICO starts.
- Pretty much no one invests in an ICO after they’ve seen your brand/project only one time.
- ICO websites that are online for a short period (< 1 month) usually get less investment, since it’s a bigger chance that they could be a SCAM. Most investors check this before they invest.
Phase 2: Full force on paid and organic marketing just before and during the Pre-ICO and Public ICO sale.
After you gain some initial traction and awareness you can start your private- and public sale and you can start with Paid and Organic marketing.
Phase 2a: Paid advertising to the right audience.
Recently, cryptocurrency ads are been banned on Facebook, Twitter, and Google. You can, however, advertise on various cryptocurrency and blockchain websites which allow you to put a banner- and text links on their website.
The main benefit of using existing blockchain platforms is that you directly hit the right audience.
A bit of shameless self-promotion, sorry 😉 – Take Coincheckup.com’s paid advertising packages. The benefit of CoinCheckup, as opposed to other crypto platforms, is that the site is mainly used by crypto researchers who are looking for the next big investment opportunity. Though we are site #5-6 in terms of size, you might find an audience that’s right for you.
Phase 2b: Organic; Social Media; Forum & Community promotions.
There are various cryptocurrency communities, groups, pages and networks on LinkedIn, Reddit, Telegram, Bitcointalk, and Facebook groups. Become a part of these communities and actively take part in discussions and events, supporting the community without direct self-promotion. These online communities will provide you with a ton of opportunities to meet many like-minded people and potential investors.
As mentioned in chapter 2, you have to make sure you got the right Social media channels set up.
Here’s some inspiration for organic promotions on these social channels.
Telegram: Telegram is an excellent platform for ICO Marketing. You can use Telegram to talk with your community. Grow your Telegram user base organically with interesting (exclusive) offers and/or help of your marketing partner.
Reddit: With 1.5 billion visits a month, Reddit ranks site number 26 worldwide. Reddit has many popular crypto channels. With their up- and down-vote system the platform makes sure that relevant content appears on top. Grow your Reddit fans by joining different channels and start discussion threads around your ICO and/or support the community with useful information. Ask your marketing expert for a strategy to grow awareness amongst new users.
Medium – Medium is a basically a simple and clean blog where loads of Crypto enthusiasts get their in-depth news from. Make sure you write (twice-)weekly articles and be as transparent as possible about your ICO and it’s progress. Grow your Medium base organically with good content and/or help of your marketing partner.
Bitcointalk “Altcoin Discussion” board – Bitcointalk is the number 1 forum for Crypto enthusiasts with 13 to 24 million visits a month. Add a post to the “Alt discussion board” with a stripped down, not to technical, version of your whitepaper. This could be a 1 or 2 pager. Grow your Bitcointalk fans organically with a quality 1 or 2 pager of your whitepaper emphasizing all the USPs (unique selling points) and/or help of your marketing partner.
Producthunt – With 8 million monthly visits producthunt is a great place to promote any new (digital) business. The more upvotes you get the higher you end up in their topic list. Ask your marketing expert for a strategy to end up in the top of the Crypto and Fintech topic lists to reach the right audience directly.
Hacker news – Though it’s harder to reach your specific crypto/finance audience, Y-Combinator’s Hacker news is one of the top news sites for anyone in tech. With 15 million monthly visits and their news-voting-system you can get on the radar of many tech enthusiasts and potential investors that follow Y-combinator. Ask your marketing expert for a strategy to end up high on hacker news.
LinkedIn Business pages & groups – LinkedIn is filled with serious investors, finance & crypto enthusiasts. You can start your own business page on LinkedIn to promote all your Medium posts and updates. Besides that, it can be relatively easy and cheap to promote posts on LinkedIn pages of Crypto platforms.
Quora: Quora is an amazing discussion platform filled with very serious people who visit the platform to gain more knowledge on certain topics like crypto. Grow more awareness for your ICO by posting topics on ICOs and questions to get good exposure for your ICO. Ask support from your marketing expert to gain more attention to your Quora topics and comments to increase exposure even more.
Phase 2c: Email Marketing and Newsletters
Email marketing is not that popular as it was anymore, it’s still very active amongst crypto fans and working for ICOs. At least if you have the right audience. You can:
- create your own email list with a quick and easy signup form (see chapter 2a website) or landing page (chapter Phase 2a…).
- Or you can reach a direct audience of Crypto and Finance enthusiasts by contacting Crypto platforms and ask them to send out a newsletter. These newsletters are usually paid but the benefit is that you reach your target audience directly.
For maximum results, you combine the phase 2a, 2b. and 2c altogether. The most important thing for any ICO is to create awareness everywhere, especially during your private- and public sale since this is where the faith of your ICO and your successful Blockchain project is being decided.
It’s best to work with a crypto marketing expert on this phase since they can help you to maximize growth. Since CoinCheckup managed marketing and advertising for more than 80 ICOs we can definitely help you with this. Feel free to drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Phase 3: Aftercare & Support
Once your ICO is finished make sure you keep up the frequent updates on social media and keep people enthusiastic about your project so they will your promoters.
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