The initial craze of ICOs all pulling in millions of dollars of investment has definitely tapered as the SEC starts to regulate the investment space more closely. The upshot is that crypto-based companies looking to build a product or a platform through investment from a token sale need to be very smart with their branding in order to catch the eyes of investors.
The fact of the matter is that rarely if ever, will your ICO succeed without a robust marketing plan built around an ICO that reaches a target audience and generates a ton of digital interest. Of course, you need to think about the opposite side of the coin here too — excuse the pun — which is that if you don’t put enough thought and resources into a content marketing plan, there is a 90% chance your ICO goals will fall short.
In looking to market an upcoming ICO, you need to think long and hard about where to publish content.
The goal should be the creation of a multi-channel content marketing strategy that propels brand recognition and increases engagement in the business itself, months before the token sale. But where does it make the most sense to publish content?
The answer: a few different places, but it depends on your time and budget. Here are some of the best platforms to consider in devising a content marketing plan in the lead up to an ICO.
Leverage YouTube with Video Content
The king of video is a no-brainer for any company with a founder or team that is not camera shy. YouTube is actually a great resource for two types of marketing: unique branded content and influencer marketing.
Your company might decide to put together a package of short, engaging videos describing your product, what differentiates it from competitors (if there are any), and what purpose the tokens will serve. These videos can be shared through your network on social media and your company blog, making for high-impact branded content that can be shared alongside information about the token sale.
Your company might also decide to reach out to a blockchain/crypto influencer with a substantial YouTube subscriber list. These are folks like Ian Balina, Crypto Love — and countless others — who do ICO reviews and keep their audience up-to-date on the latest industry trends. Landing an ICO review is an excellent way to put your product in front of a highly targeted audience.
Get Involved in the Reddit Community
The go-to spot for anyone interested in what the wild world of the internet cooks up is Reddit. It is probably the most popular messaging board on the internet. Lot’s of interesting and influential people frequent subreddits related to cryptocurrency, blockchain, bitcoin, altcoins, ethereum, and related topics — so this is a place you want to be.
A sound marketing strategy on Reddit should always start by integrating into existing messaging boards. One of the best is the ‘altcoin’ group, which allows members to announce ICOs, along with a short summary and description of the purpose of the coin, along with background information about the development team, the max coin limit, and other pertinent content.
The second phase of a marketing strategy on Reddit can take a couple different forms. You might decide to become a thought leader on the platform by answering questions and leveraging your knowledge of blockchain, crypto, and altcoins to the advantage of the company. Or you might choose to create a subreddit for your own company and encourage interested people to communicate with your development team, and vice versa.
Both of these approaches make for a sound marketing strategy on Reddit with the sole goal of increasing awareness around the product and the ICO date.
Publish a White Paper on Your Company Site
A third platform to publish on regularly is your own company site. The company site should contain a blog, the contents of which should vary from thought leadership to personal insights and hot topic commentary. But the real kicker on your company site should be a white paper that you publish and use as a lead magnet — the only difference is that you are using the lead magnet to convince people to buy coins at your ICO rather than buy a product per say.
An industry-grade white paper is an excellent piece of marketing collateral for two reasons. First, it cuts through the hype and uses data and technical language to describe exactly what is unique and valuable about your companies plans to sell tokens on a blockchain. A conventional paper of this sort gives institutional investors something meatier than a subreddit about smart contract platforms to bite into it — something that provides all the important details in one place.
Second, a white paper should be a rhetorical tool you use to convince investors that they will profit from buying your tokens. The best way to succeed here is to write in clear terms what sort of capital raise you need, how the token sale will be distributed, how revenue will be generated from the use of tokens over time, and what sort of pain point your product solves. Investors (both institutional funders and lay investors) want to know whether your idea will catch on and get millions of people using the coins. If it’s at all unclear, they are likely to overlook you.
One way to maximize exposure of your white paper is to collaborate with a digital PR firm and a press mention on a reputable crypto news site first. Then, once it has generated some buzz, placing it on the site and using it as a lead generation tool is bound to be more effective than if you skip the PR stage and post it on your site right away.
Go for Quality Over Quantity
I could also mention LinkedIn, Facebook, Quora, Medium, and other platforms as quality places to post content, and the truth is that these are all great options too. But the abiding goal should always be quality over quantity because a marketing campaign that gets stretched too thin means you get average results on a lot of platforms, rather than solid results on a select few.