Since January 2017 we have been working to help launch initial coin offerings and token sales mostly from the marketing perspective and we have gained some great insights and tips needed to succeed.
It is a very crowded market right now but there are ways to make sure you can stand out and attract the attention of the right targeted token investors.
1. White Paper
When you are building your white paper concept make sure you think about some key aspects and answer some key questions such as:
- What is the problem
- Market size
- What is your solution
- Value proposition
- Product description
- Token economy
- Token pricing
- Token deployment plan
- Business model and revenue streams
- Clear infographic diagrams
- Team members
Make sure you take the time to really think about how you can create a real token economy and come up for a user for it as this in the long run is the only way that you will succeed wit ha sustainable token and coin.
We are note lawyers so please do not take any of this of direct advise however we do see that many different countries are being picked for company setup for initial coin offerings such as Switzerland, Gibraltar, Estonia, Cyprus to name a few. The regulation for initial coin offerings and token sales is very early stage and many countries are still trying to figure out how best to set standards and guidelines for regulation.
The regulation landscape will definitely be changing on a weekly basis so we will be sure to be monitoring this and writing further articles to see how we see it grow with our clients.
It is paramount to have a great core team that will build trust and legitimacy with any potential token investor. As you would imagine the token investor wants to see a solid connected and real team that is sitting in the same office not working all over the world in remote locations and just adding their LinkedIn picture. Investors will even look into details like pictures not being within the same series of photo shoot and question the legitimacy of the direct and fulltime work of the team on this project.
Showing group pictures together with the team is powerful as well as having a company photo-shoot in the same location.
The minimum amount of people you will need in your core team is recommended below titles and roles and obviously the more the merrier:
- Chief Executive Officer
- Chief Technology Officer
- Chief Product Officer
- Chief Marketing Officer
- Chief Operations Officer
- Chief Financial Officer
- Designers, UI & UX
- Business Development
- Blockchain Development
- Front End Development
- Back End Development
- Community Management
- Research & Development
With advisors again it is a trust building game so the more advisors from bigger organizations with larger networks and access as well as success in other ICOs and or projects will help build value for the project. It is normal to have an advisory package whereby you will offer advisors tokens in exchange for the them to be displayed within the white paper and website as advisors of the project.
The range of tokens to be offered to an advisor will range based on their seniority, network, success with other initial coin offerings as well as their access and network.
5. Cyber Security
The initial coin offering and token sale sector is one that is very exciting for hackers due to the nature of the business and the fact that sending large quantities of Ethereum to wallets directly is something that hackers dream about. The normal process is hackers get into the back end of an ICO and then change the wallet address from the companies to their personal wallet and streel money from unknowing token investors.
It is well worth to invest in a security company that will make sure to not only save your site from hackers, DDoS attacks but a firm that will actually help monitor fake social profiles and fishing websites that may be used to trick and harm your token investors.
6. Token Pricing
Make sure when you are thinking of your pricing that you think about potential price changes of ETH if you are pegging your token value to ETH note that this may rise and you may price yourself out in the market. If the token price rises too high, you may price yourself out and scare away token investors.
Keep in mind that many token investors want to buy low and sell higher so the lower the price of the token the easier the barrier of entry for investors as well as the theoretical better chances of them making a better return.
7. Marketing Communications
It is important especially today with over a thousand initial coin offerings and token sales in the market that you find a way to stand out from all the noise and to find a way to connect with your target audience.
The way to do this is to think long and hard with catchy messaging that is more then just feature, product and price but shows the true value and vision.
8. Pitch Deck
One of the most vital aspects of presenting to Angels, Investors and Venture Capitalists is a great looking and well structure Pitch Deck presentation. The aim of the presentation is to captivate your audience and get them not only to understand the concept but also the market size the value proposition and why they need to get in and invest early.
Keep in mind that this audience is use to being pitched every day so each and every word and every slide as well as visual is vital for gaining the attention needed.
We typically recommended 10-20 slides maximum because any more then this will simply get boring.
We have saved many clients from making the mistake of pitching with a poor quality pitch deck presentation and are always able to help with this when our clients are in need.
9. Video Motion Graphic + Live Footage
In todays world video content and videos in general have a much better way of engaging to an audience. It is a great way to convey your concepts message as well as display the face and the people behind the project.
We recommend utilizing both high quality Motion Graphics such as below example we produced for one of our clients here:
As well as a Live Footage video with Motion Graphics that integrates the problem and the solution and helps to build trust by hearing from the people behind the product you can view the video here:
If you need any help in producing high quality videos like the above feel free to contact us anytime for a proposal.
It is argued that the website is the most important aspect of any initial coin offering and is hands down the most visited and vital marketing communication vehicle for any conversion that happens within the funnel of acquiring and retaining token investors.
It is very important to have a clean, modern, sleek website that clearly describes the problem, solution and value propositions and vision of your project to gain interest in a short period of time from any potential token investor.
Below we will breakdown the most important elements needed:
– SUBSCRIBE (Before PreICO) & CONTRIBUTE (During, PreICO/ICO)
It is also key to have the most important call to actions on your website such as but not limited to below:
These should be above the scroll and visible when scrolling down.
We could discuss a lot about the ultimate idea website flow however if you need help with this feel free to contact us any time.
The digital version of the billboard ad and still the best way to generate awareness, engagement and visitors to your initial coin offering will be via display marketing and utilizing banners.
The fact of the matter is the world is blind to banners and they are even more blind to boring banners that do not engage or connect with the audience.
The way to do this is to use strong messaging combined with connected visuals that will enhance the messaging with a strong call to action and reason for the user to click.
Some good examples of this are below in both Static form and HTML-5
HTML-5 Animated Example:
So now that you have all of this great content, messaging, visuals, and video assets you now need to get it in front of the targeted audiences of token investors that would appeal to your project.
The majority of any initial coin offering and tokens sale investment goes into the channels of marketing and we have listed them each below.
Public relations and press releases are vital for any initial coin offering to gain the trust of the public it is definitely a mandatory step to have placements and articles within major news outlets such as CoinDesk, CoinTelegraph, NewsBTC, CoinSpeaker, Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, The Next Web, Forbes to name a few but the list can go on and on.
The list of targeted placements will also change based on if you have a specific vertical or niche that you would also like to build trust within respect of that specific community however you will always want to have visibility within the crypto community frequently viewed websites.
It is extremely important to not only find a PR firm that can write the press releases for you and write the content in a way that the top news sources will want to cover the story but also choose a firm that has the necessary relationships with the editors needed for your news to get published.
Social Media & Community Management
Firstly, it is important to highlight the main channels that work for initial coin offerings and to talk about each one of the channels the amount you should be posting and how.
– Facebook – Audience +1 Billion
Let’s not reinvent the wheel- keep to announcements and updates, keep the tone straightforward, this is there for SEO and non hardcore people. Share a couple of more down to earth basic blog posts that you might not share across the board.
– Twitter – Audience +300 Million
Twitter is a platform that has the ability to become either a run of the mill social platform or a true community with deep discussions. In order to achieve the first, we’re going to post announcements and updates like everyone else. The second however will require that we initiate the conversation, at least at first. We must stay on top of trends and searches in both the Blockchain and financial industries, as well as where they intersect. We will do this by running daily searches, looking at trends, and mapping what relevant conversations we can insert ourselves into. We will focus on communicating with the bigger names in the business, cause that, on its own, can garner attention from like-minded people.
– LinkedIn – Audience +100 Million
Linkedin tactics fall into two major pillars- brand and personal. On a brand level, we should be doing the pretty straightforward update work, with a little added element of sharing internal LinkedIn blog posts as opposed to medium links, which brings us to the personal. On a personal level we should select a LinkedIn profile that is “the face” of our activity. The best would be the CEO, but it needs to be someone who has the availability to approve and sometimes create content. On a personal level, outside of the day to day networking, we want to utilize this account to post our blog posts natively into LinkedIn, giving them more reach within the platform, participate in groups and discussions about finances and Blockchain- pushing our owned and higher ranked social assets, but not too hard, and posting on their own feed shared posts from the page, to garner a higher reach to our announcements.
– Reddit – Audience +85 Million
Work in reddit is quite similar to work in Quora, though it is less sneaky. We’re going to focus on monitoring- making sure that every relevant discussion in relevant subreddits is ours for the taking, inserting a thoughtful opinion or answer into every post we can relate our product to. Again- this is done from one personal profile, the face of the company, in order to build up Karma. The second level is the AMAs- actually creating a discussion about ourselves through questions and answers. Hosting AMAs across relevant subreddits could expose our product to a whole slew of new potential investors and users. The third element, is, not spamming, sharing our product with relevant communities. We might get voted down, but it’s worth a try, and we’re going to be utilizing “fake” accounts for this, to make sure we don’t hurt the Karma of our “face of the company”
– GitHub – Audience +26 Million
To understand GitHub, you must first have an understanding of Git. Git is an open-source version control system that was started by Linus Trovalds—the same person who created Linux. Git is similar to other version control systems—Subversion, CVS, and Mercurial to name a few. So, Git is a version control system, but what does that mean? When developers create something (an app, for example), they make constant changes to the code, releasing new versions up to and after the first official (non-beta) release.
– SteamIt – Audience +35,000
Steemit is a relatively new company, founded in early 2016 by Ned Scott and Daniel Larimer. Ned Scott earlier worked for Gellert Global Group, a family-owned private equity group which holds many North American food companies. Daniel Larimer is the founder of Bitshares, which has the 11th largest market capitalization amongst all cryptocurrencies.The conceptSteemit is powered by blockchain technology and uses a new cryptocurrency to reward users who upload articles, images, commentary, etc. Other ways users can get paid is through sourcing and up-voting popular content. The earlier a person up-votes a post that becomes popular, the more is the reward. Users are paid half in ‘Steem Power’ (a vesting currency) and half in Steem Dollars, which can be exchanged for US Dollars.
– Telegram – Audience +100 Million
All in all conversation seems to be going well on this platform, could be useful to create an “update” message once a week with all the latest developments, links, and updates and pin it to the top, in order to avoid as much as we can repeating questions and new users asking basic things. This message should also have a link to a living FAQ page which covers most common questions asked on the thread. If you need any help or assistance setting up or managing your initial coin offering or token sales Social Media or Community management our team is ready and able to help take the weight off your shoulders and work with your existing team or become your extended outsourced team.
14. Bitcoin Talk Forum
As I write this today there is approximately 1,331,007 members within this highly targeted forum for anything crypto related. This is where the community lives and it is a great channel to engage users to setup Bounty Programs, AirDrops and to help achieve interaction with the community directly.
15. Bounty Program
The bounty program is the crypto currencies version of affiliate marketing whereby you utilize bitcoin and crypto user audience within Bitcoin talk etc to help push your initial coin offering and token sale within their social media like Facebook, Twitter, Telegram and other media channels.
This is a useful platform to help spread the word and bring some virility to your initial coin offering.
In todays world it is hard to attract targeted token investors to come to your website so when you do get a user you need to make sure that you pickup this audience profile and retarget them across the major platforms such as
Google, Facebook & AD Roll where you can target the user when they are browsing thousands of websites around the internet or even searching for keywords or competitors in order to build your awareness even further.
It is vital when utilizing re-marketing that you keep your creative banners fresh and engaging to bring the user back and give them a strong reason to interact with your brand again.
We do this by adding at least 3 creative sets into the pool of creative and optimize towards the best converting creative and keep adding on a weekly basis.
We have seen that HTML-5 animated dynamic banners have a much greater impact in terms of both CTR – Click Thru Ratios and Conversion Rates of Click to Lead and Click to Token Investor.
17. Display Marketing Networks Push
Display Marketing with banners is a great way to target your users when they are online you can utilize multiple ways to target the crypto community from users looking at competitors to users that are searching for specific keywords that allow us to understand and know they are in the decision and buying process of investing in an initial coin offering.
Our team of analysts and marketers are constantly improving our data and our audience to make sure it is the most targeted and quality set of audience to be targeted online.
It is a noisy sector right now but we have the ability to target quality token investors online.
18. Search Marketing Pull
When it comes to paid search marketing which is getting more and more expensive by the day due to competition it is vital to make sure you are using the best set of targeted keywords as well as taking advantage of all the features to enhance your listing and get a better quality score and CTR compared to your competition.
Effectively our team of PPC specialists are focused on improving the quality score, click thru rate and ultimately getting you more targeted visitors with the lowest possible Cost Per Click.
The right balance of Push and Pull marketing is always needed if you want to succeed and make sure your results are achieved.
19. Direct Placement Media Buys
Direct media buys and placements although expensive in many cases are great to build the needed trust, hype and awareness but make sure to conduct the right research and understanding before investing on your desired list of top crypto sites.
Make sure that you have a full understanding of the demographics, audience and geo-targeting of the website so that you do not invest on data that you cannot acquire such as U.S or China etc
Make sure you utilize very effective Banners that have been tested on other cheaper channels to make sure you are not guessing which banner will work especially when you are paying a high premium for direct placement.
Our team can make sure you have the full picture and perspective when it comes to the top websites and channels and how best to make use of these placements with discounted rates as well.
20. Social Media Marketing
As we know channels like Facebook have over 1 Billion users it is a great way to push and get your message out whether it is by boosting your posts or it is direct Image or Video Ads social media marketing is a great way to get your initial coin offering message out there.
Video Ads done right can impact and improve results greatly as well as act as your method of displaying your product offering in a visually stimulating way and we have seen great results with this.
We utilize very targeted audience profiles to ensure that audiences we are investing in have the highest probability to become token investors for your project.
21. Email Marketing
Whether you are engaging with your own database of user via Mailchimp or you are emailing databases from portals or crypto sites.
It is vital that you have a great message and visual style to engage your users. Make sure you have a great subject line and include call to action within your email to make best use of it.
People do not have time nowadays so keep the email short concise and with purpose do not load too much information on the email remember less is always more.
Combine it with a good offer and CTA and you will be able to gain lots of conversions out of this channel.
22. Analytics, Reporting & KPI’s
This is vital to the optimization process of your initial coin offering or token sale journey make sure you have the ability to capture UTMs from Google Analytics and place within your CRM or any other type of analytics you may be using.
It is vital to be able to track and optimize the entire funnel of your users from
Impression to Click all the way down to funded ETH on a user profile.
If you are not able to do this you will end up shooting blind so it is really a vital step to setup before you even invest $1 on paid marketing.
Our team can help advise and give guidance on make sure this is done properly so you can be ready to optimize your channels in as much real-time as feasibly possible.
All of the above is just my personal experience thus far working with many initial coin offerings, blockchain projects and token sales.
If you are ever interested to talk or speak to me about anything blockchain marketing related I’m always here this is my passion and this is the future.