Does Your ICO Really Need Influencers?

In a survey conducted by HSBC Bank, titled Trust in Technology, 80% of the respondents could not explain the role of blockchain or the cryptocurrency concept, while more than 59% said that they never even heard these terms.
The result is surprising, given that blockchain as a concept has gained much traction in recent times. Blockchain is seen as the blue-eyed boy, with governments and big NGOs like the United Nations investing large amounts of money in its applications.
Studies like these have pushed marketing agencies to reinvent their strategies regarding content distribution and absorption in this new domain of ICO marketing. This is what had led to the development of the concept of ICO influencers.

A Game of Numbers

Influencers are now crucial figures in the online market. What started out as everyday users sharing their daily lives on social media has now turned into a way that can hugely determine the success of a project. Important personalities, such as Ian Balina, Charlie Lee and Andreas Antonopolous, have a huge community of followers on their YouTube, Telegram and Instagram channels. Their opinions are actively sought by people to decide on the right investment options.
In March 2018, when Crypto Gurus, a popular ICO review channel, released a video on the LendingBlock Telegram channel, 500 members had seen it within an hour. Crypto Gurus themselves have almost 32k followers on their YouTube channel.

With such a strong base of followers, influencers can play a vital role in promoting ICOs and connect them to a large target audience, which can increase the chances of greater footfall on the ICO D-Day. There is a good number of people in the audience who do not trust ads, but definitely trust the opinion of influencers.

An Alternative to Traditional Digital Advertising

In recent months, a lot of negative press around ICOs has made people skeptical about investing in them. Reddit has banned cryptocurrency ads since 2016. After Facebook and Twitter, even Google has now decided to join the bandwagon, banning crypotocurrency ads and any ads that promote misleading financial products. While this may clear the market of scammers and fraudsters, the fact is that these channels constituted a good portion of the marketplace for digital advertising. In fact, the IAB Internet Advertising Report, released by PwC, revealed that social media advertising revenues rose to $16.3 billion in 2016, from $10.9 billion in 2015.

This has led to ICO owners and promoters shifting their focus from simple social media advertising to building online communities. This is where influencers play a big role, educating people within these communities about different ICOs and whether they can be trusted.
Influencers can bring back the shaken faith of the people in ICOs and build on the credibility and transparency of genuine projects.
A recent example of this was how crypto-YouTube Influencers from across the globe helped promote the indaHash ICO. Almost 74% of the funds were raised from crypto influencer marketing and referral programmes. About 130 countries participated in the ICO, which has been listed among the top 30 all-time greats by ICO Tracker.

A Lack of Education

We started this article on this note, and we’ve come back to it because it is part of the problem that ultimately led to the crypto ban by social media platforms. Despite cryptocurrencies being adopted in mainstream functionalities, there is still a huge lack of education regarding the technology. The crypto space is still in its nascent stages, compared to the buzz that surrounds it. People hold vast reserves of different coins in their portfolio, most of which are useless, while the coin owners have no clue about how to trade them.
The cryptocurrency concept is itself so confusing and intimidating for some. People still don’t know about different wallets that can be set up and all barriers to entry. According to an article on DIGIDAY, people have no clue about forks and what to do with their currencies in case of a fork.
If an average ICO owner thinks that these factors don’t concern them, then they are wrong. Influencers can help spread awareness and information that can help the layperson understand the crypto space much better, which would then lead to greater adoption.
All this would benefit the crypto ecosystem in the end.