By November 2018, over 936 ICOs were conducted in the year, garnering about $21 billion in crowdfunding. Although crypto prices showed some slack in the beginning of the year, ICO creators are still receiving warm responses for their projects; the greatest example being the Telegram ICO, which managed to raise $1.7 billion from institutional investors in two separate seed rounds.
Importance of Effective ICO Marketing
Even with such positive news, investors still continue to be skeptical about new crypto coins. Scams and ever-changing market conditions force many projects to scale down their operations in later stages; even those that had been highly credible. For example, the project Cofound.it, which raised $15 million in its ICO in 2017, has decided to close and distribute its assets among token holders, because it believes that the ICO market has betrayed its nature.
The market is undergoing changes. The need for strong ICO marketing skills has never been more important. It is vital that people are reassured about sustainability and credibility of projects, to make them valuable participants. Here are some skills that can drive the success of crypto marketing.
Understanding What a Customer Values
Knowing the target audience has always been a primary step towards building a solution. ICO marketers have to tap into the needs of consumers today, and let the product team know about what the intended user of the token values, and in what context. The same token in different contexts can have different value.
Blockchain technology has numerous benefits and one of them is that tokens can be programmed. Therefore, everything that users value can either be embedded into the token at the outset, or can be lent through a decentralised governance model. As mentioned earlier, the crypto market is changing constantly, and the products need to cater to this evolving space.
A High Perception of Social Media Trends
We are all aware of the important channels that have to be targeted. There are three categories here; owned channels, paid channels and earned channels. Owned channels are basically ICO websites which require strong graphics, content and other skills such as video marketing, PR and community management. The website is the first place users will go to in an attempt to learn about the project. A bad website is unforgivable, as is an incomplete or vague whitepaper.
Next are the earned channels, where people will be talking about the project. These are the social media channels like Facebook, Steemit, Reddit, Twitter, Telegram and Slack. Communication strategies are important here, as is constant engagement with the crypto community. This is why ICO teams have community managers, who constantly monitor public sentiment. The other channel, which most marketers ignore is the “word-of-mouth” channel. If you notice, Bitcoin doesn’t have its own marketing channels. It relies mostly on this alternative medium, its own earned channel.
Then there are paid channels like Google, where you pay to reach a wider audience. The marketing budget plays a critical role here. The idea is to source a few channels, where a maximum number of people can be reached.
Analytical skills are required to judge the efficacy of every campaign. How many likes? How many comments? What is the website conversion rate? All these questions and many more have to be answered.
Access to High Profile Events
ICO marketing campaigns cannot survive just on social or online marketing options. You need to take your project out there, in front of industry stalwarts. This is not influencer marketing, but the first step in that direction. Present your project in front of people in the community. There are events like the Blockchain Summit, Blockchain World Conference or Invest Summit, where your products can be talked about. PR skills come in handy here, especially in establishing new contacts. You will also get to understand the present trends in the field and conduct a full assessment of your competitors.
Investor behaviour is constantly changing and ICO marketers need to stay on top of trends. Not only is it difficult to market a poorly developed token, it is also difficult to hide flaws in the ecosystem. Crypto marketing today is not just about establishing credibility but also enhancing the entire customer experience. This includes retention skills and continuous product development.