ICO Marketing Checklist 2019 – from Social Media to Guerrilla Marketing
2018 has been an incredible year for initial coin offerings (ICOs) in the cryptocurrency community. So much so in fact that by the summer of 2018, ICOs had already raised more than double the amount raised through all of 2017. That’s impressive, especially after increased attention from regulators.
However, given some of the recent restrictions placed on crypto-related marketing online (and the back-and-forth nature of some of it), it can be difficult for those running an ICO to stay on top of things. With that in mind, we’ve distilled a lean and effective marketing checklist for any blockchain startup coming into the new year. Here’s what you need to know for 2019.
Conquer the Fundamentals
Before your marketing team can really get the ball rolling, the most important steps are undoubtedly smoothing out the fundamentals. Marketing tactics are only beneficial if you have already established a strong foundation for your project to fall back on.
Before looking at advertising, partnerships, or any guerilla marketing, make sure you and your team have the important things covered first like:
- Completing your white paper: Your whitepaper should be professional, clear and, and concise. Remember that a whitepaper is meant for investors, not developers. While your whitepaper should go into the mechanics of your project, it’s important to ensure you don’t stuff it full of unnecessary jargon of superfluous information. Make it consumable for someone who isn’t an expert in the space!
- Website: As with your whitepaper, it’s important to have a clean, professional, and easy-to-navigate site up and running. Keep things updated and simple; you don’t want anyone confused on where certain resources are on your site (whitepaper, blog, contact us, etc.). In addition, you should be using HTTPS for your site. The secure protocol on your site shows visitors that you take security seriously and can help your SEO efforts as well.
- Brand Image & Design: To go with your website and whitepaper, you’ll undoubtedly need to create a brand name and image for your project. This is a crucial step along the way and it’s often a good idea to seek out a professional designer(s) (unless you have someone in-house who specializes in design), rather than emailing your buddy’s cousin’s nephew’s friend who “totally has this, man.” Keep in mind that this will be your outward facing image for your project and that it’s often not the best idea to change in the future. Don’t skimp out on this step!
- Vision: The last thing you and your team really need to flush out before tackling any marketing strategies is establishing your vision. It may seem like an odd point at first, but the truth is that it’s incredibly important. Can you explain the purpose of your project to a ten-year-old? Can you explain it simply to your friend who knows absolutely nothing about the subject matter? Remember, marketing is meant to reach out to potential investors, not just techies and developers, so make sure you have a clear elevator pitch ready before moving forward!
Remember, you need that solid foundation to build on, so really make sure you’ve got a firm grasp on the fundamentals first. Good marketing but poor project fundamentals mean bad news for the success of your ICO. Once you’ve covered the important fundamentals of your project, it’s time to start getting into the marketing phase! Here are the crucial components for your marketing strategy in 2019.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO): This is the practice of curating your online content and improving it to increase the quantity and quality of traffic to your website or affiliated sites. You want strong ranking in search engine results to drive organic traffic and that all starts with implementing SEO best practices on your site (proper keyword usage, high-quality content, mobile optimization, not keyword stuffing, etc.). You can enlist the help of professional SEO strategy consultants for this step or do your own independent research. Just don’t overlook it!
- Blogging: Complementing your SEO strategy should be an updated and informative blog. Your project can either use an established site like Medium or Steemit to interact with the online community (and drive traffic to your site), or you may choose to keep a blog on your site. Both have their own advantages and drawbacks, so you’ll need to look into both options to decide what’s best for you and your team.
- Media Outreach & PR: In the early stages of your ICO, when not many people know about your project, you’ll want to have your PR team send out press releases and pay for them to be published online (or many sites allow you to pay for them to write and release the article on their own, pending your approval). Many crypto-related sites also offer sponsored posts for ICOs to get their name out there.
- Getting Your ICO Listed: One of the most effective ways to attract attention from potential ICO investors is to list your project where they’re reading online. Sites like ICOBench, CoinGecko, ICOdrops, and many others all offer a free listing for new projects. Get yours listed and in front of investors’ eyes!
- Social Media: This is likely not news to anyone here, so let’s not beat a dead horse, but your project’s online social media presence is imperative to the success of your ICO. Your project should have an active presence on sites like Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Bitcointalk, Steemit, and others. Remember that social media is not just marketing your brand, but engaging with your community and publishing official announcements to generate more buzz.
- Professional Profiles: Last, but certainly not least, is the online presence of your team. Potential investors (especially serious ones) want to know about the people behind the project. Make sure your team has a strong professional presence on sites like LinkedIn, Crunchbase, and AngelList.
When first launching your blockchain-based startup, things can be overwhelming. You may not know where to start, what to accomplish first, or even what direction to head in.
By creating a strong plan, sticking to it, and ensuring that your team doesn’t miss anything on the marketing checklist, you’ll find yourself headed in the right direction in no time!
A longer version of this article initially appeared as a white paper on Guerrilla Buzz.