In this post, we will look at the essential tools required for a successful ICO PR campaign.
Your ICO could be issuing a stand-alone cryptocurrency like Bitcoin and Ethereum but you might issue your own tokens by way of a Smart Contract.
Ethereum is currently the most popular blockchain for ICO tokens but whatever platform you choose, be aware of the volatility in the market. You should factor in a safety net of up to a 50% fall in value of a token like Ethereum from when you start your PR campaign through to the end of the ICO.
Some of the more important tools that you should be using in your ICO PR campaign include:
- Bounty Programs
- Content Marketing
- ICO Calendar Sites
- Community Building
Bounty programs are an important element of most ICO campaigns. Generally, they run before or after the actual ICO, not during the token sale period. The bounty programs may cover various elements associated with your project including bug reporting and translations but the most powerful use revolves around PR for your ICO.
Bounty programs are an excellent way of creating a buzz about your project at little or no direct cost. Participants in your bounty programs will normally receive your tokens in return for promoting your ICO. This promotion may include social media campaigns, forum signatures and article writing. You need to ensure that the bounty programs are well constructed to prevent them from classifying your tokens as securities. The US SEC and UK regulators have indicated that many tokens that are promoted by way of bounty programs are securities.
Whether this will be achieved in-house or if you are working with a full-service PR agency, it is expected that you have experts in website design and content marketing on board. You will need a website that is specifically built for your ICO campaign unless you are a very well-established business with significant brand loyalty. Most ICOs are from start-ups or relatively new businesses, so most of the world will never have heard of you.
You need to give a good first impression as many investors will decide in the first few seconds if they want to take the time to read through the details of your project. They will not make their investment decision within seconds but with so many ICOs to choose from, they will move on quickly if they don’t see something that appeals to them at first glance.
Graphics and videos will help keep the visitors’ attention rather than page after page of text but it’s important that you balance this with the impact it will have on page loading times. Many websites that we visit promoting ICOs take much longer to load than general websites.
Part of this relates to poor web caching for new ICO sites but quite often, it’s down to poor design of the site. If you are working with a PR agency, ask them to provide you with details of websites they have helped to create and see if you find them appealing and how quickly the site loads.
Also check if the site is mobile-friendly as many busy executives that you are hoping to attract to your ICO, will be able to review your project wherever they are.
Content marketing should form an integral part of your PR campaign.
“Blockchain startups need to devise a coherent and market adaptive content strategy that will differentiate them from their competitors and make them stand out above the noise as there are literally dozens or even hundreds of ICOs launching every day” said Elad Mor, president of MarketAcross.com.
“It should contain targeted content and provide transparency for your ICO. Influencer marketing is an area which is very important for ICOs, in part due to the fact that many crypto enthusiasts frequently follow their channels and podcasts. You need to have relationships with key players in the world of Cryptocurrency – their backing can go a long way to making your ICO a winnet” Elad adds.
The influencers that you choose to work with might be prepared to accept your tokens as part payment for their services if they think your project is going to have wide appeal.
ICO Calendar Sites
There are plenty of Cryptocurrency websites dedicated purely to providing calendars of upcoming ICOs and you need to ensure that yours is listed with as many of them as possible. In addition to providing the basic details of when your ICO launches and when it ends, you should also provide a brief description of your projects and links to your website and social media networks.
Some of them offer sponsored listings that promote your listing ahead of free listings. Potential investors that are cash rich and time poor make regular visits to the ICO calendars. Try to get listed on most of the sites and at preferential rates for sites that offer sponsored listings, based on the volume of business they offer to site owners.
The power of building a strong community that can participate in your ICO shouldn’t be underestimated. Building a community to help promote your project normally costs less than other forms of marketing, helps grow loyalty, authenticity and drives innovation. The tools required for community building are constantly changing. Whether it is your team or a PR agency, they need to know which ones are currently popular and best suited to your specific project.
It’s becoming more and more difficult to launch a successful ICO as market sentiment has quickly moved against them and regulators are looking seriously as classifying many of them as securities. For a successful ICO PR campaign, you should be looking to use all available marketing channels and tools to help overcome the problems many businesses are facing with their ICOs.
If you turn to a PR company, they should be able to address these subjects either directly or at least have recommendations about who could do it instead. When the agency has proven their knowledge or has an opinion about these tools, it’s a good indication that they are a quality company. With the right PR campaign, it’s still possible to raise a lot of money in a relatively short amount of time compared with conventional routes for business financing.