ICO, short for Initial Coin Offering, is a great way to fund a blockchain project. Mainly, these strategies help blockchain projects to decentralize by allowing the public to join in their course. The project also benefits from additional liquidity that can help lower competition and transparency – which is crucial in blockchain startups. All these benefits come with a successfully deployed ICO. In 2017’s ICO boom, about a half of the projects did not meet the minimum funding they required, known as the soft cap. Therefore, ICO projects must be strategically marketed to achieve set targets for the project. Here are 10 ways to effectively market an ICO: 

1. Create a Whitepaper

The first step before launching a cryptocurrency or ICO is to write a whitepaper. This document helps educate the prospective investors regarding the project and may influence them in deciding whether or not to invest in the ICO. Some must-have content for the whitepaper are:

  • A detailed description of the project and its value proposition.
  • The project’s timeline with key project milestones with tasks to be completed from the starting phase to the last phase.
  • The target amount of funds, including soft and hard caps.
  • The project’s token economics that is, minting new tokens, distribution, and maximum supply of tokens.

The whitepaper will include all valuable insights regarding the project, which will help the investors understand the project better. Make the whitepaper creative and eye-catching.

White Papers: What They Are and How to Write One | Elegant Themes Blog
Image: Elegant Themes

2. Develop a Website

Before launching an ICO, the project should create a good website. A responsive website gives its visitors an impression of the authenticity of the project. Ensure that the website is optimized for mobile and desktop platforms and that the design is intuitive so visitors can easily navigate to access more information regarding the project. A lead generation website is essential for your ICO digital marketing strategy, as it assists your site visitors to get the information they need while gathering more about them for your company. You can find a relevant web design from other top ICO or cryptocurrency projects. Some features of the website include:

  • Popular domains with crypto are .io and .co. 
  • Links to your social media platforms.
  • Call-to-action section to whitelist and verify investors
  • Terms of the token sale, with timelines
  • Project roadmap and team members
What's responsive web design? - Blog - Maratopia
Image: Maratopia

3. Create Social Media Profiles on Platforms Popular with Cryptocurrency

Social media is a vital tool for your ICO project and, when deployed effectively, it can help build an engaged community of investors for your project. The platforms are indispensable in the crypto world as they help your community engage with your brand and grow it even further. These dedicated pages will show that your project is transparent, and potential investors can seek assistance regarding any questions they have for your project. Popular social media sites for crypto-related topics include Facebook, Twitter, Quora, Reddit, Telegram, and Steemit. Try as much as possible to have brand consistency throughout the various platforms. 

4. Build a Community

Creating a loyal community behind your crypto project will help the project’s reputation and build trust among prospective investors. You can pool members interested in your project to form a community of contributors.

ICO projects can also join top social media communities dedicated to cryptocurrencies to reach a wider market of enthusiastic crypto investors. You can participate in discussions in the forums before beginning to talk about your projects to enhance your project’s authenticity. Always ensure that you respond efficiently to questions asked by the community.

How to build and cultivate online communities | by Jess Li | Harvard in  Tech | Medium
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5. Public Relations and Media Outreach 

With a website ready, your project is ready to conduct a public relations (PR) outreach. Press releases are the most effective methods for this outreach. Several cryptocurrency websites are looking to write about up-and-coming crypto projects. You may decide to hire a PR specialist to handle your press releases and other tasks that involve reaching out to your targeted audience through media platforms. 

Also, ensure you minimize crypto jargons while writing your pieces as part of the audience could be less crypto-savvy. Keeping a good rapport with top websites will also expand your PR strategies as you may be frequently featured in the news pieces. 

6. Airdrop Campaigns

Airdrops are still an effective way for generating awareness for a crypto project. This marketing tactic involves sending free tokens to users who have registered with your project, or those who are actively contributing to the project. The token airdrop also helps users to test or learn the functioning mechanism of the project while expanding the distribution of your cryptocurrencies to more holders, hence decentralizing the project’s governance. Airdrops will incentivize more people to join your crypto community as they spread information regarding your project. These tips will help you run a successful campaign:

  • Have a defined aim for the airdrop
  • Ensure you have a responsive website with running social media channels where you’ll promote the airdrop
  • Ensure your airdrop smart contract finds the optimal free tokens to offer users. Too many free tokens may dilute your project’s value while very few tokens could hurt your project’s reputation.

You may also list your airdrop in popular crypto airdrops promotion sites like AirdropsMob, AirdropAddict, and AirdropAlert.

Airdrops Aggregator - Best Cryptocurrency Airdrop Websites
Image: Crypto Adventure

7. Paid Promotions and Advertising

Free online marketing strategies may not be fully effective. To boost ICO awareness, you may opt for paid ads on social media platforms. These promotions include Facebook, Instagram, Google, and YouTube ads. These social media giants often tailor the ads for your target audience to maximize ad engagement with persons who are most likely interested in the project. 

The ads are conveyed through posts, videos, display banners, and many other visual insights of the project. Companies could also hire online marketing agencies to handle their promotions and advertising. Ensure all ads are customized for different platforms as platforms may have varying functionality.

8. Affiliate and Email Marketing

Your project can also send promotions to users who have signed up with their emails to receive news on the project. You can deploy the email list of interested users to execute direct marketing strategies. These targeted marketing emails will keep users engaged and helps enhance transparency and increase the reach of the project. 

Affiliate marketing involves partnering with other businesses to redirect their traffic to your website and earn a commission as compensation. Affiliates may earn a commission when visitors sign up for the project. Also, when affiliates are top crypto websites, the project’s credibility is greatly enhanced.

9. ICO Listing

Many users look to invest in crypto projects listed in top ICO listing platforms. Although some platforms may list tokens for free, most popular listings charge for token listing. ICO listing will help to greatly boost your project’s exposure in the crypto world. You can also list your upcoming project on an ICO calendar to drive enthusiasm regarding the latest project users may want to invest in. CoinMarketCap is a top ICO calendar platform that your project may opt for. 

10. Crypto Influencer Partnerships

Partnerships with crypto influencers have to be carefully executed. Ensure your project selects the right promoter for your project, not just any public figure but one who is knowledgeable and reputable in the blockchain industry. Wrongly selected influencers could hurt your project’s rapport and trigger its eventual failure. Also, you can partner with well-established tech companies and financial institutions. These can improve the public’s trust in your ICO project and see more adopters invest. 

Final Thoughts

Despite limited regulations around ICOs, they remain a crucial tool for funding novel blockchain projects and expanding blockchain technology adoption into mainstream operations. These listed strategies can help you to effectively market your crypto project, expand your project community and advance its success.