The world of cryptocurrencies is a fast-paced and exciting one.
Every single day, there is a new altcoin being released, or a fresh ICO looking to break through into the market.
In a highly competitive arena, you need to be one step ahead of the game, as well as be offering something special and unique, to guarantee yours and the success of your product.
ICO’s also have a bit of a controversial reputation as there have been cases of people investing in an ICO only for it to disappear off the face of the planet taking their money.
With it so making sure that your ICO is properly branded and marketed is an integral part of gaining your possible investors trust, and ultimately it being a success.
However, if you’ve decided to launch an ICO and want to promote it properly – here’s a guide on how to promote an ICO and make it stands out from the crowd.
What Is an ICO?
Now for those of you that know what an ICO is, you can skip this bit. For those of you who aren’t too sure, please read on!
ICO stands for Initial Coin Offering, and in a nutshell, it is when a company or entity gives investors the opportunity to invest in some units of a new cryptocurrency, digital currency or crypto token, in exchange for an existing coin such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Litecoin.
Since the infancy of the cryptocurrency in 2013, this is the way in which the development and implementation of new currencies have been funded.
These pre-created tokens can be sold and exchanged with ease on cryptocurrency exchanges, as long as it is an ICO that is well known and has stirred up some demand.
The key to creating hype about a particular ICO or token is through effective marketing and promotion.
The most successful ICO’s are those that link the currency or the token to a service that is integrated within a project.
This has lead to the ICO becoming a leading tool in revolutionising the whole financial, and currency system – think of it this way – that ICO tokens could quickly become the new shares and securities of the future.
Following on the success of Ethereum and its smart contracts system, it has opened a world of possibilities for a new and exciting generation of Initial Coin Offerings.
If you feel like you need to learn more about ICOs, read our guide to What Is an Initial Coin Offering for a more detailed explanation.
How Does an ICO Work?
ICOs work in a similar way to crowdfunding, but with a slightly more technological edge and with less investor rights.
It has been invaluable in funding and developing some of the worlds leading cryptocurrencies and has also helped many startups and other projects find their feet in the business world.
With 2016 seeing an estimated $50 billion invested in ICOs (a number which is growing each year) it seems like this forward-thinking way of doing business is not going anywhere soon.
ICOs are one of the easiest and most efficient ways of getting funding projects, and they allow investors to invest in projects they believe in and see potential in.
An ICO takes place over a designated period, usually around a couple of weeks, where members of the public have the opportunity to purchase new tokens or coins, in exchange for an already established cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin.
The ICO can have either a specific goal or limit which means that each token issued has a set value which cannot change during the ICO period.
The token supply is static. However, there are some ICOs where the value of the coin or token can increase depending on how popular the ICO is.
Some offerings also provide what is known as a dynamic token supply which means that the value is fixed and static, but more tokens are created depending on the amount of existing cryptocurrency that is sent.
An important thing to remember is that, unlike IPOs (Initial Public Offering), investors don’t own any shares or rights within the ICO-launched company.
Why Do I Need to Promote My ICO?
Cryptocurrencies were once something that existed on the fringes of our society and you would only really know much about them if you were really into finance or technology.
Nowadays, that is not the case, and people from every walk of life, and every part of society are getting interested in cryptocurrencies.
Along with this interest comes stiff competition among ICOs and the various existing currencies. Also, as an unregulated marketplace, there is always the risk that users could fall prey to scammers or unscrupulous individuals.
If you are planning on setting up and ICO you need to make sure you promote yourself properly.
Make The Audience Aware of Your ICO
Firstly, as mentioned, there is a lot of competition in the market. Having a great product and a great idea just isn’t enough, if no one knows you exist.
You need to advertise and promote your ICO as much as possible, shout from the rooftops, publish articles, get coverage, and make sure as many people as possible know about your great, new idea.
Make yourself stand out from the crowd and leave no stone unturned when it comes to marketing.
Make Your ICO Look Legitimate
Another issue that befalls ICO offerings is the fact that some people are somewhat dubious about whether it is a scam or a genuine offering.
If you market yourself well, cleverly, and in a widespread manner, it will help to reassure your possible customers that not only you are who you say you are, but that what you are offering is legit.
Look at it this way – if you were running a dodgy scam and were intending on running off with your investors’ money, you wouldn’t be entirely transparent about who are you are, where you are, what you are doing.
And you most certainly wouldn’t be advertising it in every possible way and location.
Raising the profile of your ICO and ensuring it is well promoted is the key to building trust with your potential clients, and turning them from possible, into actual.
How to Promote an ICO
When it comes to promoting an ICO, there are a couple of options available.
Which one is the best option for you depends on your budget, as well as your marketing capabilities.
You can decide to go it alone and promote it yourself, or you can enlist the help of a marketing agency to take care of it all for you.
For those on a tight budget, it is possible to advertise and effectively promote your ICO yourself and thanks to the world of social media; there are lots of avenues for you to explore.
Facebook is a great place to advertise any product, and ICOs are not an exception.
Although it is somewhat saturated with adverts for all kind of things, there are still some effective ways to get your name out there.
Firstly, Facebook is still the most widely used social media platform in the world – with almost 2 billion profiles worldwide, there is no other place where you will get nearly a quarter of the world’s population in one place.
Your first port of call is to set up a Facebook page for your ICO – this should be a standalone page, linked to your profile, and should contain all the relevant information regarding your offering, as well as contact information, a link to your website, and any relevant branding.
Through promoting and boosting posts, you can increase your following and engage more people in your project.
Be sure to post regular updates on your product, and advertise the page in the many cryptocurrency groups that are active on the platform.
Facebook paid advertising is also pretty effective, and you can get some excellent results, without breaking the bank or going way over budget.
Having a presence on Twitter as well as Facebook can only ever be a good thing.
With over 330 million users, you would have to be a fool not to recognise the power of Twitter as a marketing tool.
As well as offering incredible analytical capabilities, it also gives you the ability to monitor ongoing conversations on ICOs as well as to find users, and communities that you want to engage with.
Getting the audience attention is as easy as using the right hashtags, and you can target influencers directly through the use of the @ symbol.
Twitter makes it very easy to see what posts have worked and which have not, meaning you can fine-tune your approach to ensure the maximum result.
Last but not least, Twitter is home to a thriving cryptocurrency community, and it is a go-to platform for the industry regarding tips, advice, and opinions meaning if you’re looking to promote and ICO, this is the place for you to be.
Not only can you advertise here, but you can receive all vital feedback on the project as well as answer questions and queries from other users.
The key here is not to spam, but rather to engage with thematic communities to ensure that the right people are receiving your message.
There are plenty of specialised threads (knows as subreddits) on Reddit, where you will find all of the big ICO projects mentioned.
An ICO Calendar is a crucial step and one that you must be sure not to miss out on.
One of the best ways to promote your ICO is by using an individual ICO calendar site.
There are a range of sites out there where you can upload the full details of your ICO including the date it will go live, and from there, individuals that are interested in such projects can find your ICO, read about it, and then decide if it is something that they wish to pursue.
The idea is to place information about your ICO on as many calendars as possible – this way bloggers, journalists and crypto-enthusiasts have an increased chance of finding your ICO and being able to include it in their work.
Get Someone Else to do it
If you have the budget for it, you can always pay someone else to do the work for you.
There are lots of specialist marketing agencies out there that have become experts and promoting ICOs in the most effective way possible.
ANCHOVY. is an international digital marketing agency based in Malta, Dubai, and Amsterdam.
They are at the forefront of the crypto-age and are considered specialists when it comes to promoting winning ICOs.
Having already undertaken successful ICO advertising campaigns, they combine expertise in PR, SEO, design, content writing, and advertising, to create bespoke campaigns for tech-savvy start-ups and ICO offerings.
One of their most successful ICO promotions was a newly established ICO – Virt-U. They did everything from branding to Social Media campaigns and advertising.
Based in Hong Kong and with ten years of experience, Belkin is well connected in the world of cryptocurrency.
From affiliate networking, social media expertise, and ICO community management amongst some of the services they offer, they are a good option for those looking for a helping hand when it comes to marketing.
Based in Rusia, a specialist ICO agency, they provide marketing and PR, community management and branding for those looking to launch an ICO of their own.
Experienced in the sector of cryptocurrency, they have successfully worked on several ICO projects and have a proven track record when it comes to delivering results.
Venturing into the world of ICOs and launching your cryptocurrency can be a somewhat daunting prospect, but having a good marketing plan in place and ready to go, will at least partially guarantee your success.
While all options are good, there is one crucial thing you should never forget about – an ICO is just like any product.
Hence, you have to start with a great and unique idea, a strong team of people who will help you develop it and an audience that would be interested in your product.
One of the most significant aspects of promoting any ICO is gaining the trust from the community.
Without engaging with the community and being transparent with them, your ICO will likely cause unnecessary suspicions and possible rejection.
However, whether you do it alone, enlist a specialist to help you, or do a bit of both, knowing how to promote your ICO is the first step on your road to cryptocurrency launching success.
And if you’re interested in how others did it and made their ICO stand out, check our guide to the ICOs to watch in 2018 and see how they’re doing their marketing.