Marketing & PR Surrounding an ICO

Hello!

My name is Artyom Sabura, I am a support manager at Platinum, the biggest player in the ICO and STO promotion and advertising market. We’ll support you everywhere – have a look at our site:

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We are proud to launch the first online university for studying blockchain technologies, ICO and STO. Today the University of Blockchain and Investing is launching it’s own ICO. That’s why I thought it will be cool to share a part of the lesson about marketing techniques and strategies for ICO projects. Follow the link:

Learn more!

This lesson will further expand on some of the work we have done in the basic lesson courses. This will be a more detailed study of marketing and PR practices, including which channels and methods are effective, and what makes them so. We will examine real-world examples. And you will lean quantitative justification for the rewards and probability of success of particular marketing strategies. We will also discuss some outstanding all-star ICO teams.

Objectives

By the end of this lesson you will have learned the following things:

  • Marketing techniques and strategies for ICO projects.
  • The most commonly used Marketing Channels.
  • The role of influencers and market makers with respect to ICO marketing.
  • How to understand and interpret the rating systems of ICO rating websites.
  • The practical value of ICO rating websites.
  • ICO success stories, and how they managed to attract investors with interesting and innovative marketing techniques.

Terminology

Marketing: The promotion and selling of products or services, including market research and advertising. It is also used to describe the process of getting the product to market. This can be done at an individual level or by professional agencies.

Public Relations: The professional maintenance or promotion of a favorable public image by a company or marketing agency. PR teams are critical to the marketing success of a project, as they ensure reliable communication between the ICO and potential investors.

Communication Channels: The means by which communication is dispersed whether in private or public. Some of the most popular communication channels for developers as well as upcoming and established ICOs are Telegram and Medium.

ICO Rating Websites: Mimicking their wall street counterparts, ICO Rating Websites provide much-needed scrutiny on upcoming ICO’s. Metrics, bias and integrity may vary. Individual investors are encouraged to do their own due diligence rather than solely rely upon ICO Rating Websites.

Hype Score: A score showing investor level of interest in a project. Indicators and metrics may vary, but often include the measurement of social media presence and engagement.1.

Reintroduction to Marketing & PR

1.1 Introduction

With the sudden growth of ICOs in 2017, hundreds of companies are following suit in 2018. But of course, many of these ICOs will not succeed. Some projects simply fail to raise sufficient funds, and some fail to even garner enough hype to actually execute the ICO.

Research suggests that only 48% of 2017 ICOs were ultimately successful in raising funds.

There are currently over 1,500 cryptocurrencies in circulation. It is a case of sink or swim for each new ICO trying to enter the market.

The success or failure of an ICO depends to a large extent on the efforts of its marketing team. Planning an effective marketing strategy is as important as the actual product itself. In this lesson, we will learn about the importance of marketing and PR in ICOs. It is important to remember, for ICO projects that are generally asking investors for money to fund an idea that has not yet actually been created, the narrative presented by the marketing team is a powerful motivation for investors.

The success of an ICO depends on a range of factors, most of which the Marketing/PR team will ultimately influence more than anyone else. Marketing strategy has the potential to create a powerful image and narrative that propels an ICO to a phenomenally successful fundraising.

ICOs can be marketed through various media channels, although the overwhelming majority of marketing will be digital.

2017 was a great year for ICO investors with a tremendous surge in the returns on invested funds. ICOs continue to attract more interest and further distinguish themselves from alternate means of raising capital. Marketing professionals have developed exciting ways of managing ICOs and engaging an audience of potential investors.

ICOs manage their audiences on platforms like Discord, Telegram, and Facebook, among others. Marketing strategy is designed not only to increase the number of individuals interested in a project, but also to foster a sense of community around the project. This community will hopefully be there to support you when new investors begin their due diligence, deciding whether or not to invest in your project.

The project itself must be able to stand on its own two feet. If the idea is poor, the blockchain use case is tenuous, or perhaps the team is unknown, those things can hamstring the marketing team’s best efforts. The marketing professional should create a personalized strategy showing all the strong points and value to be found in this particular project; and avoid any weaknesses as much as possible.

Every system is made up of components that make it function properly as a whole. Just like the human body is made up of different organs working together, an ICO project is based on the coordination of various interrelated and interdependent components that constitute the overall ICO system.

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Marketing is an integral part of an ICO. You might first think of the marketing function as being most like the human mouth because it is about communicating to people. But marketing is actually more like the function of the human ear. That is where we get our feedback. The information you receive from community members, from investors and potential investors, tells you how good or bad your marketing campaign is going. If your marketing team dispenses too much info, or useless irrelevant info to investors, they will simply switch off, lose interest, and look elsewhere. While each marketing team will have their own particular style, remember that

the information you are communicating is competing for attention with everything else in the investor’s mind.

1.2 The Importance of Marketing

Marketing is much more than simply communicating news or information. Marketing is the creation of a narrative that shapes the perception of your audience. Even if a project is in complete disarray, the marketing team still has the power to shape a cohesive narrative that determines how the project is perceived by investors and the community.

As you learn more and more about marketing throughout this lesson and more advanced lessons too, keep in mind that it is both a passive and reactive activity.

It can be used to sell investors on your project as well as a way to manage problems.

Certain metrics have to be carefully considered in the dissemination of information. The main goal is to capture the attention of potential partners or investors. Calculated and well-defined steps not only ensure that investors give you their undivided attention but eventually entice them to invest their money in your project. A clearly defined strategy will also help your team create and execute on your narrative. This might seem like a buzzword salad with a few goals mixed in, but these are all factors you need to constantly keep in mind with your marketing message.

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To start with, the project website has to be immaculately designed to attract the attention of and satisfy your viewers. Your website will often be the first and primary source of information for new investors about your project. It needs to be functional, easy to use, and contain information tailored for your investor demographic.

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It is a good idea is to create mailing lists and options for visitors to immediately join the Telegram channel of the project, from the website. This can be achieved by using attractive “funnels” on the website. Funnels come in different forms but the most common are promotional offers or click-able steps, for example to receive certain information, or benefit, etc. At present, the most popular design principle is that of a minimalistic one-page website. The website should contain all of the pertinent information including your Whitepaper, Pitchdeck, and marketing materials. It should also contain information about your team, your road map and links to your blog and Telegram channel.

Telegram

Telegram is a popular instant messaging service launched in 2013, and is home to most all cryptocurrency projects. This messaging platform not only provides end-to-end encryption but also has the capacity to manage a large number of people in a single group.

This large capacity group function is something that its closest competitor WhatsApp seriously lacks. Telegram supports file sharing and other messaging functions. Your project’s Telegram channel will be the primary forum for investors to discuss the project as well as for your team to release breaking news directly to your investors. In the traditional investment space this kind of news would be typically released through announcements on stock exchanges or to other media outlets.

The creation and operation of the Telegram channel for your project is one of the single most important and innovative developments in the ICO marketing space.

Your Telegram channel will be maintained by the community manager who typically specializes in Social Media Marketing. Using a channel like Telegram can be too risky for traditional business or traditional marketing. The instantaneous and up-close personal nature of digital marketing can lead to sudden bursts of emotion and reactionary herd mentality. A talented community media manager can keep the channel focused on the project, answer detailed questions from community members, as well as make the community feel like they matter to the project.

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Telegram has proven to be a great tool for the entire blockchain industry by uniting individuals from different countries under one project umbrella. Telegram also lets developers and marketers link their announcement channels to supergroups so that they get first-hand information in the blink of an eye.

1.3 Key Channels for Communication

Medium

This San Francisco startup has proven itself in the market and grown to be a crucial forum for many ICOs and the blockchain industry overall. Medium is a web-only publication that lets virtually anyone publish anything online, somewhat like conventional blogging.

Rather than trying to develop a new community of interested public, solely with your own website, Medium enables you to post your info and develop your project narrative into a community of active users. It allows you to start posting about your company in the same space as other related blogs, etc. This free platform gives you an invaluable way to promote your ICO and it also helps legitimize your business venture in the eyes of investors.

Over the years, Medium has been the platform most responsible for providing illuminating articles about every successful ICO.

As a result, it is now considered essential to an ICO, same as a Telegram channel. Many cryptocurrency investors rely on Medium because it has established a long track record of providing the most relevant and reliable industry news. ICOs can use Medium to promote their project with the assurance that they are not just marketing into thin air.

Other popular channels of communication include Slack, G-suite, Discord, and Hubspot.

1.4 Key Figures in the ICO Marketing Space

In every channel of communication, there are certain people who have greater influence than others. They are specialists in delivering quality content in their chosen niches; thereby becoming an influential and iconic individual in a very fast and noisy industry.

These individuals are commonly known as Influencers in the crypto space.

But there are actually not so many popular individual marketers in the cryptocurrency space. Consistently successful campaigns are typically managed by agencies with a collection of highly talented individuals working as a team.

1.4 Key Figures in the ICO Marketing Space

Blockchain App Factory

The primary focus of this agency is on blockchain development. They provide their clients with custom blockchain based solutions catering to applications in various industries. Some of these include strategically designed ICOs, smart contracts, smart wallets and Hyperledgers.

1.4 Key Figures in the ICO Marketing Space

They became rather popular after helping propel the ICO of Dashcoin, which has become one of the top cryptocurrencies. While they are not a marketing agency themselves, the quality of their past work and their selectivity in choosing clients ensures that investors will closely follow who the firm is working with.

Investors in the blockchain industry are well aware that a project is only likely to be successful if there is a strong team behind the project.

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Ian Balina

This ex-IBM analyst has become a major force in the cryptocurrency space. If Ian approves of a token, one can rest assured he will share it with millions of people who follow him on social media. He is a very popular Influencer.

His followers make trades based on his judgement. He operates a YouTube channel where he hosts videos discussing why an ICO seems promising or poor. He is also available on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

The Crypto Lark

The man behind Crypto Lark is an entertaining cryptocurrency enthusiast. He uses comedic videos to explain complex cryptocurrency terms as well as review ICOs and cryptocurrencies. He is famous on popular social media channels, especially YouTube. He is a primary example of another Influencer who operates on a range of platforms providing his analysis on upcoming ICOs.

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Patrick Wieland

Patrick Wieland is a financial analyst. A lot of people follow him on social media and trust his analysis, especially on less popular ICOs, which he refers to as “diamonds in the rough”. He uses his background in traditional stock market investing and technical analysis to investigate and evaluate ICO investments.

1.4 Key Figures in the ICO Marketing Space

Cryptocompare

This is a UK based outfit that specializes in marketing and providing ICO insights. They have a large following of crypto enthusiasts.

The truth is, there are quite a lot of actors and organizations out there that have mastered the art of marketing and growing an audience for new projects. There is no reason for you to excessively streamline your marketing strategy. You should not underestimate the significance of the marketing campaign on your project.

The best marketing campaigns are usually integrated solutions that employ the services of specialist companies, websites, and blogs, as well as individual influencers who make sure to spread the word in every way possible.

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