Launching a successful ICO marketing campaign is not as easy as it looks.

So you have a great idea. Perhaps you even already have a working business model and just need funding. Launching an ICO seems like the perfect solution to your funding problems, right? If you just create a smart contract, build a website, and post your announcement thread, people will be lining up to hand you hundreds of millions of dollars, right? Not so fast.

We at get hundreds of potential clients contacting us with the aforementioned view. They fail to realize that ICO campaigns are not nearly as simple and easy as they may look.

Launching a successful ICO requires the same type of strategy any other successful product or service launch does these days, sometimes even more. The most important part, however, is having an experienced and successful marketing team that knows how to put the right plan in place and execute it efficiently.

Once you’ve identified your target audience, picked your marketing team, and are ready to move forward, it’s time to put the “staple elements” in place, build out your marketing strategy, and kick things into gear.

The staple elements every ICO needs are clear to most people entering this market: Whitepaper, lead-generating website, smart contract or working cryptocurrency, prototype or working model/website (if possible), legal counsel, and a strong team backing the project. We won’t spend too much time on these elements, because you’re already supposed to be well aware of these needs. Instead, we’re focusing on the marketing elements…

Email Marketing

Your lead generating website should be in place and generating leads well before your ICO or pre-sale begins. By advertising this website early, you can generate a good lead base to pitch to early on. Send out emails early and often and keep your subscribers engaged. It’s especially important if you plan to run a whitelisting campaign. There are many solutions to automate the newsletter and subscriber process but you need someone in charge of it who knows what they are doing.

Social Media and Forums

Social media and forum promotion is also extremely important and should be started as early in the process as possible. You want to have a solid follower base built up well before your pre-sale or ICO launches. Start with Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Reddit, Telegram, Bitcointalk, InvestFeed, and anywhere else your target audience congregates on the internet.

It’s important to already have your message and presentation well crafted before you put your project out there though. An amateur presentation will get an immediately negative response and can damage your brand. Be sure you’re working with a marketing consultant or team who can advise you on handling this properly.

Public Relations

Surprisingly, many cryptocurrency and ICO projects refuse to spend much money on PR. Unsurprisingly, those same projects then wonder why they aren’t getting the media coverage they expected. Good PR rarely happens by accident. It requires a well-crafted public relations plan, led by an experienced PR team, who knows how to get your press releases distributed to as many journalists and media outlets as possible. It’s also important that this PR team understands the importance of PR follow up. Many journalists and editors are overwhelmed with the number of press releases they receive on any given day, so having someone who has a relationship with these people and can call them up and talk to them directly, encouraging them to review and publish your news, is one of the most important aspects of good PR management.

Additionally, a good PR team should be able to secure unique articles written by established writers who can get their articles published in Forbes, TGDaily, TechBullion, Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, Influencive, and other influential outlets, as well as crypto-specific news sites.

Overall, your PR goal should be keeping your project in the news, but without overwhelming your audience and appearing “spammy” in any way.

ICO Listing Sites

With the recent ICO boom, we now have what seems like 50,000 ICO listing sites and calendar sites flooding the market. This may seem like an exaggeration, but it really isn’t. Having an experienced team who knows which listing sites are worth targeting, which are worth paying for premium listings on, and which are worth ignoring is important, otherwise you can easily spend ten hours per day for months on end trying to get listed on all of the sites out there.

Paid Advertising

When you hit the market with an ICO or pre-sale, you’re going to be flooded with thousands upon thousands of emails offering to sell you advertising on various websites, ad networks, blogs, newsletters, magazines, YouTube channels, and more. An experienced marketing team knows which advertising opportunities are worth pursuing and which are not. Many ICO projects feel like they don’t need paid advertising, but we strongly disagree. The key is identifying and focusing on the right advertising.

Influencer Marketing

This is an area a lot of projects ignore or simply don’t know about. The crypto community is very influence-oriented. This means there are core people with great reputations that other people listen closely to. Having influencers promoting your project without appearing like paid shills has a tremendously positive effect on your project’s exposure. It also helps build community trust. Having an experienced marketing team who knows who the influencers in your target audience are, and can bring them in and get them involved in your project, is a huge benefit.

Community Building

Just promoting your project on social media isn’t enough. You also need to have a team in place to monitor, moderate, and manage your social media channels, Telegram groups, bounty campaigns, forum posts, and more. Trying to have your core team handle this can easily overwhelm them and become a full time job. An experienced ICO marketing team is already well aware of this and should have people in place to take over these tasks for you.

In-Person Events

Much like ICO listing sites, there’s a ton of cryptocurrency, blockchain, and ICO-themed conferences and events popping up left and right. It seems like every day there’s a new conference or meet-up that wants to convince you to buy a booth and pitch your offering at. Meeting potential contributors face to face and taking the right pitch opportunities is important, but having a good team or consultant who can advise you on which ones are actually worth attending or participating in is critical.

Analysis and Adjustments

None of the above mentioned strategies can be handled on a “set it and forget it” basis. These efforts require having an experienced and competent marketing team who can analyze the strategy, review the results, run A/B testing where needed, and make adjustments on the fly to maximize positive results without breaking the bank or wasting money.

ICO marketing momentum builds like a snowball rolling down a hill. You want that snowball to turn into an avalanche, not run into a rock and come to a stop. Your core team should be focusing on development and day to day business operations, not trying to become experts in marketing overnight. Having the right marketing team on your side is critical to the success of your ICO or token sale project.

If you need an experienced ICO marketing team, consider Our team has helped our clients raise over $175,000,000 in the last year alone, and we’d love to review your project and see how we can be of assistance. Reach out to us anytime and we’d be happy to see if a mutually beneficial relationship makes sense.