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What it takes to conduct successful ICO marketing

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ICO marketing Africa
ICO marketing Africa

ICO marketing Africa remains one of the most daunting tasks in ICO process. Furthermore, ICOs in Africa have yet to gain the global attention. Globally, blockchain startups fundraising through ICO is still high according to recent reports . Based on our work at Coinweez, building a community around your project is one of the most important and daunting aspects that you need to do in order to have a successful ICO. We have gained valuable insights on some of the bottlenecks and how to maneuver a successful ICO process. You can also refer to this post on steps from ideation to launch of ICO.

Recent restrictions by Facebook, Twitter and Google on ICO marketing means that some people have got tired of constant advertising of projects that could be possible scams. Instead of spray and wait strategy, you will need to build a real and authentic community that will eventually become ambassadors of your project. Still the traditional social media presence is important but needs to be backed by a real project and community that truly believes in the project.

Compelling brand story: take time and think clearly about how you want your brand to be perceived in the market. If possible, get some early adopters and test out your product in some areas to see what real users think about the product. Even before the ICO or airdrops, take time to talk to people, especially potential users, about your project. Use the information gained to make it better and get the story right. It must be glued on real need and usage of the product. Show clear understanding of the problem and unique and creative way of solving it. The brand story should be clear in all your marketing and business development efforts across all platforms.

TIP: make a case for why blockchain is best suited for the solution.

Budget: Make sure you have a sizeable budget to manage the early stages of project before the ICO is done. Here a private investor (like a seed round), savings/personal funds may come in handy.

Before we delve into specific communities, one last thing, have an overall customer acquisition strategy. This entails deep understanding of who your customer is and where they are most likely to be.

Case of Sureremit : the tokenization was built on top of an existing user base of Suregifts. In case you do not have an existing user base, try and know how to reach them: mailing list, shows and exhibitions, conferences etc.

Here are the main essentials for a successful ICO marketing

1. ICO marketing Africa: website

Not to be confused with normal website, an ICO dedicated website is needed. This should show the ICO countdown and the following:

  • What is it about? The project, have a short explainer video on the homepage that readers can view and understand the concept easily.
  • Have a one liner or two that explains what the project is about.
  • Problem and solution: break the problem down and the solution offered. Numbers, figures, value proposition
  • ICO details: start and end date, accepted currencies, and all other parameters such as soft cap, hard cap, token allocation as a well how the funds will be used.
  • Roadmap: simplified and clear
  • Team and advisors: have links to their LinkedIn profiles. If you want you can add others such as Twitter, but LinkedIn is a must
  • Top bar: link to well-designed whitepaper, (you can also have a short version for easy perusal, with these sections), links to social media-twitter, telegram, GitHub, Reddit, Bitcointalk.
  • FAQs/or terms and conditions: you can put down a few FAQs that customers would be most interested in. some of the examples include: what type of coin it is. Here is a good example of such a website.

Top tip: if you have been featured on any high profile press, show it on the homepage of the website. Also some other things such as previous success with fundraising, product development etc should be highlighted so that people see you’ve been around and know what you are talking about.

2. ICO marketing Africa: Investor profiles

Before undertaking the actual marketing, it is necessary to have investor persona in mind. This will be help in knowing what messages/tone to use in different platforms.

Here is a brief about potential crypto investor persona.

  • Mainstream many: wants to invest in the next big thing; blockchain seems to be like a good bet
  • Crypto developer mark: idealist wants to invest in crypto project that will disrupt the existing quo. Wants to be part of something big.
  • Silicon Seth: is aware of blockchain tech and understands some of the key concepts to look into when evaluating a project. Wants to capture and be part of a blockchain project that others are not fully aware of. Wants to be shrewd small time investor/crypto trader
  • Peter Public: wants to invest in something that has massive upside and don’t care about the risk involved as long as upside is great.
  • Crypto angel: an investor who has participated in angel/VC investing most likely in technology sector. Wants to invest in a viable crypto project. Can invest considerably big amounts than silicon Seth. This could be the person you approach for pre-ICO deals. Crypto angel is very important because he/she could be more interested in long term success of the project and may not sell tokens immediately after ICO is over. Make sure you seek this type of investor for pre-sale.

At Coinweez, we have made a comprehensive list with breakdown of each one of them. You can get in touch if you need it.

3. Community building

This is the core of the work involved in ICO marketing and will take some time. Here are the platforms you need to be aware of:

Telegram: almost all crypto ICO projects use telegram for communication purposes. Have at least 2 admins solely responsible for answering questions. Questions need to be answered as fast as possible, especially in the early stages. Assurances and satisfactory answers should be given. Have a pinned message indicating what the ICO is about as well the following details:

  • What the project is about
  • ICO dates: start and end
  • Exchanges
  • Token supply
  • Exchange rate
  • Soft cap/hard cap

for successful ICO marketing Africa, people usually trust a project if it has more people. However, avoid buying people to join the group. Real users will be able to identify them by the type of questions asked. If all discussion in the group is about FUD, MOON, and all types of hype with no concrete and reasonable engagement, it will send a very bad signal and could lead to failure of your project.

Bitcointalk: the earliest crypto platforms out there created by Satoshi in 2009. It has been one of the main platforms for posting ANN threads (ANNOUNCEMENT THREADS). You can make really attractive ones for your project and get people to comment about and ask questions. Here is an example of ANN thread . 

Top tip: You can find plenty of bounty hunters here: these are people who are willing to help you promote your project, of course at a fee. You will need to approach some of the senior members to help you in planning a bounty marketing plan. With a good manager, you can get buzz since posts will be made across all social media channels: twitter especially.

Reddit: this is arguably one of the most effective platforms not only for ICO marketing in Africa but general crypto and startup projects. You will find hard-core community here with real ‘skin in the game’. You can rarely fake it here, so you need to understand your project in and out; even appreciating the challenges and shortcomings you face.

Here’s what to do:

  • Create a sub-reddit for your project.
  • Create high quality and engaging content
  • Know which threads to join and posting rules. You can easily get thrown out.
  • Popular posts can be shared severally even outside Reddit.
  • Have the CEO/CMO hold Ask me anything (AMA) sessions to talk about the project and answer questions from the community.

Steemit: this is the decentralised social network. You get paid for creating good content. You are likely to find people who have understanding of crypto on the platform.

Top tip: You can use it to run content competitions as part of ICO marketing.

Twitter: one of the biggest social media platforms that happens to have core crypto community too. You can also find the big movers and shakers here, but also trolls.

First have the project’s account that re-shares all information from other platforms here.

Top tip: have a bounty manager campaign that also involves posting on Twitter.

  • use one unified # for the whole period. Add some common # also to make it discoverable.
  • interact with others, not just your own content, RT others, share, comment etc.
  • no excessive promotions.

Medium: this has come up as one of the platforms to post blog posts about specific topics especially in tech. have the CEO/CMO/CTO have medium profiles that they use to make posts explain specific details of the project/the vision/roadmap/milestones and technical details of the project.

Content here can be shared across other platforms such as twitter.

Physical meetups: despite all the above, your ICO marketing process is not assured of success, you have to put in the physical capital and man/woman hours to meet people. Best way to do this is through tech hubs in common places. Liaise with people in those hubs to organise a meet-up so that people can see the some of the team members and ask one-on-one questions. This will be great for building credibility to the project so that people know that there are real people behind the project.

ICO marketing through recommendation is King

Meet people on the ground and have ambassadors talk about your product and even show people how to test it or how to participate in ICO. In tech community hubs have user support in those places explaining to people about your product. It is easier for a person to join based on recommendation. Use these recommendations also on online platforms such as Reddit, twitter, and telegram.

As part of ICO marketing, share pictures, content from such meetups on other platforms such as Twitter, Telegram.

Local online platforms: there has been massive growth of communities by young people which talk about everything from politics to technology. If you can get local tech bogs to talk about your project the better.

Mainstream media: you still need to tap into the mainstream media because lets be real, crypto and blockchain still has not picked up steam yet as compared to say Asia, and Europe. If you could have a slot of two on local dallies, Tvs, the better.

Others

You will need several poster designs to use for ICO marketing purposes. Visual designs explaining a concept is usually faster way to attract attention on social forums like: Instagram, twitter.

Conduct interviews with crypto community as well as other areas: have a target strategy on some of the influential and authentic bloggers out there in specific countries.

Create a whitelist

A whitelist is for building up a list of interested people in the project. Furthermore, creating a whitelist enables a smooth participation process making it possible for participants to have a smooth KYC/AML approval, registration and subsequently able to participate in the ICO.

Whitelist enables to reduce,

  • delays
  • Frustrations
  • Lost sales opportunities and
  • Inability for the project to process applicants which can lead to failure of ICO

Listing on platforms: You will need to list on main exchanges such as Binance and platforms. You can start with smaller exchanges that have fewer restrictions and move on to larger ones. We have shared an extensive list on this post.

Press releases: have different press releases to be posted in various websites. Choose carefully which websites to put into to ensure value for money. Here is one we did for Sureremit.

Top tip: a review or sponsored article could be more helpful sometimes rather than just posting on mainstream sites and the post is hidden somewhere on the site and not on the top page.

PS: We help in ICO marketing services such as publishing press releases and marketing. Get in touch via chris@coinweez.com.

All the best.

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