What do you think now that Google, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have all banned any paid advertising around ICO marketing?
I get this question a lot and personally I think it’s great! I’m not just saying that because I have to. These bans were precipitated by unwanted actions and they are exactly what the ICO marketing world needs.
Users Can Feel More Protected
Unfortunately many people have been fooled by ICO scams and millions of dollars have been lost as a result. Companies and social networks like Facebook and Google are acting in the public’s best interests—indeed, in the best interests of the blockchain industry—by putting in place the bans and other measures that will prevent scams and fishy campaigns from seeing the light of day.
Scams Have Fewer Opportunities to Build Hype
Earlier this year, a startup called Prodeum reached headlines, not for their amazing project, but because, after setting out to raise $6.5 million and successfully winning their audience’s trust, they vanished with their profits and their website content was simply replaced with the word ‘penis’.
Scams like Prodeum will now have a drastically reduced ability to attract a wide pool of ICO contributors thanks to the new advertising bans, and the entire blockchain industry stands to benefit as the dud projects are filtered out.
Effective Advertisements for Swindles Disappear
Advertising works—and this isn’t always a good thing. Being right in the midst of the cryptocurrency and ICO space, I was being targeted everyday with information and advertisements about the next ICO set to disrupt the industry.
I literally saw hundreds of ads, and while I enjoyed seeing these these out of pure business and marketing curiosity, I began to appreciate that you simply could not blame a layman for falling for any of the scams.
Space for Great Projects Opens Up
Just because an ICO reaches your attention, doesn’t mean it’s great or has a real use case. Indeed, it takes a fair amount of effort to find a great ICO project and avoid the scams.
The community was screaming for regulation and I’m glad these bans came in. It has created space for real projects with real use cases and it has invited solid marketing and design thinking to become the differentiator instead of deep advertising budgets.
I hope I’ve now convinced you to support these bans and the work they do to keep users safe. Perhaps you’d now like to know how to market an ICO to your audience with these regulations in effect? Stay tuned for my second instalment where I’ll share my top tips to get around publisher bans.
Above, we discussed how ICO advertising bans have created space for genuine ICO with real uses to dominate the market and relegate blockchain scams to the past.
But how do how get around the bans and market to your audience without using the major digital advertising channels? Our top tips provide the answers you been waiting for.
- Make sure you’re ready for an ICO
The first step is to make sure you’re ready. Have you considered if your project is right for an ICO? Have you got a team you know are committed for all the right reasons? Check out our blog to find out if you are in fact ready to launch your token sale!
- Back to the basics. Focus on your product
While publishers have banned ads surrounding ICOs and cryptocurrency, you are still able to market your core product and solution. The door is still open to educate potential contributors. If you are building a strong product that solves a genuine problem, this should be enough of a hook to gain the interest from the community you want.
- Don’t forget the power of brand recognition
It’s as simple as it sounds—if people see you once, they’ll recognise you the second time. After they see you a few times across different mediums, they might decide to investigate the project themselves.
- Get out there and meet real people
We have spent some seriously big budgets on AdWords, double-click and social media. By freeing this budget up you can, and you should, use it to go global—literally.
There is undoubtedly a cryptocurrency or blockchain expo, summit or meetup happening somewhere today, take a moment to do a quick search on some of the best events out there, purchase your tickets and spread your team in all directions.
While you will reach much lower numbers with your brand and solution, nothing beats having a face-to-face conversation and seeing your logo or flyer around an event with potential investors. This adds authenticity and credibility to your project in a space that is hinged on trust! It will also will give you some great content to share to your social and community channels.
- Invest in public relations
Yes, PR does work and you should not only be focusing on cryptocurrency and blockchain media outlets. Get your message in industry, business and local media publications.
The same applies for influencers. Find a list of influencers that echo your message and brand. A strong list of credible influencers will take you a long way because nothing is more powerful than word-of-mouth advertising.
- Be advertising savvy
Remember, when your ad gets rejected, there’s a good reason for it. You have probably triggered a keyword that the bot army is closely monitoring. Be smarter with the keywords you use, the design you create and the landing page you bring people to.
You may want to think about creating an secondary educational landing page that doesn’t mention the word ‘ICO’ to prevent any crawling issues or simply link people to a Medium blog which explains the benefits of your product and let users explore from there.
- Focus on building a community
Building a community can be tough, but if you have the right product nothing will stop you from growth hacking a genuine community within 2 to 5 days. We know this as we have done it for Shping, Invox, MoxyOne and even for eBitcoin where we have grown their Telegram community from 5000 members to 55,000 members in just 7 days.
Nope, we didn’t purchase them! Instead, we got real people interested in cryptocurrency to join and sign up with their details so we can continue communicating with them. What’s the secret? An airdrop.
- Go old fashioned, go bounty
A bounty program isn’t all about gold; a strategically executed bounty guarantees there’s an army cheering you on from the sidelines.
Maximise the reach of every piece of content you create and allow the bounty hunters to share it with their network in their languages. It’s a small reward for a large return.
- Take the time to seek private investments
Let’s take a minute to be realistic, the ICO space has catapulted beyond our imaginations circa early 2017. It’s simply not the same.
Any successful ICO today would have put the time and effort into seeking private investments from their network and global events. The majority of funds today are raised from private investments, so go hustle!
There’s a multitude of avenues you can pursue to ensure the success of your ICO. If you’ve got a solid team and a strong product, there’s no reason why you can’t prosper even with the advertising bans coming into place. Put your head down and hustle—it’s the same as starting any other business.
This is a sponsored press release and does not necessarily reflect the opinions or views held by any employees of The Merkle. This is not investment, trading, or gambling advice. Always conduct your own independent research.