Marketing and the Power of Communities in ICOs

Although an invention of the Industrial Revolution, marketing was here since people started to trade and sell goods to each other. Think about a food market where producers are selling more or less the same fresh produce. From the way vegetables are displayed on the shelves to the way the sellers try to approach you if they sense you might buy something, everybody is trying to attract more people to their stalls. It is the same as other businesses, but the means and channels slightly differ. With the beginning of printed media and television, marketing was key to surviving in the business world. Strategic branding and other marketing tools became essential to having a successful business.

The internet has changed the rules of marketing because it allowed us to target incredibly specific audiences and to segment the public according to geographic, gender, age, education, earning and interests criteria. When cryptocurrencies started to become of interest a few years ago, market opportunities for those able to create engaged communities have skyrocketed. Furthermore, the crypto world has started to develop their own marketing strategies that look a bit different than what we were used to.

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Contrary to what a lot of people believe, marketing is not a tool to make you buy things you don’t need, but a way for businesses to go forward and spot those parts of the public who might gain something out of purchasing their product. While money is the driver, customer satisfaction is as important.

Getting Traction

Any entrepreneur will tell you that building a good business is hard work, and one of the hardest things is building an audience. Without traction, the long-term viability of the business is questioned. So, it is not just about scaling a company but finding a market for the product. While some might say that the crypto market is different, we believe that the days of ICOs raising billions overnight with a simple promise to launch the most powerful tech tool out there are over. It is about time for ICOs to grow up and give up the Wild West mentality.

Until two years ago, marketing for an ICO meant gathering a large community on Telegram and performing some online community management. Now, an ICO marketing strategy tends to look back to more traditional approaches, such as the PESO Model — paid, earned, shared and owned media. Moreover, with the ever-growing regulatory environment surrounding crypto, a well-thought plan to communications becomes more crucial.

Earned Media

Based on the newsworthiness of your product, earned media is free and might help your brand more than anything else because it offers exposure. However, it is more difficult to acquire. While some news websites might accept payment for writing an article about your ICO, the big media players will only look at you if you can show something credible, innovative and real.

Owned Media

You need to do a bit more than just showcasing your product. In the crypto market, you need to become a valuable knowledgeable source by creating content that answers your audience’s questions for your product, but also the legislation or economic environment we’re moving in. This will give you a series of credentials that people cherish and look for.

Shared Media

Social Media has been vital to businesses around the world for the past decade. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have created tons of business opportunities. Since they’ve all banned crypto ads, new social media channels started popping up. Steemit, BitcoinTalk, Telegram, Discord, Quora, Reddit are all promising no restrictions for crypto ads. However, the downside here is that most of these channels are almost exclusively comprised of crypto enthusiasts. If your business needs more people outside the crypto bubble, you might need to become creative for the channels you need to use.

Paid

This one is simpler if you have the cash. However, you must be careful about how you approach this because it might become counterproductive for your budget, audience quality and ultimately for the business itself. Since Facebook and Google have banned crypto ads, project leaders have become creative about ways to spread the good word. So, they’ve turned to growth hackers. And crypto influencers. And Telegram managers. And bounty hunters. And airdrops. And of course, PR agencies. From a tool that has helping start-ups gather funds with little effort. ICOs became expensive, time-consuming and risky. Some are even asking themselves if it’s still worth it. Suddenly, going through a few meetings with VC funds sounds easier.

What you must account for is that not all paid advertising is created equal and that it also depends on the kind of business you’re running. While large communities can be helpful for some types of businesses, they are not essential to others. Also, a paid Telegram community that can’t be leveraged is close to useless. If your target audience is in Germany and your online community is coming from the Asian Market, you basically lost some money.

Than airdrops & bounties, which everybody believes are free, aren’t really. Remember, you’re giving away money that has some utility within your ecosystem. They might not have any value at the moment you’re giving them away, but they will have one, soon. Building an economic strategy that won’t make your token extremely volatile is hard enough. Having to account for free money that was given away in the beginning makes it even more complicated.

Don’t give up on ICOs just yet. Change your marketing strategy

Crypto marketing is not what it used to be. It has become expensive and time-consuming. We, at Daicore, believe in having an integrated solution that provides qualitative marketing and an easy way to get in touch to those who matter most in an ICO — investors. If you run your ICO through Daicore, investors and communities created for other listed projects can be leveraged to join yours too with no cost. Plus, you will have access to a trust mechanism that will convince even the most skeptical investors to join, because their risks are reduced.

Reach us out and let’s see how we can help each other succeed!

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Marketing and the Power of Communities in ICOs was originally published in Data Driven Investor on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.