All articles

ICO Marketing Checklist 2020

A photo of a checklist

Do you need an ICO marketing checklist?

An ICO checklist is essential if you want to make sure yours is the best ICO launch it can be.

The popularity the ICO, has soared in recent years. Thanks to a number of high profile ICOs that include the ones organized by the Ethereum Project, Stratis, Spectrecoin, and Komodo, the number of ICOs held each year has skyrocketed to an all-time high. Startups all over the world are now using ICOs as their first choice way to raise capital..

Here’re a few amazing case studies of companies who hired DevTeam.Space to build their software products after a successful fund raising round:

  1. Medicoin – Healthcare Blockchain-Based Web Application
  2. Send Sonar – Social Media Web Application and Chatbot
  3. Micro Loans Management Solution – Management Web Application

Contents

What is an ICO Marketing Checklist
Creating a good initial coin offering checklist
Things to consider before starting your ICO marketing checklist:
Implementing an ICO marketing checklist:
Last but not least…

An initial coin offering illustration

ICO is the abbreviation of Initial Coin Offering. An ICO is when a company offers digital coins or tokens in exchange for investment. These crypto tokens are exchanged for cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether which are in turn bought with fiat currency.

The companies offering these tokens can specify exactly what the terms and conditions of the offering are, including the kinds of returns investors might get back. Eventually, the investors will be able to cash in their tokens and get their money back, which by then is hopefully a much greater amount than they initially put in.

So by issuing crypto tokens in exchange for money, companies can raise the funds they need to build their projects. While a number of successful ICOs have been launched to raise money for new blockchain-based cryptocurrencies, an ICO can be used to raise funds for literally anything a company specifies. Since investors are under no obligation to purchase these tokens, they will only invest in the ones that are a good idea that has been marketed well.

For more information on what ICOs are all about, including some examples of successful ICOs, you can read ’What is An Initial Coin Offering? Raising Millions In Seconds‘ by Ameer Rosic.

A few preparations before you start your ICO marketing

So, you think you are ready for an ICO marketing strategy and checklist? Well, I recommend that you take a step back. Address a few preparatory steps even before you get into the ICO checklist.

I suggest that you answer the following questions before planning an ICO:

1. Do you need a blockchain?

Many businesses are jumping on the blockchain bandwagon, however, some of them may not need it. Should you use blockchain in your project in the first place?

Do you have a use case that requires a decentralized P2P network with strong security features that a public blockchain network like Bitcoin offers? Does your use case need a distributed ledger, or can you implement your business idea with modern databases available in the market?

Consider these questions before deciding that you need a blockchain. Remember that blockchain isn’t a magic wand to solve all kinds of business problems.

2. Do you need a cryptographic token?

Okay, let’s assume that you need a blockchain. However, do you need a cryptographic token? Are you offering a product or service that requires a crypto token?

Does anyone else offer the same product or service without a crypto token? Can you think of viable economics for your planned crypto token? I have discussed these questions in our guide “What to plan for when undertaking blockchain software development?”.

After carefully considering these questions, you might find that you don’t need to offer a crypto token. In that case, you shouldn’t even plan for an ICO. You can focus on developing your product instead.

3. What kind of crypto token are you offering?

Okay, so you have decided that you need to offer a crypto token! Well, what kind of token are you offering? Are you offering a token that will only have a utility value? If you are, then exercise caution when marketing your ICO!

You can’t promise significant financial gain to investors when you market a “utility token”. While its value can appreciate, that’s just a part of the normal supply-demand equation.

On the other hand, if you have planned to promise noticeable gain to investors over time, then you are offering a “security token”, i.e., a “securities investment contract”. You need to comply with the appropriate securities regulations in your country or jurisdiction.

Depending on the regulations, you might not even be able to launch an ICO! You may need to raise funds by following the processes mandated by the securities regulators in your country. Read our guide “Utility tokens vs. security tokens comparison guide” for more information.

4. Are you on the right side of the law?

Does your country of jurisdiction legally allow cryptocurrencies? Before you rush in with ICO marketing, check whether you are on the right side of the law!

Note that cryptocurrency-related regulations are quite dynamic at the time of writing this. Many countries are working on framing their regulations, and crypto regulations are evolving.

Consider the case of the USA! Cryptocurrencies aren’t legal tenders there, however, state laws governing crypto exchanges vary. On the other hand, Australia treats cryptocurrencies as legal. However, the country considers it as property!

Read “Cryptocurrency regulations around the world” to learn more about how crypto regulations are evolving. Check the regulations of your country of jurisdiction before you work on ICO marketing.

What is an ICO Marketing Checklist

I always feel weird saying this but I am a huge fan of the checklist and use them whenever I can. Now you might imagine that I‘m one of those strange guys who hang around train stations late at night with a clipboard but I‘m not. Checklists represent a vital-fail safe for that age-old human condition – forgetfulness.

An ICO marketing checklist is just what it says on the tin. It is a checklist of important points and actions that need to be completed in order to successfully market your initial coin offering. Since marketing is actually one of the most important and indeed hardest parts of any ICO launch, you will need to devote a lot of time and effort to make sure you get things right. Otherwise, you have literally just wasted months of time developing ideas and prototypes that will ever see the light of day.

Given its importance, you should be looking to develop your ICO marketing strategy from around the time that you finalize your idea and begin working on writing your ICO white paper. Oh and one other important thing to remember is there are good ICO marketing strategies and there are bad ICO marketing strategies. Why do I make such an obvious distinction? Well, as a reminder that no part of an ICO launch should be taken half-heartedly. Don‘t make the mistake, as many have done, of investing all your time and efforts on the concept and decide to worry about the marketing when you ’get to that point‘.

Creating a good initial coin offering checklist

To reiterate an important point, an initial coin offering checklist is key to designing and implementing a successful ICO marketing strategy. A good checklist should cover each step of how you market your ICO in a logical order so that it helps you build and implement your marketing strategy from the ground up.

Since building a strategy and implementing it are heavily intertwined I will break the checklist into two main parts. These will be planning an ICO marketing checklist and implementing an ICO marketing checklist.

Things to consider before starting your ICO marketing checklist:

An illustration of healthcare project management planning

  1. Make sure you have a great idea and a product to match

When setting out to develop any good marketing strategy it is important to first make sure that you have the best possible product to sell. This might sound silly but you really should spend the time to evaluate your product in full before you begin.

Ask yourself what is the need for such a project, how big is the market is and is your solution the best answer? Evaluating any competitors will help you to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your project and enable you to really develop a much better marketing strategy too.

  1. Make sure you have a great team

Having a great team in place to launch your ICO is just as important as for developing your project. Companies often make the mistake of giving the task of marketing their ICO to individuals who don‘t have any experience in ICO marketing. This is a big mistake.

List of staff needed for an ICO:

  • Project strategist and organizer
  • PR specialist
  • Social Media Specialist
  • Certified Public Accountant who is familiar with digital currencies
  • Technical support team

If you don‘t have access to such individuals then it is definitely advisable to bring in a professional ICO marketing company. It might seem like an expensive option, but the money ICO marketing services can help generate from a successful ICO is far greater.

  1. Outline a basic marketing plan and start building on it

The key components of any ICO marketing plan are as follows:

  • Market Research – Find out the market size and where your project fits in.
  • Legal Research – Make sure you know the law when it comes to ICOs.
  • Target Market – Who is the target audience? What are their business models?
  • Product – Analyze your product. Identify its strengths and weaknesses.
  • Competition – Who are the competitors?
  • Budget – Do you have enough money to launch your ICO in the way you desire?
  • White Paper / Mission Statement – Defines your project to potential investors.
  • Market Strategies – After examining past examples of successful ICOs and what marketing strategies they used
  • Price, quantity, and returns – Define exactly what your token sale will be.
  • Clearly define your goals – What is your project capable of?
  • Where do you plan to be in the future? – Are you thinking big enough?

Having these in mind will allow you to build a coherent marketing strategy that will come together perfectly in the end. You will notice that I have not numbered these points, and this was for a deliberate reason.

Many of these components can be completed side by side. For example, you might find information during your market search that helps you with identifying your target market, pricing your crypto tokens and that you also want to include in your white paper.

A great tip is to allocate time slots for the team to work on specific tasks rather than trying to do them all at once. Separating them will really make things easier. Also, remember to establish a marketing strategy timeline that details when certain parts of the plan are to be implemented. Promotion events will obviously need to be held closer to the launch date to help keep up the interest.

By the time you have looked at and found answers for all these points, you will have a clear idea of your marketing strategy, now all that is left is to kick it into gear.

Implementing an ICO marketing checklist:

A photo of runners on the starting line

  1. Start the ball rolling

Once you have completed the basics of the planning stage for the ICO, you should already have begun to start gearing up your marketing machine. Good marketing is all about generating a ’buzz‘ about your product. Since the ICO investment community is digitally minded you need to focus your strategy towards the internet. This is actually a huge plus because it means you can do everything from your office. Also, online advertising is generally cheaper so you get more for your money.

Around the time that you begin writing your white paper, you should begin creating all the necessary logos, photos, and videos that you will need to advertise your project. Again, do not try to do this yourself unless you are competent to do so. Appearances are everything, so if ICO investors see a badly produced promotional material they are much less likely to invest.

As soon as you have your brand basics completed, then it‘s time to open up social media accounts on every major social media platform. Arrange an email and start building an email marketing list, and get your team started on building that really captivating website to show off your project to the full.

List of social media and other sites you will need to promote your ICO:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Reddit
  • Linkedin
  • Telegram
  • Steemit
  • Quora
  • YouTube
  • Slack
  • Discord
  • RocketChat
  1. Kick everything into full gear – Growth hack your ICO

The next step in your ICO marketing plan should begin about a month or two before the actual ICO launch. It‘s time to generate the buzz that is going to make your ICO a huge success. If you have engaged the services of an ICO marketing company then this is the time you need to tell them to get things moving.

Announce your ICO launch date on all your social media, email lists, Slack, Discord, RocketChat and on as many forums as possible to really generate some serious interest. You can also post your promotional video on Youtube and other such places to let people know the day is fast approaching.

Good Forums for ICO marketing:

It is also a good idea to spread around a few guest postings that talk about your project. Not only will this help get more investors on board but it could also lead to some real exposure. There are loads of trusted sites like Coinbase that investors use as a big source of information. Contact the press to try to get them to cover your story too. Getting your ICO mentioned on one of these sites will be like discovering a river of gold.

All of the posts and advertising you put up should refer back to your website and include contact details.

List of places where you should target your ICO marketing strategy:

  • Website
  • Social Networks/forums
  • Advertising
  • Direct marketing with flyers
  • Publicity/press releases
  • Trade shows
  • Guest post articles
  1. Answer all queries quickly and professionally

One part of a great marketing strategy that is repeatedly overlooked is customer service. Making sure that you answer queries quickly and thoroughly can be a make or break thing. During your ICO launch, you are liable to be contacted by all kinds of people asking for more information. While most may not end up buying any tokens at all, you can bet your bottom dollar that the one that you forget to reply to ends up being Warren Buffett‘s personal secretary or someone like that.

Last but not least…

Even after your ICO launch and your marketing strategy has been successful, you should keep the energy going. While this period will be one of the most exhausting of your life, the rewards for maintaining a market buzz about your product can be enormous.

Technology is all about innovation so the people involved with it are almost obsessively focused on the new thing. By adjusting your marketing strategy to meet the long-term goal of maintaining interest in your company, you will not only make a bigger impact when you launch your project but will also have the chance to pool investors again should you decide to expand your project even more in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an ICO marketing checklist?

An ICO marketing checklist is a list of steps that need to be followed when launching an ICO. For more information, read this article.  

How to create an ICO marketing checklist?

While the steps needed to be followed to launch an ICO marketing checklist are similar, each product will have its own target audience and best approaches to reach them. Start by reading this article and then follow the steps to create your own tailored checklist. 

Where to find a template ICO marketing checklist?

A quick internet search will reveal hundreds of websites that have ICO marketing checklists. Start by reading this article for tips on how to find the best one.

DevTeam.Space is a vetted community of expert dev teams supported by an AI-powered agile process.

Companies like Samsung, Airbus, NEC, and startups rely on us to build great online products. We can help you too, by helping you to hire and effortlessly manage expert developers.

LinkedIn Facebook Twitter Facebook Messenger Whatsapp Skype Telegram