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Initial coin offerings or ICOs are still in vogue, despite the bear market in the wider crypto space. Issuing a new token on a blockchain remains the most efficient and open way to raise funds for a startup technology venture.
However, countless scams and failed ICOs have sullied the reputation of this useful tool substantially. A new ICO must now stand out from all the others and promise the community something meaningful in order to gain traction.
The trick to launching a successful ICO is to think of it from the perspective of startup funding rather than crowdsourcing. Here are some ICO PR strategies that can help you boost the chances of success:
1. Focus on utility
During the boom of 2017, cryptocurrencies, blockchains and ICOs were all about the money. The fervour was so high-pitched that even the New York Times published a piece titled “Everyone’s Getting Hilariously Rich and You’re Not.”
Now, with crypto prices down and user activity on the most popular blockchains at record lows, the community has consolidated. The only way to garner any attention in this environment is to shift the focus on the utility of your token or platform. By showcasing what your team can do rather than how much money you can make for investors, your ICO is likely to gain credibility with the savvy crowd that’s still invested in blockchain technologies.
2. Hire a community manager
Perhaps the most critical element of any ICO is the community. The white paper, investor deck and corporate partnerships can only go so far. What really drives buzz and utility in the blockchain industry is a highly engaged and passionate crowd of users.
Hiring a friendly and competent community manager who can answer questions across all social media channels and share critical updates is essential. A people person in the community manager role will take your ICO to the next level.
3. Flaunt expertise
The barrier to entry is extremely low. Even a non-coder can launch an ICO on the Ethereum mainnet in less than 20 minutes. That means the space is crowded and genuine investors are looking for rare signals of value before deploying their hard-earned cash in a new project.
The best way to signal value is to have an expert on board and have them interact with the community on a regular basis. Think of the way Jony Ive explains design for Apple and wins over consumers. A successful ICO PR strategy now needs to showcase the experts on the team and clearly define how their technical solution works or why it’s superior.
4. Consider everyone a VC
Unlike crowdfunding, where users drop small amounts of cash expecting little to nothing in return, ICO investors are in it for the gains. Investing in newly issued coins is a risky affair and everyone who participates needs to see some indication of capital appreciation built into the ICO’s framework.
With this in mind, interact with the community as you would with a group of sophisticated startup angel investors or venture capitalists.
These simple steps can dramatically increase the level of funding your ICO PR strategy generates and the depth of your user base.
EAK Digital is a leading Global Blockchain PR Agency that works with Blockchain start-ups to help them gain mass media coverage across both mainstream and crypto publications alike.