ICO Marketing

ICO Marketing Strategy: How To Guide

Creating a marketing strategy for an ICO is important, but the steps prior to ICO launch can be critical to its overall success. Prior to ICO launch, it is essential to take a couple of months to plan the perfect strategy, as a lot of an ICO’s success depends on having a well-structured marketing strategy.
ICO marketing strategy

Understanding ICOs

The decentralised marketplace is growing. This, for the most part, is caused by large amounts of new startups who generate their initial funds by hosting an ICO and providing investors with tokens in return.

token crowdfunding

What is an ICO?

  • ICO stands for Initial Coin Offering and is a completely unregulated process of cryptocurrency fundraising.
  • This fundraising event operates through the sale of cryptocurrency tokens to investors in exchange for monetary investment

Strategic ICO Marketing

1. Launching a successful ICO | Whitepaper

The first step for launching a successful ICO is to create an ICO white paper. Generally, this whitepaper includes:

  • Information on the project (start/finish date) and key milestones
  • What the project will do upon ICO completion
  • Capital needed to begin the project
  • Token allowance and division

The aim of this whitepaper is to tell the story which defines the business and offers beneficial insights and value to potential investors during the ICO presale

Recommended Reading: Creating an ICO White Paper

token whitepaper image

Strategic ICO Marketing

2. Launching a successful ICO | Develop a lead generating website for your ICO

This is an opportunity to develop a website for your startup if you have not already done so. You may find it hard to get the desired .com domain, many startups today look further afield use domains such as .io .co .ly and much more. If you already have a website, alter the homepage or create a page specific to the ICO crowdsale, this page should include:

ICO lead generating website
  • A CTA section that tempts investors to get become whitelisted or participate in a pre-sale.
  • Social and community links: Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, LinkedIn, Bitcointalk, YouTube, etc.
  • Papers: white papers, presentations, and any other materials that potential investors may be looking for.
  • A detailed overview of the project. Include all the project details. People want to know everything they can about a potential investment.
  • Token sale terms: pricing, data on the total token supply, purchase methods, token distribution, fund allocation etc..
  • Roadmap/ Token sale timeline.
  • The legal section where all related issues are covered.
  • Team/founders and/or advisory board. Use photos of real people and add links to their LinkedIn accounts when possible.
  • Partners. Show investors who have already supported your project.
  • Press and media. Demonstrate contributors what others say about you by citing sources or adding links to relevant articles.

Strategic ICO Marketing

3. Launching a successful ICO | ICO Presale

The ICO presale is held to generate funds that cover costs of hosting the main ICO. Some ICO expenses include:

  • Smart contract development
  • Paid Advertising (e.g. lead generation, email marketing and social media marketing)
  • Recruitment
  • Hosting Events

Identifying how to approach traditional institutional investors is an essential step in obtaining this presale cash injection.

ico presale planning

Strategic ICO Marketing

4. Launching a successful ICO | Create Profiles on Social Media

Brand awareness is key to a successful ICO campaign. Creating profiles on the popular social channels shows that you are open to communication. Brand consistency across these channels reassures investors and increases brand recognition. This includes and but not limited to:


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Linkedin
  • Reddit
social media channels for ICO

Strategic ICO Marketing

5. Launching a successful ICO | Building a Community through a Whitelist

A successful whitelisting campaign will build an initial community of members who are interested in an ICO. Building a whitelist facilitates engagement, builds an email list, generates awareness and creates urgency around your ICO.

What is a whitelist?

A whitelist is ‘an exclusive list’ of potential contributors who have expressed explicit interest in an ICO by sharing some of their personal information in exchange for being the first to have an opportunity to contribute. This means that the whitelist contributors will have the chance receive tier 1 bonuses.

How to create an ICO whitelist?

This can be carried out on a first come, first serve basis – As people sign up to the list, they receive a chronological position in the whitelist, so that when it is full, no more whitelist applications will be registered. Alternatively, a Proof-Of-Caring stake can be used – Your position in the queue is determined by proof of your contributions to the community. Meaning that position 1 has made the most contributions and so on, in descending order. This means that when the whitelist is full, there is still an opportunity to ‘earn’ a position on the whitelist by making community contributions, such as:  

  • Referrals to the whitelist
  • Social Posts/Shares
  • Posts in groups and forums
  • Reviews (Video/blogs)
  • Github contributions
  • Guest posts on blogs

  Our favourite tool for hosting whitelist leaderboards is – Vyper.io

whitelist community

Strategic ICO Marketing

How to Promote an ICO

promote ico

Strategic ICO Marketing

6. How to promote an ICO – ICO Calendars

See our complete list Of ICO listing sites ICO calendars provide an ongoing list of current or upcoming ICO’s. In order to make potential investors and the rest of the community aware of your project, it is important to submit an ICO to an ICO calendar. What do you need to get listed on an ICO calendar? Generally, you need to include:

  • ICO Name
  • ICO project summary (including start and finish date)
  • ICO Website
  • Position/involvement in the project and contact information

It won’t be the same for every ICO project, but the most popular or promising ICO’s are usually found by the administrators of ICO calendar websites and automatically included. Check out this list of popular calendar sites for up to date ICO project entries:

ico calendars
quora ico marketing
linkedin ico marketing

Strategic ICO Marketing

7. How to promote an ICO – Social Networks & Cryptocurrency Communities

Social networks and cryptocurrency communities are invaluable to a successful ICO. How an ICO project is presented will affect the level of trust it has within the community and how much value it projects to potential investors. There are a vast amount of channels online for promoting ICO’s, but some of the best free channels for ICO marketing are:


Strategic ICO Marketing

8. How to Promote an ICO | Content Creation & Guest Blogging

Unless an ICO is hugely popular or holds lots of promise in the eyes of ICO content writers, it should not be taken for granted that it will be written about. If you are promoting your own ICO, it is essential to make the most of your own website and regularly update it with details about the business, press releases and daily news to your investors.

paid social channels

Strategic ICO Marketing

9. How to promote an ICO – Paid Promotion

How much does ICO marketing cost?

Marketing for an ICO has no set costs, however, as a business owner, you must think about the complete process involved and decide how much time will need to be invested in marketing on all the possible platforms.  

Social Media

On social media, promoting posts about an ICO project is a great way of increasing visibility. Paying for this type of promotion will feature your promoted post to a much larger audience than a post that isn’t promoted. While you can get some great results from a relatively low budget, you must make sure that your content is engaging to entice your audience into visiting your website and making an investment at the ICO. Including a striking image or video is a good example of strong content that could be included in a promoted post. Also think about the audience you are trying to reach and relate this to what networks you should advertise on. (i.e. Reddit vs. Twitter)

Google Adwords

An alternative to social media marketing is using Google Adwords. This is an advertising platform within Google that displays your advertisements at the top of search rankings, as display ads on other websites or as ads on YouTube videos. Adwords can be costly in the long run, but by following a comprehensive inbound marketing plan, this type of advertisement will generate leads and traffic to your ICO.  

Specialised Crypto Ad Networks

Listed below are ad networks that specialise in cryptocurrency related sites

Direct Media Buying

Many coin or ICO listing sites offer direct media buying, I recommend that you look for reviews before engaging with this method of advertising, as is the nature of this space.

Strategic ICO Marketing

10. How to Promote an ICO | Bounty Campaign

What are ICO bounties?

ICO bounties are rewards (e.g free coins) given by ICO startups to individuals for completing tasks such as:

  • Reporting bugs within the site


  • Promoting the ICO on social media, within cryptocurrency communities or writing a simple blog about the ICO

The aim of an ICO bounty campaign is to generate a level of hype and awareness around the blockchain startup and their ICO. The benefit of following a guide to ICO bounty campaign will help reduce spend on paid promotion and assist in developing a loyal community around the product or service.

ico bounty campaign

Strategic ICO Marketing

11. How to promote an ICO – Why is my ICO Failing?

An unsuccessful ICO occurs when the ICO fails to reach its target during the sale. Not hitting the ICO target may occur for a few reasons:

  • Lack of clarity within the whitepaper
  • Lack of ICO marketing, resulting in no community awareness
  • Lack of belief from the community that the concept will not develop into a real product or service after the ICO.
  • Lack of token value. Nobody will want the token if it holds no current or future value.

Strategic ICO Marketing

12. How to Promote an ICO | Conclusion

  1. Be active. Do not hide. Show that you are real, show your activeness.
  2. Create a conversion funnel, an investor does not convert from a single click. Be patient, strategic and constant with your updates.
  3. It is all about analytics. Collect the data. Analyze. Choose the best!

It is crucial to track and optimize all the aspects of your leads.

  • Where do they start their journey on their way to invest?
  • Where do they stop?
  • What information motivates them to click?

By analyzing the entire process, you will find your best way for marketing your ICO. Developing an effective ICO marketing strategy is challenging and consumes lots of time. This is why a lot of startups will seek the professional help from specialised ICO marketing agencies like ours. We want your ICO to make a positive impact within the community. Let us create your ICO marketing strategy and focus on your startups – lead generation, email marketing, search engine optimisation, bitcointalk.org listing, web design, social media marketing and conversion rate optimisation.

top cryptocurrencies

Recommended Reading

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Best ICO Listing Sites: Guide

It’s 2018 and ICO popularity is booming. Billions have been raised through ICOs and to avoid the fear of missing out, investors are keen to get involved. Prior to browsing the best ICO listing sites, it is strongly advised that investors follow a guide to investing in...

Creating an ICO White Paper

What is an ICO White Paper? Like a white paper in business, an ICO white paper is a detailed guide for a new blockchain project which informs potential token holders about the business and its idea in view of an upcoming token sale. The white paper is embedded on your...

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