The ICO market more than doubled in 2018 compared with the previous year, but with only 7% of tokens managing to get listed on established crypto exchanges and 55% failing to meet their fundraising targets in Q2 alone – what is preventing this sector from meeting its potential?
Poor marketing is one reason which is why Contentworks – a leading financial marketing agency – is tailoring ICO-specific content to suit the needs of individual projects. A flooded marketplace, scams and negative sentiment don’t help either, with all reasons needing to be addressed in order to push the ICO industry forward.
The ICO and the Half Baked Idea
These days, the first hint of an entrepreneurial idea typically results in the creation of a token followed by a call to invest. While this business model might seem awesome on paper, it has many flaws. The biggest being that many of the projects put forward are simply unfit for investment. The ICO world is designed for problem solvers; those who fully understand the potential of the crypto/blockchain sector and have a mission that could potentially revolutionise modern society. It is not for money-hungry founders looking for a ‘get rich scheme’ or wishy-washy business proposals with no solid backbone.
A Sector of Fake ICOs and Scams
While there are bad apples in every sector, the ICO sphere has been hit hard by scams, with the ten most high-profile swindling a whopping $687.4 million from unsuspecting investors. Indeed, research predicts that 80% of all ICOs were fraudulent scams. And if this is true, it means that 631 ICOs in 2018 could also be fraudulent.
Scams undoubtedly ruin the fun for everyone else – but what happens if you’re legit and have an ICO idea you feel passionately about? Well, you have to stand up and get noticed and that means creating exceptional content. Not only can the right content marketing strategy explain the intricacies of your ICO in a clear, concise way but regular interaction and engagement will help create a loyal fan base that’s integral to the success of any ICO campaign.
That said; bad content can have the opposite effect and ruin your online reputation. So with this in mind, here are some common pitfalls that can and will have a negative impact on investment.
- Poorly Written Whitepaper
A whitepaper full of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes is a big no-no! It looks sloppy and will instantly put doubts in an investor’s mind. Similarly, a whitepaper missing crucial information will set off alarm bells as a poorly researched and explained project will not receive the funding it needs to thrive. The team behind the ICO also need to be clearly mentioned and have credentials that match up to other social profiles that may be checked such as those on LinkedIn. If any information is out of line, it will get picked up and scrutinised.
Top tips: Spend time on your whitepaper. Include everything from the road map of your project to the tokenomics! Be sure to clearly describe the problem at hand and the technological solution for it. If you don’t have the resources in-house to write the paper – outsource to a leading content marketing for finance agency such as Contentworks.
- No online presence
A strong online presence is what’s needed to gain the trust of investors. So, if you don’t have a website or if it’s badly written or poorly presented, you need to review your strategy. Those looking to invest their cash want to get excited about a project, so the more information you provide, the more likely they’ll feel confident in your brand.
Top tips: ICO success relies on the investment community you create – but investors will only come if they trust what you’re trying to achieve. Therefore it’s essential to create a website that’s easy to understand, intuitive and caters to a wide audience. You should also think about keywords and SEO optimisation which will help improve your organic search rankings.
- No Video Content
Video is growing in popularity and will dominate 80% of the web by 2020. Content of this kind is a great way to explain trickier concepts in a straightforward way, so if you’ve not yet jumped on the video bandwagon – you’re missing a trick.
Top tips: Embrace snackable content. Consumers can only concentrate for around 8 seconds at a time and therefore it’s a good idea to produce a series of short, snappy proportional videos. You can also spice things up with a live Q&A session with your team as this will put a face to your brand and improve credibility as a result.
- Poor Press Coverage
Competition is tough out there and as the market expands it will only get more difficult to stand out from the crowd. It’s for this reason that your press coverage needs to be on point. Well-placed PRs will improve your outreach and encourage more people to interact – and hopefully invest.
Top tips: Before you start promoting your brand, make sure everything is in place from the whitepaper to the website as it’s important to make a good impression. What’s more, don’t waste your press material. Instead, find out where your target audience is likely to be and put your marketing efforts directly in front of them.
- Lack of Community Interaction
As you’ve probably realised by now, your ICO community is crucial. The more you engage, the more buzz will be organically generated about your project and this should hopefully drum up even more interest. Communities need to be nurtured though, so don’t be afraid to interact on popular ICO channels such as Telegram or blogging platforms like Medium.
Top tips: If possible, assign someone to manage your ICO presence online including on social media platforms. Social communication will give you a good idea about what people think about your ICO and allow you to make project tweaks if necessary. You can also give more information about your project by tailoring content for specific channels.
ICO success also comes down to being seen offline at important meeting and events. Legitimate project leaders will, after all, not be afraid to circulate amongst financially savvy crowds and answer difficult questions if necessary.
Need help with your ICO marketing? Then contact the Contentworks crew today – a top content marketing agency fully clued up on all the latest rules and regulations.