Security Token Offerings are the key to the future (and now), offering up real value in exchange for raising funds without the need for an IPO. The landscape is different, global and community-focused, crowd-sourced, open-source themes abound and the ‘true spirit of crypto’ will be mentioned more frequently than one might think.
What marketing aspects are key for an STO? How does one perform better than those that fail to raise funds?
The key to successfully raising funds from the global arena of potential contributors is to have a platform, project or ‘piece of the pie’ that jives with people’s needs, wants, and their ultimate goals.
Those STOs that can create a working demo or a Proof of Concept somewhere between pre-STO early adopters, strategic contributors and the STO regular crowdsale are in a prime position to both impress and satisfy the unquenchable desire for milestones that your potential backers want to see. Sharpe Capital did an awesome job of this during their sales stages, proving a working version before the public crowdsale.
Winning Team ( +Advisors)
While analyzing your offering, potential social influencers as well as the savvy contributor will ‘Do Your Own Research,’ and this includes checking out the team and seeing what previous successes they’ve had together. They’ll look at prior collaboration as a winning factor, and they’ll assess your decisions for advisors much the same. Do they add value? Do they bring expertise or a following and reach to your organization and project? Ian Balina advised Pareto.Network for a hefty tokenshare, for instance, and exposed their project to his massive crypto following!
Marketing Collateral: White Paper, Website, ____ Platform
Presentation is key. A well-thought, well-translated, well-presented website is the first trick to winning friends and influencing people — after that, most potential supporters will thoroughly research and review your white paper to see if you have a handle of the competitive landscape, the potential challenges, and the use of proceeds. There are studies and reputable reports abound about how properly spelled, beautifully developed sites and marketing collateral improve chances of success. A top STO and ICO marketing agency will help you with any and all marketing collateral needs you have throughout your crowdsale.
Social Media Engagement
The majority of people (and STO review sites) will review your social media to see if you’re well-followed, and have engagement from those followers. It’s not expensive to get 10k ‘real Twitter followers’ but the real measure of success is whether or not the growth was organic, and the people who follow you are engaged with your content and message — spreading the word to their followers, organically.
If someone replies to your paid or organic (and regular, frequent!) social media content, it’s important to give them a thoughtful reply that not only answers their questions and concerns but also addresses the untold number of ‘lurkers’ that are behind the scenes or will review the interaction later. Failing to do so can be catastrophic, ‘Wait, additional 113 start-ups just stopped updating their current situation on the social media…’
Engage Early Contributors & Supporters — Bounties!
Bounty campaigns are one of the oldest tricks in the book: provide a tokenshare for people to do their own promotion on social / blogging platforms, generate traffic, generate referrals and signups, and potentially find additional people to contribute. This is key to the successful STO marketing strategy as it encourages the everyman to find additional success with your project, earn by referring their friends or followers, and promote your content and platform for less investment and more ROI for you and your team.
Be careful of compliance! Some countries don’t smile on giving a financial reward for engaging potential contributors and having them advertise with their own funds or to their own non-B2B followers.
Reputable sites will recommend you find prolific and engaged bounty managers on btctalk and elsewhere, read to the end for our recommendation on this thought!
Telegram / Discord Community Management
Since Slack failed the ICO world and countless people fell victim to the same ol’ Slack scam of a personal message from a malicious user creating an official-looking email with different instructions on how to lose all your money, Telegram and Discord have stepped up their game to provide support for the crowdfunding community. You’ll find there are still scammers, but a few reports on their account and you won’t see them again — and Telegram, for instance, makes it incredibly difficult to create more than one or two accounts on a given machine in a certain amount of time, even with tricks like VPNs or proxies.
A good marketing or engagement firm will provide you WoW, MoM organic growth reports on your community channels, and people will flock to your Telegram or Discord to both FOMO and FUD your project — so having engaged, 24/7 resources to handle all these sorts of people as well as your genuine supporters and contributors is essential. The costs don’t necessarily have to be as high as hiring your own internal 24/7 support & engagement team, mind you! ICO telegram management (especially the kind you can get at a bargain as part of a package deal) is an incredibly important aspect of your strategy.
Strategic contributors, Crypto news organizations, and regular ol’ press and media all share one characteristic: they need to be hand-held, and catered to, in order to yield the best results. Forbes.com reports PR as an essential part of a successful STO/ICO. With a good PR representative, department, outsourced organization, or organizational unit, you’ll be armed with the resources to engage these sorts of SMB or large organizations on a level that yields better results than trying to juggle it along with your 18 000 other executive duties. Delegate and automate where you’re able to, and you’ll end up working smarter not harder!
Working with Crypto Influencers
It’s important to remember that certain Crypto influencers are worth more than your run-of-the-mill influencer, so it’s important to ‘Do Your Own Research’ when deciding who to financially reward for their influence. Some people exist by arbitraging fake engagement and fake followers in exchange for Eth to market a project — make sure to look way, way back in their social history to see if you notice a definitive ‘turning point’ where engagement or followers were bought.
There are some names you can trust off-the-bat (as will your potential contributors) but they are also far more costly. Sometimes, you’ll find that your project agrees with them on some personal or professional level, and they might be willing to FOMO or even advise your project.
Again, I’ll mention Ian Balina, who charges through the roof for his crypto knowledge — his name is as well-known in crypto as PewDiePie is in gaming. Ian is just one example, Ivan on Tech and countless others have instantly-trustable brands.
It’s very, very important that you comply with local and international laws and policies. If, for some reason, there’s any doubt on this front, it could be fatally damaging. Fear of not complying has crushed projects in the past.
These folks raised 5000 Eth in pre-ICO before having to shut down and refund everyone, as far as I can tell there hasn’t been a like crowdfund for a like idea. It is conceivable that a non-US entity that doesn’t allow participation from US, SG, etc., would be able to successfully raise a ton of money with the idea that the tokens could be used on a platform to profit share from a shared Masternode service (with benefits for token holders or a requirement to pay for shares in tokens — thus making them utility). Creative minds and/or corporate structures win here!
Lastly, a Plug!
We, at Crowdcreate, are experienced and familiar with ICO and STO strategy and marketing, including end-to-end bounty campaign management. We’ve gained the insights and have the working experience — along with metrics and data to support our strengths. Our accomplishments include expanding a client’s Telegram channels 1,000% in just 3 months, and we’ve supported dozens of organizations raise tens of millions of dollars.