How to Choose the Best ICO Marketing Agency?
Did you know that nearly 60 percent of all ICOs in 2018 will fail to meet their funding goals? The cryptocurrency market is getting more saturated and competitive, with hundreds of projects fighting for attention of investors. In the highly competitive market having an amazing idea and a stellar team is not often enough for success. There could be great projects failing because they were too busy developing their product and are too shy to tell the world about it. And sometimes a project with unrealistic or simply faulty idea would raise millions because they hired the right agency. The difference between a hit and failed ICOs generally is powerful or ineffective marketing strategy.
Planning a strategy to market your ICO project from the start is simply crucial, probably even more important than developing the actual product itself. While you can improve and rework the initial product idea, you cannot make another first impression. When done right, marketing is a crucial element in the way we spread the word about the ICO and ensure successful crowdfunding for your project.
Most of the agencies assume that developing a trendy ICO campaign website, complete with all features, plus a well-written in-depth whitepaper, is sufficient to meet investment goals. Successful ICO marketing campaigns make use of specific communication channels, from conventional and recognized methods to very latest advanced techniques such as native advertising and AI-powered email campaigns.
There are not many ICO marketing firms – just about a hundred of them worldwide – simply because the cryptocurrency market is still too young. There is a competitive group of agencies that offer specialised services for ICOs and cryptocurrency projects in general. Goodfirms has conducted a research and offers a list of verified agencies (you will find them at the end of this article). Before you make your inquiries let’s first understand the rules that define a great marketer for your ICO.
Rule #1. This agency has to focus on ICOs and nothing else
The reason for that is that marketing for cryptocurrency startups is essentially different from that of a regular startup. Some of the strategies that are effective for the usual campaign are not applicable to ICOs simply because the timeframe is too short.
It’s recommended to start unfolding your strategy at least 90 days prior to the pre-sale. Activities such as SEO will not yield any results because they unveil over longer time. Instead, PR campaigns, community building and instant messaging channels are often used to spread the word more quickly and build a “tribe” of trusty followers. There are many other elements specific to digital crowdfunding that a traditional agency cannot deliver because they lack expertise or experience. Unless you have invented another Bitcoin, a marketing team consisting of professionals well-versed in digital startup marketing is your top priority.
Rule #2. Look for a full cycle digital agency
The best ICO marketing agency for your project has a team of experts who are proficient in the full range of services, starting with a website design, hosting, email campaigns and lead generation, community building, SEO services, content marketing, public relations, media relations, PPC services, graphic design, and social media management. Initial coin offerings events are held for very short time so all activities must be closely knit and well coordinated. They need to have experience using all available channels to spread news about the emerging crypto startup and do it in the most cost-efficient way. You don’t want one agency to do a digital PR and another one run your website because any glitch in communication can be very costly.
One aspect that is often overlooked is the branding of your company in addition to the above mentioned services. Make sure your branding is a digital world-friendly and developed by professionals and corresponds well with the blockchain product philosophy. To make changes to the campaign on the go rely on regular analytics and better yet keep your own eye on key metrics.
Rule #3. The record of success
When you browse the list of consultants and agencies online, make sure to analyse their former clients. They should have a clearly visible list of former blockchain and cryptocurrency-related clients on their website. Not many ICOs want to disclose their links to certain agencies for privacy reasons, but if you do find such clients, don’t hesitate to check the success of their ICO. You want to choose the agency that delivers a strong rate of success. The very best way to recognise a trustworthy professional is to understand the way they deal with token sales, to look out for user cases, project portfolios and of course for client testimonials. Don’t take the glowing testimonials for granted – check if real people have left them.
The first and essential indicator of quality is to see how much of a success the campaign has become, how much money these projects managed to raise. In addition to that, it’s very beneficial to find out what types of services the company has provided for companies seeking to launch an ICO and what the outcomes were. Try to predict which strategy they have been using and which practical insight you can put to use in your own project.
Rule #4. Let them demonstrate expertise
When communicating with the agency, ask them questions about the latest events in the ICO market, what makes them excited about your project, how generally know they are. Many ICO-focused agencies have expertise in such advanced tools as artificial intelligence and smart contracts which is a great way to ensure that their efforts bring the results that the ICO founder wants.
Ask them to create a draft campaign plan. A great team will make an effort to fully recognise the innovative value of your project, your team, your aspirations and what you have completed to date. They would be targeting the long term collaboration going well beyond the strategic coin offering event.
You want to find an agency this is constantly keeping up with the industry and has the know-how and capability to evolve the strategy to quickly meet unique challenges within the cryptocurrency and blockchain environment. A small group of professionals, and not a large international agency, frequently has what it takes to stay agile and make frequent changes in the tasks that they come across.
Rule #6. Budget requirements
It has been very clear at some point of our analysis of the market that the fees are not actually set in stone. The charges are very volatile in this marketplace and they also range a lot from company to company. There’s no clear understanding of what an appropriate fee is. While some agencies provide complete packages with very steep pricing models, others work with an hourly rate or even a weekly rate. More established agencies have working contacts in the media and with influencers and are likely to generate a lot of press exposure for free or at steep discount.
Marketing is such a crucial step for your ICO, it calls for a generous budget. Without spending both time and finances on marketing, your ICO isn’t going to attract the investors this is deserved. A typical token sale allocates for marketing up to 30 percent of its targeted funding to be raised.
Rule #7. Clarity from the start
A sign of a good ICO marketing agency is the lack of industry jargon. The team will give you a clear picture of what they aim to achieve, the approach they intend to implements that you will achieve your investment goals. They should take effort to explain all the information in plain English and get anyone on the same page. A responsible services provider would honestly tell you how robust your project looks from the market perspective, and whether your funding goal is actually attainable. And if it isn’t, it would rather say “no” to the customer instead of promising the sky and turning in the dust.
And here’s what to be cautious about. If the promised results appear too good to be true, they probable are. Avoid marketers that claim to follow the unique and first-class strategy, as each campaign needs customisation and improvisation. Don’t agree with in agencies that tend to guarantee outcomes. No agency can assure you will reach your investment goals; they could only improve your chances of getting there.
To make the ICO team’s life easier, GoodFirms website has researched and verified some of the most capable digital agencies that specialise in cryptocurrency and ICO. According to the website, these digital agencies have grown from the pioneers to game changers when it comes to creating an effective ICO marketing plan for digital coin sales. Here are their top recommendations:
- Foxtail Marketing
- Belkin Marketing
- ICO Promo
- SATE Development
- Anchor Point Marketing
- ICO Agency
- Hypergrowth Consulting
- Bounty Portals
- ROQ Media
- Blockchain App Factory
- Leeway Hertz
- Spark Chain
- Coin Promoter
Of course, there are many other reputable agencies that specialise in digital marketing for ICOs. You may find them through recommendations and by reading reviews online. The world of marketing is evolving so quickly, you may easily find a top-class specialist outside of a beaten path.
Nathan Sebastien at GoodFirms says that the list is continually in progress as the company practices to maintain checks on the newly rising ICO marketing firms to make it easier for coin owners to benefit from maximum investment and improved reputation. If you believe that you know a cryptocurrency marketing company that deserves a spot in this listing, you could send GoodFirms a name of this agency, and they will consider it in their next update of the list.
We hope this article helped you better understand what type of unique challenges you are going to face when choosing a digital marketing agency for your ICO. These recommended resources, in-depth research and due diligence will help you choose the right digital team and avoid costly mistakes.