Preparation for an ICO

ICO (“Initial Coin Offering”) is an important step for any company that wishes to integrate blockchain into their business and attract extra funding on development of their idea. However, since ICO has become such a hype today and we need to acknowledge and address the difficulties related to this process, it has become obvious that professional guidance is important. Token sale is a very important event for any company and the volume of collected funding may well have an impact on the roadmap of the company’s business development for many years ahead. In this post we will share our experience and explain what the preparation of a company for a token sales should include.

Although there is never sufficient time to get prepared for an ICO, companies endeavour to finalize the preparation within 3 months time. The preparation for an ICO can be divided into 3 large phases: research, Whitepaper creation and promotion.

1. Research

Research is a key stage of your project. Its purpose is to define what blockchain can bring to your project, which role token will have, and most importantly, how it all should work.

Keep in mind four major outcomes you need to achieve:
  • Market analysis of similar ICO projects, i.e. best practices in the in the area of business your project can relate to; 
  • Decentralized architecture of the product; 
  • Token economy, i.e. how token is used, who can purchase token, the size of transaction fees, etc. 
  • Crowdsale estimation, which includes token sale model (cap, token distribution, bonus model, prices) and token sale structure development (phases & duration) 
As a result of the Research stage you have your Technical (or Yellow) paper written.

2. Whitepaper

Once you have a well-developed technical concept, you should start with the transformation of your product architecture into a sales document (One-pager and White paper) in compliance with the standards of crypto-industry.

The main objective of the White paper is to inform the community which problems in the industry your product and team will solve, which solution you propose for which issues, and how your project will contribute to the development of blockchain technology and your area of business.

A White paper includes a compelling market research with an indication of best practices and a competitive environment analysis. Such a document will provide justification for the use of blockchain since it is an essential element of the project. It will give a comprehensive overview of all possible use cases related to the product, a roadmap of product development as well as a presentation and a description of the experience of the team. Both the details of token sale and the token economy should be described as clearly as possible. 

In a White paper the technical design of the project is finalised and is presented in a structured and transparent way so that it raise the interest of potential investors by providing answers to their possible questions and by removing any uncertainties.

3. Promotion

Promotion is the most expensive part of your ICO campaign. The main objective is to give exposure to your project and to raise interest of the crypto community in your project. It includes PR, marketing and SMM as well as a road show.

However unique and technically well-prepared the project may be, the project can not be duly promoted without effective marketing and PR activities in order to attract attention of potential investors.

The promotion for ICO will have to cover the periods as from the moment when the product or idea is created up to the moment when the token sale is over. Knowing that today the number of upcoming and ongoing ICOs are beating a record and it is hard to stand out it does matter how much money will be spent on it. But what is really important is to spend the money on the right channels in the right time.

Let us take the following case: you are just starting with your project. Even at this stage you need to pitch as much as possible to potential investors. It is important to define your audience and a strategy to work towards community. Right targeting is key, but it functions only when multiple channels work in combination. PR should go hand in hand with your community activation. 

One way to do so is community management, or working directly with your project channels such as Telegram, Facebook or Reddit. Here it is important that users receive replies frequently and you have well-equipped moderators to manage communication.

Hidden marketing is one more effective though often an underestimated tool. Through stimulating discussions and giving feedback on the forums from non-affiliated with your project accounts potential investors can get the right message about your project. 

Together with that you can start Performance Marketing, Display Marketing, PR and targeting audience on Facebook and Instagram.

That’s about general marketing tools. How about the tools specific to crypto-community?

Bounty Campaign is a widely used tactic. It is a general promotional activity, based on distributing a fixed percentage of sold tokens for the campaign participants, based on their activities. Every activity is attributed a certain amount of "stakes". Their value is determined by the total amount of activities done, as well as a number of tokens sold during the tokensale event. Therefore, for a fixed percentage of tokens users are encouraged to promote the campaign.

Before ICO it is highly important to get listed on all major trackers (so start well in advance) and get published in major crypto media. With joint efforts of Marketing and community activation you will let a bigger community know about your project.

Last but not least, get ready for the round of roadshow and choose the right spokesperson to represent the project and the Team. Networking is everything when it comes to any business but for ICO and blockchain especially since the community here is relatively closed.

It is hard to overestimate the importance of a good preparation for an ICO. Only a very limited time of 3 months is given to a team in order to inform the community about the value of its product and to convince contributors to invest in the project. In addition to the professional approach of the team, it is also important to establish good contacts with the crypto- platforms (forums, trackers, media publications) and influencers in crypto-community.

Preparation takes a lot of effort so it is critical to secure coordinated teamwork. To get right direction within blockchain and ensure your message reaches the audience in the right time it is often good to get professional support and expertise rather than bare everything on your own shoulders. Let us know how we can help you to reach your goals via [email protected]


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