While we are in the midst of a fairly long crypto winter, activity from all directions have slowed down. The ICO and STO markets are simply not as hot as they were back in 2017–2018; investors are sceptical about investing into ICOs and STOs.
Because of this situation I want to start this post as a discussion about how to divide your marketing efforts if you are trying to raise funds for an ICO/STO. Is it good to go public with ads or personal outreach or are institutional investors the only option right now?
Well, I asked the owners of top crypto media platforms what they think (This topic is part of the #10kqachallenge series — where I’m interviewing experts in different innovative fields. The goal is to reach out to 10,000 experts and more about the challenge can be found here: formula.geekforge.io). You can see how they answered below.
Please feel free to share your own opinions in the comment section below.
Roger Ver — Chief Executive Officer at bitcoin.com
This seems like a must for any business that is targeting the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
Ofir Beigel — Chairman of 99Bitcoins
With so many ICOs/STOs out there it’s really hard to get noticed by the public. Paid advertising has been and always will be, in my opinion, the quickest and most measurable way to get your message in front of cryptocurrency investors. If you’re not in the handful of offerings everybody has heard about you need to get noticed and crypto media websites is where your target market is. I will say in a side note that perhaps the best place you can spend your budget on aside from ads is probably on ICO/STO listings or getting a dedicated review for your project.
Norbert Radoki — Managing Director at bitcoinist.com
It’s likely that users and potential investors check the daily news about Bitcoin, about price, and the crypto market, in general. So showing up on reputable brand name media sites is not only a great way to get your name out there, but perhaps the only way to get the attention of real cryptocurrency users looking for the next best thing and wanting to share that information.
Liam J. Kelly — Chief Editor & Blockchain Journalist at BTCManager
In 2019, crypto advertisements on major publications should take up a very minimal part of a project’s budget. Readership is not turning to BTCManager, for instance, to read press releases anymore, they want informative pieces on industry news and developments. The era of spam advertising is over, thank goodness.
On Yavin — Founder & CEO at Cointelligence
Yes and no. ICOs are essentially dead in the water right now. If you’re still trying to run an ICO in 2019, you’ll have to dedicate a portion of your advertising budget to crypto media sites, as other sites still have ad bans in place for ICOs. As for STOs, they’re so new that it’s hard to say what would be the best advertising strategy for them. They may not require the same sort of crypto media ad blitz that an ICO needed to have in order to stand out in 2017–2018. STOs may see more benefit in reaching outside of the crypto space and marketing towards more traditional investors, such as VCs. I suspect that a lot of STO marketing will focus more attending funding events rather than on online advertising.
Fran Strajnar — Co-Founder & Chairman at Brave New Coin Limited
As for STOs, given that they are sort of like an IPO, where investor roadshows and other targeted below-the-line marketing strategies are typically used, I would say that yes’,STOs need publicity to reach enough investors but “no”, this doesn’t mean they should spend money on “above-the-line” channels like advertising. Partly because above-the-line adverts would have to contain significant disclosures and disclaimers, i.e. typically you can’t solicit securities to retail investors without warnings and secondly, securities cannot be brokered without various licenses, so money is best spent on surgical efforts like developing relationships with brokers, running a roadshow, speaking at events.
STO founders or exec teams should focus on doing a better job with thought leadership and general brand awareness when utilizing above-the-line advertising strategies.