How to Market an ICO | Ep. #597

In episode #597, Eric and Neil discuss how you should market an ICO. Tune in to hear tips on how to approach marketing this new industry.


  • [00:27] Today’s Topic: How to Market an ICO
  • [00:33] An ICO is an “Initial Coin Offering”.
  • [00:36] A lot of people are releasing cryptocurrencies.
  • [01:03] If you are a marketing agency, when working with an ICO, you have to “cover your ass”.
  • [01:55] Some of the ICO’s have bad websites.
  • [02:21] They’re using bad animations and insider lingo that doesn’t help to further their business.
  • [02:40] You will do much better if you don’t use insider lingo and instead create a simplistic video explaining your product and its value.
  • [03:10] Keep it simple!
  • [03:17] ICO are now maxing out their Telegram groups (which means they have more than 75,000 people in that group).
  • [03:45] One way to grow your telegram group is to blast your email list. Eric did this when working with Polygram.
  • [04:00] The first email drove people to the Telegram group.
  • [04:15] They also airdropped tokens for free because of referral programs, etc.
  • [04:44] Celebrity endorsements aren’t the best idea. Instead, use crypto-influencers, as they draw in the right type of customer.
  • [05:20] Right now, there are a lot of people writing white papers. You want the write type of people writing these (professors, influencers, etc.).
  • [06:00] You can use Inbound Junctions to create press for your ICO.
  • [06:07] Leverage email lists.
  • [06:10] Promote partnerships with other ICO’s.
  • [06:15] Create a Reddit channel.
  • [06:31] Engagement is so important.
  • [06:50] Have people manage communities and chat rooms.
  • [07:12] Facebook has banned any sales ads referencing cryptocurrency.
  • [07:53] That’s all for today!
  • [07:55] Go to for a special marketing tool giveaway!

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The post How to Market an ICO | Ep. #597 appeared first on Marketing School Podcast.

Full Transcript of The Episode

Speaker 1: Get ready for your daily dose of marketing strategies and tactics from entrepreneurs with the guile and experience to help you find success in any marketing capacity. You're listening to Marketing School with your instructors Neil Patel and Eric Siu.

Eric Siu: Welcome to another episode of Marketing School. I'm Eric Siu.

Neil Patel: And I'm Neil Patel.

Eric Siu: And today we're going to talk about how you can market an ICO. Neil, first and foremost, what is an ICO?

Neil Patel: ICO is Initial Claim Offering. A lot of people are releasing tokens like you're seeing Bitcoin and Ethereum. They're using things like Ethereum and building off on top of it and raising money. Kick was an example. At telegram, they just did a huge [crosstalk 00:00:49].

Eric Siu: Eight fifty.

Neil Patel: Eight fifty. They're goal is to do two hundred billion dollars. They just raised eight hundred and fifty million with a goal of two hundred billion. These are all examples of ICOs.

Eric Siu: Yeah, so let's talk about this in the context of a marketing agency first. We do help blockchain companies but if you're a marketing agency or you're trying to help people with an ICO you kind of have to cover your ... This is actually really a broad topic but you have to kind of CYA, Cover Your Ass first. Neil was gracious enough to introduce me to his lawyer that actually specializes in the blockchain space but a lot of these people that are marketing ICO right now, they are just basically copying other people where they will take lets say 25 Ethereum or 25 Bitcoin and then they'll say, "Oh, we'll also take 3% of the offside."
Let's say Neil raised a hundred million dollars on his Neil Token and I take 3% offside, that's three million dollars right there. Here's the thing, you actually cannot do that, at least in the United States because if Neil Token gets in trouble, you as a marketer get in trouble as well. I'm talking about this in the context of you helping to market an ICO but if you're looking to market an ICO I'll give the table stake stuff.
Everyone is running ads on where all the attention is right now so sites like Coin Market Cap and then there's all these other, like these Chinese websites, they all look like they're from, well frankly the sites look like they're from the '90s and so that's where the attention is. Clear Market Cap a couple months ago, that ad, if you wanted to buy it for 30 days, five hundred grand. Now it's up to 1.8 million dollars. Probably even more than that.

Neil Patel: Yeah, but to go back you made a point about their websites looking really old like from the '90s. They're using all these crazy animations and shit that people don't understand. They're also using all this lingo on their webpage that most people don't understand. Keep in mind, yes, you're doing an ICO but the majority of the world doesn't even know what Bitcoin is. They may have heard of it but they don't know what it is. Don't use all this mumbo jumbo blockchain lingo on your website. Get rid of all of it. Yes, you will do better if you don't have any of that. I've analyzed the space, I've seen all the data, I've looked at all the people with the highest market caps, just remove all of it from your website. One you remove it, create a very simplistic video that outlines why you're around, why people need to use you and why you're on the blockchain. By keeping things super simple you're going to get people to understand your product, they're much more likely to invest or give you money.

Eric Siu: Yeah, so keep it, keep it stupid, right, and the other thing is, there's a couple things to look at from a foundational perspective when you're looking at ICO. A lot of these people right now they're looking at maxing out their group. As of today I believe that you can max out your telegram group to about 75,000 people.

Neil Patel: More.

Eric Siu: It's probably even more now right?

Neil Patel: More. It's over 100.

Eric Siu: Now it's over 100.

Neil Patel: [Esperium 00:03:29] is the largest telegram group of like a hundred and something thousand if I'm not mistaken.

Eric Siu: A couple weeks ago it was at 50,000, then it jumped up to 75,000, not it's 100,000 right. That's one thing to look at. People are looking at growing their telegram group but look at growing your email list too. The mail list-

Neil Patel: Let's go back to telegram group. What's one way that people grow their telegram group? You worked with a company called [Polymap 00:03:51] and what did they do to grow their telegram group?

Eric Siu: We hit our email list. What we did was we grew, we ran adds from Coin Market Cap. We got a lot of attention there and then it grew to email lists and from the email lists the first introduction to email was driving people to the telegram. And also when they opted in on the thank you page because people were excited, all the [inaudible 00:04:07] we're talking about actually apply to this, people will opt in there too.

Neil Patel: And you guys also did an air drop, which is was probably one of the biggest things.

Eric Siu: We did. That's what caused it to grow a lot because the air drop caused a lot of people to, well it gets people excited. They want a piece of the ICO.

Neil Patel: For those of you guys who aren't familiar with air drops, air drop is giving someone a token for free in exchange for them doing something. Joining your telegram group, referring a friend, whatever it may be. Again, check this all out with your legal counsel. There's a lot of different laws in different countries. You want to make sure you're not breaking any laws by doing any of this kind of stuff.
The other thing a lot of people get like the Floyd Mayweather's to promote their ICOs. It's not the smartest idea. If you're going to get people to promote, hit up all the crypto influencers. That's people within the blockchain space. They drive way more volume and the right type of crowd versus just the average Joe who may hear about you or that can hear about you and you've got all this traffic that doesn't end up converting but go after the crypto influencers and get them to review whatever you are that you're doing and what makes you unique. And a lot of them are looking for more content.

Eric Siu: Yeah, so the thing with ICO now, at least for right now, there's a lot of people writing these white papers. These white papers, a lot of these people, Neil just talked about influencers, it's important to have also the right advisor. If you're doing the education token, you want to have the right education advisors too. It could be somebody that is from Harvard or Coursera or Con Academy or whatever. You want to have the right advisors. Neil, you've seen this in the past too.

Neil Patel: I've seen it in the past. Advisors help. They can give you good advice. To recap, Eric and I talked about a few things. Simple website, simple video, clear messaging, avoid using mumbo jumbo jargoning terms, build up a telegram group, do air drops. You also want to create press. You can create press using [inaudible 00:06:02] from Inbound Junction specialized in press for ICOs. He's amazing. You also want to be leveraging email lists to promote telegrams, signing up. You can work out partnerships with other people who have done ICOs because they already have telegram groups. Message them as well. Another big one that a lot of people forget is Reddit groups. We talked about influencers but also creating that Reddit channel and having a place where people can go and communicate and list their questions and someone being there to answer them. That also helps out really well. Another one that we didn't talk about much but we did in previous episodes is engaging. With the polymath group you guys have how many members in the telegram?

Eric Siu: 50,000-ish.

Neil Patel: Okay, so 50,000 members. Probably how many people are posting each day? How many messages?

Eric Siu: I didn't look. It's too many.

Neil Patel: It's like over a 1,000. It's something ridiculous. You need people managing these chat rooms, these communities and engaging with people. If you don't have that you're going to be shit out of luck. Engaging is very very very important. Just don't put stuff out there, engage.

Eric Siu: The final thing I'll add from my side, I mean we can just go down this rabbit hole but I think we'll save more for later because we like to have more episodes. If you look at Facebook, Facebook has banned talking of crypto, bitcoin, all this kind of stuff right now because nobody's sure what's going to on. Actually my relative who works for the IRS he's like, "Yeah, they're going to start cracking down soon." The government, you can bet your ass that they're looking at this stuff right now. You can do it on Google right now. That's one of the platforms you can do it on.
I don't know about the others but Facebook has paused right now because it's just such an uncertain kind of area right now and they want to wait until people figure out what the hell is going on before they jump back into it. It's still very much the wild wild west right now. If you're looking to get into this space, you're way ahead. You definitely are an early adopter. It's not too late but you have to be doing the right thing and if you're looking to market these people, you have to cover your ass. Anyway, before we go check out to check out our daily giveaway and we'll see you tomorrow.

Speaker 1: This session of Marketing School has come to a close. Be sure to subscribe for more daily marketing strategies and tactics to help you find the success you've always dreamed of. And don't forget to rate and review so we can continue to bring you the best daily content possible. We'll see you in class tomorrow right here on Marketing School.

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