In one of the most widely discussed stories in cryptocurrency, Telegram canceled their public ICO offering after raising over $1.7 billion in Private ICO Sale from less than 200 private sale investors.
Telegram is a hugely popular, widely used messaging app that the cryptocurrency community relies on to relay updates to stakeholders and followers. It also provides a venue for public discourse on various projects and issues within the cryptocurrency world, and particularly during and about ICOs.
$1.7 billion is significantly more than any other company has raised to date in private blockchain money. How did Telegram attract such a strong following of accredited investors for their ICO private funding?
They started with a solid, well-publicized product. It helps that the product is the most prolific communication platform in cryptocurrency. The only other platform that comes close is Medium, but because it holds a different space in the community, they aren’t really even competitors.
But unfortunately, there is more to attracting investors with private blockchain money than being really good at what you do. And the good news is, through the SEC’s Regulation S, previously banned advertising is legal in the U.S. Here is a brief list of the components that are necessary for an effective marketing strategy.
- Professionally tailored brand design, including a highly functional website. This is essential, not to initially attract investors, but to prove that your product is here to stay, and you are willing and able to invest the time and energy into collaborating with an internal marketing team to ensure that your product story is accurate and compelling.
- Social media marketing through a range of platforms. Posting pithy pseudo-updates on Twitter every couple of weeks is not enough. Does your leadership team have comprehensive, professional, yet real LinkedIn profiles? Is your team well versed in using Telegram, Medium, and other communication methods outside the realm of email to stay connected to your stakeholders and generate interest in your project?
- Well Presented Conference Presenceat events like Blockchain Week, BlockShow, and other trade venues. This does not mean you need to host $1 million cocktail parties and invite Nick Szabo as your keynote. But do have a presence, actively participate in conference events, and have well designed, professional literature available at the conference.
- Strong and relevant articles and content that is consistently maintained and of high quality in leading news outlets and crypto suites. This is a critical piece in establishing yourself as a legitimate ICO and a potential Private Sale or Pre-Sale that investors would be interested in. If your brand is not easily searchable if you are not contributing as a thought leader prior to, during, and after your Private Placement ICO, your brand loses validity. You don’t have to be an established crypto guru. But you do need to be engaged, mindful, and eager to share your knowledge and ideas.
- Track exposure through Reddit, Steemit, Slack, and Bitcointalk. This is a great way to not only put content out there and interact with the community but also to get real exposure data to show investors and stakeholders.
Especially if you are a developer, founder, or otherwise engaged in the foundational framework of your ICO project going to Private Placement, this can seem overwhelming. The participation of a marketing team that has experience with Private Funding and ICO Private Placement can be a gamechanger for you.