The launch of any Security Token offering (STO), as well as any self-respecting ICO, needs a marketing plan.
The following are some tips to help people when they want to start planning their marketing campaign with useful advice worth keeping in mind.
Creating the Whitepaper for an STO
It is important to understand the fundamental difference between a whitepaper for an ICO and a whitepaper for an STO. Firstly, project descriptions should be addressed to professional and accredited investors who have already encountered such documents more than once, for example by investing in IPO companies.
And, in this respect, the descriptions should be a mixture of Investment Memorandum (familiar to the venture capital market) from a financial point of view of the project and whitepaper (familiar to the IT community) from a technical point of view, to describe the project.
Simple conceptual praise and promises of a revolution in the industry with a long list of technological advantages, as was often the case with the whitepapers of most ICOs, are not enough and are absolutely meaningless for STO investors.
The launch of the Website
For many investors, the project website will be one of the first points of contact with the project, so it must be well structured and it must address all the basic questions. In short, it should be a kind of hub that represents the company where all the necessary materials and links can be easily found. In addition, it should inspire confidence.
The structure of a successful website is carefully thought out and logically leads the visitor from one block to another, answering one basic question after another, followed by a call to action.
The legal framework for marketing an STO
The legal framework cannot be omitted not only for security regulation but also for marketing.
It is crucial to have lawyers involved at this stage because the latest versions of all materials and marketing strategy depend to a large extent on the regulation of the country where the issuing company is registered and the regulation of the countries where investors are expected to be attracted.
How to launch a marketing campaign
When at least some parts are ready, a marketing campaign can be initiated. Preparations should start before the game, along with the process of creating all the materials, gradually developing a strategy and preparing a springboard for a quick start when the first three elements above are finalized.
In the ICO’s marketing campaign, the main objective was to attract attention and reach as many investors and retail enthusiasts as possible to create a large community, including the use of bounty campaigns and airdrops.
The target audience is different for STOs (although accredited investors have invested in many ICOs). The marketing campaign should focus primarily on experienced financial professionals in the industry.
Therefore, the main objective is to show credibility, present all the benefits and help them conduct the primary due-diligence, without hiding possible risks.
Social media management
Let’s start with social networks. There is no straightforward relationship between working with social networks and attracting professional investors. However, almost all funds pay attention to the dynamics of the project’s popularity, the size of its community and communication within it. In other words, it is rather an indirect factor in estimating the appeal of the project, although it is necessary.
Every social network has its own design requirements and every page of the company must be correctly positioned.
For our clients, we regularly create and update the content plan two weeks in advance and make the posts tailored to social networks from one post per day to one post every two days. Social networking regularity is an important aspect of the SMM strategy.
This involves referring to the answers to the community’s questions in each of the social networks, both in the comments section and in the DMs (direct messages).
Community leaders responsible for this should respond quickly. During the preparation and training of community leaders, an internal FAQ is created in advance, which includes the main questions and answers and is updated regularly throughout the duration of the campaign.
The default response times within our agency, which we put in place for our community managers working with projects, is 2-3 minutes to respond to a personal message or question on Telegram and 5-7 minutes maximum to respond to a comment under a post.
Medium has often closed the blogs of several crypto projects because they were referring to ICOs, trading or airdrops, so it is very important to look for reliable platforms.
The materials published on a blog can also be used in the maintenance of other social networks, where the main posts are usually better suited to the right platform and should also be used on thematic platforms.
The YouTube channel is the place where the potential investor can see the company face to face. There can be standard promotional videos about the company, project and technology, as well as answers to frequently asked questions.
The importance of PR
PR remains one of the most important pillars on which the promotional campaign is structured.
In many regulations, security tokens cannot be advertised directly and this is where potential investors must be attracted through ideas, stories, values, innovative approach and so on. A public relations campaign, like any marketing activity, also needs to be further coordinated and moderated by lawyers.
The ideal time to start PR activities is as soon as possible. Very often, even before the STO announcement, a main database of people interested in the project would be formed in advance.
It is a very important tool in both short and long term strategies. For one thing, email marketing allows targeting potential investors who do not monitor the social networks of the project. Many of them will not always see the social network feed showing some posts that are important for the investor. Moreover, many of the STO investors may not be very active users of social networks, but they certainly use email.
It is important not to be too intrusive. 1-2 emails per week in the initial and average period of the marketing campaign will be more than enough to keep the investor informed about all the events.
Roadshows, conferences and meetings with potential investors
Blockchain and crypto conferences have already achieved success, although there are certain places where it is often impossible to advertise STO/ICO projects directly.
For example, Consensus, the multi-day conference held every year in May in New York City. A large community gathers for such events, where it’s possible to find partners, experts and investors. In addition, there is a separate after-party marketplace around these conferences, often sponsored by the projects themselves.
During these more private and entertaining events, the most interesting networking takes place. However, there is currently no clear market for STO themed conferences.
In the meantime, general and large blockchain conferences with renowned organizers and more experienced speakers can become a suitable venue for project presentations, networking and partnerships.
In this respect, it should be remembered that it is not the number of events that is important but rather choosing precisely the best ones.
Advertising on Google and Facebook
We will not dwell on this topic in detail since the materials promoted on these networks and the advertising campaigns depends largely on the technical and legal component of the project.
However, STO advertising head-on is not effective and is not legal. The targeted and contextual advertising should attract potential investors and users from the project itself, its technologies and its size. Such campaigns should be compiled by professionals and carefully and individually designed for each project, its advantages and its concept. Otherwise, there is an opportunity to waste impressive amounts of money, or even worse, to run into legal problems.
Influencers for an STO
Another effective tool to promote STOs is working with influencers. These are people who have a fairly broad base of followers and are reputable in the industry. They cannot and should not directly advocate for investing in a project, but they should report the positive aspects, mentioning the STO campaign.
In this sector there are four main types of social media influencers: YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Medium.
What can influencers do? They can review projects and technologies, interview and/or do AMA sessions with the founders and the project team, give personal scores and ratings. Sometimes it might be enough to mention the project in their social media.
Obviously, these are some ideas to keep in mind when starting a marketing campaign for an STO, but there are many more.