Let’s face it, any business is only as good as its marketing effort. This fact is true whether your product is a new line of deodorant or a startup cryptocurrency venture.

Effective marketing is a concept that gets lost in many initial coin offerings (ICO). The obsession with cryptocurrency is facing some public blowback as well as potential regulations, especially in the U.S. What this means for those considering starting their own ICO is the need to shift thinking and consider the story behind the token.

What is Behind That Token?

Despite the media hype, startups understand that an ICO isn’t really about creating currency. At least not in a traditional sense. Selling a token is a way to crowdfund a technological venture. It is the story behind the company that drives investors to the exclusive market associated with the token.

The Story Behind the ICO

A marketing focus that exploits only the token gets lost in a sea of similar ventures. Without the story to generate interest, there is no network effect to advance the token forward in the marketplace. Your company becomes just one more Ethereum developer looking to take advantage of what appears to the public as a very rocky trend.

Successful ICO marketing tactics make it clear that the investment is not the token itself, but the company and idea driving its efforts. It’s not a cash grab, but a chance to get in on the ground floor of something with real potential.

Through the story, developers can shift the public perception of cryptocurrencies, giving them less of mist-like feel and more substance.

Marketing Strategies for an ICO

By June 2017, ICOs raised more than 550 million dollars in funding. That surpasses what was raised in traditional venture capital funding. Why? In part because VC based startups all fight for the same investment funding. ICOs open the market up and allow small investors access to what was previously out of their reach.

However, like VC funding, ICOs require an effective pitch that includes details about the product, company founders and financial forecasting of the project. ICOs also require marketing tactics like white papers, social media campaigns, and a community of investors looking to get the word out.

The ability to engage your market large and small is just as crucial with ICOs as it is with venture capital funding.

Focus more on building a legacy with your ICO brand and less on providing investors with access to fast cash. Look to build velocity that is stable and long-lasting to expand the network for the token. Offer metrics that give investors a realistic and transparent view of the ICO and the project behind it.

More than anything else, learn to tell your story in a way that makes everyone want to be a lasting part of that future.