How to Market an ICO
A 5-step action plan to launch your solution
Action 4: Listing your ICO
You are ready to launch. You published a white paper. You developed a robust, secure, informative project website. Your amazing team is actively engaging on social media. Now you need to think about listing your ICO on multiple rating platforms.
ICO listing websites provide a means to get your offering reviewed, rated, and listed on ICO calendars. Prospective investors frequent these sites before deciding where to invest.
This series of posts, How to Market an ICO: A 5 step action plan to launch your solution, describes a 5-step action plan to market your ICO. The fourth action is to get your offering listed on popular ICO listing sites. In this 4th post find out why and how to list your ICO.
Action 4: Listing your ICO
Although not as influential in the crypto world as it once was, Bitcointalk is still a very important forum for engaging investors. It should be your first stop when listing your offering. Launched in 2009, the forum quickly became a go-to resource for information about cryptocurrencies and all things blockchain, including dedicated ICO panels.
When launching your ICO you should seriously consider creating a Bitcointalk thread. You can find detailed instructions on their website.
Once your Bitcointalk thread is active start looking at listing your ICO on ICO listing sites.
How ICO listing sites work
ICO listing sites provide expert analysis and review of ICOs. Listing sites seek to provide insight, analysis, and information but stop short of giving investment advice You can submit your ICO to be reviewed and listed if approved.
Searching and sorting
All sites place ICOs into 3 categories named something like:
Some add additional categories like:
ICO listing sites evaluate offerings and rate them on inhouse criteria. To get your site listed you must first get it approved. Each site provides a form for details about your project. Fill in the form with transparency and adequate detail.
Each ICO listing site rates projects based on their own ratings systems. Some sites rate offerings on a scale of 1 to 5; others on qualitative terms. A summary of each site’s rating system, where provided, is presented in the sections below.
Some popular ICO listing sites
There is a myriad of ICO listing sites out there, and many articles about the best, the most popular, and the most trusted sites. Your team will have to work out the best sites to list with. Think about your target audience and find sites that attract that audience. You can also enlist the aid of listing agencies that assist with the applications for review, for a price.
The following sections provide a summary of some popular ICO sites. They are presented in no particular order. Please note that there are many quality ICO listing sites not included in the list.
Top ICO List
Top ICO List is an ICO directory that's curated by internal full-time ICO analysts. Their aim is to identify the best potential ICOs for investors.
Top ICO List assesses offerings based on four criteria:
- TEAM - relevant technical, financial, legal, strategy and industry expertise
- PRODUCT/VISION – look for solutions that solve real problems and generate competitive advantages using blockchain technologies
- TOKEN AND TOKEN ECONOMICS - benefits tokens provide for the early investors and end users; token economics that make sense
- MARKETING AND COMMUNITY - visibility and supporter base of the project.
They have a Top Picks page that lists their top picks of upcoming ICOs. Go for Gold here!
ICO Bench defines itself as a free ICO rating platform and a blockchain community, supported by experts, that provides analytical, legal, and technical insights to investors.
ICO Bench rates offerings with both an inhouse assessment algorithm and the analysis of an independent team of experts. The assessment algorithm rates ICOs in four areas:
- TEAM – a good team is key to success
- ICO INFORMATION – investors need quality information about the offering
- PRODUCT PRESENTATION - investors need to know about the product and post-ICO plans and goals for the future
- MARKETING AND SOCIAL MEDIA – open communication is key to any ICO campaign
Experts analyzing an offering are asked to rate the ICO on similar criteria: Team, Product, Business Strategy, and Resilience. Projects receive a rating between 1 and 5, 5 being best.
ICO Hot List describes itself as an independently curated catalog of the most promising active and upcoming ICOs. Providing a catalog of opinions, reviews, and historical data, ICO HotList seeks to maintain authenticity in the crypto space by being an independent and honest source of information.
Every project listed is individually reviewed, using publicly available material. ICO Hot List analyzes each project, based on:
- the technology,
- the viability of the idea,
- the tokenomics and sale structure,
- the hype and participation risks,
- legal strategy and vigilance, and
- the members of the team, advisory board, and notable partnerships.
CoinSchedule provides all of the blockchain-related information people need in one place. The website aims to provide an intuitive and fast web platform for people to interact with the blockchain community. There is a recently added Chat forum that is free to join. Paid subscribers gain access to expanded features.
CoinSchedule developed an algorithm, TrustScore™, with scientists from the University of Oxford. The algorithm assesses the project, adding a layer of independent intelligence to their rating system. They claim TrustScore™ is immune to manipulation thereby helping people more effectively navigate the blockchain space and make better decisions.
The mission of ICO Rating, as found on their website, is to serve as a source of accurate, unbiased analysis of the crypto market, helping to make informed decisions and stay up to date on the latest market trends.
On their ICO listing page, projects are assessed and assigned a risk score and a hype score. The risk-score assesses the risk of potentially fraudulent activities. The higher the risk-score, the less information there is on the details of the ICO campaign, product development, the team, and the documentation. The hype score shows the investor level of interest in the project. The higher the score, the more people might consider the project for future investments.
Under the Analytics tab, ICO Rating provides more in-depth analysis of selected projects for investors. Projects are rated as: Stable, Risky, Negative
SMITH + CROWN
Smith + Crown claims to be the world's leading blockchain research organization. They study the public blockchain space with a focus on global trends, industry intelligence, and crypto-economic systems.
Smith + Crown maintains both a curated and comprehensive list of ongoing and upcoming ICOs. Their review involves several tiers of research, undertaken at their own discretion. They don’t perform in-depth research on every project. They provide the curated list as a service to the community and do not accept payment for listing.
Factors used to assess projects for inclusion in the Smith + Crown curated list are:
- TEAM - transparent and verifiable identities with existing development expertise.
- STATE OF DEVELOPMENT - public project code or working minimal viable projects; also consider pre-product stage projects with detailed white papers and modest raise amounts.
- WHITEPAPER – must provide detailed information about the business plan and the proposed technology
ICO listing websites provide a means to get your offering reviewed, rated, and listed on ICO calendars. You want your offering where prospective investors find their information, information they use to decide to invest in your project.
Start with a Bitcointalk forum thread. Then list on as many rating platforms as you and the team think is required to bring in investors.
In the 5th post in the series, How to Market an ICO: A 5 step action plan to launch your solution, we’ll look at paying to advertise your offering in: Action 5: ICO paid advertising.
Are you looking for a content writer for your ICO?
I understand the technology behind your product, your solution. I can translate that complexity into easy-to-read content for your prospective investors.