Understanding the features and mechanics of marketing tools in the ICO market is no simple task. In an interview with DeCenter, the founder of the Qmarketing agency, Roman Kumar Vias, spoke about the ways of promoting ICOs, what you need to pay attention to when you hype up projects, and on which platforms it is best to interact with investors.

Let's start with the main news of the month, the ban on Telegram. What do you think about it? Do you use this messenger yourself?

Yes, of course, I use Telegram. For those who are indifferent to state prohibitions, I recommend using Telegram through VPN. Just click on the two buttons and stay connected. In general, it is unclear how this story will develop.

What, in this case, should managers do to conduct their projects in Telegram channels?

To be honest, I do not think that many users will leave Telegram. Most likely, 20% of the entire audience will leave the messenger. The most active and adequate people will remain. As for those who maintain their channels, I would just in case advise them to create additional accounts on other social networks. An analysis will still have to be conducted. If in a month the audience of Telegram dwindles greatly, that is, more than 30% of users leave the messenger, then it makes sense to switch to other messengers. If the audience remains, then you can safely continue to work in Telegram.

You said that you need to create alternative platforms. Which channels, in your opinion, should the founders of ICO projects pay attention to?

For publications, LJ is good, but I think that very few people will want to return there. This story is for generation X, rather than for the youth. Tumblr, Medium can be used as channels of content consumption. I would look at new marketing DMPs and teaser grids. At the moment, cases with bloggers are more of a bad than a good way of advertising. Probably, someday they will be able to work normally for the ICOs. So far, bloggers are putting up a fairly large price tag, and in terms of how much money their blog generates, as a rule, investing in it is not worth it. Facebook or Google are much more important.

What are the options for messengers?

If we talk about Russia, I would advise using Signal, because it is safe there. WhatsApp, unfortunately, does not have a desktop version. Plus, the lion's share of messages comes via Facebook Messenger. I know that soon Join Chat will be released, an instant messenger that will allow you to monetize content and manage the community, especially within the goals that are pursued by the ICOs. Apparently, the developers of Join Chat are very happy now that their main competitor was blocked.

Is it worth collaborating with the media? Some people think that the media is the last century, that nobody is interested in this, nobody reads it.

No, cooperation with the media is 100% necessary. In the future, most likely, all traditional forms of text will go to video, because the new generation is not used to reading. But, I am sure that the media will live on for a long time. Perhaps this form of media does not create a lot of traffic, but through PR publications you can reach the target audience you need and use targeted advertising tools to set up ads on Facebook. In addition, it is good to interact with the media in terms of partnerships. For example, we had a case, when thanks to one publication in Kommersant, we ranked second for pretty high-volume keywords. And a blog in the media with PR publications can seriously raise the conversion by 50% from the current rate. Therefore, PR is a very important thing.

Is the marketing of conventional startups different from the marketing of ICO projects? Are there any characteristics?

Yes, the marketing of ICO projects is more aggressive, it is short term, and simultaneously it is necessary to launch advertising campaigns for the whole world. For a regular product, marketing is conducted within one, at most two or three countries. In ICO marketing, you need to act quickly. And there an unspoken rule that says if you're thinking about whether to do something or not in marketing an ICO, then it is better to do it because otherwise there is a risk that the project will not work out.

What are the main problems arising from the coverage of a large number of countries?

Any team needs to have legal advice, a consultation of lawyers to advise on certain legal norms, as the laws in all countries are different. If the laws are not respected, they can block the advertising office. Therefore, it is necessary to legally verify all information about the possibility of advertising.

In addition, it is necessary to do your homework and research on how advertising works in each country, what are the patterns of behavior of people and so on. This helps us a lot with the definition of the development vector of the entire advertising campaign. So, for example, recently we built a marketing concept for South Korea, where people have a completely different attitude toward creativity. Koreans love more extraordinary content and a combination of people with animals. Therefore, we had to change all the advertising and reformat it into a more psychedelic form.

It should also be understood that if we are advertising for a certain country, then it may not be suitable for the entire region, the continent in which this country is located. After all, in Japan, unlike South Korea, things are very different, although it is an Asian audience too. Therefore, before starting a campaign in another country, in order to increase the conversion, it is necessary to compile a psychological portrait of a potential user and to study his creativity, habits, and cultural values. This can seriously increase your conversion.

How do you identify and form your own audience, which will be interested in the project and will not migrate?

Content marketing in this sense is very helpful, especially at a time when Facebook and Google are going to block direct advertising of all businesses related to cryptocurrency. In order to attract a normal community, you need to sell the idea to them. Often, crypto sites are monotonous in their execution and cannot sell their idea. Therefore, you need to look for more cunning ways. And the content, in particular, articles that are written and placed in the media, or on the blog, are just working to sell this goal. The only peculiarity is that the usual community is much more complicated than the community of crypto investors who just want to get their Xs on the day of entering the exchange. We conducted analytics about the rallying of the community, and 90% of the questions were as follows: "When will the project be listed on the exchange? When will the project be listed on a large exchange?". Although it would be much more reasonable to ask about the product roadmap. It turns out that the most part of the community, most likely, are not fans of your product or idea, but simply those who want to make money as soon as possible on speculation.

There are many ways to develop a startup. How to understand what kind of strategy your project needs? It is clear now that you need to focus on the country. So what next?

If we talk about the marketing strategy of a normal startup, then first we need to study the market, see if there are any analogs. If not, then ask yourself a fair question. "Why? Why did no one in the world think of such a thing? Were there any prerequisites for this?". Then it is necessary to competently study all the competitors, through SimilarWeb find out the structure of their traffic, and analyze the number of orders. Then you determine your target audience. What these people do, where they hang out, how they are interested in your project, and whether these people are ready to invest in your project. Next, you need to locate yourself and your product properties on the matrix of competitors, understand how you will be differing from them, and what you will say to a particular segment of people. And only after that, it makes sense to test different channels, conduct small tests on the quality of work there, constantly optimize, change creatives and eventually, after a large number of hypotheses, you can find normally working channels in which your project can be scaled.

How do you promote the project after the ICO and consistently draw interest from investors? Is there life after the ICO?

Of course there is. To do this, the project should have a good, professional community manager who will take care of the regulation of the relationship within the investor community, raise the temperature of these relations and will be constantly in touch. Community managers are the direct translator of the company's news. These people must necessarily be present on the network so that investors do not have suspicions or doubts about your honesty (this applies to those who want to be honest). Plus, you need the right direction of the product roadmap, where you can, for example, organize sessions with the founders and keep in touch with the community. If you always keep investors informed, make it so that investors become part of the team and see their involvement in the project, then your business will live long and prosper.