The ICO Marketing Bible: A Step by Step Guide

Of the 902 ICOs in 2017, only 435 succeeded- which means 52% of all the ICOs last year failed. The competition is real.

I can tell you for fact that you need a multi-faceted approach to your ICO marketing.

And why?

Because with a strategic approach to their ICO and launch, projects like EOS have raised billions in investment. Heck- niche projects like Dragon, which is a decentralized currency for casinos, raised 320 million in investment.

We review and analyze crypto projects every day.

And today, I’m going to detail common elements in all of the successful ICOs we come across, and how you can set up your own multi-faceted marketing plan.

Step by step.

Nothing held back.

Table of Contents

  1. ICO Marketing – Getting Started With the Fundamentals for Your ICO Launch
    1. A Well-Designed Website
    2. ICO Landing Pages
    3. Original Whitepaper
    4. Advisory Team
    5. Project Goals and Aims
    6. Multi-Language
    7. Strategic Partnerships with Established Corporations
  2. 7 Kickass Marketing Strategies for a Succesful ICO
    1. Media Outreach and PR
    2. Press Releases
    3. Guest Posts and Articles
    4. ICO Listings and Ratings
    5. Bounty Programs
    6. Conferences and Meetups
    7. Community Building
      1. Facebook
      2. Telegram
      3. Twitter
      4. Reddit
      5. Forums
      6. Quora
      7. Youtube
      8. LinkedIn
      9. Medium

ICO Marketing – Getting Started With the Fundamentals for Your ICO Launch

The industry is rampant with scams. The first thing on your list should be differentiating yourself from the rest?

But how?

By having all the elements that big-name projects have. Let’s take a look at what these elements are and how you can go about setting them up:

1. A Well-Designed Website

I know. Sounds like generic advice.

But you’d be astonished at the number of ICOs that have super shitty websites and crappy designs. Most scam ICOs I’ve come across had crappy designs.

The website is the first thing that prospective investors check out when they’re interested in your project. Having a good mobile-optimized design is one of the very basics that you should take care of first.

Take a look at the designs of Hdac and Filecoin, both successful ICOs:

ICO marketing

Roll up your sleeves and code a good looking website that’s both mobile optimized and fast.

2. ICO Landing Pages

Our aim is to run a multi-faceted campaign across several channels. It is imperative that we get all our prospects onto an email list (I think chatbots are better- I’ll give you an example at the end of the guide) so that we can build a community around them and send them updates about our ICO and launches.

You will need landing pages for several purposes:

  1. Newsletter signups for project updates
  2. Community signups
  3. Ad signups

And you need a landing page for this that’s both attention-grabbing and well designed.

You can always use a drag and drop page builder for this- I like to use Simvoly or the templates in my WP theme (If you’re thinking about chatbots, I use Manychat to set up landing pages).

However, you need to split test for conversions. There’s no way around this. It should be done to make sure you get as many people to signup.

I like to use Google Optimize. I’ve covered everything about setting up up Google Optimize in epic detail in this post.

Test out a different image and copy variations to get more signups. Your page should have a conversion rate of at least 15%.

3. Original Whitepaper

Yet another textbook base fundamental for ICOs. It’s imperative that you have a whitepaper- an original non-plagiarized whitepaper.

It’s funny how whitepapers of most ICO scams fail plagiarization tests.

And I promise you- most seasoned investors actually read the whitepaper and analyze it. I know I do.

Check out the whitepapers of some of the successful ICOs like EOS, Filecoin, Tezos etc to get an idea of how in-depth and detailed your whitepaper should be.

The key is to convey you the message and goals effectively, and outline your project- its okay to get technical, but make sure you explain things in laymen’s terms too- all investors aren’t coders.

4. Advisory Team

This isn’t just about how prospective investors perceive your project. Having an expert advisory team will help you a lot in overcoming the obstacles you’re likely to face along the way.

It’s an unregulated new market. You will need advice. These are folks who’ve done it before. They can help you.

But how do you go about finding an advisory team?

The common myth is that advisors get on board seeing how ambitious the project is.

That’s not true.

Smart ICO teams seek out established expert advisors and get them on board.

Here’s a super simple way to go about doing it:

  1. Put together a list of well-known experts in your niche.
  2. Find their email addresses.
  3. Shoot them all an email and ask them if they’d like to get on board your advisory team. Ask them if they’d have some time to talk.
  4. Talk, introduce your project, share your goals and ambitions, ask them if they can help

That’s easier said than done, but I used exactly the same process to find my mentors.

5. Project Goals and Aims

Have a well-detailed inspiring project goal. Show it everywhere you can- on your website, social profiles, and brochures.

Here’s how Tezos details their goal on the home page:

ICO Marketing

And here’s the vision of Sirin Labs:

6. Multi-Language

Another textbook feature for ICOs.

The one thing about the crypto world is how it is increasingly getting adopted in non-English speaking countries like China and Korea.

Needless to say, a good chunk of trading and investing is from these countries, and it’s important that you consider at least having your official website in multiple languages so that you can engage non-English speakers.

And again- this is a feature that most successful ICOs launches have had.

7. Strategic Partnerships with Established Corporations

Have you noticed how some blockchain startups build a lot of hype by announcing partnerships and integrations with major corporations and brands like IOTA did about their initiatives with biggies like Accenture, Microsoft, and PWC?

Ripple, in fact, gained immense traction just because they announced how major banking corporations were using their network.

Strategic partnerships build trust.

But partnership deals won’t come to you.

You need to seek them out.

They don’t need to be giant corporations. Just focus on brands that have a name in the market in your niche.

Think about how you can help.

Say you’re a digital currency for casinos. Get some well-known casinos on board. That’ll give you more social proof that any other marketing strategy.

Once you have a few partnerships in your bucket, showcase them on your homepage.

Ever wondered why agencies and companies show logos of well-known clients on the homepage? (we have them too!) It’s because it builds trust and credibility.

Now that we’ve covered the fundamentals, let’s go hardcore.

7 Kickass Marketing Strategies for a Succesful ICO

1. Media Outreach and PR

Traditional media and PR is still one of the best ways to build hype about your ICO.

Why?

Because although new crypto publications are cropping up every day, they still have low readership compared to big media outlets. Getting a placement on these outlets can get you a lot more eyeballs than focusing on the crypto specific publications.

Do you remember the day when Ashton Kutcher donated money to Ellen Degeneres’ charity fund live on her show via Ripple? That one episode introduced Ripple’s peer to peer money transfer technology to the masses and did wonders for the company. You don’t need to go that big (Ripple donated 4 Million).

You can focus on newspapers and online press.

And here’s how you can reach out:

I like to use Mailshake for all my outreach:

Once you’ve filtered all the relevant media and PR prospects in a Google sheet (with names and emails) download it as a CSV.

Log in to Mailshake, and create a new campaign:

Name the campaign as you like and set the from address (you’ll have to connect and authenticate your Gmail account for that):

Upload the CSV file that we just download from Google sheets (or drag and drop one) to the box:

Then map the column names in the uploaded CSV to the appropriate columns in Mailshake:

Next, let’s draft the outreach template and the followup emails.

This is the template that I like to use (imagine that Unblock is a blockchain tech company working to educate blockchain enthusiasts):

Hey {{Name}},

How’s everything at {{Company name or Location}}? Loved your recent take on {{comment on their latest post on the publication}}.

My name is Adi, and I head the growth for Unblock.net. We’re an ambitious group of folks trying to democratize blockchain education via blockchain technology. I’m sure you’ve come across several promising projects in this space, but we’re {{Comment about your biggest USP}}.

Here’s our whitepaper.

Our advisory team includes {{Big name in the industry 1}}, {{Big name in the industry 2}} and {{{Big name in the industry 3}}, and we also {{comment about any big partnerships/achievements}}.

I thought I’d reach out because we have a launch coming up next month, and I was wondering if you found our project worthy enough for some coverage.

What do you think?

Cheers,

Adi Suja

Founder

{{ICO Website Link}}

You can save some time for personalization if you enter all the required fields in the prospects google sheet itself before importing into Mailshake.

And here’s a follow-up template I like to use:

Hey {{Name}},

I understand that you may be receiving hundreds of pitches a day. Would you have 5 minutes sometime this week to talk about how our project is different from most blockchain startups in this space?

Cheers,

Adi Suja

Founder

{{ICO Website Link}}

It’s a good idea to follow up multiple times but vary your template. You don’t want to piss off Gmail’s spam filters. And keep the daily sending limit below 150. You can technically send up to 2000 emails a day with a Gsuite account, but it’s best that you keep it below 150 for optimal deliverability.

2. Press Releases

Believe it or not, good ole’ press releases still work?

Most press release website networks have a lot of domain authority and bring in organic traffic to releases they publish.

They’re so strong that Google publicly declared that they would penalize press release link building. PR networks now no-follow outgoing links.

Go for authentic providers rather than the ones who promise publication- they’re just syndication networks. Look for providers who actually reach out to editorial teams at news outlets.

3. Guest Posts and Articles

It’s been about 8 months now since we launched Unblock.net.

We now average about 300,000 hits annually.

The secret to the growth is simple:

Great content + active promotion.

I’m going to show you the second part of the equation.

Why?

Because that’s exactly what most people get wrong. They create content and create content and publish daily. But then wonder why the traffic doesn’t roll in.

Here’s the truth?

There are 2 million blog posts published every single day. And that stat is from two years back!

If you don’t actively promote your content, don’t expect to gain any traction. It’s important that you spend 4x the amount of time you spend creating content promoting it.

We regularly promote all our content, and most of it is through active guest blogging campaigns all year round.

I’ll explain the process we use step by step.

We track all our content marketing through a centralized Google sheet called the Work Tracker doc.

The Work Tracker doc has 6 sheets in it:

The Client Details sheet: Where we list the targets (for links and content), and other details like social profiles, blog links, and author bios for content promotion so that the outreach team can quickly access it.

The Search Engine Operators sheet: The search engine Operators sheet lists all possible combinations of search engine operators you can think of- forums, blogs, directories, sponsored posts- it’s all there. You can also enter a keyword of your choice to get keyword specific search engine operators.

The Opportunities sheet: This sheet is where we track all the outreach efforts. We list opportunities we reach out to and pitch in here with details like the Status (pitched, topic accepted, article/link sent, published, revisions, etc) , Moz DA and Semrush traffic, Domain name, and blog guidelines URL, email address, contact name, article title, writer, article outline and the post/doc URL.

The status is updated after each step of the outreach and each opportunity is checked at least once every week.

The Live Links Sheet:  This sheet is where we log all the links that go live for easy reporting and tracking.

The Writers Sheet: Content marketing requires a lot of content creation, so we recruit a team of writers and add their details to this sheet. Having details like email and expertise of each writer in the Work Tracker doc helps the content managers quickly assign and coordinate work.

The Logins Sheet: From Mailshake to Semrush and link analysis tools like Ahrefs, we use a lot of software to speed up our work. We add all the logins in the Logins sheet so that anyone on the team can access the software without snooping for logins.

The Targets Sheet:  In the Targets sheet, we list the URLs of all the content which we’re trying to promote actively. We also list the priority and the type of content (video, blog post, infographic) so that the writers can get a good idea on what content they can mention in their posts.

Now that’s a lot to take in?

Adi, aren’t we being paranoid with all these fancy processes? Why not just email prospects and pitch topics.?

Yes. That works too.

But not if you want to do it at scale. And not if you want to be consistent.

Over the months, we’ve published a lot of guest posts on other crypto and tech publications:

That’s a lot, huh?

And it’s helped us not only drive exposure for the Unblock blog and get known in the industry but also get quite a bit of link juice flowing to the site and rank for several keywords.

Want to drive some eyeballs on your launch website?

Start writing long-form informative posts and start contributing to some good crypto and blockchain publications.

4. ICO Listings and Ratings:

There are websites around the internet that list and rate ICOs.

I’m not talking just about curated listicle posts on crypto publications. There are agencies that analyze and sell data regarding ICOs to investors and traders.

Some of these websites are free- some are paid.

A major part of seasoned investors and traders are always on the lookout for the next billion-dollar blockchain project and scour through listings and ICO ratings to find worthwhile projects.

The first step in getting your ICO listed/ reviewed is to collect a list of ICO listing/rating websites.

Here are some well known ICO listings. You’ll have to pay for most of them though:

  • Tokenmarket.net — Free, manually screened, up to 2 weeks
  • Icoalert.com — Free
  • Coinschedule.com — 0.02 BTC
  • Ico-list.com — 0.3 BTC
  • Cointelegraph.com/ico-calendar
  • InitialCoinAddict.com
  • Coinschedule.com
  • CoinGecko.com
  • ICOCrowd.com
  • ICOCountdown.com
  • ICO-List.com
  • Tokenmarket.net
  • TokenSaleCalendar.com

And here are some well known ICO rating websites:

  • Digrate.com — 1 BTC/report
  • Icorating.com — 20,000 USD for a report
  • Icobench.com — Starts from 0.4 BTC

Note: When you try to get your ICO rated/reviewed, make sure if they also help with promoting your ICO to investors.

After you list out some ICO listing and rating websites and their contact details, it’s the same drill as before.

Reach out and pitch your project. Don’t hesitate to send them technical details and white papers- they review ICOs for a living so the more details you can give them, the more authentic your project will look.

5. Bounty Programs

This is very similar to bug bounty programs.

You announce incentives and bonuses to blockchain enthusiasts and coders to help identify issues in your code.

The benefits are three-fold:

  1. You get a lot of eyeballs on your project as you’re being open, and get people involved
  2. You get a ton of opinions and advice about your project and code
  3. You gain a lot of investor interest pre-ICO

This strategy was so successful last year that almost every single ICO (the non-scammy ones, of course) announced bug bounty campaigns.

It’s effective.

6. Conferences and Meetups

What’s the best way to sell your idea?

Face to face. In person.

From Blockchain EXPO to the Blockchain Leadership Summit, there are tons of blockchain technology and crypto events happening all year round.

These events are frequented by fellow founders, investors, and industry folks alike, and provide a venue for new founders to network and generate interest in their project and ICO.

You can find an even more detailed list on our events page here, but here are some blockchain tech events worth attending in 2018:

  1. Crypto Finance Conference USA 18 – January
  2. Global Blockchain Forum  – April
  3. Fintech World Euro Summit – April
  4. CryptoBlockCon – April
  5. BLOCK 2 The Future – April
  6. University of Texas Blockchain Conference  – April
  7. BlockYard Conference 2018  – April
  8. BlockchainExpo Global 2018  – April
  9. Global Blockchain Summit -April
  10. Oslo Blockchain Day 2018 – April
  11. Blockchain in Supply Chain 2018  – April
  12. BlockShow Europe 2018  – May
  13. Blockchain, IoT & Machine Learning in Oil & Gas Europe  – May
  14. Blockchain Masters 2018  – May
  15. Global Blockchain Conference & Awards  – May
  16. Blockchain Summit LATAM 2018  – May
  17. Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Investment Summit – June
  18. BLOCFEST – A Blockchain Festival & Conference  – August
  19. Blockchain and Crypto Conference –  September
  20. Block Seoul Summit – September
  21. BLOCFEST – September
  22. DELTA Summit – October
  23. Money 20/20 USA – October
  24. Malta Blockchain Summit – November
  25. Empire Startups FINTECH Conference -November
  26. Money 20/20 China – November
  27. Blockchain Leadership Summit – November

7. Community Building:

Okay, I should have brought this one up earlier.

Because every single successful ICO in 2017 and 2018 had a super-engaged community behind it that believed in the project and supported them through the ICO.

Most blockchain startups choose to focus on one or two, or at the max three channels or networks to build a following.

Well, most of them.

I first noticed this trend when I used to frequent major crypto forums.I’d often come across many of the ICOs I came across in these forums again in multiple places- Telegram groups that I was a part of, meetups, Twitter, Reddit, and even Quora and Medium.

I first thought that it was a coincidence. Later on, my marketing instincts kicked in, and I realized that I was being marketed to. I traded a bit at the time, and many of these blockchain startups were targeting traders.

I started snooping to discover how they were targeting me on several social channels at the same time.

What I found blew my mind. I found that they were targeting cross-channel – they were finding ways to remarket to the same people across several channels.

It’s such a killer strategy that you can build a large community with a process-oriented approach. We now use it for almost all our campaigns.

I’ll take you through how to setup automation and prospecting on each channel one by one.

1. Facebook:

Facebook is the channel we’ll look at for a simple reason:

It’s the largest social network out there.

With over two billion users, they’ve got groups and communities in almost every single niche under the sun.

You just need to find how to tap into them.

Enter FB Candy.

If you need an unfair advantage over other Facebook users, I would highly recommend this tool. Well, at least until Facebook bans this tool. It’s that powerful.

Now let’s take a look at how you can prospect at scale using FBcandy.The Advanced search feature within Fbcandy makes it possible to search for groups by keywords.

Let’s search for some blockchain groups:

This pulls up a ton of groups (289 in the above search) that can have privacy statuses set as  Open, Closed, or Secret.

FBcandy also allows you to scrape the groups that have an ‘Open’ privacy setting. We just need to find a relevant group whose members we can target.

All you need to do is copy the UID of the group:

 

And then scrape the members using the Group UID Extractor feature in FBcandy:

That’s 15219 results from one single group scrape.

Now what we have are UID’s. We need to convert them into Facebook profile URLs.

Super simple:

Download the results as a CSV from FBcandy:

Create a new Google sheet, and import this CSV file:

I like to free and bold the first header row while working in Gsheets. Let’s then add a new column to the right of the ‘NAME’ column and title it “FB profile name”.

And then Enter the formula : =CONCATENATE(“https://facebook.com/”,A2) in cell C2. Just drag the formula down to copy it down across all 15,000+ rows.

This link will redirect o the actual facebook profiles of these users we just scraped.

Spiffy, huh?

The next step is Facebook engagement.

There are 3 ways you can go about doing this:

A) Add them as friends and then auto message them, invite them to join your group

B) Scrape their likes and interests and use that data for Facebook ad targeting

A) is the most straightforward outbound prospecting option. However, it’s not very scalable as you can only send about 80 friends requests and day and about 20 messages to new friends a day. Anything more could piss off Facebook.

The hack?

Use multiple Facebook accounts for prospecting 🙂

Let me show you the actual process I use to automate engagement on Facebook:

Step 1. Automate friend requests.

If you just Google “facebook auto adder”, you’ll come across several paid tools and services that allow you to send friend requests to a list of users automatically every day.

The catch?

Facebook hates scraping (maybe not as much as LinkedIn, but they hate it anyway), so they may be already tracking these services.

I would recommend a different option:

For a few hundred dollars, you can get a coder to code out a custom chrome extension that can automate friend requests for you. Since this is custom software that no one else uses, chances are, Facebook won’t track you.

Let’s take a look at the custom extension I use:

In this extension, you can upload a CSV with a list of profiles and set a daily limit and delay. Say, send 80 friend requests every day (it starts when I click the play button) and have a delay of 3 minutes between each friend request so as to stay safe from Facebook’s watchful eyes.

You can simply divide your initial prospect list into several parts, and create different Facebook profiles and set up this automation.

Step 2. Send messages at scale

Do not send a message and pitch them. It doesn’t work.

Focus on giving value first.

How?

By inviting them to a community and sharing content that helps them.

Let’s take a look at the message automation part first.

EnterPhantombuster.

I almost feel enlightened every time I see Phantombuster’s API store.

For the messaging automation, I’ll be using the Facebook message sender API.

First click on ‘Use API’.

Then click on the Configure button:

Now we have to enter a few details to configure the API. Let me walk you through the setup process:

1. Session cookie c_user:

Log in to the Facebook account from which you plan to run the automation, and then right click>Inspect Element>Application>Cookies

Under Cookies you’ll find https://www.facebook.com:

The cookie c_user can key can be found here.

2. Session cookie xs:

This can also be found on the same screen:

3. Facebook Profile URL / Spreadsheet:

This is the Google sheet URL of the list of Facebook profiles. Just set the privacy status of the sheet to Anyone with the link can edit:

And add the URL in that field.

4. Column name from which to get Profile URLs:

The column name in the Google sheet from which Phantombuster can fetch profile URLs, which is “FB profile name” in our case.

5. Message:

This is the message template for the messaging automation.

The best part?

Phantombuster allows you to use personalization fields like Facebook first name or last name in the message.

In fact, if you have more details about users in the Google sheet as separate columns, you can use them as personalization fields in the message.

I prefer to use something like this:

Hey #fbFirstName#,

Great to connect. I’m a part of one of the best blockchain tech groups here- {{group name}}. I now that you’re into blockchain tech and crypto, so I thought I’d reach out and invite.

Would you be interested in joining?

Cheers,

Adi

You can also choose to set automation for running the API daily in the repetition settings menu of the API. This’ll allow you to set the API to run, say ten times every day at 1-hour intervals and send 2 messages at every launch.

This will help to spread the auto-messaging and will mimic real user behavior to Facebook too.

In the settings screen, set it up like this:

Launch > Repetitively: Once per working hour

Limits > Execution time limit: 1 minute

File storage > Folder management > Create a new folder per launch

Headless browser options: Uncheck Load images

Then click ‘Save’, and you may launch the API.

Imagine if you had 10 accounts sending 20 messages like these every day.

Automagically.

Now that’s scalability.

Step 3: Build a community

The entire goal of the facebook prospecting and engagement is to build a community that you can nurture with great content.

The best place to build a large community is Facebook. Facebook groups allow you to build bigger and more engaged communities than any other platform.

I’ve been in LinkedIn groups, Slack pods, and Whatsapp networking pods, and Facebook groups trounce them all.

When the prospects you message reply to your messages, invite them to your Facebook group.

Facebook allows you to ask people questions when they ask to join your Facebook group.

I like to use this for cross-channel targeting:

Noticed how I ask them for their LinkedIn profile URL and their email address? I’m a beast 🙂

The best part of this strategy is that once you set up the automation for messaging, it’s almost all autopilot.

Prospects will reply saying they’re interested in joining the group, and all you need to do is send them the group link.

Step 4: Share great content:

Notice how I didn’t say to create and share great content?

You don’t always need to create great content. You just need to find the best content and curate it.

I know- I’m lazy.

And FBcandy makes it super easy for the lazies like me:

We’re going to use the Advanced Search > Search fan page tool to find relevant fan pages.

All you need to do is enter our keyword: blockchain and hit Extract.

And voila- you get a huge list of all the fan pages that use that keyword on Facebook.

But wait- it gets even better:

I can also sort the list by the number of fans to find the fan pages with the biggest following. And not just that, under the Action drop-down, there is an option to ‘Discover’.

This killer feature enables you to view all the posts by that page, sorted by likes, comments, and shares.

What better way to find content that has received great engagement for pages in the same niche?

All you need to do is browse through posts of as many pages as you can in the blockchain niche, and build a backlog of posts.

I recommend that you spend some time on this step because we’ll be using this same content backlog for many of the engagement strategies that we’re going to talk about later in this post.

Then you can even use scheduling tools to further automate content sharing.

2. Telegram:

The telegram screen of a normal person would look like this:

Now, here’s the Telegram app screen of someone who’s into the blockchain tech and crypto trading scene:

Notice the difference?

My Telegram inbox is filled with crypto and blockchain groups and communities.

This is because of a very specific trend that I’ve noticed over the past 2 years.

From the very advent of bitcoin, crypto traders and blockchain enthusiasts have been very active on Telegram.

This trend continued far after that- even after blockchain technology went mainstream.

And almost every single ICO, coin or blockchain project has a group or at least a support community on Telegram.

If you’re trying to launch, Telegram is your #2 goto channel. That almost rhymed!

So let’s hop into my growth hacking shoes and take a look at how to go about building a community on Telegram.

1. Organic advertising.

Telegram doesn’t track user activity. They’ve emphasized on that quality of the app right from the start.

For this very specific reason, many users prefer using Telegram for messaging compared to many of the major players out there like Whatsapp, Slack or even Facebook.

Especially the crypto and blockchain community.

I bet on Merlin’s beard that on every single ICO/crypto website, you’ll spot a Telegram group link in the footer.

So the first step is to create a Telegram group and add the link wherever you can advertise it organically- on your website headers and footers, social media profiles, and even your email signatures.

2. Invite prospects on your list to join the group.

Email the few prospects on your list to join your Telegram group.

All it takes is a Mailshake account. You can import a CSV file (the same process as shown in the Media pitching strategy I talked about above) with the email addresses and names of your prospects, and shoot them an email like this:

Hey {{name}},

I’m Adi from Growthetics.

We just created our first Telegram group, and the engagement is growing day by day. I thought I’d reach out and send you a link: {{Telegram group link}}.

I’m here if you have any questions at all.

 

Cheers,

Adi

3. Get hacky using custom scraping:

Ok. This one is going to be a bit grey. I first came across this possibility when I found that I was getting added to Telegram groups that I didn’t know of.

Every other week, I would get added somehow to a group about some ICO I hadn’t heard of before.

At first, I didn’t realize how they were doing it. Then it clicked: Custom scrapers.

You see- Telegram has a web app. You can also access your Telegram account at web.telegram.org, just like you can use the web version of Whatsapp at we.whatsapp.com.

This opens up a whole world of possibilities.

Why?

Because if you can open a website on a browser, it can be scraped. All you need is a custom scraper. In this case, a custom telegram scraping extension.

Just google ‘Telegram scraping tool’ to get a clearer picture of what’s possible.

You can simply find major coins and ICOs like EOS or groups of major exchanges like Binance and scrape all the member usernames with a custom extension.

And again, with a custom feature, you can add them all at scale into your new group.

Most of them will get pissed off and leave, but again- it’s a numbers game.

I stayed in the auto-added groups that I liked- some had good content and engagement.

The key here, again, is to share great content. (remember the tip about curating vs creating)

3. Twitter:

I like to call Twitter the motherlode of scraping.

There’s so much you can do with automation and scraping on Twitter that it’s almost more bot activity than real user activity.

The first step is, of course, prospecting.

a) Prospecting:

The key is to look for conversations on Twitter that have relevant keywords.

Unlike B2B sales, where you just need to scrape profiles and users with Twitter bios that have relevant keywords, finding relevant Twitter users in the blockchain and crypto space requires you to scrape conversations, and the accounts participating in those conversations.

The easiest way to do this is to use Google search engine operators.

Here’s an operator you can use: site:twitter.com “blockchain” intitle: on Twitter

This will get you Twitter statuses that have the keyword blockchain in it.

You can set the SERP results to 100 search results per page in Search settings in Google search, and use a chrome extension like Link Klipper to scrape all the links from the Google results page.

After you have a big list of status URL’s you can use basic XPath scraping to pull all the href elements from the page and filter them for twitter profile URLs (remove all non-twitter.com addresses and all URLs with the /status/ element in it). I like to use Screaming Frog an URL profiler for XPath scraping.

Note: If you’re not familiar with XPath, think of it as the HTML path of elements on a page. Each element on a webpage will have an XPath code. Say an href element inside an ‘a’ tag, that is within a div tag, which is within another body tag. So the XPath of that element could be /body/div/a/@href.  You can find the Xpath of any element on a page by using right click > Inspect element > Right click on element code > Copy > Copy Xpath

       

Yet another to find relevant users on Twitter would be to find relevant hashtags and scrape all user accounts mentioning that hashtag.

You can find relevant hashtags to scrape using the Hashtagify tool.

Here’s what Hashtagify brings up when I search for crypto:

You can try this with different ICO related hashtags and get a bunch of relevant hashtags that you can use for scraping.

After you build a list of relevant hashtags, it’s another round of Xpath scraping to find the profile URLs.

Now, these are the best ways to scrape because these are users who are engaging in actual blockchain conversations on Twitter- they’re active in the space.

If you’re just looking to do this in bulk easily, the best route would be to scrape all the Twitter followers of relevant blockchain and crypto influencers and ICO accounts on Twitter.

We first go to any ICO listing website, say, ICO Panic, and scrape all the Upcoming, Live and Past ICOs on their website.

Again, using XPath and Screaming Frog:

Just pug the XPath into the custom scraping feature in Screaming Frog to get a list of all the ICOs on the page.

It’s better not to Google to find Twitter accounts of these ICOs. There are lots of fake accounts. Look for Twitter account links from their official website footer or header.

After we have a bunch of ICO/influencer Twitter account URLs, we can begin scraping their followers.

Enter Phantombuster’s Twitter Follower Collector API.Same drill as before.

Click on ‘Use API’, and then the “‘Configure me” button.

The configuration is super simple:

Twitter account or spreadsheet URL:  This is where you add the Google sheet URL that has the list of ICO/influencer Twitter account URLs.

Do not add a header to the column.

Session Cookie ‘auth_token’:  Log in to your Twitter account from which you plan the automation.

Right-click > Inspect element > Application > Cookies > https://twitter.com

And in the table to the right, you’ll find your auth_token:

Number of followers to scrape per Twitter account: Leave it as blank. if you leave this field empty, the API will try to get as many followers as possible for every Twitter account.

Number of lines to process per launch:  I like to set it as 1. It’s the number of Twitter accounts it’ll scrape for followers with every launch of the API.

We have another step to take care of here- the automation settings for repetitive API launches.

Set the following settings:

Launch: Repetitively > Once every other day

Execution time limit: 10 minutes

Folder management: Create a new folder per launch  (5 folders)

Headless browser options: Uncheck Load images

Then click Save.

We’re locked and loaded. You may Launch the API now.

Over the past few strategies, we covered how to prospect for relevant Facebook users from Twitter. The next step is to enrich the data we have and use it.

There was a time when you could simply tweet out to hundreds of accounts at once. Twitter doesn’t allow that anymore.

The only remaining option is to find their emails and then email them at scale.

We need to get on our scraping shoes yet again.

The best way to find emails on Twitter is to:

  1. Try verification of emails with the username@gmail.com, username@hotmail.com and username@outlook.com combinations.
  2. Scrape website links within the bio/website fields on their Twitter profiles and try to find their emails using the name + domain combination.

The first route can be done by using the Data>Split text into columns tool in Google sheets and using “https://twitter.com/ as the custom separator to get their usernames.

You can then use the Concatenate(‘usernamevalue’, “@gmail.com”) or Concatenate(‘usernamevalue’, “@hotmail.com”) or Concatenate(‘usernamevalue’, “@outlook.com”) to get the diferrent combinations.

Next is the verification.

I like using Anyleads because they have an unlimited plan. All other tools require you to pay/email you verify or find.

You can use the ‘Verify emails’ tool within Anyleads to verify any number of emails you want- just upload the emails as a CSV file.

The other method involved scraping data from the user profiles.

For this, you need to find the Xpath for the name and the website URL fields on Twitter profiles.

You can either use Screaming Frog SEO spider of URL profiler for the scraping.

Here- I’ll save you some time.

The XPath for website URL is “//*[@id=”page-container”]/div[4]/div/div/div[1]/div/div/div/div[1]/div[2]/span[2]/a/@href”

And the XPath for name is “//*[@id=”page-container”]/div[4]/div/div/div[1]/div/div/div/div[1]/h1/a”

After you have a list of all the results, remove the ones without website URLs.

Then divide the Name column into the first and last names (use the Data  > Split text into columns > Separator-Space tool in google sheets)

Now download the results as a CSV and upload it into the Company Miner tool in Anyleads.

The catch for the second method is that you’ll again have to verify it with the Anyleads Verify emails tool again after finding them using the Company Miner tool.

Once you have a list of the email addresses, let’s start Mailshake automation.

Upload the CSV into Mailshake just like before. Here’s a sample template you can use.

Hey {{Name}},

Cam across come of your tweets on Twitter and thought I’d reach out.

My name is Adi, and I’m the founder of Growthetics. We’re trying to build a thriving community of blockchain and crypto enthusiasts.

Our Facebook (or Telegram) group currently has 3000 active members, and I’d love for you to join us.

Would you be interested?

Cheers,

Adi Suja

Phew. That was a lengthy process. But Twitter is a treasure trove of prospects. And you can scale the above process sky high.

4. Reddit:

Reddit users are a passionate, close-knit, zero BS bunch, and this is exactly why the social network is apt for blockchain and particularly crypto enthusiasts.

Both communities have zero tolerance for scams and spam, and they don’t trust easily.

Which is why the first step in Reddit marketing is trust building.

Remember that backlog of proven content we put together in the Facebook marketing step?

We’re going to use that here.

You need to build a profile that has a good ‘Karma’ score on Reddit first. And for that, you need to share good content on Reddit regularly and gain some trust.

Join relevant subreddits and share some good relevant content from the backlog we put together earlier.

Once you gain some traction, start sharing updates about your project.

The best way to go about doing this is to make announcements about launches, etc rather than pitch your product or ICO, and ask for advice on product features.

Reddit users hate spam, but they’re always willing to lend a helping hand.

5. Forums:

There are forums on almost every topic under the sun.

And over the past two years, dozens of great crypto and blockchain forums have popped up.

You may have heard of bitcointalk.org, but there are much more worth engaging on.

Here’s how you can find them:

Use these search engine operators and add them all to a list:

blockchain “forum”
blockchain “powered by Fireboard”
blockchain “powered by ip.board”
blockchain “powered by phpbb”
blockchain “powered by phpbb3”
blockchain “powered by SMF”
blockchain “powered by vbulletin”
blockchain forum
blockchain intitle:forum
blockchain inurl:forum

Note: You can also use other keywords like “ICO” or “Crypto” or your niche keywords.

Once you have a list ready, register on each forum one by one and enter the login details in the sheet.

Now we’re going to engage at scale. You can either do it yourself, but it’s going to take a while, so it’d be a good idea to hire a VA for this.

For the first two weeks, engage- comment and engage in conversations in the forums.

After the first two weeks, start posting- share content from that good content backlog you have- they’ve been proven to drive engagement before, so they should be able to earn a few brownie points in front of the moderators and the community.

From the fourth week, you may start announcement and ‘opinion’ posts, just like we did on Reddit.

Now that we’ve talked about channels where we could get away with curated content, let’s take a look at channels where we can build a following using original content.

6. Quora:

Many marketers think Quora can’t be used to drive traffic and leads.

I beg to differ.

It’s all about finding the right questions on Quora. And having a system in place to drive leads.

I’ll tackle both.

Well, to start with here’s a cool “Quora Hack”.

If you set up an Ad account, select “Targeting by Questions” and enter a relevant keyword, say “blockchain”, they will actually show you questions with the number of weekly views/week!

And the best part:

You don’t even have to run ads.

This is so much better than taking a look at how much following each topic/question has because it’s data directly from Quora- they’re giving you how much traffic questions receive per week on a silver platter.

It’s best to answer only these questions at the start.

And always keep in mind that most users use Quora via mobile.

Space lines out. And use super short paragraphs.

I like to use this writing style:

 

The next part is making sure that you drive leads from Quora.

Every single time I like a particular answer on Quora, I check out the author’s profile. I then realized that it was a good idea to try and drive leads using this strategy. This is true for any niche, B2B or B2C.

Always try and optimize your profile to drive leads. This is how I’ve set it up on mine:

Notice that “Growthetics Email Verifier Sheet” link. That goes to a messenger bot link page that sends them our email verifier sheet:

Anyone who requests the lead magnet (our email verifier sheet) on this page gets added to my messenger list.

Note: If you aren’t familiar with messenger lists, they’re just like an email list. The only difference is that while people on your email list receive emails from you in their inbox, people on your messenger list receive messages in the Facebook messenger inbox.

Messenger marketing has a much higher open rate and CTR compares to email marketing. And it’s super easy to set up a messenger bot using tools like Many Chat.

I can then send them updates about, say, my upcoming ICO, and invite them to my Facebook or Telegram groups.

7. YouTube:

If you aren’t creating video content, you’re making a mistake.

Video content consumption is growing at a super alarming rate.

And it’s not difficult either- you can always use tools like Lumen5 to create slide videos.

Brands like the World Economic Forum are killing it with this: they create slide videos that drive millions of views every day:

I’ve covered how you can put together videos quickly using Lumen5 here in this post.

8. LinkedIn:

Sales Navigator is still very much an underutilized tool.

Why?

Because most marketers don’t combine it with automation tools like Leonard or Dux-Soup.

Since we’re looking for almost anyone that is interested in blockchain (you can also use other keywords), you can simply search for profiles with “blockchain” as the keyword in Sales Navigator:

That’s 16,083 results.

The catch is that LinkedIn doesn’t allow you to scrape or even view these results all at once.

At 25 results per page, they only allow you to view 40 pages, which means a total of 1000 results.

Which is why we need to filter and search city by city to bring down the search results to below 1000.

Let me make it easy for you.

Here are all the major cities in the US (excluding the super small localities that may not have many results) that I use to filter results in Sales Navigator.

The next step is good ole’ scraping.

Let me show you how to do this with Leonard:

Leonard allows you to scrape results from your Sales Navigator search and download it as a CSV.

After you’re done, click on CRM to open the Leonard CRM:

In the Downloads section you’ll be able to Download the scraped list as a CSV file:

And this is what the results look like:

If you look closely, you see that the file has both the first and last names and the company names of the prospects we just scraped.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

Now all you need to do is mine their email using the Anyleads Company Miner tool we used earlier (perks of unlimited usage are showing now).

And again, set up a Mailshake campaign to email them at scale inviting them to your Facebook/Telegram group, just like we did above.

9. Medium

Medium is blowing up.

Over the past 3 years, the number of creators and readers on the platform has grown exponentially, and many more new creators are joining the tribe.

The ‘Clap’ feature makes it a great network to be on- it’s essentially a peer-to-peer voting feature that allows users to award ‘claps’ for posts they like.

Posts with a lot of claps get a lot of exposure and the authors generate a big following.

Let’s take a look at how we can generate a lot of claps for our content, and thereby, a good following.

The catch:

You need to share original, quality content.

There’s no way around this. Medium is not a good place to curate content.

The next step is promoting the content you publish.

Say hi to Phatombuster’s Medium Post Clappers API.

This API allows you to find who’s clapping a particular post.

You do get where I’m going with this too, don’t you?

We’re going to find a list of medium posts on relevant topics, say, about blockchain.

And we’re going to find who clapped the post and then promote it to them.

Let’s see how.

First, let’s find some relevant topics.

Let’s use the good ole’ Google search engine operators:

site:medium.com “blockchain”

This will pull up a lot of posts on medium.com about blockchain.

List them into a google sheet.

Next, fire up the Medium Post Clappers API, click ‘Use this API’ > ‘Configure me’.

Here’s what the configuration form will look like:

Both the UID cookie and the SID cookie can be found in the usual way. ( Go to medium.com, log in to your account, and Right click > Inspect element > Application > Cookies > https://medium.com )

The spreadsheet URL is the URL of the google sheet we just listed the medium posts URLs in. Don’t forget to set the sharing permissions as ‘Anyone with the link can edit’.

The ‘Name of output CSV’ can be anything you like.

Now click launch and get a list of the profile URLs, names, and descriptions of all the clappers.

Let’s put on our scraping shows again.

Now, this is what a profile looks like on Medium:

Notice how the profile links to the Twitter profile?

And if it’s a webpage, and it links to something, it has an Xpath.

The Xpath for the twitter URL element on a medium profile is:

“//*[@id=”root”]/div/section/div[1]/div[2]/div[2]/div[4]/span/div/div[4]/div/a/@href”

All you need to do is import the list of post clappers you just got from Phantombuster and follow the same process we used above for Twitter scraping- get name and company details from Twitter profiles, and then find their emails using Anyleads.

 

Phew. That was a lot to take in, wasn’t it?

With a bit of badassery and pure wit, there’s a lot of stuff you can do for ICO marketing organically.

 

Do you have any other strategies that you used to gain traction, drive investors and interest? Let’s talk in the comments below.

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