ICO marketing basics for blockchain projects

There is no magic formula to making ICO marketing a success.

But successful blockchain projects figured out what works. So we integrate those into our solutions here at the Bite Size Concepts, where we perform basic to advanced PR and marketing to ICOs.

In this piece, we’ve compiled the approach and tools that are common among coin/token sales that did well.

How to approach ICO marketing

There are many opportunities to explore when introducing your blockchain project to the market. But the common-sense approach offers an easier way to stand out.

1. Build an online presence early

Hire the best people to build your online presence—your own communications specialist or an ICO marketing agency. And do it early, way before your crypto or token launch. Organic traffic, following, and engagement will help you establish trust later on.

2. Avoid the hype and the hard sell

Instead of creating your own hype, focus on your project and its progress. Put the spotlight on your team. Let their ideas and stories connect with your target audience. This is a far better tactic than paying influencers who don’t care about your product or service.

3. Don’t overdo ads

Good marketing strikes a balance between paid and organic. Avoid going down the route of spammy banners and pop-ups. Don’t be a digital stalker whose ads follow people around online. Protect your image and credibility!

How to build brand image

Speaking of image, make sure to nail branding even before the planning stage. You’ll need a visual identity to use in your marketing materials, from website to whitepaper to social accounts.

1. Get a name and a domain

As an ICO marketing company in Singapore, we recommend protecting your idea. Give it a name that is unique and preferably has no meaning yet so you can create one for it. Example: Purveyr. You can check if a trademark is taken using this tool.

Once your project has a name, claim a domain name on a registrar like GoDaddy. CMS like WordPress and Squarespace also include domain name registration in their subscription plans.

ico marketing


2. Create a logo and visuals

Nailing your branding doesn’t mean it has to be expensive. When creating visuals to put on your online and offline documents, there are cheap or free tools to find. Try Canva or Logojoy for logo design. Canva also made font pairing painless over here. If you want to generate colour schemes, go to Coolors. Or snag a colour palette on Color Hunt.

ico marketing

3. Apply the same username across social channels

Stick with one username when creating profiles on different social media platforms. Use your logo as your profile photo.

How to create a website for ICO marketing

When it comes to a dedicated website, start lean and tweak it as you go. Focus on building credibility. Work on the following sections first:

  1. Your Unique Value Proposition (UVP) – this is your thesis statement; a one-liner that sums up the benefit you’re bringing to target clients’ lives.
  2. About or an explainer video – make it short and sweet.
  3. Team bios – give your project a face, so literally, upload high-quality photos and short bios of your team.
  4. Whitepaper – craft a compelling intro and get visitors to download it.
  5. Social profiles – link to your social media accounts to make you more accessible.
  6. Newsletter – set this up on a mailer like MailChimp; collect data from users so you can understand them more without overstepping privacy boundaries.
  7. Press – once you earn mentions or features in publications, put them here.

These tools and approach will simplify ICO marketing whether you choose an ICO marketing company or PR agency, or hire your in-house team. If you want to clarify some of the points here, don’t hesitate to ask us at info@thebitesizeconcepts.com.

Do you have what it takes to be a growth hacker?

Hmm, growth hacking? Isn’t that the same as marketing?

Do I have to learn how to program?

We’ll answer those and bring clarity to your confusion in a bit.

We know it’s a bit of guesswork for beginners since a quick Google search yields various profiles of a growth hacker.

So here you’ll find out what a growth hacker does, as well as the process you go through as one. We already discussed growth hacking itself in an earlier article. Read it first if you want to know the fundamentals.

For those who are still here, we assume you’re ready to take on the role of a growth hacker. Who knows, some of you might discover you’ve already done something similar. In a way, you were a growth hacker at one point.

Programmer, traditional marketer, growth hacker

Two things, to put your pressing questions to end:

You’ll rely on code to achieve most of your growth objectives. But no, according to this QuickSprout guide to growth hacking, you need not be a formal engineer. In fact, you can be a growth hacker and work alongside a front-end and/or a backend developer.

And when it comes to being a traditional marketer, that background will put you at an advantage should you decide to switch careers. The main difference is that marketing is the broader genre while growth hacking focuses on a single goal: growth.

Focusing means you will determine and track events in relation to the product until you find the one that increases conversions.

The growth hacker’s workflow

For instance, you want to use Instagram to increase product awareness but don’t know yet what will work on your target audience.

Here is an example of the process that you will go through:

As a first step, you’ll define your objectives and key results (OKRs). Objectives are what you hope to accomplish within a period. Meanwhile, key results refer to the specific numbers you set that will undoubtedly tell you results have been achieved.

Check out these tips on how to develop OKRs.

Below are the OKRs of Uber, as shared by Neil Patel.

growth hacker


Next, decide on your focus. Say, you want to experiment on the color palette, design, and content mix on your Instagram feed. The third step is closely linked as it is about crafting variations based on the attributes you’re testing. Hie off to this article to understand how you can leverage color to persuade people to buy.

Then, begin experimenting on the variants and make sure to track events based on your OKRs. After two weeks or once you’ve gathered enough data, analyse which actions are producing your desired results. Finally, combine them or try them out individually, whichever is a good strategy for you.

Characteristics of a growth hacker

Having an analytical mind is the most important quality of a growth hacker. This means that you trust the data and use it to inform your business decisions.

Being a T-shaped marketer is also a requirement. Imagine the letter T. The horizontal line represents the domains of marketing that you have a broad knowledge of. For instance, you have to understand a little about psychology, research, and branding. At the same time, you need to possess a deep knowledge of content marketing, social, PR, and viral marketing
— this represents the vertical line in T.

growth hacker


In other words, a growth hacker has to be highly analytical and technical. But it’s not just about being good at math and computers. You can be a storyteller who loves to spin stories based on data.

A growth hacker is creative and curious as well. You’re excited by things that are new and unforeseen by others. You experiment endlessly. Because at the end of the day, your pursuit of growth goes on and on. There’s always a way to make things better.

Top 5 SEO tools to crush it in 2019

Are you starting out with SEO, or looking to uplevel your game this year?

You’re in the right place because we’ve narrowed down the best tools for:

  • Keyword research
  • Content optimisation

Let’s look at them one-by-one:

SEO tools for keyword research

Google Keyword Planner

Free

This tool gives you the inside scoop, no less.

It lets paid marketers find new keywords for their AdWords campaigns. And once you have keyword ideas, you can get forecasts and historical metrics for them.

The important thing here is to not obsess with search volume alone. Brian Dean says you’d want to check out the “competition” and “estimated bid” columns. If these are high, “you probably have a keyword that converts well.”

seo tools
Image: Backlinko

Seed Keyword

Free

To understand what users would search for in a given scenario, ask them. This is the basis for the platform Seed Keyword.

Create your scenario, generate a link to send out, have your friends submit their answers via the link.

It’s a pretty neat research exercice. And it’s just a simple ask that you can pass around.

The potential downside is that you may not always get fast results.

But even our most busy friends can use some brain break.

So there’s Seed Keyword for learning what actual keywords people type on search engines and when the main tools aren’t dishing out decent keywords.

seo tools


SEMrush

Freemium

seo tools

A gem for brands, SEMrush lets you research your top competitors’ keyword performance.

So for one, you can compare how you’re doing with other players. And for another, you can glean insights into what keywords are working for your industry or niche.

Just enter the URL to see which organic and paid keywords a competitor is ranking for, or which of its pages are driving the highest organic search engine traffic.

It also analyses their backlinks as well as yours.

There’s so much to explore on the platform. And you can get started for free.

SEO tools for content optimisation

BuzzSumo

Freemium

A must-have in your arsenal, BuzzSumo gives you a quick overview of the best-performing content for a keyword. If you type in a domain, like your competitor’s, you’ll also see which pages garnered the highest number of social shares.

Click ‘View Sharers’ to learn who shared an article on Twitter. You can then choose ‘Save Influencer’ for future reference.

Try also filtering your search by content type to get inspiration from top videos, infographics, and more.

seo tools


Yoast SEO Plugin

Freemium

The SEO wizards at Moz recommend Yoast. It’s one of the most popular WordPress plugins. And there’s a reason for that. Yoast delivers.

While it’s simple to use, it actually packs a lot of punch. Here are just a few things you can do with both free and paid versions:

  • The ability to adjust your SEO title, URL slug, and meta description
  • Optimization tips for SEO title, URL slug, and meta description
  • A preview of how your post will show up on mobile and Google search results
  • An analysis of keyword usage
  • An internal link counter
  • And a readability check

(Source: Neil Patel)

You can find probably everything you need to know about this tool here.

These SEO tools make SEO feel a little less scary, right? Watch out for our next list as we dish out design tools to jazz up your digital marketing in 2019.

If you enjoyed this article, maybe you’ll also have fun learning how to sell without selling. Don’t forget to share this with friends and follow us on Facebook.

Branding and beyond: 4 steps to sell without selling

Think back to shopping around a department store. How many times have you told a salesperson you’re just looking? And then wished to be left alone to browse?

What about when you’re really ready to buy? Chances are you’re most open to engage the salesperson this time.

So stay with that scenario. Even drift into the discomfort of feeling forced to make up your mind.

Are you there? Imagine how this behaviour is natural and pretty common. And now the question: how do you break through it when you’re trying to sell a product or service?

Built around that idea, here are 4 views to help anyone—solopreneurs, sales employees, consultants—approach sales smarter.

branding

Focus on branding over sales

This is taken straight from Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of VaynerX.

He says:

The best advice I can give anyone aspiring to build a well-known [brand] is to hold off on monetizing their audience for as long as possible. The longer you go without monetizing, the more economics you’ll build on the back end.

While the context is personal branding, Vaynerchuk has a point. Offer a free trial of your product. Or let target users play around your platform.

Canva executes this well by launching first with a free tool for non-designers. With marketers and influencers drawn to the web app, it now has a much better chance of selling its suite for businesses.

Remember, branding is about creating an experience for customers. Coca-Cola doesn’t tell people to buy its sodas; its ads show the “Coca-Cola experience,” which it has shaped for decades.

Offer value, find the right fit

You don’t want to come from a place of begging or sounding desperate. Your business has value but not to everyone. Some would say no. For various reasons, they’re probably not yet ready to commit. It’s okay. Ask for feedback anyway and move on.

Let’s return a bit to our department store scenario. If you have the intent to buy and find exactly what you need, you’ll be looking for that salesperson if they’re not around. It’s a picture of balance between user intent and product fit. This balance is hard to come by but worth pursuing.

branding

Listen first, offer solutions later

If you’re in sales, talking is a default. You’re trained to say certain things if a potential customer says so and so. Whisper words they like to hear. But pressure tactics and persuasion tricks are tools of the past. It’s all about user preference nowadays.

And it’s through listening that you begin to understand people better. Their wants and needs. Their reason for leaving the previous brand. When you listen, you’re building a relationship. But you’re also building a needs profile, which you can assess later or during the talk.

Wouldn’t it be nice then to be trained how to ask questions that could get you useful answers?

Provide another perspective

There’s a way to convince your prospects without being pushy.

A high-end photographer shares how she’s able to target people who’d rather choose cheap photography. Emylee Williams of Think Creative Collective used her blog to educate readers about the extra worth of her services. Along the way, she framed her offer of quality and durability as a better alternative to the popular “shoot and burn” packages.

Read the full details of her story here.

So maybe you can develop content that’s educational or entertaining. Or you let your website’s messaging convey an experience. Don’t just move minds, touch hearts. These are all weightier than bland promotion.


If this article helped you, let us know on Facebook or at info@thebitesizeconcepts.com.

Why growth hacking is good for your business

You may have heard about growth hacking. But do you know how it works?

More importantly, is it for you?

Before you jumpstart your journey, you need a bite-size, working definition:

“Growth hacking is a process of rapid experimentation, across marketing channels and product development, to identify the most effective and efficient ways to grow.

So growth hacking combines marketing, engineering, and product management skills to build and engage user bases. Maybe you already did something like it. You just didn’t call it growth hacking then.

Let’s check out a few examples to understand this concept better:

Trello

First off is project management app Trello. The team behind it wanted to know how to position their product on the homepage. To determine the messaging that would bring the most growth, they tested multiple headline themes. They used internal codes like ‘collabTool,’ ‘visualTool,’ and ‘organizedTool.’ While tracking data, they found that ‘collabTool’ increased sign-ups by 2%.

Read the details here. Or watch this:

HubSpot

HubSpot wins the growth hacking game through blogging. Over time, it has built its image as a content hub for marketers and SEOs. Further, the HubSpot Academy offers certification courses that add value to their audiences.

HubSpot’s success is based on a strategy called ‘inbound marketing,’ which complements product marketing with content marketing.

Dropbox

In 2010, the phrase ‘growth hacking’ was coined by Sean Ellis, who “ignited breakout growth” in Dropbox as its interim head of growth.

Turning two in 2009, Dropbox reached one million registered users in April, doubled that figure in September, and hit three million in November. It owed this sped-up growth to a simple yet scalable referral program. If a user got their friend to sign up, both of them were rewarded with additional storage.

If you want to try referral as a strategy, start with this:

An important takeaway here is that growth hacking is an iterative process. It applies the best practices of the lean startup methodology to the growth of a company.

Here’s how we illustrate it:

growth hacking

We’ve tested growth hacking in Singapore with some lifestyle and tech brands. And below’s our lifecycle. Based on the image, can you tell if you’ve done any form of growth hacking before.

growth hacking

  • Brainstorm – user story and backlog
  • The hack strategy – what to focus on and what strategies to implement
  • Experiment design – what set of experiments can help you know what if you’re on the right track
  • Execution – implement the experiment onto the product or service
  • Data collection – during the experiment, set metrics and systems to understand performance
  • Analyze – what to continue doing and what to pivot

growth hacking

Of course, what pumps life into any strategy is the people behind it. So, you’ll need to form a team of growth hackers whose skills and energy are valuable to your business. You can look for complementary skill sets based on three pillars:

Automation and engineering

  • Basics of coding
  • CRM
  • Databases
  • Hack tools
  • Landing page optimisation
  • Process automation
  • SEO
  • Web data extraction

Lean experimentation and data

  • A/B Testing
  • Adwords
  • Behavioural economics
  • Business intelligence
  • Digital analytics
  • Funnel marketing
  • Lean marketing iterations

Creative marketing

  • Advertising/PR
  • Copywriting
  • Crowdfunding
  • Email marketing
  • Guerilla marketing
  • Other people’s networks
  • The hack ideas

Do you have questions about growth hacking? Don’t hesitate to ask us at info@thebitesizeconcepts.com.

10 Best PR blogs to follow in 2019

There are a few public relations sites that inspire us to blog better. If we want to be an effective PR company, marketing agency, or branding firm this year, we should keep reading them.

How about we examine our top options for our PR reading resolution in 2019?

1. Muck Rack

effective PR company

Muck Rack is a software platform that helps connect PR professionals and journalists. But its blog is a treasure trove of insights and tips including how to create that perfect pitch.

Articles range from educational like “How to create a compelling media pitch with video” to humorous like “This month in bad PR pitches.”

2. Ragan’s PR Daily

effective PR company

Ragan is a name associated with corporate communications. Its newsletters and research reports have served its audience for five decades. With PR Daily, it offers bite-size concepts, advice, opinion, and news to people working in public relations and marketing.

Check it out specifically for articles on social media, media relations, crisis management, and writing/editing.

3. PRWeek

effective PR company

This insider’s magazine is ideal for those who work in public relations. The digital edition is fueled by “breaking news, analysis, and opinion.” PRWeek also comes out in print monthly.

Bookmark this resource and remain a competitive and effective PR company. Whether you’re in Singapore or the States, you’ll find content tailored to your region.

4. PR News

effective PR company

Another industry-focussed site, PR News has a lot in store for publicists and marketers. Not only will you have access to analysis and market trends. You will also find webinars, events, and guidebooks that will help you build your career or network.

No time to browse through blocks of text? Just subscribe to its e-letter, ‘The Skinny on PR’, for similar information in a quick-read format.

5. PR Couture

effective PR company

Okay, here’s another platform dedicated to PR. But this one’s centred on comms in fashion and lifestyle.

PR Couture covers a lot of bases. It’s like a bible for beginners, pros, agencies, and brands. There are pieces on pitching, client relations, influencer relations, DIY PR, interviews, and even professional development. What’s not to love?

6. Spin Sucks

effective PR company

Make Spin Sucks a part of your regular diet. You wouldn’t want to miss out on its unique take on the PR space. Gini Dietrich, who runs marketing comms firm Arment Dietrich, writes the pieces. Guest authors also contribute.

‘Gin and Topics’ is probably the most fun section on the site. It features viral videos curated by Dietrich and contributors.

7. Adweek

effective PR company


Some of you may already be following Adweek. It’s more comprehensive than the others on this list. There’s still affinity with agencies, but topics branch out to creativity, digital, and even programmatic.

Its paywall for premium content is a potential downside. Although that’s just a small portion of the site. There’s still plenty of articles you can access for free.

8. PR Newswire Asia

effective PR company

Geek out on the events happening in the emerging markets through this regional publishing site. Owned by Cision, PR Newswire is not limited to media relations and marketing. Keep scrolling, and you’ll find stuff on travel and tourism in Asia Pacific. It also includes a ‘Beyond PR Blog.’

9. The Bulldog Reporter

effective PR company

Branding, comms, tech, PR—the scope of the Bulldog Reporter are linked but varied. And that’s the reason it stands out. Aside from the articles, it actually publishes in-depth content about the industry. So there’s something for all sizes and levels on this platform.

10. Reddit – r/PublicRelations

effective PR company

Technically not a blog, this subReddit is rich with first-hand stories and lessons from PR professionals. Even brands have a high chance of finding a good PR company here to represent them.

This subreddit seems to add to the reliability of user-generated content. Nothing beats the authenticity of people connecting and helping each other out.

No time to read everything? Let us sum up industry insights for you. Bookmark this blog or shoot us an email at info@thebitesizeconcepts.com.


4 practical PR tips for tech startups

Getting media coverage is the ultimate dream for most startups.

But there’s hard work involved for it to come true. It’s like the journey of a thousand steps. Don’t worry, though. Using practical tactics combining tech and PR, you’ll be covering a lot of ground in about six months.

Are you ready to commit?

The six-month stretch

‘Think about PR in the long-term’ is good advice. But sometimes, looking far ahead into the future causes us to fear. What if we fail, etc?

So, a mid-term challenge like the six-month stretch sounds more practical. The stretch refers to how long you’ll have to set up PR before launching a product or service. You have six months. What do you do?

We recommend the following steps:

1. Align, align, align

Don’t treat public relations separately. It’s best to include it in your digital marketing plan because it also has to align with your business goals.

Your PR campaign should target the same audience you will engage via content and social media marketing. This will depend on which phase your startup is in. Do you want to talk directly to investors, your first 1,000 users, or both?

After that, dig some details about media outlets. You should match their audience with your target audience. Journalist-turned-PR-strategist Merredith Branscombe suggests tech press for VCs; vertical outlets for partners; consumer press for users; and business press for all three.

Examples follow:

Tech press – TechCrunch

tech pr


Consumer press – Mashable

tech pr

Business press – Forbes

tech pr

2. Go deeper

This simply means doing research before making contact.

Once you’ve narrowed down publications, look for writers who are reaching out to your target audience. You can do this manually. But you can also use a tool like Hey Press. Just enter your niche or topic, and a list will appear containing names of journalists, their social accounts, and their articles.

tech pr

Follow and engage with them on social. Skip the cold calls.

Next, work on the angle of your pitch. Reporters are storytellers who have high standards for what counts as compelling. Some things you can include in your email:

  • The problem
  • Your solution
  • Data to back your claims up
  • A link to a live website with useful info about your startup

On the other hand, avoid the following:

  • Subject lines containing words like “interview opportunity,” “press release,” and “RE:/Fwd”
  • Flowery words
  • Attachments

3. Self-publish

This is where PR and content marketing strategies meet. Create valuable content early on. Make sure you have About, Services, and Blog pages even before emailing that pitch. And go easy on self-promotion. Nothing turns off press people faster than a hard sell.  

For content planning, get keyword ideas from Google Keyword Planner. Then, think of a topic to search for on BuzzSumo. What’s nice about BuzzSumo is it shows you which articles are performing well for your chosen topic.

tech pr

4. Connect with bloggers and influencers

You may also consider influential bloggers in your space. But be wary about social media influencers. Sometimes, building a relationship with a few established bloggers is a smarter investment. Again, look at the audience fit.

If you can’t yet decide on the right people, join a community like MyBlogU, the HARO (Help A Reporter Out) for bloggers.

This tactic has a downside: it can be time-consuming. If you have big fish to fry, you’re better off spending money on a PR agency specialising on PR.

The six-month stretch isn’t a magic carpet ride toward getting good press. But it also makes tech PR less of a chore and more of a workout. It gets more exciting as you start seeing the results.

Hope you’ll enjoy it!

Do you need more inspiration? Read our article on the top 10 PR blogs to read in 2019. And don’t forget to share this to your friends and connect with us on Facebook.

4 things you probably didn’t know about PR

Do you suffer from FOMO—the fear of missing out? We feel you. It’s tough to keep up with all the information these days.

So if you think you haven’t paid attention to PR enough before, just stick with us. Having worked in public relations in Singapore for years, we’re really excited to share a few things we’ve learned. Let’s have a quick tour so you won’t miss out on this front.

Off we go:

1. You can measure ROI through optimised social media promotion

Thanks to digital, it’s easier to track the ROI of a PR move. One way to do that is to use the power combo of PR and marketing. Let’s break down the things you can do.

So let’s say you landed a story on a top-tier publication. And that single article boosted your site’s referral traffic. Using Google Analytics, you can then check who among those visitors converted aka did something valuable on your site, e.g. made a purchase or subscribed to your newsletter.

It doesn’t stop there. Share the post on your social accounts and watch your referral traffic rise again. What you’re after here is not just the spike but also the increase in qualified leads.

To better your chances, add a call-to-action to the link you’re sharing. Try a tool called Snip.ly, and you’ll get something like this:

public relations singapore

Image: HubSpot

2. It’s possible to get free publicity

Opportunities show up if you look at PR from a journo’s perspective. For instance, reporters are often seeking expert sources to interview. So explore platforms like Help A Reporter Out where you can volunteer your industry know-how. Or be the go-to person for niche topics like blockchain or AI.

Why not share your thoughts in exchange for free publicity?

3. Audio is still alive

As a PR agency in Singapore, we like to mix things up. Articles are great. And we love videos and infographics. But we certainly won’t count radio talk shows and podcasts out.

Every day, many people still engage with audio content. Spotify sets their workout mood. Audiobooks entertain them during traffic jams. And radio and podcast channels provide value to their (usually) small yet loyal group of listeners.

If that piques your interest, sign up for free offers on Radio Guest List.

public relations singapore


4. Journalists want you to think like them

Actors sometimes admit that a movie is a director’s world. It means that however they perceive a scene, the director’s version will often prevail. Think about an article as the journo’s world. In your interview or pitch, tell a story that will be important to that world.

There’s no one best way to approach this. But from our experience in public relations in Singapore, you would also want to keep it short and sweet. If you haven’t noticed, reporters are always on the run. They’re trying to race their deadlines.

If you want to brainstorm storytelling ideas with your publicist or comms manager, bet on a collaborative tool like MindMeister. Here’s a sample mind map for brand stories:

public relations singapore

Want to talk more about PR insights? Connect with us at info@thebitesizeconcepts.com.