ICO Marketing Outreach: why "data driven" campaign preparation is essential

Part 2 in our series on ICO Marketing: The Definitive Guide to Effective Outreach

In our previous post, we examined how to create an outreach list by identifying relevant experts operating in your niche. Outreach lists are vital to blockchain startups looking to engage prominent experts — whether they are advisors, investors or influencers (promoters).

But once your outreach list is built, how do you use it? Some startups choose to delegate engagement to agencies or consultancies. Knowing the ins and outs of what this activity entails, even if you aren’t doing it yourself, will help you achieve the best results.

We believe that with the right approach start-ups can achieve successful outreach themselves. Clearly you’ll require the right list and the right approach. This article focuses on the latter — outlining the practical steps of devising and executing an outreach strategy.

Define Success

Many startups commence outreach on a general “fishing expedition”. They contact lots of people for initial reactions, without a clear idea of success and hoping they will attract investors, advisors and influencers in one fell swoop.

This approach will typically fail. It can even damage your start-up. By contributing to industry clutter, it also makes subsequent activity more challenging.

It’s essential to start with a clear picture of what success means for your business. Everything you do should be tailored to achieve the required business outcome through the smallest, easiest or most cost-effective number of actions and engagements.

There are very few occasions when a wide-ranging blanket outreach campaign is the best approach. It’s far better to be laser-focused in delivery. This ensures you’re relevant and personalised. It can cut through the clutter and steal a march on your competitors.

We recommend discrete and defined outreach campaigns to recruit advisors, investors, employees or influencers. Each type of campaign will have its own objectives, target audiences, time frames, tracking metrics and measures of success. Data driven outreach.

Research and Segment

Once you’re clear on what you want each of your outreach campaigns to achieve, it’s time to research and segment your outreach list. This involves creating audience segments within your list that represent the group of people best able to help you achieve your objectives. These segments may range from a handful of experts to several hundred (in the case of micro-influencer marketing strategies). Less is generally more, and each segmentation can often be split further — into priority groups that enable different phases of outreach, each dependent on the success of the previous.

When researching your outreach list to create campaign segments, each expert should be chosen with care. While their influence and engagement levels are the starting point, it’s important to consider their fit with your specific campaign too. Spend time browsing the posting history of each expert and make sure they have a track record of success and positive support for projects that complement your own niche and campaign. As we’ll see below, there are some specific things to think about for each kind of campaign.

Advisor campaigns

There is little point engaging with an advisor who is already on a score of boards and spread far too thin to be of any value to your project. However, you do want an advisor who has the skills and knowledge to truly add value to your project, whether that is through advice, introductions or prestige.

Investor campaigns

For investor outreach, it’s worth focusing on each investors profile, fund size, and history of success with similar organisations and niches. Look for those who build long-term plays in a limited number of specialist sectors.

Influencer campaigns

Influencers who seem to be promoting something with every other tweet are best left to others. You’ll be wanting to find those whose quality of promoted content far outweighs its quantity and has a true interest in your niche.

Many outreach campaigns benefit from the amplification effects possible when you have several individuals involved. As there is likely to be some audience crossover between each campaign, this will enable your overall plan to be greater than the sum of its parts.

On the other hand, a micro outreach approach involves harnessing the power of the “long-tail” to get your message out to a greater number of less prominent experts and their diverse audiences. These campaigns can require more time to prepare than other campaigns, but can be incredibly effective if you can deliver valuable content.

Whether you are engaging with advisors, investors or influencers, you should now be clear on each of your campaigns objectives and strategy, and have your outreach list clearly segmented, prioritised and researched accordingly.

If so, you’re now almost ready to move into the outreach phase and start getting great results (which we’ll cover in Part 4 of this series). But first, in Part 3, we’ll dive deeper into the specialised, highly effective field of ICO Influencer Marketing — and how to make a campaign work across paid, owned and earned media

An alternative option — LiveLists

If you want to discover and engage the right investors, influencers and advisors to ensure your blockchain project is a success, but don’t have the time to follow the above process yourself (and want to reduce investment in agencies or pre-made lists to do this), Block Influence’s LiveLists product may be of interest.

It saves start-ups time and expenditure by creating bespoke outreach lists that you can access and own — in a matter of hours and at a fraction of the cost of hiring an agency or purchasing a list. LiveLists improves outreach quality and effectiveness — by giving founding teams the tools to do outreach themselves.

LiveLists is updated in real-time and contains all the information you’d need to achieve a wide range of outreach activities. Find out more here.


This article was originally pubished on medium.com, please join the discussion there now.