The ICO, an abbreviation for Initial Coin Offering is a current trend in FinTech’s global sector, given the ease of startups in raising funds from investors in a simple and fast way.
In this article, we will introduce you to the concept of ICO and how it is interesting for a company to promote its own ICO / IPO / Fundraising to attract potential Chinese investors.
The concept of initial money supply and its functioning
This new phenomenon is fueled by the complementarity of several elements:
Blockchain technology which is considered a technological innovation of Bitcoin. It is considered as a register that will create and save the set of for example contracts and past agreements, transaction flows but also anything that can have a value even digital. The new wealth, entrepreneurial innovation and the investors who support these projects have made it possible to advance this type of market to make it a real current phenomenon.
But then what is an ICO?
This is a means that is currently unregulated and used by startups. Quite simply, according to ICO Mentor, it is a fundraising method used by issuing digital assets exchangeable for cryptocurrency during the start-up phase of a project, when it is still the only stage of idea.
These digital assets called Tokens are created by the startup in order to associate this crypto-currency with its project to raise funds. This crypto-currency has a real financial value generally defined by the company and that allows investors to see these assets as a future return on investment in time.
However, these Tokens are not shares and in no case, represent shares of a company. Tokens assets are the prepaid product or service that a startup is developing.
There are three main types of investors for ICOs. The first is represented by investors who will eventually become future users of the product or service of the startup. They feel directly concerned by the product and its evolution.
Holders who are looking for a project that can grow their assets and bring a very good return on investment and speculators.
The ICOs have the advantage of selling at its inception at a very low price, speculators buy ICOs at the starting price to resell the assets in the market a little later at a very high price as they foresee a sharp increase in the value of the asset over time.
In a very short time, the ICOs have become an important funding channel for startups, since, in 2017, companies managed to raise more than one billion dollars.
This new trend benefits not only the originator but the investor, which justifies its more frequent use in the different sectors. China is not immune to this phenomenon whose digital environment is much more developed than that of the Western countries.
Developing its activities as a foreign startup in China will need to find Chinese investors. In this second part, we will present some ways to market your ICO.
In China, awareness is the key to your success
Increase your visibility on Baidu: the first step to gaining a reputation
Baidu is considered Google in China. It is the undisputed leader in the country in terms of search engines since it is used by 75% of Internet users.
At first, you will have to develop a Mandarin version of your website as it is a must in order to build your reputation in China. Chinese investors are savvy technicians who carry out extensive research on the internet to be aware of the latest trends.
An element that will make your website visible on Baidu is to be hosted on a Chinese server with a .cn domain.
Following this, two options are available to you to develop your strategy on Baidu. You can use SEO or SEA
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) or French SEO is an effective solution but it takes time to have a good ranking in terms of ranking on the first pages of Baidu and a better reputation.
An SEO strategy will mainly consist of content sharing, optimization of relevant keywords and backlinks. The production of diversified and quality content is an effective way to improve your SEO. Do not hesitate to ask a copywriter who can produce very good Chinese content to present your startup and the products and services you offer. The goal is to produce content on popular websites including backlinks that will link to your own website.
The second solution is SEA (Search Engine Advertising), known in many other terms as cost per click, click payment or Google AdWords.
The SEA is a paid solution that will allow your website to appear on the first page of search results by paying to advertise on Baidu. This strategy requires a certain budget to be defined upstream because of the cost of this practice. However, it remains an effective way to generate traffic instantly and without much effort.
Using the power of Chinese social media
It is crucial for the visibility of your startup to familiarize yourself with social networks in China. Indeed, these platforms take a dominant place in the lives of individuals but also in B2B trade. Therefore, it is necessary to apprehend the functioning of WeChat and Weibo two social giants without the country.
Companies, whether domestic or foreign, to position themselves on WeChat, have created official accounts that aim to act as a mini website and to be able to offer, for example, a customer service to the subscribers of your page.
Weibo is often compared to the Twitter network in the West. Unlike WeChat, which is a closed platform whose subscribers cannot view only content on which they subscribe, Weibo is an open network. Animating its Weibo page with content, updates, information, is a good way to gain reputation and promote positive word-of-mouth.
Developing your PR and multiplying apparitions
PR is an effective marketing tool for building a company’s image. Therefore the objective of PRs is to improve your reputation globally and to attract the interest of the communities specialized in your sector. You will have the opportunity to spread a positive image and message to your target audience and your audience while having the ability to manage your reputation.
Your press releases should then convey the key values, philosophy and message of your company while being tailored to your Chinese target. Appearing in the Chinese media is a must for businesses whether international or local. Indeed, these appearances will allow you to enjoy a good reputation and to be considered as a company you can trust.
A good exposure in the Chinese media will allow you to gain reputation and visibility on the Chinese digital sphere. Do not hesitate to position yourself on general information sites such as Sohu, QQ, News 168 and Toutiao that will really help you boost your e-reputation. In addition, you will also need to reach the specialized press.
- Finance Service in China
- Guide to understand Chinese investors
- Finance industry in China
- How to market investment services in China
How can Gentlemen Marketing Agency help you?
We are an agency specialized in digital marketing based in Shanghai which aims to facilitate your growth in this lucrative market that is China. We can be your partner that will represent you and that will grow your business on the ground.
We specialize in:
- Website creation, development and audit of the site.
- Baidu Search Engine Optimization
- WeChat & Weibo Content Marketing
- Reputational management and community development.
- The creation of monthly reports and analysis by our team of experts
For more information, please feel free to contact us.