The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Your ICO on Reddit
While they were once much less common, hundreds of ICO campaigns are going on at any given time, meaning that you need to do more than ever to stand out from the competition.
One of the most popular ways to market your ICO is Reddit, which allows you to connect with an engaged audience of cryptocurrency enthusiasts and investors. It’s one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency communities, and its users spend more time on the website than those of other platforms. As the sixth most visited website in the world with over 542 million monthly visitors, you’d be crazy not to explore Reddit in your hunt for ICO investors.
The Basics of ICO Reddit Marketing
Reddit can be an overwhelming platform at first, and it’s tough to know exactly how to leverage it for marketing. There are two ways to approach marketing on Reddit.
The Easy Part: Creating your own subreddit
To start, I’d recommend creating a subreddit—essentially a forum—dedicated to your ICO, which will act as a communication medium for you and your audience. Users interested in your ICO can subscribe, start threads, and comment on topics related to your business. Your subreddit can help potential users understand the value you provide and what makes you different from other ICOs. You can create your own subreddit here.
The Hard Part: Talking about your ICO on other subreddits
In addition, you should post more information about your project on more general forums, such as r/bitcoin, r/ethtrader, and r/cryptocurrency, which have a much wider reach. However, this is easier said than done, as most of the popular subreddits have rules in place to keep promotional posts out, resulting in temporary or permanent bans. You’ll need to get a little more creative.
The goal for any Reddit marketer is to hit the front page of a popular subreddit. It’s one of the most successful avenues for organic traffic, and cannot be ignored for its potential for traffic and investors. Game on!
All Major Cryptocurrency Subreddits
Reddit has a thriving community of people involved in the crypto industry in various ways, including holders, spenders, whales, investors, miners, and everything in between. There are several important subreddits you should be aware of that can be leveraged throughout your ICO campaign. Smaller forums are best for direct engagement and targeted views, while those with more traffic are better for reaching a wider audience.
r/bitcoin is the platform’s largest crypto-related forum, with nearly 900,000 subscribers and constant activity. A quick glance at its top content will include news about cryptocurrencies, informational pieces, and other related posts. One downside is that due to its specific focus on bitcoin, it will likely be less receptive to other currencies.
r/cryptocurrency is slightly smaller, at roughly 700,000 users, but it is open to all cryptocurrencies and can be used to effectively market your ICO. It’s a great place for an AMA (more on that below), but before you start reaching out on larger forums, consider building a dedicated audience on smaller subreddits as well as one dedicated to your ICO—this is the best way to find people interested in your specific project.
Here are some other popular crypto-related subreddits:
- r/ethereum (372,000+ subscribers)
- r/btc (210,000+ subscribers)
- r/ethtrader (193,000+ subscribers)
- r/bitcoinmarkets (122,000+ subscribers)
- r/icocrypto (63,700+ subscribers)
- r/blockchain (42,500+ subscribers)
- r/CryptocurrencyICO (15,900+ subscribers)
- r/ico (11,000+ subscribers)
How to Engage with Subreddits
There’s a certain finesse when it comes to promoting or marketing your ICO on a subreddit. It starts by not promoting or marketing your ICO.
Despite attempts to prevent you from blinding posting about your ICO on most of the above subreddits, your post will almost certainly be removed. Most of the larger subreddits have active moderators and bots set up to prevent spamming links and posts that break the subreddit rules.
Here are a few tips to get you started with subreddits:
- Read the subreddit rules, and follow them. If they say don’t promote, don’t flat out promote.
- Post from a personal Reddit account, rather than your ICO branded account. People like people better. However, older accounts are preferred over new ones.
- Engage with the community by upvoting comments, replying to comments that drive value, and avoid the one-liner, closed ended responses (ie. “Great comment!”). Ask questions and help the community out with answers.
- Increase your link and comment karma, both on the subreddit itself and on Reddit as a whole. By engaging with the subreddit, you’ll naturally increase your karma. Most major subreddits will auto-delete link posts from accounts that have not reached a minimum karma score.
- Don’t sell; instead focus on value. What type of Medium blog post content can you publish which could bring value to the subreddit?
- When in doubt, ask a moderator first if it’s okay to post. It never hurts to ask. Be warned: even if one moderator is OK with your post, it can still be banned by another moderator.
- Emphasize the pain points your ICO is designed to address, and make it easy for them to understand what you have to offer.
Host an AMA (Ask Me Anything)
One popular type of post on Reddit is known as an AMA, in which members of a community can field questions from users. These are great ways to connect with your audience and address their concerns and questions about your ICO. Questions will come in real-time, and your audience will appreciate your willingness to engage and answer difficult questions about what you have to offer. In most cases, an AMA that is hosted by your CEO is preferred.
An AMA differs from a press release in that it creates an organic conversation that involves both sides. In addition, your community likely has a developed understanding of cryptocurrencies, and you will receive valuable feedback about your ICO campaign. Transparency is vital in the confusing, changing world of cryptocurrencies.
You can host AMAs on your own subreddit, or on other subreddits if planned in advance with their mods. Also – don’t forget to mention your AMA on all your channels, including your email list, your Medium blog, and social media.
Paid Reddit Marketing: Is it worth it?
Reddit ads, much like on Twitter and Facebook, ICOs are unable to run ads to drive traffic to your website.
While this is very much the discouraged method to marketing on Reddit, it’s one worth discussing.
Reddit is a self-regulating platform, meaning that users decide what content gets exposure through voting. That said, businesses looking for more immediate visibility can pay for positive responses and upvotes (which help push your content above the rest of the pile). This can help you remove negative responses, emphasize positive ones, and some firms will even add comments that link to your website or subreddit, helping to drive traffic. You can find people willing to take payment for upvotes and creating posts on Upwork, CryptoJobsList, BlackHatWorld, and various forums online.
While Reddit can be a great place for networking and marketing your ICO, there are significant difficulties and risks associated with the platform. Many of its users are suspicious of self-promoting content and businesses that pay for exposure, and will sniff you out fast. This makes it difficult to determine whether paying for upvotes and positive content will yield a positive ROI.
Again – I certainly do not advocate the idea of backdoor methods such as paying freelancers to bump Reddit threads. However, it’s always a topic of conversation in marketing circles. For sustainability, your primary focus on Reddit should be on organic growth.
It’s not secret that marketing on Reddit is challenging, even more so in the context of cryptocurrencies, which are a saturated market and one with an informed audience. That being said, it can provide substantial benefits over other traffic sources, and should be a main focus of any ICO campaign. By engaging directly with your audience and creating a personal connection, you separate yourself from other, more generic campaigns and increase your odds of success.