How to Market an ICO – Action 5: Paid advertising for ICOs

A 5-step action plan to launch your solution


Along with publishing a white paper, developing a project website, actively engaging on social media, and listing on ICO-listing websites, you need to think about paid advertising.

Paid advertising is the quickest way to increase your reach on social media sites. Influencer marketing is gaining traction in the crypto community as is affiliate marketing. Specialist advertising services can get your ads placed on multiple cryptocurrency and blockchain websites.

This series of posts, How to Market an ICO: A 5 step action plan to launch your solution, outlines a 5-step action plan to market your ICO. In this 5th post find out why paid advertising for ICOs is so important to the success of your launch. The fifth action is to explore channels for paid advertising for ICOs.

Action 5: Paid advertising for ICOs

Be aware that advertising platforms are starting to place tighter restrictions on the content that can be promoted. You will need to avoid high pressure ads that try to sell a particular cryptocurrency or advertise an ICO; they will most likely be banned. Work around this by promoting a piece of free content, a webinar, or your social media group.

When drawing up your paid advertising budget you should consider some or all of the following channels.

Social media channels

Telegram, reddit, and Medium

You can pay to get more followers on your Telegram group, subreddit, or Medium blog, or onto your email list. Services like RateMember ( buy members for your Telegram groups and channels; even for more post views. There are similar services for increasing your reach on reddit and Medium. The more members/followers you want the more it costs.

Google and Facebook

In conventional marketing, Google and Facebook are the go-to advertising platforms. In marketing ICOs, however, that avenue has been blocked. In 2018 Facebook and Google banned all advertising for cryptocurrency, including Bitcoin and initial coin offerings.

Facebook has introduced a whitelisting procedure. You can try whitelisting your project by submitting their form, but the process is uncertain. It could take months to receive an answer. If you get one at all.

You can run paid ads for your ICO on social media sites, just pay close attention to the wording of your copy to ensure that it complies with any rules of the ad platform. For instance, Facebook released examples of copy that would result in an ad being banned:

  • “Click here to learn more about our no-risk cryptocurrency that enables payments to anyone in the world.”
  • “New ICO! Buy tokens at a 15% discount NOW!”

You can work around the ban on high pressure ads that try to sell people on a particular cryptocurrency or advertise an ICO by promoting a piece of free content (your whitepaper!), a webinar, or your social media group.

Influencer marketing

Influencer marketing is an important channel with which to advertise your offering. Influencers are thought leaders who are respected for delivering expert opinions. They tend to have huge followings on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media channels. They educate investors by sharing authentic reviews, posting informative blogs, and publishing educational YouTube videos. Many of your prospective investors do not trust conventional advertising. These investors may trust influencers with a strong base of followers.

paid advertising for ICOs

There are many well-known ICO influencers who provide their services in the market with good results. They can give you a credible third-party opinion about your ICO. Make sure the influencer discloses that they are being compensated for their services.

The benefit of paying for influencer services is the relationship is highly controllable. You discuss and agree to content and messaging in advance and have the benefit of working in partnership to create output.

Affiliate marketing

paid advertising for ICOs

Another powerful advertising tool for ICOs is affiliate marketing. Affiliate programs for ICOs reward individuals for the number of successfully completed sales. Affiliate marketing benefits include bringing down marketing costs by only paying for clicks and conversions and by demonstrating transparency because the ICO is clearly paying when there’s a sale.

By definition affiliate marketing involves:

  • the affiliate’s website,
  • the buyer,
  • the affiliate network, and
  • the commission (earnings for completed sales)

It works as follows:

  • The affiliate chooses your product to promote with the help of the affiliate’s website.
  • The buyer clicks on the link on the affiliate’s site.
  • The affiliate network tracks the buyer to your site.
  • The commission is paid to the affiliate after the sale is successfully completed.

The affiliate’s website should contain information about and reviews of your product. In addition to the link to the affiliate network, provide links back to your project website.

Crypto and Blockchain advertisers

There are advertising networks like Cointraffic and CoinAd that specialize in getting ads placed on cryptocurrency-related sites. These sites provide native and banner ad placements.

Cointraffic, according to their website (, is the global marketing specialist for global crypto companies through their proprietary network. They claim to be able to make your project visible on over 400 crypto sites. They require a minimum deposit of €500 and recommend a minimum advertising budget of €5000.

CoinAd ( will place your ad on individual sites or across their network. Their pricing is based on the number of impressions an ad achieves. Minimum investment is 0.01 BTC with a full marketing campaign starting at $10,000 (currency not specified).


Paid advertising is a crucial action for success with your ICO launch. Paid advertising increases the power of your other actions: more downloads of the white paper, more website traffic, more social media followers. By clearly acknowledging payment, influencer and affiliate reviews and opinions add a level of transparency to your marketing.

This series of posts, How to Market an ICO: A 5 step action plan to launch your solution, has outlined a 5-step action plan to market your ICO:

  1. Writing a compelling ICO white paper
  2. Building awareness and authority with a project website
  3. ICO social media marketing
  4. Listing your ICO
  5. Paid advertising for ICOs

In coming weeks we’ll dive deeper into on-going content marketing for cryptocurrency and blockchain projects and businesses.

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