Advertising Bans and Alternative Marketing Techniques for ICOs and Crypto Currencies
Facebook, Twitter and Google have recently restricted the promotion or advertising of cryptocurrency projects. In light of recent media reports, it would seem that many more platforms are likely to follow suit and leave marketing experts with no option but to get smart when it comes to cryptocurrency projects.
As you may know, the cryptocurrency markets have endured an extremely volatile time since December highs. In previous years, volatility was nothing new of course, but the extent of the retrace this year is a clear indication that the downturn on this occasion was a lot more severe. In other words, we are now witnessing a bear market and a much greater crash than anyone expected but there is also a slightly more sinister reason for this happening. Indeed, aside from market cycles and common factors which often instigate a downturn, there is no doubting the main reason as to why this year is so much worse than previous years.
Facebook, Twitter and Cryptocurrency Bans
When Twitter announced a ban recently with regard to cryptocurrency advertisements, this was merely one of many platforms who had taken a similar course. After all, Facebook had also restricted any cryptocurrency related advertisements and even Google had taken similar steps to prohibit these financial ads.
In case you might be asking yourself, these restrictions effectively restricted cryptocurrency projects from gaining traction online. In the case of Facebook, recent algorithms have meant that business page owners are unable to reach the vast majority of their following without promoting or “boosting” posts. Similarly, the only way to reach out to new followers on the same platform has been to avail of Facebook Ads which put the page in front of potential suitors. For the above reason, Facebook as a growth strategy is almost obselete for cryptocurrency projects in a sense that users can no longer boost or promote their content on the platform.
Similarly, Google Ads have enforced restrictions which have stopped cryptocurrency projects from availing of paid advertisements which is effectively the best way to reach out to a specific target market. That being said, while we mention Facebook and Google in particular, there are many more following suit and Twitter is the latest big gun to step up with a decision.
In alternative markets and industries, this may not feel like as big of a deal but this certainly matters in a sense that the cryptocurrency market is so young. With this in mind, cryptocurrency projects have not had time to optimize websites in such a way that they appear on page one for relevant searches. In fact, if you know the inner workings of SEO, these websites are often too young for Google to take seriously in terms of the rankings.
Why is this Happening in the Crypto Market?
Facebook explained this decision in quite a reasonable way and one which laid a foundation for other major players who may wish to follow suit. In essence, these platforms were concerned that fraudulent ICO’s or organisations were preying on uneducated users and Facebook, Google, and Twitter felt it was their responsibility to protect these people until the market was regulated and safer to navigate.
You may be familiar with the acronym “FUD” which stands for fear, uncertainty and doubt? Cryptocurrency blogs, websites, and channels quite often refer to media announcements as FUD and this is certainly the case with the above announcements by Facebook, Google and Twitter.
In the case of media, news reports are often exaggerated or inaccurate and the common belief amongst cryptocurrency enthusiasts is that this news is fabricated to have a negative impact on the market. Many subsequent reports support this theory and most of this news seems to correlate with times when the cryptocurrency markets are in a precarious state. For example, on the run up to December highs, Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan Bank made a televised statement in which he attributed Bitcoin as being fraudulent. However, only a few months later this same bank was found to be dabbling in cryptocurrency markets at which point Jamie Dimon released a second interview in which he announced his regret for calling the cryptocurrency a fraud and indicating that the blockchain has a bright future.
As a rule, there is no specific evidence to warrant accusations against media, government agencies or financial institutions but it must be said that market manipulation in cryptocurrency is certainly an issue at this time. While we do not know the precise players behind this manipulation or more importantly, the motive of these organizations, we should assume that restrictions around cryptocurrency in the mainstream is largely manipulative.
Alternative Approach to PR for Cryptocurrency Projects
Social Media should be used wherever possible. As a rule, Youtube and video content is still considered viral and the best way for cryptocurrency projects to reach the masses. When it comes to board-style websites, many crypto or business related message boards are still friendly toward cruyptocurrency while Steemit is still a very untapped resource.
In case you may not know, Steemit is the same provider of the cryptocurrency Steem. However, these are two separate concepts with the latter being a reward-style token and Steemit being a platform similar to Reddit. While this platform is still rather young, Steemit is growing at an exponential rate and home to an immense cryptocurrency community. Furthermore, you will find no such restrictions relating to ads on Steemit which makes this an ideal platform on which to grow a project and reach out to a relevant community.
Needless to say, Steemit is especially relevant when it comes to marketing for cryptocurrency projects but this is also one of many social media platforms which can still be used going forward. Furthermore, given the infancy of the cryptocurrency market, this is still a very early stage in which to grow an online presence using organice SEO tactics. Whether you focus on guest posting or creating content for the blog, SEO is a long term strategy which will can put any project in front of the masses and perform efficiently without the assistance of advertisements.
Getting Smart in the Face of Legislation
Indeed, the cryptocurrency market continues to thread lightly and this is set to continue until governments or regulatory bodies are more clear in terms of legislation. At the same time, the above mentioned advertising bans are also likely to become more common and do little more than reduce the impact of which cryptocurrency related projects can have with a target market.
However, in many ways, nothing has changed, for cryptocurrency has always been a somewhat underground movement. In fact, the recent spike and December highs was the main cause for cryptocurrency featuring so much in the mainstream and becoming the focus of advertising bands and potential legislation. Either way, we can already see that cryptocurrency is here to stay and set to play a pivotal role in the future of the financial industry. In this sense, while the way forward may not be as straightforward as in the past, there is still the same opportunity for cryptocurrency projects to grow but it would seem that the goalposts have movedξ, and now is the time to get smart.