Less than a month has passed since Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg issued his 2018 mission statement, where he claimed that he is interested “to go deeper and study the positive and negative aspects of these technologies [cryptocurrencies], and how best to use them in our services.”
The statement was greeted with overwhelming enthusiasm in financial circles, leading experts to think that Facebook is now eyeing the Asian mobile payments market.
Yet, Facebook managed to drop a bombshell on the market, announcing their new advertising policy: the company now bans all ads “that promote financial products and services that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices, such as binary options, initial coin offerings and cryptocurrency.”
Why did Facebook do that?
One of the major motives behind the move was the need to restore the trust, shaken by recent “fake news” scandals and a tremendous amount of fraud in the financial services sector.
Curiously enough, Facebook decided to punish all the crypto industry, even the companies that meet all the legal requirements and are far from being a scam. The social media giant says that it has been done deliberately.
“This policy is intentionally broad while we work to better detect deceptive and misleading advertising practices,” said Rob Leathern, one of Facebook’s ad tech directors.
Nonetheless, it’s hard to imagine that these restrictions can seriously impact the multi-billion dollar crypto industry while the Bitcoin is above $7200, and the public interest is heightened. Companies, offering crypto-related products and services, most definitely would start looking for alternative ways to promote their business, and advertising networks are getting ready to meet the demands of their future clients.
To understand what options advertisers have and to what extent Facebook can be replaced, we decided to discuss this whole situation with Anton Merkulov, Business Development Manager at PropellerAds.
Anton, thank you for joining us today. The situation around the ban is complicated; do you believe these social media restrictions may anyhow hurt crypto business?
The ban is a questionable move as it mirrors the lack of trust in the blockchain economy in its current state. It can be interpreted as a serious sign that Facebook fears market turbulence, fuelled by concerns over Bitcoin price manipulations.
The all-out, “intentionally broad” ban paints the whole industry including thousands of legitimate businesses with the same brush.
More importantly, Facebook was never the primary traffic source for crypto products, and there are plenty of other ways to promote them. PPC, YouTube, affiliate sites, popunders, native ads, push notifications, etc. – there are dozens of ad formats and approaches to take advantage of. We will see if other players follow Facebook’s steps or count increased ad revenues.
The Facebook ban is one of many challenges that crypto markets will face in 2018, but real businesses with the serious background will get stronger as a result.
How do you ensure the quality of crypto traffic?
Let’s start with the fact that we have traffic-quality protection systems in place, meaning that no matter what kind of traffic an advertiser is purchasing, we can guarantee it meets all industry standards.
As for crypto traffic, there’s only one criterion you should be focused on – ROI. This statement can easily be explained through the specifics of the crypto audience: a heightened public interest mixed with a poor understanding of blockchain technology gives a very narrow audience of people who are proficient in this topic.
Eventually, targeting this narrow audience becomes unprofitable, because advertising on the very same websites can’t drive more traffic or new clients. So when we are talking about the quality of crypto traffic, we should, majorly, concentrate on the correlation between reach and the price.
What strategies could you suggest to advertisers, looking to promote their crypto offers?
There is a stiff competition among crypto offers, so you have to be really strategic about how you promote your products.
It’s evident that the situation with Facebook is just a tip of the iceberg, and following multiple fraud cases, it’s getting harder to earn the audience’s trust. So as you begin promoting your crypto offer, you should spend a big chunk of time building the community around your product.
Transparency and openness are key ingredients in building a community. How can advertising help at this stage? Grow brand awareness with large-scale advertising campaigns, like pop traffic or interstitial ads to increase the popularity of your blog or affiliate site.
Got awareness? Obviously, it’s worth nothing if you don’t know how to translate that awareness into action. That’s why you need to try retargeting to convert those interested customers.
You can proceed, then, with a more personalized approach, for example, send Push Notifications, updating clients on market news and latest offers.
All in all, be flexible and think out of the box. Try various sales funnels and landing pages. Try unconventional traffic sources and approaches, because marketing is all about experimentation.