By Laura K. Inamedinova
February 28th, 2019

Out of social media: how can the ICOs be advertised now?

Out of social media: how can the ICOs be advertised now?

By Laura K. Inamedinova
February 28th, 2019

When a year ago Facebook and Google banned ICO ads, a need for alternative targeted digital marketing approach appeared. To figure out, how ICOs run their targeted advertising, we decided to speak with experts in this sphere.

Crypto advertising is a must for a project trying to raise money if the right platform is used. The provider must be credible, the team – experienced, and the platform must operate on a global scale as the crypto world is so comprehensive.

That’s what Charlie Firebrace and Keith Hutchison say. They are the founders of ROQ Crypto, a programmatic advertising company, in simple words, they run highly targeted display advertising campaigns for ICOs, STOs, and other blockchain related companies.

Charlie Firebrace
Keith Hutchison

Historically, they were a digital advertising agency working in the “normal” world, as its founders say, dealing with industry sectors such as finance, auto, and travel. In July 2017, they were approached by a PR agency to run ad campaigns for their clients.

We did some and very quickly realized that there was a big opportunity in this sector, so we established ROQ Crypto as a brand, grew our team, and have run 40+ campaigns by now.

How does your advertising targeting work?

We have run a social analysis of the crypto community on Twitter, which has provided us with an in-depth and holistic view of the target audience for a crypto ad campaign. By looking at all outgoing user connections within the analysis, we have built a comprehensive profile of who these users are and where they consume media. This streamline has allowed us to develop our custom white lists (websites) which we use for targeting purposes. Based on data we have gathered, the study mentioned above and 18 months + experience of running crypto ad campaigns, we know where to aim to find relevant users online.

What’s your take on trends in the crypto community from a digital marketing perspective?

As you would expect, we have seen a slow down in the sheer numbers of ICOs wanting to run campaigns. However, there is a silver lining, the campaigns we run are for high-quality ICOs with MVPs, better teams and bigger budgets. Due to Facebook, Twitter and Google challenging ways of running ad campaigns, we are still at the forefront of the industry’s minds when decisions are being made about digital marketing. Hence the nature of the industry being so niche, digital marketing is a critical component within the marketing mix. After just 18 months of ICOs being around, it is difficult to spot trends because it is too early.

I think, one year from now, we will be able to talk trends; so far it’s been a massive high and a reasonably significant low. Our main belief – in some way, shape or form it’s here to stay.

Who do you see now as the leading investors in ICOs /STOs?It is a difficult question as the answer seems to change weekly. During the last 4 months or so we have seen a continuous shift in investment coming from institutional as opposed to crypto whales or retail investors. Probably 60% of stake in high-quality ICOs and STOs comes from institutional. That being said, it is essential for ICOs and STOs to recognize the opportunity of running a crowdsale. To a degree, it is about gaining investment, but in this bear market, it is also an opportunity for the project to get its name and brand out there.

What came as the biggest surprises once you began developing your Social Data Analytics Tool?

It wasn’t really about surprises. In all honesty, when we began the journey and composed the build-out analysis using the tool, we didn’t know what to expect as a result. It’s was well known, that the crypto community was very active on Twitter. We felt, however, that we should be able to get very sophisticated data which is why we ran the study, but there were no expectations, and therefore, no surprises. Any hope or expectation we had was far exceeded by the results that we did get.

What key learnings could you share with our readers about the current market of crypto advertising?

We have seen crypto “ad networks” pop up and disappear, so companies need to be very careful in their selection of whom they use to run campaigns. Our advice is not to do direct site deals as you will pay at least double the amount that you would if you went through a different provider. The market is tight, but we consider it a good thing because this bear market period will weed out the scams and allow more opportunities for quality projects.