Influencers are used for just about everything these days. They are the digital version of celebrity endorsements of days gone by where TV adverts, billboards and magazines were the mediums of the day. Apple has used this sort of promotion since the eighties and in this new era crypto and blockchain are not above the use of influencers.
In our last blog post we mentioned the difficulties experienced by the crypto industry specifically when it comes to marketing, branding and advertising. These restrictions have made the industry lean, we think, a bit too heavily on the flavor of the market at any given moment. Influencers in crypto have become like demi- Gods and we think it’s unwarranted in some instances.
Sometimes the person picked by crypto brands out there may garner kudos in terms of their clout but are generally clueless when it comes to crypto and it’s obvious. Even if brands get the reach they want because the influencer just sees dollar signs and aren’t concerned about their rep this is counterintuitive – there is such a thing as bad PR. It makes brands look cheap and tacky (no matter what they have paid) and any influencer willing to serve their followers like that really doesn’t have much soul. An unholy matrimony overall.
That is just the one type of celebrity endorsement or influencer we have identified. There are so many “types” and we wonder if they are doing the blockchain and crypto industry any good?
“Looking forward to participating in the new @LydianCoinLtd Token! #ThisIsNotAnAd #CryptoCurrency #BitCoin #ETH #BlockChain.”
Paris Hilton, Twitter, September 2017
Endorsements by those unrelated to the blockchain and crypto industry can be a double-edged knife because as much as the industry does want more adoption and thus to brand out of our own bubbles some influencers audiences may not be ready enough and without the sufficient knowledge or education around crypto then these newbies are like lambs to the slaughter.
The current state of the world owing to Covid19 and the resulting global economic downturn and rising unemployment rates means unbanked are increasing and more than ever people are looking for a way to turn a quick buck and relieve some of their debt. It’s just not fair and it’s no wonder there are restrictions on advertising on Facebook, Twitter and Google.
“If you’re not a billionaire in the next 10 years, it’s your own fault.”
20-year-old whose preteen fortune was worth $5.4 million
Now, we know that some may say that is what research is for and people have free will and need to protect themselves but in the decentralised space it’s not like you have a trusted advisor to reach out to that is linked to a so-called reputable organization.
Where is the accountability?
Emerging markets can also be very naive markets, the unbanked are sometimes not well educated on traditional financial markets and we think it’s so important to be careful about which influencers you use in these markets. Education should be at the heart of the influencer messaging and the influencer should be aligned to that market and care about their impact otherwise they stand the chance of perpetuating the problem in emerging markets.
“I wouldn’t be against advertising for a company that isn’t a bitcoin company, as long as I like and believe in the product. I think content creators, especially if they’re successful in developing an engaged audience, should realize they can be selective and wait for advertisers they and their audiences align with.”
Marty Bent, Bitcoin podcaster whose show is sponsored by Unchained Capital and Square’s Cash App.
In the crypto world there isn’t a bank to walk into or a call centre to consult and influencer marketing cannot be underestimated. It actually works. Forbes suggests that, on average, a celebrity endorsement increases a company’s sales by just 4 percent relative to its competitors. Influencers are effective as a digital marketing tactic especially in a world where our phones are littered with banner advertising. 92%of consumers would rather make a purchase based on influencer opinion instead of ads.
Furthermore the average age of the person entering the crypto market is getting lower and lower as the generation of digital natives not concerned about adapting to using tech enter the world of employment and start to explore their financial options. Mostly millennials, their parents more than likely won’t be able to help them steer the crypto ship, so they are likely to fall prey to quick fixes and scams despite their tech savviness.
So this is a call for our industry to be more responsible. Crypto influencers build their reputation by giving advice on investments before they have even borne any fruit! How is that possible unless they have a crystal ball. It’s just not feasible and that sort of thing doesn’t exactly build the reputation of the industry. It’s a no win strategy.
Those influencers that do have some actual crypto experience elevate their experience and carve out a space for themselves as being “knowledgeable”. As crypto opens up to the world these people in-the-know are further elevated by mainstream media and they are not necessarily credible, educated enough and certainly not gurus in the field. This superficial status is perpetuated by the fees charged and even the fact that there are Influencer award ceremonies. It’s like watching a bad reality TV show happen.
As we know, past performance does not guarantee future results. We hope that very soon that there is some accountability held by these so-called influencers. Ultimately we wouldn’t mind seeing crypto influencers disappear and rather have salaried crypto analysts to depend on. Until then we at AmaZix will continue the good fight of integrity and sustainability and good marketing practices. If you want responsible marketers with soul, a conscious team who are passionate about the potential of blockchain, crypto and DeFi you have come to the right place!