Four Implications of Facebook’s Crypto Ad Ban

Mar 06, 2018 at 11:54 // News

Facebook’s decision to ban cryptocurrency and ICO related ads will have real implications for entrepreneurs seeking to launch token sales.

By Jackson Wightman, Allison Aitken and Borjana Slipicevic

Facebook has already said that they will revisit this policy and that the initial version was intentionally broad, the idea being that the company will refine a more nuanced approach over time--yet another example of the incredible fluidity of the crypto world at the moment. Until then (and likely after), there’s a lot for blossoming ICO’s to consider.

To help blockchain entrepreneurs negotiate this brave new world, here are four main implications of Facebook’s decision that we are already seeing in our ICO work:

  1. Community building pre ICO just got harder. An ICO’s success depends partly on the strength of a company’s community. Everyone knows that Facebook ads that took users to landing pages where they’d be prompted to give up an email address were a key tactic in email list and community building. This cornerstone now gone, ICO teams will need to find new ways to get people into their funnels.

2.            Increasing importance of PR. Earned media coverage pre-ICO has always been a key part of generating awareness, establishing credibility and community building. Though PR is a risky, hard to control channel, in a no-Facebook ad universe, it will have to shoulder a heavier burden. Entrepreneurs have to either find more effective ways to conduct their own media relations or get better at finding the right agency partners. Media cynicism about ICOs means this is a high stakes matter. The bottom line is that money spent on PR needs to return more than it previously did and failure to properly execute in channel will bring more dire consequences than before.

3.            Telegram groups, boards and Reddit matter more. As with PR, tried and true channels such as Telegram groups, Internet chat rooms, and Reddit will now matter more than they previously did for getting the word out.

4.            A healthier environment for ICOs. Truth be told, the ability to blanket the world’s most popular social network with ads had led to numerous dodgy projects raising significant funds. While Google’s decision to ban ads by payday lenders suggests that people can and will find a way around a behemoth’s attempts to regulate behaviors, perhaps now the Wild West will be a little less wild.

Jackson Wightman, Allison Aitken and Borjana Slipicevic are partners at Proper Propaganda, a PR agency that helps companies generate press coverage around ICOs.

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