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So you’re a media buyer feeling adventurous (or desperate) enough to try out the crypto vertical? That’s just great… well, we’ve jolted down a short guide just for you. We can’t guarantee it will make you rich and successful, but at least it will help you stay alive.
The ‘Guide’ term is a little overrated. What we have here is more of a cautinoray tale for any media buyer planning to get their foot in the crypto-door in 2018. Mind you – we’ll mostly point out some common pitfalls and rather unclear peculiarities of the crypto vertical, while avoiding some really obvious stuff or going too deep. In other words – don’t expect too much, but this article will get you through the Darkest Night of Crypto. Hopefully.
Do You Wanna Know?
But hey, is it even worth your while? Like any treasure hunter setting out on a daring crypt(o) raid, you’ve got to weigh down all the ‘risk’ vs ‘reward’ stuff first. So while you can still fold your cards and walk away, let’s do just that.
Spoiler alert: we’ve got bad news and awful bad news for you. But since nobody likes a downer, let’s call them ‘good news’ and ‘bad news’ instead.
The Rewards of Crypto
We’re willing to give you a breather after such a grim introduction, so let’s start with good news first:
- Crypto is all about big money, high speed and low drag. This a ‘make good money here and now’ situation, which is a great opportunity to take your game up a dozen of notches. Short version: you can get rich fast;
- As of now, crypto-related ads (for the most part) are legal on Facebook, Google and all the related social networks. So you won’t have to smuggle *every* banner through the moderation blockade. Just some of them;
- Banner networks, native ad networks, networks with videos, push-ads and teasers – crypto has it all now. So there’s plenty of options to purchase your traffic from. So you can use all the tricks and methods that you’re comfortable with, and your prior experience will come in handy – you can totally capitalize on that.
The Risks of Crypto
That didn’t sound like good news to you? Wait till you hear this. The really bad news:
- Crypto traffic is expensive. Like what-the-actual-fuck-expensive. When it comes to crypto display ads, they’re 10 to 15 times more expensive than what you’re used to working with mainstream verticals. So every mistake you make will be 15 times more painful. Or just 10 times more painful, if you’re lucky;
- Conversion can be a bitch. You’re not the only one scared of jumping into the unknown – justified or not, a lot of crypto-projects have a certain trust-issue stigma to them, which affects conversion rates, obviously. So you’ll need to learn how to pick projects that have actual marketers working on their brand’s reputation;
- Crypto has a steep learning curve, even for a seasoned veteran like yourself. Not that it’s rocket science, it’s just there aren’t many guides or experienced mentors out there (why else would you be reading this?). So you’ll be making a lot of costly mistakes before you learn the ropes. And then you will still make a lot of mistakes;
- Due to last year’s scam frenzy, big-time vendors and platforms have limited your options for advertising a variety of crypto-projects (like ICOs for one). They’re softening their grip, but it’s still pretty tight – and you can get smothered;
- Going white-hat on Facebook only makes sense (and money) if you’re a big agency who can move big volumes and budgets. Are you a big agency? You still need to spill out the entire budget to every detail possible;
- The biggest pain is building and finding a proper audience for targeting crypto ads. If you don’t have an audience of your own, we might know a guy who knows a girl at RunCPA who can help you with that.
Now, we can’t call it bad news, cause this is a whole new level of ‘bad’ – the advertising networks you will try to purchase traffic from. These things will kill you in the most gory way possible.
There are lots of networks out there that work with their own formats, and they are BAD NEWS. You either get shitty traffic from just as shitty platforms for the right price, or look for a network that deals in higher quality traffic.
The latter will cost you $10-15 per mile with a minimum starting budget of $5000 or even $10000. What will those 10g’s get you?
- The format;
- The sheer volume;
- Almost no customization options;
- A life of self-doubt and regret.
In other words – you just pay for quantity and pray for quality. And there’s no church in the crypto-wilds yet.
Crypto Survival Tips
Now, as promised, here come the 6 tips on what NOT-TO-DO when starting out with crypto as a media buyer. What? You didn’t really expect a ‘what-to-do’ guide, right? Seriously, we’re not giving you the magic formula on exactly what to do just yet, but hopefully these precautions will save you a lot of pain, time and a shit ton of money.
1. Don’t Start Big
When you start prowling the Crypto Wilds – start small, don’t bring your best gear on your first run. Draw a line at $1000 in advertising budget and don’t cross it.
Avoid networks that offer you a package starting at 2 grand with no customization option. They will most likely drown you in a pool of shit-traffic and there’s nothing you can do about it.
2. Don’t count on your ‘special tactics’ when choosing an offer
Even if you fancy yourself the media buying version of Batman, your years of training as a ninja and high-tech tricks up your belt won’t help you beat the odds.
The crypto advertising market is still B2B-focused. Hence, most quality ad networks are designed to supply big chunks of traffic to third-party projects directly. Partially, this is due to underdeveloped technologies in the crypto ad business. For a privateer like you, this leaves little room for customizing the traffic you purchase and tweaking your advertising campaigns.
3. Don’t take shit from anyone
Remember there’s no honor among crypto media buyers. So whenever you choose an ad network for crypto, bear in mind there’s a lot of people out there willing to screw you over. So don’t get caught up with a fly-by-night sham network that will sell you overpriced traffic from their friendly neighbour source and be gone by daylight.
Pro Tip: Google up the top-10 networks and pay extra attention to reviews. Don’t just go for the first line you see in Google’s paid results.
4. Don’t be afraid to ask questions
Don’t run blind tests in crypto, unless you’re an excentric billionaire. A good ad network has its own media buying team that has already done that for you. Like here at RunCPA, we’ve tested all the possible and barely possible crypto channels to see what nails it and what fails. So talk to your affiliate manager before pulling that trigger!
5. Don’t be above trading
For all the weird things happening with crypto traffic, the trading sub-vertical in crypto follows the same rules as anywhere in the mainstream market. Whichever approach or ad format worked for you in mainstream trading – will work in crypto-trading. Native, teasers and even pop-ads.
This makes trading the most obvious entry point for a media buyer willing to give crypto a try.
6. Don’t get ideas
So there are two types of idea you can get on your first media buying trip to crypto – the good one and the bad one. Good news – their both flawed, so you won’t be crushed with a moral dilemma.
Don’t drive mainstream traffic
What could be more noble than converting mainstream audiences into the crypto faith with your ads? But nobility does not mix well with wealth, not since the medieval at least. So if you try driving mainstream traffic to crypto projects, the results will be depressing to say the least.
Mainstream traffic worked really well during the 2017 hype, when your average Joe was anxious to lay his hands on anything with a crypto flavor to it, but those glorious times are gone now.
Don’t drive fraudulent traffic
The crypto vertical is not the ‘no man’s land’ frontier it used to be, there are laws here you know. With the entire industry struggling to redeem its roguish reputation in the eyes of the Internet Community, fraud is arguably the best thing you can do to make the advertisers turn on you.
Besides, after what happened last year, the general audience does not have as much faith in crypto-products as we’d like them to. Driving perfect fraud will only reinforce those doubts and still result in a failed advertising campaign and wasted money. So don’t do that, unless you’re a career villain.
And that does it for the Media Buyer’s Survival Guide to Crypto! Wow, that was… dark. But you’ve got to admit it’s always better to learn about the bad stuff from spooky stories like this one, and not from personal experience.
Hopefully this article proved helpful and will make your first run in crypto a lot smoother than it could’ve been. Stay frosty though – you’re still bound to hit some speedbumps that even we overlooked, but that’s just part of the game and, if you ask us, the reward is worth it. Well, eventually.
Anyway, thanks for reading and stay tuned for more helpful stuff we post here to help our crypto-brothers out. Also, if you want to max out your crypto-survival skills, be sure to check out our
Facebook and Twitter pages – it’s not quality creepy-pasta like this article, but we post valuable hints everyday. At least we try to!