This year has no doubt been one of the most difficult for the retail brokerage industry. Can it be saved by adequate PR? This is the topic which we focus on in the following lines as we spoke to some clever experts in the field.
Regulators clamped down on the appropriateness of some products for retail investors. VISA and MasterCard have changed their chargebacks policies. Last but not least, Google, Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms have undertaken measures to limit advertising.
The latter step will most likely prove to be temporary, as firms are finding new and discreet ways to advertise. In this day and age, however, the evolution of the regulatory landscape is promoting firms to take a different route.
Over the past several months, a number of companies from the brokerage and crypto space are increasingly focused on PR. Having observed the phenomenon, Finance Magnates has reached out to some top professionals to get a better grasp of the state of the market.
Paid Media vs Organic PR
A professional PR company which has been very popular in Israel, Blonde 2.0 is led by a vibrant team of professionals. One of them is Motti Peer, co-CEO with many years of experience with tech companies.
Peer explained that a lot of companies in the FX/crypto industry are focusing their marketing and budgets on paid media. In his opinion, there is a better approach.
“The reach and effectiveness of paid media is substantially less than that of earned media; such as having a feature on a top-tier publication like Forbes, Financial Times and CoinDesk,” Peer explained.
Striking a balance between aggressive and traditional marketing strategies versus earned media is key. Peer thinks that firms need to identify what is effective, what is doable and what simply won’t give the company the momentum it needs. The limitation of ads on Google, Facebook, Twitter and more recently Outbrain and Taboola makes PR is a viable solution.
“I expect to see more companies and campaigns to take the PR route for their ICO needs,” Peer stated.
Cryptocurrency Firms Drive Demand
Traditional PR is becoming very popular amongst cryptocurrency firms according to Vanessa Green. She is the co-founder of UK-based independent communications consultancy, Wigwam PR. The main reason for the shift is the restrictions in other forms of marketing.
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“Cryptocurrencies have become more mainstream and are now written about by a wide range of media titles,” Green elaborates.
The co-founder of Wigwam PR thinks that traditional techniques such as news stories and thought leadership articles are effective. The added cost benefits of doing PR instead of advertising can also prove to be worthwhile due to the potential for a bigger impact.
“At Wigwam PR we have seen an increase in the number of new business calls relating to the cryptocurrency market over the last few months. There are a lot of firms who are now jumping on the crypto bandwagon,” Green shared.
The downside of the increasing demand for PR on part of the crypto-industry is the lack of trust in the market.
“We focus on the more institutional end of the market and look to work with organisations or people who have a proven track record and good reputation in the FX industry,” Green explained.
FX Industry Using PR More Frequently Than Ever
David Malits, the Co-founder of global PR agencies DM-Communications and Enlightened PR says that demand is rapidly rising.
“The FX industry uses PR more frequently than ever. This is an industry in which marketing is performance oriented, and naturally, most marketers in the industry come from digital marketing methodologies and avoid touching anything that is not measurable,” Malits explains.
It is the opinion of Malits that high-quality content creates more interactions and gives greater validity to the topic at hand. A transition from the use of promoted content to the use of PR to produce organic articles in respectable media is due. It has been driven by the increased difficulties for the industry related to new regulations.
“We can penetrate the official media with relevant content, even when it comes to issues that are on the gray borders for some marketing platforms. Also, when an article is published in a respectable publication, covering the FX or crypto fields, it can further be used in platforms where restrictive regulations are more common as a way of bypassing limitations,” Malits shared.
Ultimately, the media and the public will be the judges of the project which is being promoted. As Malits says: “They will lift you up or crush your project based on how trust-inspiring it is.”
In an environment which is increasingly difficult for retail-oriented financial firms and crypto projects alike, generating trust is vital. The validity of the project which is being pitched to clients includes a qualified team, a product which is real and adds value. Such elements ensure that the PR effort can create as Malits says, “a story without holes in the plot.”