In 30 seconds:
- Gen Z are twice as likely to consider virtual currency a “legit currency.” Here’s how to reach them through TikTok crypto.
- Dogecoin skyrocketed thanks to TikTok. We’ve got the whole story.
- TikTok’s policies have changed. What does that mean for your crypto brand, and how can you make it work?
The TikTok Crypto scene has consistently broken new ground. Since it managed to blow up Dogecoin (more on this later), TikTok has become a platform that educates, markets and announces crypto startups to a ready and willing audience.
#Crypto has 20.7 billion views on the video-sharing app, and this is only getting higher by the day, making TikTok an ever-growing platform for discussions around crypto. As crypto startups know, cryptocurrencies don’t require a central issuing authority but instead use shared ledgers to verify transactions. The word “shared” is key here. TikTok provides the perfect place to get people sharing content around using crypto and initiating growth.
So why should your crypto startup be looking at this channel? TikTok is one of Gen Z’s top social media platforms, with 63% of them using it weekly. They are the savvy, ‘digitally native’ generation constantly looking for new and upcoming ways to improve their lives. Enter crypto.
Welcome to the crypto generation
Gen Z is quick to pick up on changes in the tech world. When crypto began booming with Bitcoin and other currencies, this younger generation was eager to listen up. Over 94% of people who own crypto are millennials or members of Gen Z. They’re keeping an eye on their money and have ambitious visions for the future. A report found most Gen Z investors think crypto will make them millionaires, and 59% of them believe they could become wealthy by investing in cryptocurrencies. It’s no wonder they are watching the crypto market so diligently.
TikTok is a powerful platform for marketing crypto to this generation. But don’t take our word for it. The proof is in the pudding.
How TikTok made Dogecoin soar
Dogecoin is a cryptocurrency first created back in 2013 as a parody of and alternative to Bitcoin and its altcoin competitors in the crypto space. It’s based on the Doge meme and was a funny, entertaining, new currency.
TikTok made Dogecoin what it is today. Thanks to the power of TikTok, Dogecoin went from $0 to almost $0.70 last year.
It all started when TikTok user James G (his handle was then @JamezG97, but is now @cannolicrypto) uploaded this trending crypto TikTok video that told his relatively small following of 6,000 teens to invest a modest $25 in Dogecoin, so they could “all get rich”. The cryptoinvesting content went viral. This sparked interest in the new cryptocurrency and initiated the press and crypto community stories. It also fueled user-generated content (UGC) throughout the TikTok app, with individuals promoting and starting conversations about Dogecoin.
Naturally, that surge in conversations turned into an increase in demand for Dogecoin. Those who “got in on the ground floor” saw their investment skyrocket.
Why did it take such a hold?
The pandemic overruled most people’s lives, but it was particularly tough on Gen Z. This age group had an unemployment rate of 8.4% in summer 2019, but that surged to 24.4% when the pandemic hit. In comparison, workers aged 25 and over had their unemployment only rise to 11.3%.
With all of this instability, it’s no wonder Gen Z wanted to get on board with crypto trading and investing, and they’ve stuck with it. 56% of Gen Z adults say they are including cryptocurrency or NFTs as part of their retirement strategy. So they’re in it for the long hall.
There is no doubt TikTok has a massive influence in the crypto community. But how can your crypto startup leverage ”Cryptok”? We know the secrets of winning social media strategies, so let’s build up your blockchain and get your TikTok crypto coin out in the open.
How crypto startups can win on TikTok
Can you promote crypto on TikTok? Yes – but it’s important to note that in 2021, TikTok implemented a policy that bars the promotion of financial services (including cryptocurrencies), unless the TikTok user discloses it through a branded content option in the app.
This is a good thing. TikTok is a platform that’s well known for its trends; in fact, one of their taglines is ‘Trends start here’. We’ve explained in our TikTok algorithm article how content that’s deemed engaging to a small community can get promoted ever more widely on the app, and in the case of Dogecoin, this turned directly into raising the value of the cryptocurrency. That was a spontaneous episode, but it opened up the possibility of potential bad actors using the nature of TikTok to artificially raise the value of their investments, through a copycat strategy. By making sure any content about crypto is branded, it means people’s motives have to be more out in the open.
Which is great – because the point of crypto is that our finances are more out in the open.
The story of Dogecoin may not get repeated identically. But is TikTok still worth the hype if you’re a crypto startup?
The answer is absolutely yes. You can find tons of other cryptocurrencies that have benefitted through the video-sharing app; Bitcoin, Ethereum and Chainlink are widely discussed on Crypto TikTok. And it’s not just the currencies themselves. Mobile app Sweatcoin (where users are encouraged to walk to earn cryptocurrency) is a great example of a crypto startup growing on TikTok, with its #sweatcoinchallenge hashtag reaching over 3 million views. As we mentioned above, TikTok (the favourite app of Gen Z) is the best place to kick-start conversations around your Crypto startup amongst an eager demographic. It’s a great way to get the word out there – and to educate people so they can feel more confident in the crypto world.
So how can you rise above the crypto hum and get your brand soaring?
1. Work with influencers
There are over 12,000 cryptocurrencies out there, and people are constantly looking for guidance to help them invest in the right ones, or engage with the right crypto startup. TikTok crypto influencers can educate and help people find new cryptocurrencies or apps. 52% of Gen Zers indicate that they trust influencers’ advice, which makes their influence so powerful. So how do you know which content creator to work with?
Finding a TikTok crypto influencer
You may have heard of some of the more well-known crypto influencers already (Crypto Mason @cryptomasun and Alina @Cryptocita are good examples). There are a few things to consider when searching for the right influencer for your crypto brand.
- Make sure they align with your cryptocurrency. This is key, as influencers tell the truth to their fans. TikTokers like the app for its “authenticity”. You want to work with someone who has a genuine interest in what you offer, not just TikTok accounts with a high number of followers.
- Do your research. Start following creators in your niche. Take a look at their content, the quality of their videos, growth and community engagement (including the kinds of comments they get).
- Be open and honest about your cryptocurrency. Collaborating with influencers takes time, and you don’t want to waste it. Be transparent from the get-go with whoever you decide to team up with.
- And of course, once your influencer content is ready, it’s vital that you comply with TikTok’s new guidelines and disclose it as branded content. Otherwise, it will get taken down.
For a full breakdown of how you can work with TikTok influencers, check out our ultimate handbook here.
Working with a TikTok crypto influencer
Overly promotional content doesn’t cut it with TikTok audiences. Gen Z are savvy with digital marketing and know what to look out for. They’re on the search for genuinely helpful or entertaining content, not pushy ads. Your crypto startup would do well to note this. Keeping them engaged with authentic, informative content is key to winning them over.
Influencers are incredibly valuable for getting into the mindset of your new or potential customers. We all know that crypto is, in its very nature, something that’s a little more difficult to understand. That difficulty can put people off, even if they’re interested in the subject. Influencers can shine a light on how crypto works, which means people feel more encouraged to act on their own decisions.
Remember to think this through at the start of any crypto influencer marketing campaign. Have an honest conversation about your collaboration, and let the influencer have some creative control. Allowing influencers to speak to their fans in their own voice and style in their short videos is essential.
2. Be educational
In 2020, TikTok announced it was moving into the educational market through commissions for hundreds of charities and organisations. Today, it still champions education in every way possible. That’s perfect for attracting Gen Z, who are a “generation of researchers”. They’ve grown up with the internet, and don’t simply look to authority figures like teachers to give them the information they need.
That’s a perfect mindset for crypto, because this generation is all about decentralisation of knowledge – and we know that crypto represents the decentralisation of finance. TikTok’s play for education makes it perfectly aligned to share useful information about the crypto world.
Fanbytes Senior Campaign Manager, Matt Sherratt advises “when it comes to crypto, it’s vital that people always do as much research as possible and don’t give into FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).” Give your Gen Z audience credit: they are interested to learn, so don’t place emphasis on the low-hanging fruit of simply missing out. Educate them on what the opportunity really is.
When you make a video on your crypto startup, make sure it’s factual, informative and to the point. Gen Z has an attention span of just 8 seconds, so you need to reel them in quickly, but if you can capture their interest, they’re motivated to discover more. Make it clear from the start what your video is about, and don’t make it sales-y. A balanced view will have far more impact – and is far more ethical.
3. Keep it entertaining
Entertainment is still the most viewed TikTok category with 535 billion views. Another route that crypto can take for TikTok is to celebrate this. TikTokers love the app because it allows them to be creative: they’re not on there just to compete with friends; they want to explore their interests and have fun. So – show how fun an interest in crypto can be.
That might sound tricky at first. How do you show off something that’s virtual? One way to keep things entertaining is to consider your delivery. As much as you want to be informative with your cryptocurrency, try to also keep it fun. Another thing to consider is UGC. Sweatcoin does this well: in setting the #sweatcoinchallenge, the app asked users to video themselves walking in different locations as they earned their crypto. They’ve reposted the best videos on their page, alongside some visually similar memes with great use of sound.
Consider your target audience. How does your crypto fit into their lives – and how do they use TikTok to entertain their friends? If you can get into this mindset, you’ll be able to make funny TikTok videos that people love – and that keeps you in the front of their minds.
Keep things casual by allowing your viewers to feel like friends. They want advice from you, so be authentic, understanding and maybe even amusing. Better yet, let a TikTok crypto influencer do that for you.
More on TikTok’s crypto policy change
As we mentioned above, TikTok made some changes to its policies in 2021 that had some crypto content creators frustrated. Last July, TikTok implemented a system that automatically blocks videos violating its policies, and it also announced that promotions of financial services, including cryptocurrencies, were banned.
Branded crypto content on TikTok is allowed, but it is essential that you enable the Branded content toggle. This shows TikTok that a collaboration between creator and business exists. If you ask influencers to promote your brand and forget to add this, TikTok will take down your video.
This policy change was in part due to the number of scam ads going out on the platform. In implementing these changes, TikTok has cleaned up the crypto community. This is a good thing, because increased visibility is what crypto and the blockchain are all about. We want to be able to trust what others have to say about crypto. That’s the point.
Fanbytes’ Head of Creative Strategy, Tom Sweeney says “The change to TikTok’s policies in response to undisclosed promotion of various crypto, NFT, and other blockchain projects is welcome.
“Influencer marketing can be incredibly valuable in a market where investment is driven by speculation and the perception of desirability. With that said, trust is central to the promise of blockchain – so it’s incredibly important to do work with influencers transparently, and make it clear when they stand to gain from investments made by their followers, and that goes for any social platform, not just TikTok where the rules are so strict; especially in the wake of the Bored Bunny NFT scandal.”
Crypto startups and influencers should also remember to be careful with their words. Creators have discovered that using specific hashtags and words within their content can cause violations, like “bitcoin”, “binance”, or “decentralised finance”.
So what’s the takeaway from this policy change? If you want to promote your cryptocurrency through TikTok, follow the rules on branded content and keep things light. It will stand you in good stead to boost your company and get it in the eyes of the mightiest crypto generation yet.
To sum it all up
TikTok’s ability to excite young audiences about virtual products and spaces is seen in its powerful crypto community, alongside the widespread discussion of NFTs on the platform. It was even picked up on by Meta, as Mark Zuckerberg’s company used TikTok influencers to spread the message about the rival company’s play for the metaverse.
But – as one or two have said before us – with great power comes great responsibility. Initiating the correct content creator collaborations and keeping TikTok users safe through complying with their complex policies can seem daunting. But if you get it right, you’ll be gaining traction and opening new doors to your crypto business.
You may be wondering if it’s even worth marketing on TikTok with all these policy changes. Consider this: If offered $2,000 to invest, Gen Zers are three times more likely to buy digital assets than boomers. Where do they hang out? That’s right, TikTok. This is the number one spot to get in front of Gen Z, and spread the word about your startup.
Of course, traversing the web of crypto does require some safety lines. That’s why it’s better to enlist the professionals. We understand influencers, we’re fluent in TikTok, and we know crypto. Put these together, and you get flawless social media campaigns that’ll get Gen Z talking about you for the right reasons. Get in touch to find out how we could help you.
We’ve also delved into the fintech world, so if your business fits in there, look at our valuable fintech article below. Are you also thinking about upping your marketing game? We’ve got the latest on TikTok and digital marketing to set you on the right path here: