Bitbuy tries to bring crypto to a more seasoned investor

Now registered with the OSC, the platform is pivoting to reach an older, higher-income trader that values security.

Bitbuy is looking to make inroads among older, higher net worth individuals as it expands its advertising outreach.

Since it debuted during a Hockey Night in Canada broadcast at the beginning of the month, TV viewers in Canada have been seeing the cryptocurrency exchange’s “Smooth Journey” campaign. In the ad, a middle-aged man navigates different settings from an office, cycling in a park, deking out opposing players on the ice, and finally engaging with a colleague on a bench.

“We were going after a lot of low hanging fruit, 18- to 34-year-olds, people who were already interested in crypto trading,” says Charlie Aikenhead, Bitbuy’s VP of marketing, of its previous efforts, which were primarily through digital channels. While those users helped drive the company’s initial growth, it needs to expand if it wants that growth to continue. “Now we wanted to do something that would reach a broader, older demographic, as we were noticing some of our best customers were higher net worth investors.”

Aikenhead cites Coinberry – which has been bulking up its executive ranks – Coinsquare and Wealthsimple as its direct competitors.

What helps Bitbuy stand out, Aikenhead says, is its customer service and transparency, but also that it displays all its trading volume publicly, which he says resonates with consumers, especially those that are more used to investing in regulated spaces.

The focus on security is a definite differentiator in the volatile and regulation-light crypto market. That’s something Bitbuy is able to promote due to the fact that, in late November, it was fully registered with the Ontario Securities Commission as the country’s first licensed crypto marketplace. That’s vital to reaching older and higher net worth individuals, who are otherwise less likely to stomach the ups and downs of crypto, compared to the millennials that have typically made up the majority of traders.

“We wanted to pivot to be less of a tech company and more of a financial institution,” he says, and with its OSC approval, Aikenhead says the the brand thought it would be a great time to go to market with its first big TV campaign.

Bitbuy, which was founded in 2016, has traditionally been very digital direct response focused, Aikenhead explains. And it did lots of SEO, but was limited by Google and Facebook ad policies regarding crypto marketing. According to Aikenhead, the brand grew via active Twitter, TikTok, podcast engagement plus some OOH and affiliate programs. It also did a lot of sponsored content leading up to regulatory approval and during its growth years.

To reach the older, high net worth audience, the high-tech brand is allocating a large bulk of its spend on traditional, national television, which includes NHL and NBA games on CBC, Sportsnet and TSN, but also BNN Bloomberg, CBC News Network and CTV News Channel, as well as U.S. channels through connected TV. There’s also a news, sports and classic rock radio component, OOH in urban centres, and Facebook.

Elemental handled the creative, and began its relationship with Bitbuy this past summer. The media buys were handled in-house.