Vast Bank wanted to become the first nationally chartered US bank — services for buying, selling, and storing crypto directly from your Vast Crypto Checking account. It would be secure, trustworthy, and as familiar as checking your account balance.
With their crypto banking app in development, Vast approached Gitwit looking for help forming the national launch strategy and campaign — from which audiences to target first, to defining core messages, establishing the crypto banking brand, and ultimately launching the app across press, paid, and organic campaigns.
We conducted a nationwide survey of 400 potential Vast Bank crypto investors, half of which were current crypto investors and half of which were interested in crypto currency but hadn’t yet made their first purchase.
We found that investing in crypto through a bank is most appealing to those who don’t yet own cryptocurrency but have considered it. These findings allowed us to hone in on Vast's target — someone who’s on the precipice of buying crypto but still considers it a bit overwhelming and risky. They don’t know where they should start but would feel peace of mind knowing that their cryptocurrency was stored at a financial institution. We could win them over by showing them Vast Bank is one of the simplest, securest ways to get in on crypto.
Using discovery findings as a foundation, we developed an initial strategy to build targeting parameters around:
We also used dynamic content and targeting to customize the content that each person was seeing: Are they almost totally unaware of crypto? Or are they long-term crypto users ready to try a new app? We staged ads at several points of the user journey, from awareness, to consideration, to conversion.
Over the life of this campaign we would launch over 400 ad graphics with dozens of placement and copy variations, creating 28,000+ potential combinations of visual, copy, and location options.
Why so much? We decided to launch this way because scaling a highly volatile concept and product leaves a lot of unknowns about what our audience will be interested in. We used thousands of ad variations to help us continue the discovery process throughout the campaign.
With the strategy in place, we began to develop campaign themes and ad concepts around the core insights from our initial research — security, ease, convenience, and trust. We wanted to create a campaign that combined the excitement and opportunity of cryptocurrency with the trust and security conveyed by a bank. The results were bold, smart, fun ads that showed crypto banking as smooth, easy, and worry-free.
We were able to bring our concepts to life through intensive week-long creative cycles. Each week we concepted new ads, moved approved ads into a design/animation cycle, sent produced ads to compliance, and launched compliance-approved ads. We also wrote and designed crypto banking landing pages, focused on converting users to app downloads.
In addition to a massive amount of creative assets for the paid digital campaign, we also helped assist on earned media by searching for, vetting, and suggesting a PR firm experienced in crypto. We helped onboard the PR firm, guide strategy, and align all campaign efforts.
This campaign was all about real-time iteration for a number of reasons. Since crypto is such a quickly developing and changing space, its governance is changing mid-flight too. Policies on the ad platforms changed multiple times throughout this campaign, forcing us to adjust both targeting and creativity.
After the initial launch of the campaign, we discovered that a handful of ads out of our 28,000 combinations were the primary drivers of conversions. We used themes from that content to continue iterating, retargeting users who responded positively to that ad content with follow-up content within the same concept.
We discovered positive correlations between ad engagement/conversions and crypto "surges." Though it's counterintuitive to buy crypto when prices are high, that's how our audience responds. Amping up our marketing efforts in real-time as a response to the price of Bitcoin surging helped us ride a massive wave of conversions and traffic.
Throughout the launch, we kept tabs on every aspect of the campaign – from ad impressions and search volume, to website traffic, app store visits, and app downloads. We created dashboards to provide Vast Bank stakeholders with a bird’s eye view of campaign performance, while also enabling our team to gain insights quickly and optimize our strategy on the fly.
In just over four months, we served 92 million ad impressions, yielding more than 76,000 app downloads. As website traffic increased ninefold, Vast.bank rose to the top of Google’s search results for “crypto banking,” a quickly growing concept that has become synonymous with the Vast Crypto app.
Meanwhile, we capitalized on surging crypto interest throughout November 2021, quickly allocating budget to high-performing App Store search ads and sending Vast Crypto to #38 on the finance app leaderboards.
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