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How Blockchain is Impacting The Future of Digital Marketing

An Interview with Jesse Tutt

For this episode of Ecoffee with Experts, Matt Fraser hosted Jesse Tutt, Founder and Owner of Guru SEO Services, full-service digital marketing, and web development agency. Jesse lays out the market shift brought on by NFTs, the role of search engine optimization (SEO) in cryptocurrencies, and the potential impact of blockchain on the future of digital marketing. Watch now for some interesting revelations.

Certainly, age is a ranking factor. You need backlinks from other sites to show Google that you’re an authority on the topic, which takes investments.

Jesse Tutt
Founder and Owner of Guru SEO Services
Hello everyone. Welcome to this episode of Ecoffee with Experts. I'm your host, Matt Fraser. And on today's show, I have with me Jesse Tutt. Jesse is the founder and owner of Guru SEO Services, full-service digital marketing, and web development agency headquartered in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada. He has a bachelor's of technology degree with over 14 certifications. I might add additional certifications from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology and is an IT leader with 20 years of experience and his background is focused on automation, digital marketing, artificial intelligence, and analytics. When not working on marketing campaigns for clients. Jesse enjoys fishing and camping in the great Alberta outdoors with his family. Jesse, thank you so much. Welcome to the show.

Thanks so much for the invite, Matt.

Hey, no problem. It's a pleasure to have you here. So, I got to be frank and totally upfront, you know, crypto, I missed the boat on crypto. Like maybe I haven't missed the boat yet, but I didn't pay attention when there were courses about bitcoin, more than several years ago. I ignored it at my peril. I thought, who is going to pay for stuff without real money? And I still kind of have that belief. And there's some guy trying to dig up his laptop in the UK or somewhere that's got like $1,000,000,000 worth of Bitcoin on it or something like that. It's crazy. It's just unbelievable. Like, I don't understand blockchain or crypto, but that's why I want to talk to you today. And, first of all, what is crypto? I mean, that may sound like a stupid question in today's day and age, but just to be clear.

Absolutely. So basically, cryptocurrencies are actually effectively excel documents that live on the Internet that everyone can see, everyone can view. It’s fully transparent and basically, blockchain technology allows us to actually have that ledger, which is basically an Excel sheet that’s on the Internet. And there are basically different processing methods for each of the different cryptocurrencies. But the general justice is that there are trusted servers that are running in the background that process the transactions and do it securely and basically create new cryptocurrencies securely through mining and the technology allows us to actually transfer money on this completely transparent and publicly accessible Excel document, basically, which is the ledger, frankly. And so, yeah, you simply basically create a wallet using a variety of different technologies and I can send money using my wallets, which is, generally speaking, a number. And so I can send my number to you and then you can transfer money directly to me without any type of banking institution knowing about it, without having your name connected to it. Because generally speaking, it’s anonymous for the most part. I think the people’s perception of how anonymous it is probably greater than it actually is and I think as time has progressed, it went from a simple transaction for cryptocurrencies and then now we’re actually using blockchain for a variety of other purposes, like gaming, your character is actually saved on the blockchain and you can take that character and actually transfer it to another person and sell it or there’s renting capabilities where in some of our different cryptocurrencies or blockchain environments you can buy real estate or you can buy different assets and you know, there are different organizations that have structured their businesses. So, everyone owns a portion of the business based on the blockchain, and it’s all stored in general leisure that you can transfer and so on. There’s a high degree of transparency and secondly, it allows you to be anonymous to a certain extent, which is also one of its biggest benefits of it.

Yeah, that has been one of the most helpful explanations of cryptocurrency I have heard. In a long time the way you explained it. So, thank you. It's complex but you simplified it in that analogy of the Excel spreadsheet and the ledger. What's the thing though, I know the gold standard was removed from paper currency, U.S. currency, Canadian currency, whatever currency. And I don't know if that was a good thing or not because there's only so much gold in the world. And yet the inflation has happened significantly even in the past little while, where you print more money and then things become of less value. So how is the value assigned to cryptocurrency? Who says how much value one bitcoin is worth? That's just mind-boggling to me. I can't wrap my head around it. Now you can tell me and our listeners out there.

Yeah, it’s all a free market. So it’s simply exactly the same as when you’re buying a stock like stocks. We buy them and sometimes when someone wants to sell them, they put them up, and the software behind the scenes, whenever you’re using a stock trading software, looks at who’s the lowest bid of sell price, and they automatically buy it at that selling price. And it’s exactly the same thing for blockchain. Naturally, when you purchase it, there are a whole bunch of different companies that actually do this. But effectively they’re looking at the lowest sell price and trying to pick your back. So, if you had the money to buy 1000 blockchain or Bitcoin, for example, and there was a person selling it for 40,000 or 50,000 and then another person selling it for 70 and they’re the next to lowest prices. You’d buy a person at that low price and then a portion at the higher price. Fundamentally, it’s exactly the same methodology as stocks in the stock market. And the value is attributed in almost the same manner where you might get a tweet from a founder that people get super hopped up on and people get excited about and they buy the stock and all of a sudden the stock is overinflated or maybe some bad news heads for the company and all sudden their stock price it is lower than their actual market. Market cap is lower and so when you look at what the NFT is, it’s exactly the same thing a lot of it is certainly based on hype. You might have an influencer that might increase the value. And in the beginning, another consideration is when a lot of these different cryptocurrencies launch, the value is very low in the very beginning for the first people to buy it, and then as time progresses, the value increases, because there’s just more volume and people are actually willing to pay more. And so yeah, maybe it’s a game, this game actually comes out with more functionality, and then you’re willing to pay more because more people are using that game and the game is basically giving you more airdrops or whatever the case is.

It's very interesting. Well, you really help clarify things for me, to be frank with you. It's like the stock market, the market determines the value of a stock or the value of something.

The art market is probably the closest to the NFT market because, you know, if I’ve got a nice piece of art that has value, It’s a piece of fabric with art, with paint on it. But, if you like it and I like it and a whole bunch of other people like it, the value is going to go up. And all of a sudden it becomes a symbol and effectively NFTs for the very successful ones are the exact same thing as Lamborghinis in a garage. The difference is no one sees your Lamborghini in your garage. But everyone sees your NFT because it’s the image that you said is your social media profile.

Are NFTs totally different from bitcoin, and cryptocurrency?

That’s correct. Yeah, for sure. You play with cryptocurrency, but effectively NFTs are again a blockchain technology that attributes something, whether it’s a picture or a character or that kind of potentially even property to a blockchain line item, a ledger excel document.

A ledger, that you own the rights to that. Has the law even caught up with this where someone could sue?

No, no, certainly as time progressed, each of the different countries is moving forward on it. And I think most countries are either openly blocking it or openly supporting it. And I think as time progresses, things will be a bit more clear. But no, for most countries there’s definitely some ambiguity.

In some ways, people see this as a threat like central banks.

For sure, or in many cases, they’re actually investing in them.

How do you see blockchain impacting the future of digital marketing?

So up till now, I think as time has kind of progressed, we’ve had traditional marketing evolving from print to radio to TV to online. At least my viewpoint is, ultimately blockchain is basically going to add another element and be that kind of in the next migration for traditional marketing. I think the transparency of blockchain allows people to actually have a lot more potentially even transparency over their supply chain. I mean, you could have a product and use the blockchain to actually prove that your product is organic or you might have a product that’s made in the USA or Canada and prove that it’s actually made through the blockchain because you could literally have all of your suppliers updating the blockchain with their parts and then having the parts actually roll up into that product. And you’d have a full blockchain of that. You can prove that it’s vegan and you could prove that it’s made without child labor or something like that. So, I think there’s a lot of benefit in the context of supply chain management. Secondly, I think the way that traditional marketing worked initially was they knew your address. They shipped you a postcard and it had a little deal in it. And you would basically phone up and they’d say, you’d like to place your order. And they’d take your address, they’d take your phone number, and then take your email address. They might figure out that you’re male or female or whatever like all the different Mediterranea blockchain is different. I mean, most marketing campaigns and blockchain, start with that potential discord where you have no way of connecting that to a person, a disk, or a handle or account. A Twitter account, which is also difficult to connect to a person, and then you’ve got obviously the wallet, which is the end transaction, where they buy something where again, you don’t know who that person is and so it shifts that focus from being from having those master data fields that help you to actually improve your marketing, changing it to a much more anonymous method. Meaning that because you don’t have all these other contributors, social media marketing becomes a lot more influential. You know, the news sites and the crypto marketing sites that are not crypto marketing sites, but crypto news sites become a lot more influential. And so that shift to a push to more of allowing customers to actually pull data, I think is the shift and then using influencer marketing is becoming a lot more prevalent frankly, which is happening in traditional media as well and for marketing as well. But yeah, it’s definitely a shift because you’ve got a lot less data and then there are more people that are seeking to be…

Anonymous.

Precisely. Yeah. I was going to say non-amenity, but I would say yeah.

I can't say the word either.

Yeah. Yeah.

So, it's going to be more anonymous and therefore other social media platforms are going to be important to be able to target people. It makes me think right now about the challenge that Facebook is having because Apple put up a huge wall with the ios 14 release.

Yeah, it’s amazing.

When I was at the car dealership, I was crushing it because I was driving traffic through Google ads based on dynamic inventory. What I mean by that is, we were using the inventory feed to trigger an ad. If we had it in stock, it was all automated. And if someone typed in a 2018 Ford F-150 and we had one in stock, even down to the color, we popped up. And so it was a highly targeted ad. And then we would retarget people on Facebook if they didn't convert based on the conversion of hitting the thank you page. There were four different forms they could fill out on each PDP product page and so I was retargeting people based on that. So going back to the truck, if it was a truck and they didn't convert, I would show them similar items, dynamic items from the truck audience catalog.

It’s very mature.

We crushed it, man. But I don't even know if that would work because I haven't done it since the pandemic because of things being shut down. I'm just trying to relate to the anonymity of the blockchain. I mean, how that would even work? You have to forgive me if I'm asking stupid questions because I don't understand them yet. If web surfing with the direction, like Google, has extended the deadline for Cookie less browsing. They were supposed to do it in 2022 and extended it to 2023, I am not sure if they've even extended it beyond but because there's such a huge amount of dollars that are at play in regards to advertising and possibly putting people out of work. How do you think that problem is going, with the anonymity how are marketers going to shift? For instance, I've heard of this like instead of relying on the browser, you put a cookie on your server or some kind of server tracking to track your visitors.

While the IP address allows you to provide a ton of different data that you can leverage. But I think generally speaking. The areas that the customers of the crypto market are Twitter and discord, and as time progresses more and more people will invest in it. TikTok and YouTube becomes more prevalent. But certainly, from a targeting perspective, the discord and twitter population are the crypto market right now.

Yeah, they’re the primary by far.

Interesting. So, you said that data then, is that the reason people didn't target that market just because they are actively engaging in crypto on those platforms? Or is it because there's more data being shared?

I think it’s because that’s where the communities are. And secondly, I think that people that are into crypto are looking for news on the latest this and that, and Twitter is a great source for that. It’s designed for their instantaneous news versus like Pinterest, where it’s a search engine, where all the functions are published on Pinterest and you can look through and when you’re searching, you find all of the historic stuff and that’s what you want. But, Twitter is instantaneous. And in the same way is your Facebook feed, like if you post an article and if the time that you posted isn’t in the mornings, you know, say if you late at night, most people won’t even see it because by the time that they get in the morning, the feeds are already moved down. Right.

Absolutely.

Yeah. and which is what people want. But you have to be thoughtful about the times. I think posting times are really important.

You mentioned NFTs earlier. What are your thoughts on how they're changing the marketing landscape?

I think that NFTs are causing a shift in the marketing efforts because there’s a lot of competition number one in the NFT space. And I guess your question is more specific to how NFTs are changing marketing or more about how NFTs are requiring different kinds of marketing?

Can we go with both the first one first? Because I'd like to know the answer to all of those questions. You brought up a very cool thing.

Yeah. So NFTs naturally, there are so many of them that I think they require different kinds of marketing, and right now, for the most part, most NFTs projects aren’t doing a lot of ads. They’re doing basically influencer marketing, which is not necessarily successful or greatly successful. But, certainly, the Twitter discord communities are really key. So I think most of the projects if they’ll look immediately at how many different Twitter followers are actually people who are actually watching a Twitter account. Suddenly next thing they do is actually check out discord and actually see if there are any active community postings. If those two things are actually checked off and certainly start looking at the roadmap, consider the different functions that the entity is actually planning. And then you look at the artwork and you know, do I like the artwork. So my personal artwork pics aren’t always the best because you know, sometimes I like, oh, the artwork is amazing and the project doesn’t do well. You do have to be careful with Twitter and discord in that there are certainly ways that you can artificially manipulate the accounts, by bots. So, it’s more of that act of engagement and secondly, looking at discord to see, are these actually like real people or is it just people that are like GM, GM, GM, GM, like meaning good morning.

It's made up of artificial intelligence. Wow.

Yeah. And then some of the more established projects then they branch into Facebook and YouTube, and you can check out their medium posts, which almost all NFT projects do. As I say that I’m always not super supportive of that. You’re basically giving your content to a medium, which increases their value.

Exactly. We've all made Mark Zuckerberg a billionaire.

That’s right. Yeah, exactly.

So is technology going to pivot that where we can share in the content that we provide to those platforms?

No, I think it’s too late. And I think, generally speaking, the three large social media platforms, you need so much investment, so much technology investment that I don’t think it would ever be an open source solution and I don’t think that they would move, they’re so established and they’re so large that you definitely can buy or invest in cryptocurrency and actually buy a cryptocurrency and get a share of the profits through cryptocurrencies, certainly. But you know, for Facebook, I mean, you could just buy stock. It’d be the same thing.

Yeah, man, I like how you've related the NFTs to the art. The art world and cryptocurrency are the same. And so just to clarify, in regards to people who are wanting to market crypto and market their NFT, the communities that is Twitter and Discord and so on and so forth, those just to personalize regards, pursuing influencer marketing and concentrating on those things and. Does SEO play any part in all of this for, you know, in cryptocurrency?

Yes, Twofold. The first is focusing on the brand names. So ultimately, if someone searches for your project’s brand name, the website’s got to come up. And ideally, it’s got to come up first. And, certainly, there’s a lot of competition in the context of NFT brand names because often the brand names overlap with real-world names. So I’ve had that in quite a few cases where because the real-world brand is actually more common and established, the NFTs get pushed down in the case of gaming as an example where an NFT can actually be created of an existing and traditional game that happens all the time and another user.

I find that interesting.

Yeah yeah. For sure, because really it’s a game, you know, it’s just your characters are actually on the blockchain, they’re stored on the blockchain so that you can actually sell them and trade them. But, I mean, the NFT games are actually like games like any other. They just have a different place where they store the character instead of their own database storing it on the blockchain.

Wow. Some of the words like, I don't play this game, but I know people who do. What's it called, GTA? Not the Greater Toronto Area for those about. I don't even know what the heck is good for him. Probably sounds like Grand Theft Auto.

Yeah, that’s right.

Or other such games where you can create a character. And I don't really know if it's against the rules, terms of service, or World of Warcraft. Let's be frank about that game. Being able to sell your account, I don't know if that's legal according to their terms of service for Clash of Clans or World of Warcraft, or GTA. There's a workaround for selling your character and so on and so forth, but the blockchain makes it so much easier.

It does. Yeah. Well, back in the days in 2001 or 2002, there was this game called Star Wars Galaxies. And basically, as you would build up your character, then you could go through and sell the characters on eBay back in the day.

This is just fascinating, talking to you and learning about all this. So, we're talking about crypto marketing here. We're talking about like, and crypto SEO, as we alluded to, wanting to come up for the brand name. It kind of confuses me that they'd be able to do that. For instance, Coke has a trademark. That no matter what, you cannot use Coke in any kind of way. You cannot have any illusion of being Coke in any way whatsoever impression upon the market. And I know of a startup that got in trouble with their logo because unfortunately, they had made a logo that resembled someone else's logo, even our own government because you and I are both in Alberta got in trouble over a logo made. The new hugely kerfuffle was that someone had designed a logo that was resembling someone else's logo. I don't understand how that got missed, I have no idea because google reverse image search will easily show that. That's just a 30 seconds search, man.

Yeah, that’s crazy.

Somebody really messed up. But the point I'm trying to make, Jesse is that... Could you just elaborate on that little bit, How that works?

If there’s an existing brand series of games and the new game comes out that actually has a character stored on the blockchain. In that case, the project that would be released would be having similar search phrases or and just, generally speaking, the world brand search phrases are actually fairly competitive meaning if you are releasing anything crypto, it’s going to be competition is fairly high. So the SEO is really pertaining to making sure that that project ranks at the top, even though that’s generally speaking competition. Secondly is branding out and say if you’re doing an NFT project and you want to attract people that are interested in player versus player blockchain game. Then you would have to think that the search raises are fairly high competition. And I was working out for one of my clients and so yeah, I mean you have to really start with your brand and then secondly, look at the highly intense search phrases that you want to target in the same manner that we do for any other traditional business. Build content on those search phrases, and do your keyword research, no sense in building a whole bunch of blog content on your NFT project if no one’s searching for it, you know. And secondly, if it doesn’t create that semantic word cloud around your site of the words that basically you want Google to know that you’re an authority on, so do your keyword research, build your content, and then basically posted on social media and then lastly, work with webmasters about doing outreach to create a link back to your content to increase the…

The Authority.

That’s right, precisely.

So it's in various ways it's similar. These are just new terms that we created and these are very to traditional quote unquote, traditional SEO.

That’s right, Yeah. I mean, in the context of SEO, it’s very similar to how you would rank any other website. I think the marketing piece is different, focusing on different technologies.

You know, Jesse, there are so many things, we have just scratched the surface on this and there are so many more questions I have to ask. But I know that we're coming to the top of the hour and that, unfortunately, we've come to the end of our time. I would love to have you back on the show and finish our conversation or extend the conversation because It's just so fascinating. Like especially talking to someone who knows about it and it could be an area of opportunity for either investors or whatever just from listening to this. And you've brought so much clarity to me. I understand it so much more now, like the art market, the market determines the value of art. And so there are people who are out there creating their own crypto and they want to get more traffic, more eyeballs, more people interested in their particular brand of currency if I'm saying that right. And some of the mediums and communities to target, from what I've learned from you, are Twitter and discord. And I'm sure others will follow. And, there's a question I just want to ask, but I know that we don't have a lot of time. I will ask this last question and then we'll wrap it up and hopefully, you will come back. In regards to, you talked about building an authority site. Should companies focus on building a news magazine, a media kind of asset, a marketing asset, like a crypto magazine dot com? It's probably taken and if it isn't, I'll take it when I go look for it. If it's available or not, I highly doubt it. That sort of deal, like crypto magazine dot com, crypto insider, or crypto whatever and building like what appears to be an independent publication that is informational and authoritative and then use that magazine to advertise your own crypto. I mean, would that be a valid strategy?

You certainly could. But your profit and revenue from one specific cryptocurrency would be less than providing information on all of the cryptocurrencies.

Interesting.

So yeah, like almost all of the different tools that you use in life that, you know, whether it’s software or whether it’s referrals for a realtor, there’s different commissions that people pay for that and exactly the same thing goes for crypto. And so, if you were to build out a site like that, hypothetically, there are many different organizations that, you know, I think Crypto.com has like a 10% commission. And, you know, Paxful, if I remember correctly, has a 50% commission. And so there’s a lot of these. And in fact, we work with one of the largest org which is cryptonews.com from an SEO perspective, but there are two different thoughts. One, you need a team of writers and so to become an authority on a topic, you need a domain that is older, because certainly, age is a ranking factor in backlinks from other sites to show Google that you’re an authority on the topic, which takes investment, you have content and nonstop content potentially, maybe 15 posts per day. And so to do that level of content and it hasn’t it doesn’t mean just developing content. You also have to have the on-page optimized. Then you have to create imagery and so you need a creative team and then you need basically the writers to actually do it and they need editors to review the writer’s work and, and then a publishing mechanism to actually publish the content, not just to the website, but also to social media and then promote it. And so certainly for any business, getting visitors is a task. I always say there is no job that doesn’t take hard work in the end. The short answer is going to be lucrative. No question. What it takes is some hard work, no doubt about it. And it would take a hard time. So I think building up a site’s domain rating takes time and on most sites, you’re in a year potentially two depending on how the niche. But for a large site like that, it would take time.

Yeah, time and capital.

And strategy and so if you got those traits and you’re good at SEO then yeah. For sure.

Wow, I wish I'd learned about this five years ago or in the beginning because now I can see there's so much potential.

That’s interesting and I think it’s just that buying and selling and really, you know, back in the days, there were different groups where you would pay to like belong to that club or whatever the case was. Now you buy another Tea and you’re part of the Gary Vee circle, or there are so many now you can use to play poker. And so they do work with Colin Powell. I and you could be playing a poker game and actually do it using cryptocurrency. The use cases are really quite amazing.

Wow. As I said, we've just scratched the surface. There are so many more things we could talk about that I like. I feel like I'm just getting into this. And we'd love to have you back if you. If you would.

I’d love to. Yeah, thanks.

In the meantime, how can our listeners connect with you online if they choose to do so?

For sure. Yeah, the easiest way is either to go to guruSEO.com or to look for Jesse Tutt on LinkedIn. I would love to connect.

Right on. Is it GuruSEO.com or GuruSEOservices.com?

GuruSEOservices.com.

Okay, great. It was an absolute pleasure to have you here. Hope to have you back.

Thanks so much, Matt. Look forward to meeting you again.

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