😮 Startups are Darkposting to Raise more Money
...and Morning Brew is in on it
I was scrolling Instagram the other day when my eyes were drawn to a familiar logo - Morning Brew
The post was from Morning Brew and promoted a startup’s investment round that was open to the public
My eyes immediately lit up - I had stumbled across a Darkpost, the first I’d seen for startup investments
What is a Darkpost?
It looked like a Morning Brew post - and that’s because it was a Morning Brew post.
But go to the Morning Brew account page, and that post is nowhere to be found
A Darkpost is a social media ad that comes from another brand or influencer’s account, it allows you to harness the credibility of an established brand while targeting the ad to your desired audience
Here’s HOW and WHY a business would do this:
Let’s imagine a new startup called Larry’s Ice Cream wants to raise money to fund their operation
Since Larry is just starting out, he barely has credibility with potential customers - and has even less credibility with potential investors
Larry needs people to believe that he’s credible, otherwise he won’t receive any investments
Larry knows that a lot of people trust Morning Brew, a popular newsletter among people that would be potential investors
His message would carry a lot more weight if it came from Morning Brew
So, he reaches out and asks them to advertise on his behalf - below is an example of how the deal goes down:
Darkposting sounds sinister…but really it’s just a clever tactic that’s now finally being deployed by startups
Investors should keep their guard up
From the investor point-of-view, I would urge people to understand that these are simply paid ads. Forbes + Morning Brew are not recommending these startups, they’re just generating ad revenue
And just because trustworthy brands/individuals are being paid to promote something, does not mean that that you should blindly invest in it
Remember that Kevin O’Leary + Tom Brady were promoting FTX through a paid advertising deal - and that didn’t turn out so well
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