Management & Finance

Opening Up Influencer Marketing with Blockchain

Influencer marketing can be shady, with brands and their influencers unsure of each other. Blockchain-based vendors, such as Spin Protocol, can help.

Influencer marketing can be shady, with brands and their influencers unsure of each other. Blockchain-based vendors, such as Spin Protocol, can help.

Influencer marketing has become a meaningful customer acquisition channel for many brands. Business Insider projects spending on influencer marketing to reach $8 billion in 2019 and $15 billion by 2022. Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube and other social networks have created celebrities with thousands or even millions of followers. Brands have flocked to those celebrities and their influence on buying behavior.

Whether your business targets millennial travelers, craft-focused parents, or fitness-crazy seniors, you can likely find influencers who are creating content that resonates with and attracts those segments.

Challenges

Influencer marketing is not foolproof, however. It has challenges for both advertisers and influencers, such as:

  • Difficulty in vetting the integrity and effectiveness of both parties — advertisers and influencers.
  • Huge pool of potential influencers, making it time-consuming for brands to choose.
  • Many middlemen brokering relationships, which obscures price and reduces value for both sides.
  • Large barrier to getting started for smaller brands and new influencers.
  • Complexity of managing campaigns across many influencers.

Fortunately, blockchain can help overcome these obstacles.

Blockchain for Influencers

The transparency and immutability of data within a blockchain provide a way to improve influencer marketing for all parties. Reputation matters tremendously in the influencer marketing space. Influencers need to know that they will be paid for their work, and advertisers need to trust that influencers can deliver what they promised.

By making the information about influencers and their audiences readily available, advertisers can determine which are the best fit. And once an agreement is reached between an advertiser and influencer, blockchain enables the use of so-called smart contracts to hold funds in escrow and ensure that payment is made after the influencer campaign is complete.

Indeed reputation itself can be stored and shared on the blockchain. Influencers and brands can demonstrate that they are honest actors based on past performance. There is no faking data or posting fraudulent reviews — all parties can see past actions and make decisions accordingly. And this reputation is portable, allowing influencers and advertisers to establish and show a record of good behavior and successful outcomes.

Given its decentralization, blockchain also eliminates the need for middlemen, such as marketing agencies and social media consultants that take a cut of the revenue. Blockchain projects use token-based business models to remove these middle layers, bringing influencers and advertisers together in a decentralized marketplace.

Vendors

Dozens of companies are employing blockchain technology and smart contracts to revolutionize influencer marketing. Notable examples include the following.

  • SPIN Protocol is a marketplace the links thousands of brands and influencers.
  • Spl.yt is a blockchain-based affiliate marketing platform, linking products, brands, and influencers.
  • Boosto is a marketplace connecting app developers and influencers, eliminating retail layers such as Google Play and iOS App Store.
  • Mavatar connects retailers and influencers in one marketplace, providing an additional revenue channel for both.

Blockchain’s use within most industries is being refined and optimized. Influencer marketing is no different. Nonetheless, influencers and the brands that use them could benefit from blockchain-powered platforms.

Brandon Bidlack

Brandon Bidlack

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