Although seemingly complicated at the first glance, Blockchain is actually quite a straightforward and simple piece of technology. And at the rate at which it is growing and developing, it is high time we begin putting together this puzzle.
In layperson terms, a blockchain can be defined as a virtual ledger that stores data and information in a way that makes it accessible to all its users. This could be a series of small snippets of a long video, purchase and sale logs of cryptocurrency, production logs of a manufacturer, and so on.
While this tech has been around since 1991, it was in 2008 when it truly began flourishing. This was all owing to the creation of the first-ever cryptocurrency, Bitcoin by Satoshi Nakamoto, who remains to be an anonymous entity to date. In the beginning, it was developed to allow people to transact without the need for intermediaries like banks and financial institutions and didn’t hold any value. In fact, it wasn’t until 2011 that the price attached to the digital currency reached a dollar.
However, soon enough, the world started taking notice and today it stands at a mighty $47,049.70. The rest, as they say, is history.
But moving back from the blockchain’s biggest success to its newer applications, we find ourselves standing in front of the marketing sector. More specifically, the digital marketing domain.
Blockchain In Marketing
The marketing industry, unlike blockchain, has a much longer history that spans centuries. As a matter of fact, the concept of advertising and marketing has been around for much longer than the terms for it.
This essentially means that this field has not just been growing but evolving with each new advancement that we witness in the scientific, academic, entertainment, and most importantly, consumer world.
Going with the trend, therefore, it comes as no surprise that the latest technological development caught the eye of the concerned professionals. And thus began the era of blockchain in marketing.
This updation simultaneously though was also a part of a silent movement that looked to eliminate the various issues being faced every day by those engaged in the digital marketing activities. These problems included:
- High cost
- Data leaks
- Advertisement frauds
- Repetitive marketing
Blockchain seemed no less than a boon to marketers around the world when it came in with solutions to all of the above. Let’s take a look at how this technology helped resolve these concerns and more.
Key Reasons Behind Using Blockchain in Digital Marketing
There are several reasons why one might choose to use blockchain networks instead of the conventional methods when it comes to the art of digital marketing. While some of them attempt to solve the pre-existing issues, there are those which provide us with a brand-new advantage as well. Mentioned below are what we find to be the key factors behind this change.
Having no intermediaries between the two parties of a certain transaction is exactly what was the objective of blockchain when it first began gaining momentum. Although that was in the sense of financial exchanges, there were multiple industries that gained from that particular element — digital marketing being one of them.
Before this tech, the traditional approach to buying advertisement space on a website was to go through third parties, like Google. This was done so that a sense of trust is established among the participants. Nevertheless, blockchain enabled the company looking to advertise and the website looking to sell available space to form trust through automatic verifications. That meant neither had to any longer go through the middlemen to reach the other and conduct mutual business safely.
Simultaneously, the need for validation for an advertisement was also eliminated.
Ad Fatigue Disruption
The conventional means of ad distribution cannot be monitored to take into account the number of times an individual comes across a certain promotion. This, oftentimes, leads to what is popularly known as ad fatigue. What it means is that viewing the same thing over and over can steer a person towards frustration and a sense of desensitization, where the message of the advertisement no more holds any appeal to them. In such cases, a good portion of the amount spent thereon can be considered as good as wasted.
On the contrary, in a blockchain, advertisers hold the power to regulate the frequency with which a customer sees a particular ad. They can either mix it up by showing them a different commercial of their own brand or simply limit their viewership to the one that is circulating at the time. This feature ensures that any ad fatigue coming on is disrupted in time to continue the effectiveness of the campaign.
Usually, when putting out a commercial on a digital media platform, the company or the marketer decides in advance as to who is the target audience for the same. This could be defined in terms of geographical location, age group, gender, and more. However, there still tends to be a large population that is viewing it but does not find it intersecting with their needs.
In the case of a blockchain though, the advanced options for filtration that you receive help you sharpen out the edge by narrowing down more intensively on the group(s) you want to focus on. That means, only the ones who are genuinely interested in your product or service form your viewership, thus ensuring the higher quality of your leads.
ROI or return on investment is one of the most important metrics that is tracked and monitored by every marketer. After all, who wouldn’t want to know if they are getting benefits in proportion to the money being spent for them? More often than not, all that a major portion of these funds gets you is fake following and engagement. Thus, being aware of where the amount is going becomes an essential part of a marketing personnel’s operations.
Blockchain has proved itself to be a reliable and trustworthy helping hand in such scenarios. This is because not only do you have a pre-decided target audience that you’re focusing on specifically, you also do not have to deal with middlemen anymore. You can deal directly with the publishers, ensuring that you have a clear understanding of where each penny is being funneled.
Be it the advertisements or the contractual segments, blockchain can be automated at several steps of the workflow. From sending email alerts about a contract to visualizing the flow of smart contracts as desired, automation is a boon. Since the ad auctions are also more streamlined through the said mechanization processes, it helps makes the marketing efforts more efficient and effective.
Adoption of automation also helps you in focusing on the core activities of your business by freeing you from certain tasks. For instance, if you’re running a successful eCommerce-based enterprise, you have numerous functions you need to focus on, like accounting, logistics, national and international shipping, and so on. And leaving the marketing to your blockchain network can support you in the same.
Blockchain in Digital Marketing: Best Practices
Among the various industries that this network is disrupting, digital marketing is a major one. And thus, it is but natural that you would also like to know the best strategies that are practiced every day by the many experts around the world to make optimal use of the technology.
Keeping this in mind, we have curated for you the list below that covers some of the top approaches and tactics to the world of marketing and advertising.
Tackling a key concern first, blockchain is known to help out the marketing personnel with the prevention of fraud, especially those connected with digital advertising.
As we discussed in one of the pointers above, oftentimes the funds that are invested in promoting a certain product, service, or the company as a whole are found to be misused. The biggest reason behind the same is the presence of middlemen whose sole function is to make the process of advertising on digital medium easier for you. They act as your liaison and bridge the gap between you and the third party who has space available for your ad. But amidst this, they several times attempt to deviate and commit frauds simply in order to make more money for themselves. This could be in the forms of the fake following, domain spoofing, false engagements, and even advertising on sites that get you traffic but no leads.
However, through the use of a blockchain network, you can completely eliminate such brokers and keep an eye on whether your resources are being used judiciously. By directly connecting with the ad space owners, you can also better understand their audiences and decide if that is your target audience after all.
Smart Contracts for Influencers
Influencer marketing is no longer a foreign concept to any professional, hailing from the marketing industry. This is because an influencer — a person with a large following who holds the power to affect people’s decisions — has a much higher reach and impact on their audience than a simple advertisement.
They are more capable of swaying the preferences of their followers since these masses already have a trustworthy relationship and a healthy rapport established with them.
Also noteworthy here are the problems that often arise in this approach, like tracking the return received on said investment, fake engagement data, and a lack of transparency. This is where blockchain comes in with its smart contracts. It basically makes certain that no payment is rolled out unless a specific desired action is complete or the promised results are achieved. You can simultaneously check up on an influencer’s legitimacy and performance as well.
Whether or not an individual decides upon partaking in a product or service offered by an enterprise is completely up to them. But it is the duty as well as the responsibility of every said enterprise to ensure that it is making continuous and valid efforts to draw their attention. Digital marketing has been one of the most used channels for the same.
As a matter of fact, the global spendings on digital advertising in the year 2020 were reported at $378.16 billion and is predicted to reach a staggering figure of $455.3 billion in 2021.
Blockchain technology has particularly helped in this area by allowing viewers to choose what kind of ads they want to see.
It helps you reach masses who have a genuine interest in your offering instead of reaching the general population in bulk.
A blockchain-based browser by the name of Brave has even gone so far as to reward its users with a Basic Attention Token (BAT), an Ethereum-based unit — thus, essentially paying the users for their time and attention.
Blockchain-based Social Media
Social media in today’s times is widely notorious for two specific and significant reasons — fraudulent information and data leaks. And each is just as concerning as the other.
On one hand, fake news and knowledge are being spread at neck-breaking speeds through numerous digital channels.
This has led to widespread riots and lynching activities alongside accelerating the society towards higher intolerance and cancel culture, all of which are extremely dangerous.
On the other hand, though, data that is collected by these platforms and is supposed to be secured has suffered multiple leaks in the past years.
This has led to sensitive information like bank account numbers, residential addresses, and even social security numbers becoming public and then misused.
To solve this problem, the blockchain networks came up with an ingenious solution for hosting social media platforms. A social networking channel built upon a transparent blockchain can be very helpful in keeping an eye on any fraudulent news from being circulated. It can also help by letting the users decide who they wish to share certain information with and who isn’t allowed to view the same. Therefore, resolving both issues with ease.
SEO or search engine optimization is not as easy as it sounds when it comes to optimizing certain aspects of a webpage or its elements. One such troublemaker is the keyword.
Ascertaining what keywords would work for a certain site and its success can be a difficult task for marketers, what with the continually changing algorithms and rules. Determining the best keywords based on the type of device, geographical location, and other similar demographics can also be quite challenging and SEO audit is usually looked up to for the same. Assumptions thus form a big part of the process.
Blockchain tech can help in this domain by enabling the marketing professionals to access accurate statistics around each keyword and gaining information about each of its positions on various devices in a matter of mere seconds.
Collaborative Loyalty Programs
Loyalty programs, as we’re sure you’re already aware, are a great way of ensuring that your customers always come back for more. This is primarily made certain of by offering discounts and credit points for every expense made at the company’s site or outlet. The points earned through said shopping can also be redeemed later for an additional discount or product/ service.
However, amazing as they sound, oftentimes the credit points and discounts go unused because of infrequency in the consumer’s shopping requirements. This means that the funds invested by your enterprise in these programs can frequently go unutilized, thus suggesting losses.
Using blockchain technology though can help by combining several such programs on one network so that multiple brands can collaborate in giving out and redeeming loyalty points with each other.
Alternate Payment Gateways
Although every website today boasts of several payment options, from debit cards and credit cards to cash on delivery, net banking, and UPIs — cryptocurrency has as of yet been unable to take its place with them.
While there could be many reasons for the same, like not being considered official currency or the low number of people who own it, there is also another element that comes into play. That is the inability of regular CMS networks in accepting digital currencies.
In such cases, a site built on a blockchain network can prove to be a boon by helping you accept payments in the form of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum as well. There are several crypto paper trading apps and derivative exchange blogs that can help you out in understanding and setting up the same as well.
Digital marketing is one of the premium approaches to advertising and has the widest, targeted reach. Similarly, blockchain is gradually gearing up to be the future by disrupting and molding several industries towards itself.
Bringing these two together, we can safely assume a whole new world of opportunities is going to open for us and soon.
So, why wait? Begin today.