As we all know, the marketing industry is pretty dynamic and susceptible to change. By its very nature, it has to adapt to new technologies and consumer wishes.
And now, we have a huge change on the horizon that promises to shake up the marketing industry from top to bottom, along with a number of other industries as well. We’re talking about Blockchain.
The technology has already made some serious waves in the financial world, and Blockchain market is expected to reach 20 billion dollars by the end of 2024, according to Transparency Market Research.
You’re probably wondering what all the fuss about Blockchain is...
But let’s start from the beginning…
What is Exactly Blockchain?
While the technology might seem too technical for some to fully grasp, it’s actually a fairly simple concept. As the authors of the “Blockchain Revolution” explain, Blockchain is a public ledge that stores and distributes data.
Moreover, everyone that uses Blockchain can both use and share all its data and consequently, each user plays a role in keeping the Blockchain updated and transparent.
The system keeps all the data stored in a chain-like pattern and its transcription history in so-called blocks – hence the name, Blockchain. The interesting thing about the Blockchain is that you can only add information to it. You cannot even copy it or change it.
And if someone would try to hack the system or change anything, the ledger would be updated on every users’ device. Considering just how many users is in a Blockchain, hacking the network is basically impossible. This makes the technology very secure.
Now, Blockchain is slowly moving into the world of digital marketing. A recent report from Epstein revealed that more than thirty marketing apps now use Blockchain technology to a certain extent.
How will Blockchain Affect Digital Marketing?
1. Search Engine Marketing
To say that Blockchain will disrupt search engine marketing would be an understatement. For starters, paid search marketing and PPC, on the whole, run through a middleman. For instance, you have the Google Display Network.
However, once all transactions are verified through Blockchain, we’ll be able to eliminate the middleman almost entirely. Publishers and marketers will be able to communicate and interact with each other directly, all while limiting potential frauds.
When it comes SEO, things are also about to change. As organizations across the globe start adopting Blockchain, they’ll need to integrate the technology into their sites. Of course, this involves web developers and SEO professionals as well.
As Tony Edward explains in this Search Engine Land article, SEO professionals will have to work closely with web developers in order to resolve certain compatibility problems with different Internet platforms and content management systems.
2. Content Marketing
Just imagine a world where you could write a blog post, coin a new phrase and ensure that no one claims your work as theirs. With Blockchain, you could easily protect your intellectual property, because you’ll be able to provide an undeniable proof of origin.
That’s not the only way marketers can use Blockchain to boost their content strategies. For example, just look at ClearPoll, a polling app that uses a Blockchain system to record votes. Once the votes are cast they can’t be tampered with.
What’s more, every user has the ability to access the results at any time. Although the app doesn’t directly tie content marketing and Blockchain together, marketers can purchase a few POLL tokens and access advances user metrics.
In other words, you can use the app to research your target demographic closely. Plus, the app also allows you sponsor polls and gain valuable insights and improve your content strategy, marketing campaign or even business operations.
3. Social Media Marketing
Over the last few years, social media marketing experts have wondered what the role of Blockchain will play in their future business models.
The technology will definitely change a number of social media networks – including Facebook and Twitter - however, that’s not all. According to a recent market analysis from Peerity, we’re probably going to witness a number of new social media networks in the next few years.
In theory, social media networks built on Blockchain will be more secure, since there’s no central hosting server. The data recorded on these social networks can never be deleted, which is a huge plus for proponents of free speech.
In order to stay one step ahead of their competitors, marketers should be aware of this networks and invest in them on time. That way, they’ll have access to a large customer base, many of their competitors will probably miss.
4. Influencer Marketing
As you’re about the see, even the world influencer marketing will go through some changes once people start implementing Blockchain technology. As this Bitcoinist article mentions, some of the problems that almost every influencer campaign faces are:
- Regular fraud cases
- Inconsistent prices
- High entry barrier
Luckily for marketers, the new technology can potentially address every one of these problems. For starters, Blockchain will eliminate the need for managers in the process, and consequently, allow social media influencers and smaller companies to connect and cooperate more easily.
Since Blockchain allows you to easily verify any data – for instance, see if a certain influencer has real followers or not – and see whether or not you should work with certain influencers.
Last but not least, the digital ledger will guarantee that every influencer is paid for their services. With fewer scams out there, marketers will probably start spending more time and money on influencer marketing than ever before.
Things to Come
Of course, the technology is not perfect by any means, since it’s still in its infancy. Even the biggest Blockchain at the moment – the one that supports Bitcoin – is starting to suffer because of its size.
Nonetheless, the technology is still pretty exciting. What’s more, all of those developments and possibilities we discussed above indicate that Blockchain is the future of marketing.
While we cannot be sure if Blockchain will conquer the world of digital marketing in 2018 – one thing is for sure – it will radically change the landscape of marketing over the following few years.
Sawaram Suthar is head of marketing at Acquire, and also a founder of Jagat Media, a digital marketing agency. A digital marketing consultant, he has experience in things including branding, promotions and page optimization, along with research and strategy. He has an MBA from the University of Pune. Anyone can find him on @sawarams.