Marketers have constantly formed our ideas and guided our purchase decisions using targetted messages based on specific traits, such as the way we lead our lifestyle, or to what demographic category we are part of.
Companies were using traditional media to persuade individuals to buy something or adhere to a cause. Up until the rise of the social platforms, most of this influence happened either locally or very channeled.
Nowadays, anyone can become an influencer, given that they have a large enough audience that can be leveraged in Influencer Marketing campaigns.
A marketing influencer is “a person with the ability to influence potential buyers of a product or service by promoting or recommending the items on social media”. Basically, the person has enough credibility and gained so much of their audience’s trust, that people are willing to listen to their recommendations and make purchases based on that. We listen to those we care about.
The system through which brands collaborate with influencers is simple. A company needs to reach a certain target group and researches for the social media accounts that best reflect their interests, have engaged followings and that align as much as possible with the brand and campaign message.
Once these are found and made a proposal, a contract that binds the conditions is created between the two parts. Brands provide a brief detailing the campaign objectives, message to be communicated and deliverables needed (i.e. social media posts, blog posts, videos, stories, etc). For these kind of activities, an amount is due to the influencer once the content is created, delivered, measured and the results quantified.
Most of the time things go without experiencing any problems, but these type of collaborations are prone to issues like complicated payment systems, fraud, brands not being satisfied with the content delivered and not honoring the due payments for the services delivered.
These are all things that make it complicated for a company to leverage the audiences with whom the influencer has created such a good relationship with. Avoiding situations like these can prove to be beneficial to all involved: brands get exposure and sales, influencers get paid for the content they spend time creating and their followers become aware of a product or service that can make their life or activities better.
Content monetization methods were introduced as a way to reward the effort creators were making in both engaging users and bringing new ones to the respective platforms. But accountability coming from a centralized structure will always make way to loss of trust and cause indignation, as people may not feel recompensated at their true value.
Through smart contracts and the development of decentralized applications, the Influencer Marketing process can have a lot to gain. Companies can avoid not receiving the requested content and influencers stay free of the concern of not getting paid for the effort they put in. Blockchain is a distributed ledger registering all transactions in real-time.
Due to the fact that transactions need to be validated by each network member, all operations happening on the platform cannot be modified, falsified or erased. This guarantees the safety and correctness with which a marketing contract can be respected by both parties.
Decentralized platforms are basically digital systems that rely on each member’s equal participation in building the structure. Because of the token economy, blockchain technology can be used to build content delivery applications, in which creators and their advertisers (brands) can help each other through a reward mechanism that works both ways.
It offers brands a stake in their favorite content creator’s growth and incentivizes the improvement of the campaigns themselves. The rewards can be offered for creating content, at the same time rising the creator’s success within the influencer network. Basically, the system rewards the creation and demand for content. The peer-to-peer network support acts as a rewarding mechanism, helping creators grow alongside brands as they produce more and more content leveraged to influence target markets and achieve goals.
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