When somebody talks about blockchain, most of us usually think about Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies in general. It is only natural – after all, this technology lies at their foundation. However, there is so much more about it – blockchain will dramatically change and already changes all industries, from banking to insurance. It is not just a fad – the technology is rapidly getting introduced in new areas, and the associated industries grow at explosive rates. Over the last year, the demand for blockchain talent grew by 700 per cent, with about 40 per cent of software development projects requiring some degree of blockchain skills.
It may be unexpected, but one of the industries where it shows tremendous potential in digital marketing. In this article, we will explain why you should pay attention to this combination irrespectively of whether you are a blockchain specialist looking for an application for your skills, or a digital marketer willing to keep abreast of your competition.
1.Transparency, trust and content marketing
One of the major issues all modern businesses face is a lack of trust. People distrust small companies because they are small and aren’t well-known. People distrust big corporations because they are perceived as faceless money-making behemoths. Customers did not just stop to believe advertisements; they are generally suspicious about everything: beginning with the fairness of your prices and ending with the source of components for your products. Trust is one of the most important factors in purchasing decisions.
It is often said that content marketing can increase the trustworthiness of a brand, but the problem is consumers do not have a reason to trust just any content. Meanwhile, one of the major characteristics of blockchain is that information recorded with its help is virtually immutable. Once a record is made, it cannot be changed. For example, let’s take influencer marketing. At a glance, nothing can be more natural: there are real people with real followers, whose content sells stuff. However, how do you find and rate influencers? How can you tell they are as popular as they claim to be? Are their followers real?
By introducing blockchain into content marketing, you add transparency to the whole process, and transparency begets trust.
2. Elimination of the middleman
To an extent, the impact of blockchain on digital marketing in other areas also boils down to the issues of trust and transparency, but their effects go further. Here is one of such effects.
Right now, digital marketing is dominated by middlemen without whom interactions between users and advertisers are all but impossible. For example, webmasters choose to place Google banners on their sites instead of looking for advertisers on their own, mainly because Google ensures that the companies that work with it are trustworthy. If a company is on Google Display Network, it most likely means that it is a legit business and dealing with it won’t harm the host website’s reputation.
With blockchain, there is no need for a middleman, because all the information about users, host sites and advertisers are already verified. This information is inherent to the system; there is no outside entity necessary to keep it true and current.
3. More alternative payment methods
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies give its users unprecedented freedom, especially if they do not like the idea of their every transaction being tracked by businesses and government organisations. So far, the presence of cryptocurrencies in the mass market is quite limited, but it will grow in time. Business owners will have to weigh the risks against the needs and wishes of their consumers and make the right decision concerning their policies about Bitcoin sooner than we all can expect.
While most companies are still not in a hurry to start accepting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, becoming one that does can help you cultivate an image of an innovating and forward-thinking business. Even if it doesn’t bring you the flow of new customers, the very fact of you doing it can also become a foundation of a new marketing strategy.
4. A new approach to targeted advertising
These days nobody is surprised when ads offering you to buy something start cropping up everywhere after you so much as mention this intention somewhere. We all know that businesses collect information about us and use it for targeted advertising. It does not always work, but when it works, it sometimes feels a bit creepy and intrusive. This trend even causes a number of Internet privacy campaigns and even lawsuits.
Blockchain offers an alternative, allowing marketers to get access to users’ information cheaply, transparently and, what is most important, legally. The secret? Consumers are incentivised to willingly share their personal information with businesses, getting compensation for being exposed to advertisements from particular companies. This is processed with the help of microtransactions via cryptocurrencies, completely automatically, without manual input on the side of users.
As you can see, blockchain has all the potential to change the nature of digital marketing forever – and it will probably take even more interesting forms in the process.