Lots of people are aware of Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency used online, but not everyone is aware that the underlying “blockchain” tech behind it can be used for functions other than money transactions.
Mattr, an Austin company that as part of its business does marketing through social-media influencers, says it’s using “Ethereum” blockchain tech in its business dealings. We asked the company’s CEO Jack Holt why.
What are the advantages of using blockchain technology for contracts and payments when you’re working with marketing influencers?
Jack Holt: “The uses for blockchain technology extend far beyond bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, the commonly known applications for the technology. Ethereum-based blockchain is very beneficial to influencer marketing due to its ability to be used when developing smart-contract functionality.“Influencer marketing contracts continue to be a challenge for both the brand and influencer. There's a lot that's packed into them beyond the financial terms of the relationship. We've found that Ethereum-based blockchain technology can make four aspects of influencer marketing contracts and payments much easier to manage: compliance, service level agreements (SLAs), standardized pricing and multi-party involvement.
The difficulties associated with compliance and SLAs are very similar. Before Ethereum, there was no reliable way to automate content audits. This is important because though the Federal Trade Commission’s ‘material connection’ guideline is minimal for many brands, for other more regulated industries, such as financial services and alcohol, complex and thorough audits are required at times. Additionally, the SLAs that are a part of every influencer contract — output or engagement (clicks, likes, views) — can be difficult to track, especially since an influencer could edit or delete an approved, published post. Ethereum eliminates these challenges by providing a level of tracking and visibility we haven’t before seen in influencer marketing.
Standardized pricing is another former challenge solved by Ethereum. Without a standardized method of pricing, every brand, agency and influencer can use a different cost structure and payment process. Since most cost structures are based on likes, views, clicks or output, Ethereum offers broad transparency into these actions, as well as the costs attached to each, minimizing large variables in pricing structures. This also makes scaling an influencer program more feasible.
Finally, there are a lot of stakeholders who could potentially be involved in an influencer marketing contract — the influencer, their agent, an ad or marketing agency, influencer vendor and the brand. Some of those parties even have more than one person or group involved since some companies must involve legal, finance, or payroll. Ethereum enables these multiple stakeholders to all be included in, and have access to, the influencer contract.
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