Blockchain companies such as Steemit and ASKfm are venturing in to the content marketing industry to decentralize the industry from big players to the publishers of the content.
The content marketing industry has seen rapid growth in the last few years as the internet audience continues to appreciate creative content and advertisements. Through posts on various social media pages, blog posts, video blogs on YouTube and others, various creators have been able to produce interactive content with ideal creations that blends promotion and advertisements to raise interest to the audiences interacting with the content.
According to the Interactive Bureau (IAB) the digital advertising industry revenue reached an all-time high in 2017 at $88 Billion USD, representing a 21.4 percent growth from the revenue in 2016. Analysts further predicted that the industry is expected to continue its impressive growth in 2018. A report from Technavio, a firm dealing in global technological market research, indicated that the market will grow by 16.12 percent annual compounded growth rate till 2021 as developments in the field continue rapidly.
The Problems Faced In Content Marketing And Digital Ad Industry
As the industry continues to grow in crazy rates, there is a huge problem ensued in the content marketing industry; centralization. The current system is heavily influenced by the big companies in the world that take up most of the digital ad revenue leaving the publishers with very little profit for their efforts. Publishers and creative content creators put up their content on social media (mostly for free) and then their content is monetized by the intermediary who connects the consumers and content creators. This keeps the system imbalanced as creators should be able to benefit from their content and not only the intermediaries.
It can be seen in the huge amounts of digital ad revenue companies such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social platforms collect while the actual content creators don’t get these profits. The companies place advertisements on the content, derive revenue from it and the owners of the content are cut out of the equation.
This discourages development of content by publishers resulting in poor content on the sites. Furthermore, the intermediaries have the ability to censor content which stifle the freedom of speech of the publishers. This has resulted to the need of a solution to ensure freedom of speech and monetizing of content by the publishers is possible.
Blockchain Technology Offers A Solution To Content Marketing Problems
Blockchain technology is a decentralized system that allows peer to peer connection eliminating intermediaries such as regulators, governments and in our case big companies such as Facebook from controlling interactions. The challenges seen in the content marketing industry are soon to be eliminated with the entry of blockchain in the field. Some of the prominent content marketing blockchains include Steemit and ASQ Protocol.
The Steemit Blockchain
The Steem blockchain is a platform that allows monetization of published content and creative content on the platform. The blockchain runs on Smart Media Digital tokens, STEEM, that are also used as a reward on the system. The posted content on the platform should be unique and creative. These users who post new content are adding value to the blockchain by inviting more people on the site as well as keeping the existing users entertained. The content is then left for curation where users vote, report scams, flag posts while evaluating the content. This ensures the best of content is placed on the site with the right information being transferred.
It is one of the most popular blockchains in the industry with over one million accounts opened so far. The platform runs on STEEM, STEEM Power and STEEM Dollars. STEEM Dollars is a stable currency that publishers on the site are offered as rewards and can be redeemed at the market.
The ASKfm-Backed ASQ Protocol
Similar to Steemit is the ASKfm-backed ASQ Protocol that allows its users to directly monetize content without necessarily depending on the advertisement revenue. The consumers order the content for the ASQ Protocol and pay with the ASQ tokens which allows the creators to get paid for their value. More like purchasing music from iTunes. This way creators will feel motivated to produce the most relevant content to their users for them to engage with it.
Currently the company boasts over 215 million users across the globe and a further 45 million Ning users which offers it an opportunity to outrun Steemit in the field of content marketing. In addition, the ASQ project is customizable to publishers and consumers in a bid to offer the best user friendly platform available.
As seen above, blockchain integrating to the content marketing industry offers huge possibilities to solve the persistent problems facing the industry. By encouraging quality content and ensuring transparent sharing of revenue, content marketing decentralization also improves the consumer experience. The technology will also eliminate the irritating pop up ads that make most internet users cringe at the advertisements rather than click on them.