Blockchain Finally Participates in the Use of Influencer Marketing
When people talk about influencer marketing, they tend to imagine an Instagram model holding a branded shaker bottle, or a stunning photo from a hotel balcony with the hashtag #sponsoredtravel.
Over the past 5 years, social media influencers have paved the way for a whole new approach to advertising and marketing. Instead of pouring more money into television, print, or even conventional digital advertising methods like Google Adwords, brands are shifting larger portions of their budgets over to influencers.
The first industries to dive into influencer marketing have been largely entertainment based: movies, music, gaming, television shows, etc. Big food brands and even local restaurants have adopted the practice, seeing their audiences much more positively engaged with content created by foodie influencers.
Oddly enough, the business world has been one of the last to adopt influencer marketing.
Sure, sponsored conferences look to bring in notable speakers to drive attendance, podcasts look to host guests that have strong social followings, but all in all, influencer marketing looks very different in the business world than in the entertainment realm.
Significantly More Subtle
Make no mistake about it, influencer marketing in business is significantly more subtle.
In Dale Carnegie’s famous book, How To Win Friends And Influence People, he explains that people want to do business with people they trust.
If influencer marketing in the world of entertainment is all about bright filters and attention-grabbing content, influencer marketing in business is much more focused around credibility. Working with someone influential isn’t about having them create a viral-worthy video mentioning your company, as much as it is creating a partnership that will open more doors of opportunity.
This is exactly what’s happening in the blockchain space right now.
In 2017, cryptocurrencies and blockchain-based platforms have completely disrupted the business world — from Bitcoin throwing a wrench in our suit-and-tie financial system, to Ethereum’s blockchain taking supply chain industries by storm. However one of the ways blockchain is being leveraged most is in holding what are called ICOs — Initial Coin Offerings. Similar to an IPO (Initial Public Offering) this is what allows a company to raise the funds required to go build a disruptive piece of technology, without needing to go the conventional fundraising route and raise through venture capital.
Influencers Are Disruptive
But it’s not just blockchain technology that is disrupting the business world—it’s influencer marketing.
Since the driving question behind every single ICO is whether or not they have the team to build whatever it is they say they’re going to build, one of the biggest barriers to entry is trust. For most ICOs, all that’s provided before the token sale is a whitepaper. Which means, in order to get people on board with the mission of the company, they have to know the team behind the product being built is solid.
For ShipChain, an innovative blockchain platform in the freight and logistics industries backed by Perdue Farms and the former CEO of DHL Roger Crook, this was the strategy from the start.
What’s interesting about ShipChain’s approach to marketing has been their focus on building out a team that has influence in the world of business. It’s influencer marketing, but done in a way where each “influencer” opens a different door for the company as a whole.
Some of their team members include serial entrepreneur Kevin Harrington (former Shark on Shark Tank), Brian D. Evans, Joel Comm, Justin Wu, and Brandon T. Adams, to name a few. Each one of these marketers and entrepreneurs have built incredibly powerful networks for themselves as individuals—which means, as a collective, they have the ability to reach all the right people. The team is led by industry veteran John Monarch.
Growing In Popularity
As more and more companies begin to consider ICOs as a means of fundraising, this approach to influencer marketing in the business world will only become more popular.
Bringing on strategic investors in any company is nothing new. What has made ShipChain stand out amongst the competition is the fact that they’ve prioritized bringing on influential team members above everything else. One strategic investor is not the same as an entire team of digital marketers and successful entrepreneurs, each of whom wield loyal networks and devoted audiences.
And this is all excluding the other glaring benefit of building out a “dream team,” and the fact that the more knowledgeable people you have working on solving an industry pain point, the better the product will ultimately be.
Although cryptocurrencies and blockchain platforms are disrupting all sorts of industries, it’s worth acknowledging how these companies looking to fundraise through tokens are also disrupting influencer marketing. Blockchain platforms are showing us that influencer marketing isn’t just about paying someone with a large audience to take an Instagram photo with your brand’s logo somewhere in the frame.
Influencer marketing in business is about building a trusted team.