In a recent post I promised to talk about how the Steem blockchain could be a great place for business that are looking for a way to advertise their brands. I was actually hesitant a bit about sharing this, but since I believe that the opportunity is there anyway, it would be better for us as a community to spot it now and discuss it, instead of react to it if or when it starts happening. And if it's a worthwhile idea, it can be used to promote investing in Steem.
The post I'm referring to talked about how Facebook is going to work hard on squeezing every last drop of revenue it can from the businesses that are somehow active on their platform in an attempt to convert them all to paying advertisers with the highest possible budgets. It talked about how Facebook is limiting the ability of Facebook pages to reach their audiences and this is surely going to get much worse in 2018 and onwards. This means that many businesses would be looking for new alternatives and I think this blockchain has a lot to offer them.
Marketing departments should be buying Steem and powering up
Yep, you heard me right. I think that having Steem Power could be a significant marketing asset for many businesses because of the way the Steem blockchain is functioning like a free social media platform. Having a powerful vote that could put money in people's pockets is a great way to incentivize desirable behavior and to get a lot of attention.
This advertising model is already being used
Currently, there aren't many businesses per se that are promoting themselves on the Steem blockchain but there are already case studies that can allow us to see this model in action. The example I have in mind is how some of the interfaces competing with steemit.com are going about trying to bing in users. Many are relying on their Steem Power and upvotes. For instance, DTube is trying to reward high quality videos uploaded to their platform and the eSteem app is distributing some randomized votes to its users. But I think Busy.org have the best model.
What Busy are doing is voting for posts done through their platform (like this one) with their vote value being determined by the total Steem Power of your followers. If you have more Steem Power following you, you get a higher upvote regardless of the actual number of people. I think this is brilliant way to determine influence on the platform.
The way you distribute your upvote can alway be tweaked, but what's clear is that the fact that the blockchain is open can allow for looking at the metrics you care about. The important thing to see here is that holding Steem Power and using it wisely can help you get a lot of attention and you can see that the interfaces implementing those tactics are steadily (or rapidly) growing in usage.
Businesses could tweak that model
Businesses that are resourceful enough, could easily tweak that working model to fit their needs and start creating all kinds of challenges, competitions or even systems that would automatically reward people tagging their brand.
Now the real rub for businesses in that model is that they would not really have to spend anything on advertising. Investing in Steem Power would allow them to "pay" for attention with their vote which would not cost them anything. Keeping in mind how high yearly advertising budgets could be even for a small startup, buying Steem Power might turn out to be quite efficient. After all it's something that they will be able to use over and over without depleting it as a core asset. It's also going to be an investment that will garner them a curation return and is quite likely to increase in value. So for anybody having the cash to invest, that's essentially free advertising as you can always power down and get your money back likely with a profit on top.
Obviously, not every business under the sun would be a good fit for the Steem blockchain, but I'm certain there are some that could benefit greatly from doing something creative with a substantial amount of Steem Power.
What are the possible Pros?
If we want the value of Steem to keep growing, one of the things we need is individuals or organizations willing to buy it. Trying to let businesses know that they have that option is a way to get investors for our platform. And since this is likely going to be a beneficial endeavor for them, we can expect that a lot of those money are going to stay powered up. That's something that could put significant pressure on the price of Steem to continue climbing. That would be a net gain for all of us.
I believe this is a pro worth considering and if people think it's worth it, I'm sure the #promo-steem community will be able to take that idea and run with it.
But before that...
What are the possible Cons?
This is a very important question and that's why I'm still a bit on the fence about this. One of the selling points of the steem blockchain as a social media platform is the lack of advertising. And businesses handling their effort here badly could lead to a lot of spammy or insincere posts and shilling.
I think if this process is initiated by us as a community, we would be able to set some standards and acceptable culture from the get go and if things start getting out of hand and the threat of flagging and negative press sounds like enough incentive for businesses to comply.
What do you think?
Is this a viable idea in your opinion? Is it going to only add more spam and noise to the platform. Could it have an adverse effect and make some of the early adopters actually abandon the project?