Blockchain applications have risen to prominence based on the idea that blockchain would become essential technology infrastructure. The advertising industry is no exception to the disruptive influence of digital ledgers, which are expected to grow to a $176 billion industry by 2025. Native advertising, given its ability to monetize web media regardless of size, is a near-perfect match for digital ledger technology.
A number of platforms have now emerged where you can put your marketing dollars to use on the blockchain. While digital ledger technology involves complex technology, working with a blockchain developer can help you access its capabilities when it comes to native advertising.
Below, we show you why these digital ledger platforms can give you good ROI. In addition, we point out the ones that, based on market statistics, hold the most promise.
A blockchain solution can connect advertisers and publishers more efficiently than other bidding sites.
What is a blockchain app?
To gain an appreciation for the power of digital ledgers in native advertising, it is important to first gain an acquaintance with digital ledger technology. What is it and what does it accomplish?
Blockchain (noun): a digital ledger that provides a secure way of making and recording transactions, agreements, and contracts — The Guardian
Blockchain apps are software applications that run atop a blockchain. These apps will conduct decentralized transactions which are recorded in a shared digital ledger. A list of 101 blockchain companies by Due shows that blockchain programming is now being used to disrupt industries of every imagination, including:
- Payment systems, finance, and currencies such as Bitcoin
- Digital advertising, which includes platforms like Brave and the Basic Attention Token
- Messaging and encryption such as DigitalNote
- Supply chain management solutions, such as Skuchain
- Investing solutions such as Abra
Blockchain architecture democratizes advertising
A notable feature of digital ledger technology is its potential for decentralization. Needing no central control, blockchain apps can be run in a distributed manner by nodes located around the world.
Transactions happen by exchanging information between nodes and are logged on a distributed ledger. Apps using blockchain code could, therefore, let advertisers and publishers transact more efficiently.
ROI of blockchain solutions for native advertising
In his talk with FutureThinkers, Ethereum founder and blockchain pioneer Vitalik Buterin pointed to the cost-savings blockchain development can bring. In that talk, Buterin said:
“There is a lot of intermediaries that end up charging 20-30% and if the concept of decentralization takes off and does well then those are also going to decline to near zero.”
Applied to digital advertising, this means a blockchain solution can connect advertisers and publishers more efficiently than other bidding sites. Since advertisers and publishers connect automatically to the digital ledger, costs for the intermediation will be lower than with non-blockchain solutions.
Effectively, spending ad dollars via a digital ledger digital marketing platform can be done more cheaply, raising the advertiser’s return on investment.
A look at the capabilities of the following digital ledger native advertising projects will give you an understanding of what the future holds.
The top 5 blockchain-based native advertising applications
For the advertiser looking to use advertising technology based on digital ledgers, it helps to acquaint yourself with how the technology works. Fortunately, you won’t need a complete blockchain development tutorial or to learn the blockchain programming language. A look at the capabilities of the following digital ledger native advertising projects will give you an understanding of what the future holds.
1. Qchain – Buying and selling ad units
QChain is a digital ledger application that facilitates the buying and selling of digital advertising, including native advertising. This digital advertising platform has the bold vision of transforming the entirety of digital marketing.
Part of the appeal of Qchain is its focus on influencer marketing and native advertising. The solution enables direct transacting in native advertising inventory. Qchain focuses on creating an advertising experience that is smooth and seamless, offering greater convenience to all participants. The biggest beneficiaries of Qchain are likely to be smaller advertisers who can access native advertising more efficiently on this transparent platform.
While Qchain is still in its development phase, it holds great potential for advertisers and owners of digital media.
2. AdHive – Blockchain-based AI native advertising
AdHive is one of the leading platforms when it comes to advertising platforms built upon a blockchain implementation. This ad-tech startup has created a platform that automates the placement of native advertising with influencers.
Instead of arranging native ad units on a case by case basis, the digital ledger matching system places many units instantly. The result is greater efficiency and time savings when arranging native advertising.
AdHive solves important problem advertisers face concerning the verification of advertising contracts and service levels. The platform uses an artificial intelligence solution that ensures advertising tasks are complete, then issues the reward based on blockchain smart contracts.
3. AdEx – Decentralized, transparent ad platform
AdEx aims to eliminate advertising fraud and ensure that advertisers only pay for valid click-throughs. The platform uses blockchain smart contracts to ensure that advertisers are receiving the results they pay for. AdEx is built on top of the Ethereum digital ledger and is suited to a variety of advertising types.
Because AdEx takes a decentralized approach with an auditable ledger, it enhances transparency. Advertisers will be able to ascertain the efficacy of their ad dollars to a greater level than with non-blockchain digital advertising platforms.
4. ClearCoin – Eliminates ad fraud and optimizes campaigns
Another digital ledger startup targeted at reducing ad fraud, ClearCoin leverages blockchain technology to solve problems with current solutions. The platform leverages the ability of blockchains to prevent the double-spending problem where digital resources are sold more than once.
With ClearCoin, ad units on the digital ledger are only assigned to one buyer, and this is done on a public digital ledger visible to all market participants. In addition to the ability to buy native ad units across different ad networks, ClearCoin also offers tools to optimize your advertising campaigns.
5. Native Video Box – Native video ads
Native Video Box focuses on video advertising. The video ads market is in a strong growth phase as more consumers turn to internet video for entertainment and information. Native advertising based on video allows advertisers to access this large and growing segment of internet traffic.
Native Video Box uses blockchain to address the problems of content discovery and advertising management. The platform’s technology makes use of artificial intelligence algorithms that automatically surface the most relevant native ads to match content a viewer is interested in.
As digital ledger technology improves, however, it makes sense to start investing some of your advertising funds to reach audiences via blockchain-based native advertising platforms.
Is blockchain native advertising right for you?
Blockchain technology holds great promises for every marketer with an interest in native advertising. On the one hand, native advertising in its many forms is growing very rapidly. On the other, blockchain applications are rolling out on a regular basis. Platforms that combine one with the other offer great opportunities to get ahead of the competition.
Among the pros of digital ledger native ad platforms is their potential to efficiently match publishers and advertisers. While the technology is still rolling out, smart contracts blockchain capabilities can make contract disputes a thing of the past. If an advertiser does not get the promised traffic or impressions, smart contracts will arbitrate. Issues can be resolved quickly, with minimal time loss.
On the other hand, many digital ledger platforms are still in the early stages of development. The technology will undergo many changes as new platforms continue to innovate. This is a strength, but also a big advantage. For many native advertisers, going with a stable, known solution will trump the promises of a new blockchain platform.
For the meantime, you should continue marketing on the platforms where you are getting the best return on investment. As digital ledger technology improves, however, it makes sense to start investing some of your advertising funds to reach audiences via blockchain-based native advertising platforms.
See more native ad tech vendors in our ebook “The Global Guide to Native Advertising Technology 2018”