Applications and Use Cases

A Moonshot for Influencers, Coming Soon

September 05, 2018

The power of influencers has undeniably changed the landscape of marketing and advertising for good.

Brands can no longer “buy their way in” to increasingly skeptical consumers, particularly when it comes to millennials and GenX who spend most of their time discovering new things and connecting with interesting people on their mobile devices.

According to a study published earlier this year, the term “influencer marketing” increased by 325% in Google searches over 2017, as the authors of the study say this category is the fastest-growing online acquisition method of the year.

The study also reports that over 60% of marketing departments plan to increase their budget for influencer marketing in 2018, doubling their investment and for good reason: for each dollar spent on influencer marketing, marketers see an average of $7.65 in earned media value returned.

The biggest platform for influencer marketing is hands-down Instagram. There were nearly 13 million brand-sponsored influencer posts, creating an estimated market size of nearly $1.7 billion.

Who are these influencers and how do they monetize their influence? As big brands, including many in the fashion, make-up, music, food, beverage, hospitality and automotive industries pour hundreds of millions of dollars into partnering up with popular social media stars, there are now digital agencies specializing in putting brands together with trend leaders.

The power of social media has taken on dimensions we couldn’t have imagined ten years ago, creating new business models, diverting money away from traditional ad spending and marketing programs, and eclipsing display ads which have become essentially annoyances to consumers.

BOOSTO, one of the most creative Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) in a year of ICOs too many to count, is merging the massive growth of influencer marketing and decentralized applications.

With an ICO expected to complete in the next month or so, BOOSTO will continue develop a protocol that provides tools and libraries for developers to build decentralized applications (dApps), as well as assistance in reaching millions and millions of end users.

These dApps will then be distributed through a fast-growing pool of 350,000 social media influencers to their 2 billion global fans and followers.

The entire dApp ecosystem allows developers and companies to easily build dApps that directly interact with individual influencers, influencer networks, social media platforms, and brands with consumers, services, companies and much more.

“BOOSTO’s platform aims to return power and freedom to influencers and developers through unleashing the full potential of influencer-led communities,” their white paper reads. “This will be executed by using blockchain as a foundation of trust and Tokens as incentives to build various interactive decentralized applications. The developers then tap into the influencer network and collaborate, providing more interactive functionality with audiences and sponsors.”

Rock Zhang, Partner and Head of Product for Boosto, said in an interview “Our ICO is different compared to other companies raising money using digital currency. We’ve had a live product for three years, working with influencers through a digital marketing agency, and in helping them very successfully monetize their own brands and social platforms, recognized the opportunity to support them further with a digital platform leveraging blockchain technology.”

That agency, Boostinsider, is the developer of an influencer marketing intelligence platform that reveals influencers’ full cycle insights on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter.

They have been tracking and reporting for years on nearly half a billion of the most engaged influencers on social media.

Boostinsider created a series of the world’s first AI-based influencer marketing tools including:

  • SocialBook, the influencer search engine that helps marketers to best identify the right influencer for their brands. This search engine works together with the Campaign Management Platform to track and manage the entire influencer campaign cycle, but it is also an AI-powered data analytics tool that can be used for any YouTube Influencer. SocialBook provides real-time influencer channel insights, influencer market value, and hidden audience insights at scale.
  • Social Adwords is an automatic campaign management platform for CPC performance-based campaigns, which leverages influencers on link-friendly platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr.
  • BoostSDK encourages performance-based campaigns by making the revenue share model easy and fun between influencers and mobile apps/game developers.

Unlike other ICO start-ups, BOOSTO also has big clients. With a headquarters in Silicon Valley, and offices in Beijing, Chengdu, and Shenzhen, this new blockchain platform has access to over 300 brands, including Machine Zone, Cheetah Mobile, EA, Alibaba, IGG, and FitTea.

“BOOSTO is taking our success in this area farther,” Zhang said, “and we’re grateful to our customers on both sides – the influencers and the brands – for their support as we have been building and will be soon rolling out a decentralized blockchain platform that connects social media users with blockchain community.”

BOOSTO allows influencers around the world to launch blockchain based influencer stores selling products and engaging with their audience with dApp, forming a decentralized influencer/fans-driven economic system.

“We’re solving a really big problem, or are continuing to, now using blockchain,” Zhang explained. “We’re helping all participants make money by leveraging massive social media networks already in existence, like Instagram. We’re matchmaking using software, AI, and more, and now we’re making e-commerce easier and less expensive compared with traditional online shops with expensive fees and complicated technology.”

In other words, with BOOSTO’s platform, influencers can work with developers to create a means to directly sell products they believe in, as a direct sales channel, enhancing their current models (being paid to send traffic to merchants, earning money through affiliate marketing).  

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) affiliate networks and platforms have been succeeding for years, with merchants happy to pay because they are making a sale.

After a few years of click fraud, today most merchants only pay for leads that result in a human being signing up, or even buying a product. Networks like VigLink, Skimlinks, IZEA, Linqia and more have been fueling the influencer marketing revolution, but Zhang believes we’ve only seen the beginning of what is possible.

“We’re empowering the influencers and making it possible for them to easily create their own retail experience, curating a collection of apparel, or home goods, cosmetics, and essentially anything consumers love to discover and buy,” Zhang said. “BOOSTO will help their developers build unique apps, stores, and an online presence, and further their ability to build more and more friends and followers.”

The economic disruption is stunning.

Today, Amazon, Google, Apple and other e-commerce marketplaces take 30-50% mark-ups, particularly rich when it comes to digital products like music, games, movies and more.

“We will enable developers to work with influencers and share revenue, and using blockchain’s trusted ledger, do so with completely transparency at a dramatically lower cost,” Zhang said with a missionary zeal. “We are bringing the new world of brand and influencer relationships into the light, using small, smart contracts to make transactions a lot easier, a lot less complicated, and 100% trusted.”

BOOSTO’s platform will include an SDK and APIs, with tools that re basic to more sophisticated and will include open source capabilities to encourage developers to optimize and grow the platform itself.

“Ours is an open source platform – free to use. Our business model is to charge small commission fees for transactions, while also making money hosting apps and web domains,” Zhang said. “This is another way we have differentiated ourselves from other blockchain start-ups and ICOs – we’ve already proven our business model through our initial digital platform, and we don’t need to struggle to survive. We will be profitable from the beginning.”

Zhang says one of the biggest benefits of the ICO is that it allows people buy in and support, as a real community.

The BOOSTO Token is the main currency that will be used as a means of exchange, used on BOOSTO’s platform, which is built on top of the influencer infrastructure.

“Through an open ecosystem, and by adding developers to the mix, even the least tech-savvy social stars can develop smart contracts, integrate and improve both data and payment on the blockchain with existing social network data, and be even more empowered to create positive change,” the company’s white paper explains.

And we believe it and will continue to follow and report on BOOSTO’s progress.

Edited by Ken Briodagh



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