The Rise of Steemit – The Next Big Thing for Content Marketers?

Steemit is the newest (and youngest) kid on the online social block. In the last two weeks, the Steemit has seen a significant growth (~1000%) – rather impressive feat, to say the least. The site launched in May of this year, but it was only recently that contributor funding was released and the the platform paid equivalent of 1.3 billion of Steemit’s cryptocurrency (or “Steems).

Hoes does Steemit work?

Is it paid?

Steemit is currently free to join. The platform is only 3 months old (currently in BETA) so this may that may change.

What’s the idea?

steemit logo

It is simple in theory – give the power to Steemit users to create and curate content on the website and in return they receive a proportional cut of the digital currency, rather than the corporate stakeholders, like we’ve seen with other social sites.

Much like Bitcoin, the Steemit currency is completely online and offers an exchange rate against the US dollar. There are currently 657 digital currencies tracked by the price index site Coinmarket. On which Steemit has managed to reach close to the top of the list as the third largest in terms of market cap in 3 months! But it’s not the crypto-currency incentive that should be most appealing to content marketers – it’s the potential audience that this platform may present.

How is it different to other social media platforms?

It’s all a popularity contest on Steemit, much like that of Reddit and Facebook. The more engagement you get on a post, the more likely you are to show up in trending feeds. But what makes this platform so unique is that audiences get a share of the cash prizes just by interacting through votes and comments. With cash benefits for writers and more importantly active interactors, there’s a great deal of incentive for audiences to consume content like we’ve never seen before.

Who contributes content to Steemit currently?

The content on Steemit isn’t limited to computer and online currency talk either. Users can post any kind of content they want and categorise their content through searchable tags. Topics range from gardening and travel tips to how-to computer coding guides plus everything in between. And these posts are gaining hundreds and even thousands of votes by the minute.

Steemit CEO Ned Scott commented on the recent success of the social platform:

“People are recognising the vast potential of a community-operated social networking platform. The Steemit team has created an online hub where users can monetize their time and their energies and share in the profits like never before… With Steemit, the market forms around you.”

And what a fantastic opportunity this has created for the online content marketers among us.

Still sceptical?

I don’t blame you. Don’t take my word for it though, click on the live feed of all the interactions on Steem to see the rate at which it is being adopted by both content creators and readers alike.

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What makes the system tick?

Steemit has developed an engagement system, whereby it isn’t just the users who vote or comment the most, who earn the most amount of currency. Remuneration through interaction is calculated by what posts go viral and who was the first to give these articles the tick of approval. The more popular a post is, the more its voters are rewarded. Therefore it’s in the audience’s interest to read the content and pick out the best of the best. There are already Steemit posts offering formulas and cheat sheets for finding the best content to vote for. This means that the Steemit audience aren’t simply voting mindlessly, but they’re picking and choosing their votes – looking for topics that interest them and they think are well-written.

The downfall of user-generated and deregulated content is that an enormous amount of poor quality content is put on the site daily. Over time, this will become more evident as the platform grows in popularity and users try to produce quantity over quality in an attempt to gain more currency rewards. This is where you, the content marketer and the expert in your field, will become a useful contributor and a valued source among audiences, particularly within specific topics and tags. It’s the well-thought-out and quality pieces that will gain traction on this platform. The more informative and authoritative your post, the more votes you’ll likely receive.

Where does the Steem money come from to give away to the users?

The concept is fairly intricate and is propped by the blockchain based technology. If you are not familiar with the blockchain and the pinup currency BitCoins head over here and familiarise yourself. Chances are you will be hearing more and more about blockcain tech.

In essence though:

  1. The blockchain based tech behind Steem creates a virtual currency called Steem dollars.
  2. The value of the currency is dependent on the popularity of the Steem network and hence all the digital assets it owns.
  3. Steem is then able to distribute Steem dollars to the deserving platform users, who can swap it for BitCoin and subsequently exchange into any major non-virtual currency.
  4. No Steem dollars don’t grow on virtual trees, but are made from great content & enough reader consumption around it.
  5. The value of Steem dollars will continue increasing as long as it remains useful and scarce.

 

Still confused? You are not alone…

The Steemit system does need multiple gears to make it turn and many are still scratching their heads and wondering what exactly is going on here, as you can see from the conversation on Steemit below:

steemit-comment2

 

The opportunity to you as a marketer

It’s ok if you don’t understand all the cogs that make the wheels at Steemit turn.

What is important is that it is a rare opportunity for you as a content marketer to get in the 1st carriage of the departing new social media train.

Those who come along later will certainly be playing catch up.

Mainstream media outlets are yet to have caught onto this craze but we’re sure to hear more about it in the coming weeks. We’re only seeing the beginning of this new social platform and its potential. Steemit has only existed for 3 months and already sits at a market cap of $260 million. In comparison, Facebook didn’t even have a feed for over a year and now sits at a market cap of US$332 billion. With such a successful and accelerated kick start to the online social game, it will be interesting to see how Steemit grows in its first year.

It looks like content creators are flocking to Steemit & some are even predicting that it will quickly disrupt some of the traditional networks like Reddit.

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Our greatest recommendation is to get on the social platform now, share your valuable content, gain a following and be a pioneer in the Steemit content marketing revolution.