Organic reach still trumps paid user acquisition. And organic users bring in more potential new customers through word of mouth.

Today, video commerce platform Yeay announced that it will be the first platform to partner with WOM Token — a blockchain-powered word-of-mouth advertising system — to give people a new way to monetize their content.

The WOM Token enables brands to tap into peer-to-peer recommendations, allowing its users to earn money through user-generated content.

Yeay’s current community includes over 170,000 users, and the partnership means these will be the first content creators to connect with brands through the WOM ecosystem.

“WOM’s core goal is to provide advertisers with a way to access user-generated product recommendations while ensuring content creators are fairly rewarded for the value of their content,” Melanie Mohr, founder of Yeay and creator of the WOM Token, told me. “The biggest challenge that WOM — and indeed the marketing industry — needs to address is how advertisers achieve this without compromising the honesty of word-of-mouth content. One could argue that the moment a budget exchanges hands between an influencer and a brand, or the moment someone gets paid to convert people into buying a product, is the moment the content loses its value as genuine word of mouth.”

WOM Token’s open source campaign manager allows brands to source, track, and reward fan advocacy using smart contracts. Through the platform, brands can gain reach through user-generated content. In turn, those users earn tokens by creating and promoting their own content.

“WOM’s solution is to develop a completely new way of measuring marketing,” Mohr said. “Current marketing models are built on the value of social media interactions, namely ‘likes’. But what does a like really tell you about the content? It doesn’t go far enough, and it certainly doesn’t tell you whether the content was genuine. WOM works by enabling the audience viewing user-generated content to verify it in a deeper and more meaningful way, specifically measuring its honesty, quality, and whether it’s a hot product — only content that has been verified in this way earns WOM Tokens.”

Yeay’s decision to partner with WOM Token was driven by its Young Advisory Board — consisting exclusively of Generation Z board members — which has been established to provide Yeay with strategic advice on the needs of the next generation of users.

“Through the Yeay app, content creators can create and upload videos recommending their favorite streetwear products,” Mohr said. “Users are then able to watch the videos and engage with the content by voting on its honesty, quality, and relevancy. The app rewards users for helping to verify the content they view with WOM Tokens. Additionally, users can purchase the products showcased in Yeay’s videos using WOM Tokens via the app.”

So will the platform be limited to micro-influencers or will celebrities be involved, as well?

“The beauty of word-of-mouth is that it doesn’t rely on reach, which is still one of the main ways that celebrities, macro, and even micro-influencers are measured,” Mohr said. “Marketing departments still spend some $5-$10 billion each year to work with influencers that have the biggest possible reach, but consumers — especially Gen Z — are fairly wise to the industry.”

That shift in consumer knowledge is changing the influencer marketing landscape.

“Consumers would rather listen to one another than an influencer promoting something purely for the money, and in many ways they have something even more powerful than reach — a personal, direct, and trusted relationship with one another,” Mohr said. “There is absolutely no barrier to the type of influencer who can use the platform. WOM really delivers value by providing advertisers with a way to tap into word-of-mouth content without compromising its honesty.”

So what’s next for Yeay?

“Our goal is to let our users just keep doing what they do — making awesome videos and promoting the products they love — and we’ll keep making the technology more seamless in the background,” Mohr said. “We are in the process of productionizing AI for product recognition in user videos. We are developing many additional filters and are using VR technology to help users make their videos and the products in them look as good as they can. And, of course, we are excited to launch the WOM Token onto the app.”