Influencer marketing has been a favourite of marketers across the globe for the last decade or so. By tying your brand to the authority and authenticity of an influencer, you are positioning yourself in a way that paid ads and media simply cannot compete with. In the NFT space, this sentiment could not ring truer.
Those in the space understand that trust is a huge factor for the greater NFT and Web3 audience. In a world where data privacy is coveted and centralized platforms are frowned upon, moving to a strategy that allows users to connect with their favorite online personality is the perfect way to give your project the credibility it needs to allow prospective holders to feel comfortable enough to buy it. If this seems like something your project needs, keep reading for a breakdown of how to execute on one of the most powerful NFT marketing strategies known to man.
To work with influencers, you must first understand that not all influencers are created equal. First, you need to understand influencer tiers. In general, there are four tiers of status with influencers:
- Mega-Influencers (1m+ followers)
- Macro-Influencers (100k – 1m followers)
- Micro-Influencers (1k – 100k followers)
- Nano-Influencers (<1k followers)
Determining the category of influencer you are gunning for depends on a variety of factors such as budget, campaign goals, audience and more. We will cover initial campaign criteria below in our NFT Influencer Marketing Guide.
Once you understand influencer types, you then must also understand niches. Most influencers fall under a niche category that sets them apart from the rest. Popular NFT influencer niches include art, games, tech and more. Choosing a niche that aligns with your project is important in remaining relevant to the audience you are serving.
Ultimately, running an influencer campaign for your NFT is not extremely difficult. This strategy requires adequate research, planning and execution. However, if done correctly, it could deliver cost-effective results that will catapult your project to success. Continue reading for a step-by-step guide on how to plan and execute your campaign.
Timing an influencer campaign is almost as crucial as the execution. Too early, and your audience might lose interest; too late, and they might miss your conversion window. In both scenarios, you may as well be flushing money down the toilet. For most campaigns, it is best to run a campaign that is anywhere between 2–6 weeks before an event, such as a mint, utility release or contest. Of course, this is a general rule of thumb, and there are nuances to every project that make the requirements different. If you are unsure of how to time a campaign properly, it is best to reach out to an agency like Space Age or a consultant.
Before any good campaign, you must go through a process of planning and research to guide you the rest of the way. Here we will walk you through the most important factors to consider before starting your campaign.
Your first job is to hash out your main objectives. Are you trying to sell more NFTs? Are you trying to grow your community? Do you just want general brand awareness?
No answer is wrong in this case. However, your answer to this question will determine the rest of your campaign. If you have multiple campaign goals, it is best to build out specific campaigns pertaining to each individual goal.
Once your goals have been established, you will need to establish a budget that compliments your goals. High converting campaigns will be more cost-intensive while brand awareness tends to cost less.
Once your initial objectives and budget are determined, you must determine the strategy you will be using.
Having a game plan before you start is a necessary step. Strategizing works only after you’ve outlined a clear objective and budget. There are many routes to take when considering an influencer strategy; do you want to use your whole budget for one prolonged campaign with a single influencer? Or do you want to promote with a number of different influencers? This strategy is generally defined by your campaign objectives and constrained by your budget. For high conversion objectives, it’s best to run continuous promotions with an influencer. Just like the rest of marketing, The Rule of Seven applies here. The more touch points you can provide a prospective audience, the more likely they are to convert. With this in mind, you will want to review your budget and understand how many influencers you can form a long term partnership with.
On the flip side, a less conversion-based objective does not require the same kind of attention. For a more brand awareness-oriented approach, you can partner with a number of influencers for short-term promotions blasted across your target audience’s feed.
Armed with the two most extreme ends of the strategic spectrum, you are now able to create a plan tailored for your campaign.
Once you have locked in on your objectives, worked out a budget and determined a strategy, you are now ready to start your search.
Sourcing influencers is relatively simple, but it can be time-consuming depending on your chosen method. Below we will cover three methods of sourcing influencers.
- Social Media Search Engines
At the end of the day, it’s hard to beat using the social platforms you want your campaign to run on as your primary search engine. Effective and cost-efficient, this is the go-to for projects looking to save a few dollars while getting visibility through as many potential influencers as possible.
While it might seem self-explanatory to search for influencers on a social platform, there are some tricks to extract the most out of them. Below is a process our team follows that helps uncover potential influencers that might slip through the cracks of the search engine.
1. Using the main search bar, search for keywords relevant to your campaign. In this case it is “NFT art”. Ideally you will want to filter for “people” or whatever the equivalent is for the platform you are searching on.
2. Choose an influencer who seems to align with your campaign strategy.
3. Once on their profile, you have a starting point for finding similar accounts. The first and most obvious would be the “you might like” suggestion box on the right. Almost all social platforms have something similar to this, so this will work on every platform.
4. Next, you can go through their follower list. Influencers tend to follow partners and others in the space they have networked with. With the example above, we were able to find a viable candidate within the first two accounts on the list.
5. NFT Freaks seems to be a similar account, curating and providing exposure to NFT art projects. Similarly to the last account, we can go through their page to find alternative ways to find influencers in the same space. By checking things like retweets or collaboration spaces, you can find other accounts within the network of the initial influencer.
6. Here we found Loopify, another influencer/founder in the NFT art space.
7. Repeat this process on each influencer you find.
Although this example was done on Twitter, most of these tactics work with other social platforms. By leveraging these research methods, you will be able to find high quality influencers that search engines have a hard time finding through the use of keywords.
- Influencer Marketplaces
Dedicated tools such as marketplaces and directories can be efficient and precise. Leveraging powerful filters and a more robust search engine, these platforms are a great way to connect with influencers. Most tools come with a price, but it can be well worth it. Below is a list of effective research tools.
Heepsy is an option for influencer research. It offers a decent metric stack on each influencer as well as links to their other socials. Heepsy allows searches across Instagram, Youtube, TikTok and Twitch. Unfortunately, Web3’s favorite platform Twitter is not included, so this could be a deterrent to those in the space. Heepsy comes in at a reasonable price with a base monthly fee of $49.
Creator IQ is another great option for influencer research. Creator IQ is a high end influencer marketing tool that is made for larger campaigns and projects. With advanced metrics, Creator IQ has been able to remedy some issues often seen by marketers, such as inflated reach metrics, follower fraud and inauthentic influencers. Unfortunately for those on a budget, this platform is probably not the best option. Although their prices are not public, CreatorIQ caters to a higher end audience and is not SMB friendly.
With over 1 billion monthly active users, TikTok is no longer the dancing platform for teens. There is a growing community of NFT and Web3 enthusiasts just waiting for great content. To help with their creator economy, TikTok has created a marketplace for influencers to make it easier for advertisers to connect with vendors. This tool is completely free and relatively robust.
As you might have noticed, there is a lack of Web3-specific influencer tools. For now, you have to deal with sifting through generic accounts and relying on platform filters.
- Web3 Communities
The last yet most Web3 hyper specific tactic is leveraging community. Web3 as a whole is riddled with niche communities across all popular platforms such as Twitter, Discord, Reddit, Facebook and more. All of these communities potentially hold key players in the space with an audience. Some Discord communities, like Web3 Waves, have a dedicated channel to influencers and could be a great place to start.
Vetting influencers is the next step in this equation. As we discussed earlier in the post, not all influencers are created equal. Sometimes bigger is not better and the more followers an influencer has does not always equate to success. By properly vetting your influencers, you will get a true understanding of their value and how much you should be spending on them. So, what are the key performance indicators for influencers?
- Engagement Rate
This should be the north star of your vetting process. An account could have all the followers in the world, but if their followers are not engaged, the account could be next to worthless. In addition, engagement rate is a great tool for weeding out accounts with fake followers.
Engagement rate is essentially the total number of interactions your content receives divided by the number of followers multiplied by 100%. This is a general formula; each platform might have a different set of criteria that define “interaction”, and sample sizes may vary. It is best to use an engagement rate calculator such as Phlanx or Mention.
Followers are the first metric you will notice and use to assess a page. Followers are great for initial assessment and segmentation—however, beyond that, it’s really just a vanity metric. Followers can easily be faked or bought. Even if the followers are real, if they are not engaging with the content then the influencer’s account holds much less value.
For example, if you had one account with 10,000 followers and an engagement rate of 1%, you would be left with only 100 engaged followers. An account with 5,000 followers and a 10% engagement rate would yield 500 engaged followers, making the account (in theory) 5x more valuable than the first account with more followers.
- Previous Campaigns
Working with experienced influencers can be a great indicator of success, and they will have the necessary KPIs to give you an idea of their abilities. Experienced influencers come with a lower risk when assessing the outcome of the campaign. The drawback from this, though, is that they will be more expensive because they understand their worth. Some metrics to ask about from past campaigns would be traffic/clicks, impressions, Cost Per Acquisition and Return on Investment.
Getting in touch with influencers is more difficult than most people think. It only seems logical that influencers would jump at a chance to make some money and will respond right away to your first message. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Influencers might not see your message for a number of reasons. Below, we’ll give you some tips on how to stand out from the crowd and get in touch with your dream partner.
Keeping organized during your outreach process is essential. Understanding who you’ve reached out to and how many times is an important step in making sure no one slips through the cracks and that you are well documented down the line.
In addition to this, organization also allows for continuous optimization. Recording your methods and comparing them against one another will help you achieve your best results. Having the ability to keep track of scripts, outreach channels, niches and more will do more for your process than anything else listed on this post, and it lays a proper foundation for your campaign.
For those looking to run a successful campaign, sign up below to receive a free copy of our influencer outreach template and process!
- Outreach & Communications
If you are a marketer, you know copy is key to any process. Adjusting your communication strategy will greatly enhance your ability to get into conversations. Here are some simple tips to get a response:
- Keep it short. Think of it like an elevator pitch; explain what you need in 1 to 2 sentences. If they are interested, they will respond and you can give them the full rundown of your needs. Once they respond, the odds of them continuing the conversation goes up drastically.
- Lead with something eye-catching. Like any good copy writer knows, you must lead with something that will catch the attention of the recipient. Most inboxes will preview up to a sentence of your message before opening it. Use this to your advantage.
- Test, test, test. Keep track of the scripts you are using and determine which ones have yielded the best response rate.
Lastly, we will touch on what channels you should use to reach out. The short answer here: as many as it takes to get a response! Some influencers might exist on three different channels and have their email available. What we would suggest is to pick two channels at first, generally social and email. Send a round or two of follow ups. If there is still no response there, then it might be best to try the other social channels. Be wary of sending too many messages to avoid coming off as spammy; however, it is entirely possible that the influencer has missed your message on the other channels.
Despite the pessimistic view some hold on influencer marketing these days, it has still proven to be an effective marketing strategy in the NFT space. NFT holders tend to be skeptical of traditional advertising channels and appreciate the authenticity and authority instilled by their favorite influencers. For this reason, we have seen influencer marketing be a central piece to successful NFT mints and launches. By following the steps in this guide, you will be much more prepared and therefore likely to succeed.
Onward and upward!