Influencer marketing has quickly become one of the fastest growing and most effective forms of marketing at our disposal, as discussed at length in this post. Its versatility is unrivaled and means influencer marketing can be applied effectively in plenty of industries, including web3 as we’ve done at Blitz.
That being said, with each industry comes different challenges for influencer marketing. There is no golden set of rules that can be followed universally for every product, especially with all of the components of influencer marketing (influencer selection, metrics, content strategy, etc.) An industry might have a smaller pool of influencers, a metric that takes significance over others, a specific tone that needs to be utilized, or some other consideration that differentiates it from others.
Perhaps the newest industry where influencer marketing has quickly become a massive growth contributor is Web3. With so many Web 3 projects seeking growth in the past few years, influencers have become a reliable way to pursue that growth and establish credibility in an industry shrouded by uncertainty.
With that said, Web3 is a prime example of an industry where your influencer approach will likely be different than what you’re used to (even when familiar with influencer marketing). For Web 3 especially, the relationship between an influencer and their audience can be the driving force between being dismissed as just another crypto scam and the next blue chip project. Let’s get into how.
Influencer Marketing In a Web3 Landscape
Beauty influencers usually thrive on Instagram and YouTube. Similarly, gaming influencers typically thrive on Twitch and other video platforms. While these statements are a generalization, they tend to be true, and clearly outline that the platform you should focus your influencer marketing efforts on depends on your industry.
When it comes to Web3, influencer marketing on platforms like Instagram would usually not yield you the results you’re looking for. Most Web3 projects cannot rely purely on visuals and product demonstrations like the beauty industry can for example when promoting their products. Web 3 content focuses more around conversation and education. As a result, content creators for Web 3 tend to flock to platforms like Twitter, YouTube and streaming platforms where they can best generate discussions and educational Web 3 content.
Let’s start with Twitter. Twitter encourages discourse around Web3 projects, which is especially important in a space where generating conversations around your project is everything. Web 3 projects in general attract a lot of criticism regarding their viability, financials and general activity, something that most industries don’t run into in such high amounts. Web 3 creators know this and thrive on addressing criticism, introducing projects, and generating buzz – giving you a very solid pool of influencers to engage with.
You’ll likely have a great selection of influencers that can lend you credibility on this platform. Whether it’s promoting your FT (fungible token), NFT (non-fungible token), or just seeking brand awareness for your project.
Additionally, by collaborating with KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders) in the Web3 space on Twitter, you’ll be able to grow your own Twitter presence and start to generate conversations around your project yourself with tools like joint AMA’s, Twitter Spaces, etc. In a space where audiences are as skeptical as ever, being able to communicate and engage with projects on Twitter is key, and the fastest way to grow a presence on Twitter is through influencer collaborations on the platform.
YouTube is important for different reasons. The platform thrives on educational content in general, and while it’s less important for a project to have a presence on YouTube, the platform still serves as a primary way for audiences to be exposed to and learn about your project.
YouTube allows for long-form content covering Web3 projects, their utility, whitepapers, project logistics, and in the case of Web3 gaming, their games. The platform will likely be the first place people go when diving into Web3 for the first time. By having influencers on YouTube cover your project, you gain immediate exposure to their audience and the benefit of having your content posted permanently for future audiences to find.
Lastly, and this one will mostly apply to Web3 gaming, streaming platforms like Facebook Gaming / Twitch.tv can be immensely beneficial. If your goal is to utilize the celebrity power of your influencer and their persuasiveness to promote your game, streaming is the way to go. Not only do you get to display the functionality of a working product/game (Which is rare in the Web3 world), but you also see higher conversion rates in comparison to traditional integrations.
At Blitz, we’ve run dozens of streaming campaigns which resulted in thousands of audience members being driven to a client’s discord community. By partnering with energetic Facebook Gaming streamers, we were able to identify audiences that might be interested in Web3 gaming and motivate them to join a community.
Now that we’ve established which platforms you should focus on, let’s talk about the influencers themselves.
Web3 Influencer Selection
Influencer selection is a process that involves looking at reach, demographics, niche, and qualitative aspects as well, depending on your goals. It’s the most important aspect of influencer marketing and will decide the effectiveness of your campaign, even over your content strategy itself.
The main considerations of influencer selection all continue to play a significant role in the Web3 space. With that said, Web3 is an interesting space with extra considerations we must make to ensure we work with the right KOLs.
After running influencer campaigns in many industries, we’ve observed that Web3 influencers have the highest CPMs we’ve seen by far (we’ll get more into this later). This means that the space attracts plenty of content creators with an interest in attracting brand deals through any means necessary, including building an audience as quickly as they can. However, that audience isn’t always authentic, and detecting an inauthentic audience in this space specifically can be difficult if you don’t know what to look for.
Usually, we verify audience authenticity through comment-to-like ratios, engagement scores, quality scores, etc. With modern tech and engagement-for-purchase platforms, it’s doable for inauthentic profiles to slip past these metrics and appear authentic on paper – and this goes from doable to very tempting when there’s so much money to be made from brand deals in this space.
Let’s consider a Youtube video with 10,000 views, 2,000 likes, and 300 comments. This video appears based on its metrics to have great engagement and even has a high comment-to-like ratio. On the surface, the profile looks to be authentic.
Now, let’s look at the comments themselves:
These comments might not look like your traditional bot comments, but they likely are. There are a few ways to tell if the engagement is faked, including by checking for re-occurrences of the same comment or variations of it when taking a deeper dive into the comment section. Often, bots simply copy a comment that looks real, make small changes, and repost it. In fact, it’s very hard to tell how many of an influencer’s commenters are legitimate looking purely at the creator’s metrics.
This isn’t to say the influencer is always at fault; in fact, bots often crowd videos to promote their own crypto projects, products, or scams, such as here:
Regardless, when a space like Web3 promises so much financial opportunity, it makes sense that engagement would be faked more frequently. Extra vigilance is required during the selection process to ensure you don’t dedicate a significant portion of your budget to promoting to fake audiences. There is of course the option to manually check comment quality and maximize your chance at working with authentic content creators. There however are alternative ways, such as looking at the peripheral communities of your content creator.
Whether on Twitter or YouTube, you can get an idea of how much influence your content creators actually hold by looking at the other communities they already promote. For example, looking at a suspicious influencer’s Discord server, Telegram channel, or other community could be a good indicator of how persuasive they are and how much their opinion is actually valued. On Discord, a high ratio of online to total discord members could be an indication of a legitimate community. On Telegram, a long user list by itself could be a good indication of authenticity.
If you’re questioning whether to work with an influencer who averages 50,000 views and 2,000 comments and you discover their discord community has 50 members, chances are they’re not as authentic as they appear.
Web3 Influencer Rates
We mentioned that influencers in this space have the highest CPMs we’ve seen out of any other industry. This is a direct result of how much money there is to be made from promoting to an audience interested in financial growth.
The same principle does apply to other financial influencers, like content creators that focus on the stock market. However, Web3 is the wild west of the financial sector and as a result, holds more potential and more brands offering high amounts of cash for influencer screentime.
Promoting on authentic crypto-related YouTube channels that consistently reach 10,000 legitimate fans might cost you up to 10 times more than if you were promoting on a beauty channel with the same metrics.
This means that there’s less room for testing and that your budget has to be significant if you plan on working with the top influencers in the Web3 space.
That being said, these rates mostly apply to creators in the west, where we typically see much higher purchasing power. There are plenty of projects that seek to target this audience exclusively because of this, and as a result, the rates for these geographies rise accordingly. We’ve seen rates that are drastically more affordable than western content creators in areas where Web3 is also experiencing massive growth, like Southeast Asia. For example, the Philippines quickly became a hub of growth for games like Axie Infinity this past year, and games like Solitaire Blitz are now quickly rising to the top of the charts leveraging these geographies as well.
Overall, as long as you have the budget and are open-minded in your targeting, there are ways to get past these high rates. In some cases, top influencers might even be interested in joining in on your product at a higher level, perhaps even in an investment capacity.
Web3 Campaign Strategy
When it comes to your campaign strategy, it’s important to keep in mind why the majority of people jump into the Web3 space in the first place – money. Most people want to know how your project can bring them financial gain, at least initially. Your project likely has a greater vision, utility, and all of the above, but without displaying an immediate benefit to your audience, you’ll likely struggle to get that initial buzz you’re looking for.
When it comes to Web3 games, this might mean emphasizing the P2E aspect; when it comes to tokens, it might mean quickly demonstrating the quality of your project to hint at the financial potential. In any case, there’s a format you can always take that’s sure to generate interest regardless of your approach: a giveaway. Not just any giveaway, but a giveaway that grants you deeper access to the audience you’re seeking.
Recently, there have been a variety of giveaway/allowlist platforms cropping up – the most notable of which is Hype.day, which allows project creators to generate mint allowlists and host giveaways/raffles for free.
Project creators on Hype.day can require entrants to connect their wallet, verify an email, engage with a Twitter post, or even hold a specific role in a discord server to participate. As a result, the giveaways and allowlists hosted on the platform are incredibly effective for generating excitement, building community, and when promoted in collaboration with an influencer, can drastically increase your influencer’s brand deal engagement.
If your goal is to grow your community, you might choose to position your project as a standard giveaway with requirements focused on social media. When your goal is to establish an allowlist with quality individuals, you might require entrants to hold a specific wallet balance to ensure they can afford to participate. If your goal is to capture the attention of specific blue chip holders, you can create a campaign tailored to that community and promote it as a project with exclusive access. These are just a few of the value props you can utilize in coordination with Hype.day’s many features, we’d encourage you to explore yourself given the platform’s free set of features.
Conclusion / Summary
Whether pursuing user acquisition, brand awareness, or another initiative, it’s clear that Influencer marketing in Web3 is highly effective. At the same time, it’s a tricker landscape to navigate compared to traditional markets – and without proper influencer strategy, it can be especially difficult & expensive.
This is why we recommend being thorough in your influencer selection process and taking advantage of influencer marketing tools like Influencity.com and free Web3 marketing tools like Hype.day.
Once you’ve built a repertoire of influencer partners and have honed in on an effective campaign strategy, you’ll be on the right track to running effective influencer marketing campaigns and getting your product out into the world. At Blitz, we’ve partnered with many companies across Web3 and other industries and can assist with your successful product launch – just contact us.
Thanks to our partner, Blitz, who provided this post, for sharing their invaluable insights in web3 marketing.