The rise of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) has opened new doors for fundraising in the nonprofit sector. NFTs offer a unique way to raise funds by giving away digital assets that can unlock meaningful rewards and experiences. A successful NFT fundraiser, however, requires a well crafted awareness campaign as well. A central pillar of an effective awareness campaign is a thought out influencer strategy.
Influencers can play a significant role in promoting NFT fundraisers, as their endorsements and social media presence can boost awareness and, ultimately, the funds raised. This article provides a comprehensive guide to developing an influencer strategy before launching your NFT fundraiser, focusing on the nonprofit sector.
1 - Understand Your Target Audience
Before engaging with influencers, it is vital to understand your target audience. Identify the demographics, interests, and preferences of the people most likely to support your cause. Researching your audience will help you select influencers whose followers closely align with your target audience, ensuring a higher probability of success.
If you’re hoping to target Gen Z or Millenials, go through past campaigns to see typical profiles of Gen Z/Millenial donors. What parts of the country do they come from, what is their demographic makeup. Use LinkedIn to understand their education and professional backgrounds. See who they follow on social networks and understand if any previous donors have large social media followings that could tap into.
2 - Figure Out the Right Social Media Channels
What channels are right for your cause? Are there lots of videos related to your cause, if so consider influencers that are big on YouTube or Twitch. Are a lot of your donors potential thought leaders or activists, then consider blogs or platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn. Does user generated content or pictures lend itself well to your cause, then consider Instagram or Facebook. Identifying which platforms help you tell your cause’s story and have users that are the most receptive to your cause, will make the next step of finding influencers easier.
3 - Identify the Right Influencers
Selecting the right influencers is a critical factor in a successful NFT fundraiser. Consider the following criteria when selecting influencers:
Niche: Choose influencers who are relevant to your cause. For instance, a nonprofit focused on wildlife conservation might partner with influencers in the environmental or animal rights space.
Audience Alignment: Ensure that the influencer's audience matches your target demographic. Analyze their followers' interests, age, and geographic location to confirm alignment.
Engagement Rate: Look for influencers with a high engagement rate, indicating that their followers are genuinely interested in their content and more likely to engage with your NFT fundraiser.
Authenticity: Collaborate with influencers who have a genuine passion for your cause. Authentic influencers are more likely to create content that resonates with their audience and garners support for your fundraiser.
Also, don’t forget to leverage past donors. A little sleuthing can help you figure out if any of your past donors perhaps have large follower bases on any of the major social media platforms. If you find a donor having a large follower base on one platform, they will likely have larger follower bases on other platforms as well.
There are two ways to research potential influencers. One is going to the social media platforms directly and searching for related content. Find out who’s posting that content and see if you can get their contact information (either on that platform or through their website/other platforms).
The other method is using an influencer marketing platform. Most of these influencer platforms require you to signup and pay a monthly subscription fee (usually in the 100s of dollars) to even search for influencers. But once you find them via the platform, reaching out to them and negotiating a deal is much easier. These influencer platforms also have custom pricing so letting them know you’re a non-profit/cause, can help.
4 - Build Relationships / Buy Placements
Once you have identified suitable influencers, it's essential to build strong relationships with them. Start by reaching out with a personalized message, explaining your cause and why you believe they would be a great fit. Be transparent about your expectations and goals for the partnership.
Consider offering influencers exclusive access to your leadership team, behind-the-scenes content, or the opportunity to contribute to your cause in a more significant way. These initiatives can help build long-lasting relationships and encourage influencers to become genuine advocates.
Contacting them earlier in the fundraising process can also be helpful in getting their feedback on your actual NFTs and the potential rewards/experiences you’re offering via NFT gating. Maybe an NFT focused on that influencer could be something you agree on or one of the experiences you give away is time/access to that influencer. Getting the influencers vested into your campaign will help them share the story behind the NFTs and emphasize the impact of the fundraiser on your cause.
Some influencers will require some financial payment to work with your cause/non profit. This can run from the $100s to the $1000s depending on the influencer’s audience. The larger the audience, the more expensive they can be to work with. Don’t rule out paid engagements as some can bring in much more than you have to pay and perhaps these engagements will turn pro bono in subsequent fundraisers once an initial relationship has been built.
5 - Content Calendar & Multiple Channels
A well-structured content calendar is essential for coordinating influencer activities and ensuring consistent messaging throughout the campaign. Collaborate with influencers to schedule content, such as announcements, teasers, live events, and auction updates. Make sure your content calendar aligns with your overall marketing strategy and includes the most crucial moments of your NFT fundraiser.
An effective influencer strategy should incorporate multiple channels to maximize reach and engagement. In addition to traditional social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, explore other platforms such as YouTube and TikTok, which can be particularly effective in reaching younger audiences. By diversifying your channels, you can tap into a broader audience and increase the chances of your NFT fundraiser's success.
6 - Monitor and Optimize
An essential step in crafting an influencer strategy is setting clear goals and KPIs. The goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Common objectives for NFT fundraisers include raising a certain amount of funds, acquiring new supporters, and increasing brand visibility. Share these goals with your influencers.
Once you’ve identified your goals, track and measure how your influencer activities are helping you achieve your goals. Make sure you know what days and content each influencer is using to promote your fundraiser. For each piece of content try to at least track social media impressions and engagements.
You ideally want to be able to track how much was raised through that influencer’s promotion but that can be more tricky. Consider using bit.ly links or other links that might let you track link clicks from each source. You could also ask your fundraiser partner to add tracking to see which referral sources generated how many donations. Be prepared to adjust your content, messaging, or influencer partnerships if the campaign is not delivering the desired results.
7 - Show Appreciation and Maintain Relationships
After your NFT fundraiser has concluded, take the time to thank your influencers and provide them with a summary of the campaign's results. This will help maintain a positive relationship and pave the way for future collaborations. Additionally, consider sharing the impact of the funds raised on your cause, as it will reinforce the influencers' commitment and potentially encourage them to support you in the future.
Developing a robust influencer strategy is a critical component of a successful NFT fundraiser. By understanding your target audience, selecting the right influencers, and effectively measuring your campaign, you can leverage the power of influencers to promote your NFT fundraiser and achieve your desired objectives.
Remember, building strong relationships with influencers is key to long-term success. By fostering genuine connections and providing value to influencers, you can create a network of advocates who will support your cause for years to come. By incorporating these strategies, your nonprofit organization can effectively harness the power of influencers to increase awareness, engagement, and ultimately, the success of your NFT fundraising campaigns.