Influencer Marketing in The Crypto & Blockchain Industry

The Creator Economy is growing, but how does that reflect on crypto and its communities?

I recently created an assessment for a Blockchain-focused company about influencer & community marketing in the crypto world, and decided to publish it for everyone to learn.

Objectives, Initiatives & Goals

The objective of both influencer & community marketing for most crypto companies is to educate people about the new internet, and create awareness about Blockchain technology and the decentralized web.

For influencer marketing, this would be done by hand-picking and working with digital creators and influencers to really tell an authentic story, and eventually develop a relationship with these digital creators with the ultimate goal of tapping into the growth market (i.e. young people, Zoomers) and creating mass adoption into the decentralized web.

For Community Marketing, the objective is to create awareness and brand visibility for the abundance of emerging crypto companies that can be quite confusing for the average user. We achieve that through interacting with the diverse crypto community through both proactive and reactive engagement and being on top of emerging trends in the crypto world and social media, for the ultimate goal of strategically developing a reputation for these brands in the crypto world.

This article will only cover influencer marketing in the crypto world, but I will publish the Community Marketing part in the coming days.

The Creator Economy & Crypto

The good news is that it’s a great time to work with creators, especially when we are targeting a niche audience. As of this year, according to Josh Constine from SignalFire, there are more than 50 million creators worldwide across thousands of topics and verticals, making it easier for brands in the crypto space to find an influencer to work with. Companies can now find a spokesperson for almost any topic and, in our case, we can find people who speak to early crypto adopters, NFT artists/buyers, or really anyone who’s interested in learning more about crypto.

These creators are mostly young, thus making them both logistically and financially efficient. They are motivated to monetize their talent and effectively work with brands.

What I personally find interesting is how decentralization and the Creator Economy very much go hand-in-hand. Because these creators are selling everything: pain, art, ideas and they don’t know they’re not getting paid enough due to over-reliance on tech giants like Instagram & TikTok. So it’s safe to say that eventually, creators will want to establish a decentralized presence, own their own content, and engage with their fans directly.

Influencer Marketing Program 101

To those of you who are unfamiliar with how brands establish an influencer marketing program, I’ve broken down the basics and used examples for the sake of this discussion. Below is a sample of what a crypto/blockchain company would do to create an influencer marketing program.

The process of launching an influencer marketing program for any company, not necessarily a crypto company, is divided into 3 parts: Sourcing, Execution, and Reporting.

Find

The first part of sourcing is to find creators, and we have 2 options to approach this, each with their pros and cons: we can either work with an agency and build a crypto influencer roster. The pros here are that it’s faster and easier; we tell the agency what we are looking for, and they find it for us. The con is that it can be more costly than our second option, which is to research in-house and deal with creators directly, which can be quite time consuming especially for someone who doesn’t have the necessary skills to do deal with influencers.

Benchmark

Once we select influencers we want to work with, we filter them more by asking about their audience, their demographics, story views/link clicks, conversion rates, reach; and any other metrics that fits the campaign.

In the influencer landscape, numbers can be deceiving. I wouldn’t just look for 1 single metric but rather a collective review of the influencer. That’s not to say that followers don’t mean anything, they do. I like to look at follower count like the SATs; it’s not everything, but it definitely is something.

With the content ideas we have in mind, we discuss rates as well as the guaranteed amount of reach/views/engagement.

One important part before moving forward is doing a run-through of their socials, see if there’s anything sketchy, or doesn’t align with our brand or values.

Test

An optional step to take is to test them out.

Before on-boarding them into our influencer marketing program, I would use them for maybe 1 or 2 campaigns. No commitment necessary.

If the results are satisfactory, I would then discuss a broader partnership and include them in our influencer program.

Once they check all of the boxes, we pass them onto the second part of the process: Execution.

Execution

I went ahead and pre-selected the influencers that we’ve “on-boarded” into our program for the sake of this article:

First we have Lea Thompson, AKA “Girl Gone Crypto”, you can see that she’s active on multiple mainstream platforms.

Next, we have Mack Lorden, who clearly isn’t as ‘famous’, but he utilizes Discord to interact with his fans. A key platform in the crypto space.

Finally, we decided to go with Maren Altman, an astrologist and crypto enthusiast. Maren is an interesting option because she’s able to encapsulate what Lea and Mack have. She has over 1M followers on TikTok and her content is relatable to both crypto early adopters and normies.

Here’s a breakdown of each influencer’s strengths and what sets them apart:

The reason I chose to move forward with Lea is because she’s able to decipher crypto jargon and translate that into digestible content for people who aren’t very familiar with the crypto world. She recently partnered with a Blockchain company to explain the decentralized web and the use of Blockchain domains. Here’s a video of her talking about Web3 and the Opera browser partnership with Unstoppable Domains.

Given her target audience, she’s able to deliver messaging that resonates with the average person. Inviting, relatable, uses simple language and avoids crypto jargon.

Unlike Lea, Mack arguably has a niche audience. So instead of trying to create digestible content for the average user, it’s fair game for him to use crypto jargon because his audience is assumed to be already familiar with crypto concepts. So Mack can casually tweet or talk about Pancake Swap, staking or yield farming without confusing his audience. Lea, however, is more filtered. His content revolves around on-trend crypto news and keeping his audience engaged and up-to-date with the world of crypto. I encourage you all to check out his TikTok.

Finally, Maren is an unusual influencer because, as mentioned earlier, she is an astrologist and if you’ve ever browsed TikTok you would know that astrology is a huge topic that resonates a lot with young people, especially Zoomers. She talks about astrology on a daily basis and links the moon and stars with the price of Bitcoin. I personally don’t believe in it, but nonetheless it’s clear from the followers amassed that she’s tapping to a unique audience.

Also, yes, she did predict the recent Bitcoin crash. Well, kind of. Here’s her tweet on the day of the crash for reference:

Podcasts + Crypto + Celebs

Before I move forward to Reporting, I can’t stress enough how valuable it is to have a Podcast in the crypto space and how many opportunities it can create. A potential idea would be to utilize the podcast by hosting an A-list celebrity, specifically one who is already in the crypto space.

Paris Hilton or Lindsay Lohan would be good examples given their relatively early adoption of NFTs. I understand how unattainable A-list celebrities can be, but the crypto space is so novel to a lot of people (celebs included) that they would be more open to establishing a media presence in. If I had a crypto podcast I would DM Paris Hilton, Emily Ratajkowski, and Kris Jenner. Yes, Kris Jenner.

It can even be one of the influencers that we work with, because when we have someone who is comedic or popular then their episode can be used for marketing purposes. Podcast snippets are common on TikTok and are effective in generating engagement and brand visibility.

Reporting

The reporting phase of our influencer program consists of post-campaign reporting, developing a cost-benefit analysis, and upgrading our influencer roster with creator-focused software

In essence, the questions we want to answer are:

Did we achieve our goals?”

How did the influencer perform relative to their average metrics?”

What was the level of engagement and how many followers did we get over the course of the campaigns?

Essentially, we want to know what worked and what didn’t to decide whether we want to continue working with these influencers or not.

A final step, and this is completely optional, would be to utilize creator-focused tools — my personal favorite is CreatorIQ (I am a little biased since I did data analytics for them last summer, but the CIQ software or any other creator-focused software really would provide more precise ROI measurement as well as future influencer campaign-based tracking.

Final Thoughts

The influencer landscape in the crypto world is different because simply not a lot of people understand crypto. I wonder when (not if) we reach a place where all the beauty & fashion bloggers on Instagram adopt crypto and utilize the decentralized web. It’s difficult to say when this will happen since most of these creators are drinking the Instagram Creator Kool-Aid, and have been for quite some time.

I’m not an engineer or a computer scientist and while crypto and Blockchain can be difficult to grasp and very confusing to follow up with, it is an exciting space and there’s a philosophical aspect behind advocating for a free internet. You can call Crypto anything, but you can’t call it boring.

About The Author

Aziz has been in the crypto world since 2016. He worked at Uber doing Influencer & Social Media Marketing before attending graduate school at Carnegie Mellon University. Working in the Entertainment Industry, he is currently seeking to transition fully into the Crypto Industry with a focus on the Influencer & Creator Economy, Web 3.0, and decentralized social networks.

DMs are open on Twitter, feel free to reach out: @AzizAngari

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