Are you wondering if influencers and equity crowdfunding go together? This type of marketing has risen massively in the last few years. Rakuten Marketing reports that companies are allocating an average of 40% of their spend on influencer-led campaigns as of 2019. And for well-known companies like Estée Lauder the number goes up to 75%!
For rewards-based campaigns, we’ve seen the use of influencers increase in the last few years. For example, it’s unthinkable to launch a board game campaign without the reviews of the usual YouTube channel suspects.
So, learning from both the rewards-based cousin and the industry overall here’s my take on how influencers can help with your equity crowdfunding campaign.
In broad terms, the industry is divided into micro and macro-influencers. Depending on the source, the number of followers necessary to become a macro-influencer change. For the purpose of this article, we’ll put the border in 100,000 followers: over that, we’re talking about macro and below about micro-influencers.
In the context of Equity Crowdfunding, it makes more sense to work with micro-influencers for the following reasons:
- Relevance: macro-influencers have a broad audience, with very scattered interests. Micro-influencers typically have a very well defined niche: veganism, guitar players, crochet… you name it! It’s much easier to hit this audience with your message (if it’s relevant for them) than to a generic audience.
- Engagement: micro-influencers have generally a much higher ratio of engagement (likes, comments, conversations) than macro-influencers.
- Authenticity: we’ve all grown sceptical of celebrity endorsements of brands. They feel forced and not genuine. Due to the smaller community and DIY feel, if a micro-influencer recommends a brand as part of its content, it will generally be seen as more genuine.
- Price: typically, micro-influencers work for a fraction of the cost of macro-influencers. Some of them will promote your brand if they get some free product.
- Reach: by its very definition, a micro-influencer will have a much smaller audience. But as we’ve discussed in the previous point, they’re also more affordable. In general, spending the same amount of money, we will be able to reach a similar amount of people with a few micro-influencers as with just one macro. And, as we’ve seen, all the other metrics are much better!
Summarising, the key here is to find a group of micro-influencers that have an audience interested in your brand message.
How to find them
The previous section begs the question: how do I find the right influencers for my brand and campaign? There are several ways:
- Organically, looking for the relevant hashtags and sending direct messages.
- Online tools: there are plenty of online tools that can help you discovering and managing your relationship with influencers. You can find a good summary here.
- PR agency: if, as part of your equity crowdfunding campaign, you are also planning to work with a PR agency, it would make sense to include influencers in the package
If you haven’t worked with influencers before (and have the budget to do so) I would recommend using an agency.
Crafting a message
Things get a bit tricky when we’re promoting an equity crowdfunding campaign. There is a double message you need to get across:
- Awareness of your product or service: you might be reaching audiences that were not aware of your brand.
- Invitation to invest in your company
One way to go around this is by treating the influencer campaign as a conversion funnel. Starting early with your influencers, introduce the brand and product. And through a series of posts, reach the point when the ‘ask’ to invest feels natural. During the pre-campaign, you can ask the influencer to send traffic to a landing page where you capture emails of potential investors. And during the campaign, directly to the platform. If you’d like me to elaborate more on this, do let me know and I’ll write a follow-up article!
Wrapping it up
With a good influencer strategy (and support if you need it) you can spread the word of your equity crowdfunding campaign much further than your current followers. It’s really worth considering, especially if you have a visual B2C product.
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic. And any questions about how to craft your messages for influencers or if you need help with your campaign, don’t hesitate to contact me.