The Role of Influencer Partnerships in Crowdfunding Success

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Jonathan Garcia

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One of your primary aims in crowdfunding is to find ways to drive traffic to your campaign page. Once you’ve validated your product idea, it’s all about figuring out how to get the people who are interested in what you’re selling to take time out of their day to visit your Kickstarter or Indiegogo page and pledge financial support.

One of those ways is through influencer partnerships.

No matter how you might feel about influencer marketing, its effect is undeniable. Take a look at these statistics:

What’s the common thread that’s driving these purchases? The role some kind of influencer has on swaying intent. That’s a resource worth tapping into.

In this post, we’ll explore the role of influencer partnerships in crowdfunding success. But before knowing how to use it in your own crowdfunding campaign, it’s important to know what influencer marketing is and what its benefits are.

What is influencer marketing for crowdfunding?

Influencer marketing, in general, is a type of marketing that leverages endorsements or product features from people with both an online presence and a significant audience. From the most noteworthy of celebrities to the most niche of social media personalities, influencers come in all shapes of sizes with varying degrees of potential marketing benefits.

Here are the five main categories of influencers:

  • Nano: 1,000 – 9,999 followers
  • Micro: 10,000 – 49,999 followers
  • Mid-tier: 50,000 – 499,999 followers
  • Macro: 500,000 – 999,999 followers
  • Mega: 1,000,000+ followers

The goal of influencer marketing for crowdfunding is to partner with a content creator to spread awareness of your product and campaign, thereby efficiently gaining access to wide pools of potential leads.

If you’re familiar with our concept of the Four Horsemen of Traffic, you know that influencer partnerships in crowdfunding have the potential to be a major driver of traffic to your campaign page. We classify it as part of the PR traffic category, which can offer some great benefits to help make your campaign a success.

Benefits of using influencer marketing for your crowdfunding campaigns

Landing good PR via influencer marketing has some potentially amazing perks, and it all starts with the trust influencers have built with their audience. Gaining access to that trust is the major role of an influencer partnership toward crowdfunding success.

Engaging faster with your audience

The first big benefit of working with an influencer is how quickly you can engage with a new, qualified audience. What makes them qualified? Well, if you do your influencer research correctly, your product will end up in front of people who are already interested in your niche.

Sometimes, an influencer’s niche might be adjacent to yours. This presents an opportunity to expose your product to a new segment of your target market. From there, influencers can plug potential backers directly into your multichannel marketing platforms where you can engage with them further.

Making your brand known more quickly

Getting some kind of PR or media coverage is a great strategy for any crowdfunding campaign; however, obtaining press coverage the traditional way can be time-consuming. Tapping into influencer networks allows you to grow your campaign’s audience faster and it works in a mostly passive way.

Depending on things like how many views your partner averages or how many followers they have, that’s a lot of potentially new eyeballs who are learning about your brand from an influencer figure they trust.

Provides honest feedback from the audience

Influencers don’t just make content for their audience; good ones also interact with them frequently. After sharing your product, or even demonstrating how it works if you had a prototype to give them, interested viewers are bound to share what they think. Let your influencer partner know that you want to see all of the feedback your product gets. These instant critiques can help you make important adjustments.

Boosting your social media presence

Influencers are all over social media, and the most popular platforms like Instagram and TikTok are always coming up with new ways to boost engagement between creators and audiences. You should already have your social media presence established, making it easy for influencers to direct their audience to your various pages.

How to choose the right influencer for your crowdfunding campaign

Today, there are so many influencers to choose from that you can actually feel paralyzed when it’s time to start reaching out for potential partnerships. Don’t worry, there are some best practices we can share to make the process easier.

The basis of choosing the right influencer is the “three R’s” system, or: relevance, reach, and resonance. Keep these in mind as we explore best practices further.

A Venn diagram of three overlapping circles labeled "Relevance, Resonance, and Reach",

Relevance: Ensure the product fits with the influencer’s profile

Before you even think about reaching out to someone, it’s crucial to make sure that your product and brand align with the influencer and their audience. Without this fundamental connection, your product is unlikely to resonate with many people, setting you up for a lackluster ROI.

When researching an influencer’s profile, take the time to explore things like past posts, past videos, and comment sections to glean as much information about them and their audience as you can. You’ve likely mapped out what your target audience is for your pre-launch advertising, so use that as your guide.

Reach: Check the most known for your target audience

Getting the best in a given niche is great, but it’s not always the most feasible. Another good indicator that an influencer is well-known and respected is how frequently they post and how much engagement they typically get.

One influencer might have tons of followers but they might not have posted any new content in over a year. Meanwhile, another smaller influencer might not have the same views and followers, but they are posting regularly and engaging with their audience. This validates the quality of the reach they have with their followers, which is sometimes more important than quantity when partnering with an influencer for your small crowdfunding campaign.

Resonance: Keep your eyes on metrics

One of the most important metrics to consider when searching for potential influencer partnerships is the amount of followers they have. Remember the five different types of influences from earlier? Here’s the breakdown one more time:

  • Nano: 1,000 – 9,999 followers
  • Micro: 10,000 – 49,999 followers
  • Mid-tier: 50,000 – 499,999 followers
  • Macro: 500,000 – 999,999 followers
  • Mega: 1,000,000+ followers

We recommend when vetting influencers to skip the Mega, Macro, and Mid-tier, and mostly focus on Micro and Nano influencers instead. It may sound counterintuitive to pursue those with smaller numbers, but there are some good reasons why.

  • They’re easier to reach
  • They typically have much higher engagement
  • There’s stronger focus on a specific topic or industry
  • They are more likely to be open to commission agreements

Focusing on these types of influencers has been shown to result in one of the best metrics of all: positive ROI for your investment. Smaller, niche audiences are where you’re likely to find people with the best chance of resonating with your crowdfunding campaign.

Research platforms with valuable influencers to choose

When it comes to finding the best crowdfunding influencers to reach out to, we find that the place to start is on YouTube. Let’s say your product is some kind of travel bag. Pull up YouTube and search for something like “travel backpack reviews.” Here’s what you might see:

A YouTube search results page with the prompt "Travel Backpack Reviews".

Right away, you get a bunch of results for different channels with audiences tuning in to learn about this specific niche.

Another good place to find influencers is on social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok. To start your search, you would type in the hashtag “#travelbackpack” and sift through all of the influencers who also used that hashtag. For example:

An Instagram hashtag search of #travelbackpack showing images of backpacks with that hashtag

Lastly, we recommend trying a free service called “Brand Meet Creators.” This platform connects legitimate crowdfunding influencers and user-generated content (UGC) creators with brands. Post a listing on this site, and you should get a number of applications to sort through. Just remember to stick with the best Micro and Nano influencers you can find that stick to the “three R’s.”

How to reach out for influencer partnerships

Reaching out to influencers can seem intimidating, but if you’ve followed the rules to this point and only stuck with the smaller ones then it should be much easier. Regardless, here are some important tips to remember to make outreach more effective:

  • Be personal, rather than formal
  • Tell them why you think their audience would love your product
  • Comment on and compliment their work
  • Ask if they’re open to collaborating
  • Send samples (if possible)

The last important thing to understand when reaching out is that it is rare that an influencer will partner with you for free. According to a recent Shopify article in 2023, the industry standard for an influencer partnership is $100 per 10,000 followers. Here’s what that looks like using the influencer chart from before:

  • Nano: $10 – $100
  • Micro: $100 – $500
  • Mid-tier: $500 – $5,000
  • Macro: $5,000 – $10,000
  • Mega: $10,000+

Smaller influencers are also more open to commission-based agreements. If you’d like to go this route, we recommend setting up your Kickbooster account so that it gives your influencer partners a commission for every backer they bring.

Commission-based agreements aren’t commonly accepted, but it never hurts to propose this type of deal. If an influencer says yes, it will help you reduce some of the financial risk.

Final thoughts on influencer partnerships in crowdfunding

While good PR and influencer partnerships can give you a nice boost in traffic, ultimately it won’t be as sustained as you think it might. If you’re a small team trying to launch on crowdfunding, don’t dedicate too many resources to this kind of marketing. Crowdfunding influencer marketing comes in waves but is no substitute for dedicating more money towards building a high-converting pre-launch email list.

Small teams who do have a decent budget for this strategy can hire a PR agency to take care of outreach. For those who don’t have much excess funds, the minimum that can be done is to set up a Kickbooster account and tap into their marketplace. And if you have any further questions on the role of influencer partnerships in crowdfunding success, LaunchBoom is here to help! Fill out a free form at the bottom of the page to set up a call with us, and we’ll assist you through any part of your crowdfunding journey.

Influencers in crowdfunding: Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any legal considerations to be aware of when engaging influencers for crowdfunding?

Yes, there are various legal considerations to be aware of, such as FTC guidelines, intellectual property rights, and any contractual agreements you might enter when partnering with influencers. We advise consulting with an agency or legal expert if possible to ensure proper compliance of the most important laws and regulations.

What types of influencers are most effective for crowdfunding campaigns?

We recommend reaching out to influencers who have followers in the range of 1,000 to 50,000. These are classified as “Nano” and “Micro” influencers respectively, and are effective for crowdfunding because they tend to have higher engagement with their followers and are usually more focused on specific product niches.

What are the common challenges in influencer partnerships for crowdfunding?

Some of the most common challenges include finding the right influencer for your campaign, managing expectations, and budget constraints. The best way to address these challenges is through careful planning and effective communication between all parties involved.

What metrics should be used to evaluate the success of an influencer partnership in a crowdfunding campaign?

The best metrics to evaluate the success of an influencer partnership are things like conversion rates, cost per acquisition, and various engagement metrics in the influencer’s content like comments, likes, and shares.

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