Crowdfunding Best Practices

How to raise awareness for your crowdfunding campaign

Jules

by Jules

On 2017 M01 20

by Jules

Maximizing your campaign awareness improves your chances of crowdfunding success

Your crowdfunding campaign is up and running, and it is already under the scanner of thousands of people who flock on the crowdfunding portals looking for supreme of the products. However, if you think that is enough; it is not. For people to know about your product, you have to tell them.

The clock is ticking and the time you have is limited. At the moment, your sole agenda should be to make the most opportune utilization of the days left in your hands. That requires you to develop a strategy and an effective implementation of the same.

And, if you are wondering, what are the core essentials of a highly performing after-launch marketing strategy that will help you win the ground and the round; here we are with a brief guide to help you with that:

Soft Launch

Soft Launch means, releasing your campaign to the audiences in your inner circle. That is mostly done to attract suggestions and advice for refining the product and campaign further before the final launch.

The best time to do it is anywhere around 2-3 weeks before the official public launch of your crowdfunding project. You can use your website or your campaign landing page to announce the launch of your campaign. A soft launch gives the audiences a heads up and provides you with a longer stretch, which you can use to analyze your target audience better, and approach them with a thrust. It can be best exploited to create your lead line of supporters ready before you go public on a crowdfunding portal. As per Indiegogo, 42% of the funds are generated during the first 3 days and the last 3 days of the campaign.

Public Launch

Your campaign is now live on the crowdfunding portal seeking funds from the masses to make your dream a reality. The active supporters fraternity of the crowdfunding portal is already checking out their possibilities with your campaign.

Now is the time to go all out in the bazaar and scream for attention from rest of the world. Here are the primary, and proven ways that will help you raise the interest among the crowd and earn the much-needed support:

Email Outreach

Email outreach holds the reputation of being one of the most proficient tools in convincing the crowd; eventually bringing loads of conversions.

Therefore, include everyone on your email list which is even remotely interested in your project. Besides, a soft launch is one of the best times to collect email addresses of potential supporters.

Other important ways of gathering email addresses are through your website, newsletter signups, blog following, Facebook ads, contests and surveys, etc. You can reach out to the interested audience through email telling them about the development of your project, seeking opinions, educating them about various uses of your product and complementing products.

Also, you can send them seasonal and festive wishes. You can sign up with Mailchimp for the purpose. It is one of the most efficient email sending services available in the market. The tool is very cost effective and fully-automated with hundreds of ready templates inside to ease out on your burden.

CrowdFunding Community Outreach

There are many influential crowdfunding communities on the web that are very dynamic. Most of the members of these communities are crowdfunding enthusiasts, serial crowdfunding investors and crowdfunding experts.

Once your campaign is live, you should reach out to these communities to inform them about your presence. Tell them about your product, seek suggestions and request them to spread a word about your campaign in their network. You can find active groups in the crowdfunding category on LinkedIn, and Facebook rather easily.

PopularonKickstarter is one interesting FB page that features those campaigns that are trending on Kickstarter. You can also make the best use of many backers’ community on the internet likebackerscommunity.co and backerdatabase for promoting your campaign and gaining support.

Product Community Outreach

Another efficient way to reach out to your target audience is by finding them in the right places. That means going to places where there is a lot of interested audience in your niche.

For example, if we launch GoPro on Kickstarter, communities to reach out would be photography enthusiasts and extreme sports enthusiasts. You can easily find such interest or hobby groups on various social media platforms.

Such platforms are ideal for the exchange of industry-related information and news. Moreover, displaying your placard in such places might garner you many instant conversions too.

Social Media

If you are not on social media, you do not exist. Your expedition to the digital world should very much start during the pre-launch phase itself. In the ideal case, by the time when you officially launch your campaign you should be ready with substance rich social media pages on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other such social media platforms.

Once you have launched your project make sure that you update your fans and followers with all that is happening with the project with a clear ‘Call to Action’ and appropriate ‘Hashtags.’

An effective social media strategy can help you go viral.#FillTheSeats was one campaign that went viral and ended up raising USD 300,000. The initial goal of the campaign was a modest GBP 15,000.

Press Release

A positive PR helps you in getting noticed by the ordinary and the extraordinary. So once you are live and are trying to gain traction approach the journalists of top news sites, business magazines, as well as of daily newspapers to cover your story.

Apparently, a press release round can turn out to be expensive; hence, you should choose the coverage mediums very sensibly keeping in mind your budget and target audience. You can spot best of the journalists on muckrack and blogdash.

Besides, there are many free press release website on the internet that do an excellent job. Here is a list of Free PR Sites duly published on mashable.com that are at your disposal.

Referrals and Contests

Contests, surveys and referral program are a fantastic way to involve the audiences effectively. That immediately converts the participants into your spokesperson.

Discussions bring more discussion and a faster spreading of the topic. Contests and Surveys are playful ways of collecting valid data that can help in creating winning proposals.

Referral programs are more like creating a chain of backers, where each backer is your sales person looking for closing a new backer in return of a commission. Referral and Affiliate programs are quite in vogue these days in the crowdfunding industry.

Some of the best crowdfunding referral websites are Kickboosterand Krowdster. Pebblebee and Ravean Jackets are some famous campaigns that picked up momentum through referral programs.

Meetups and Events

You have to make the most for your campaign during a limited period. You must leave no stone unturned. Therefore, apart from rocking the internet, you must do publicity in the physical world.

The best way to do it is by participating in the seminar and events concerning your industry and presenting your product there. You too can organize meet-ups and invite like-minded people to explain your story and share your vision.

You can also set up webinars for introducing your product to more sophisticated investors who probably are located in some other part of the world but might get interested in supporting you.

Stretch goals and new perks

It is suggested to set your funding goal a little lower than what you really need to raise. That way you are able to reach the 100% faster, which gives you an opportunity to push stretch goals when you are still far from the due date.

Stretch goals are set in exchange for special perks and vouchers which further attracts and engages the audiences in a larger way. Check out Shenmue campaign on Kickstarter, which will give you the best tutorial in setting up resourceful stretch goals.

Conclusion

Crowdfunding is not just a tool to raise funds, but it potentially helps you spreading a word in the market and validating your business concept. A watertight marketing strategy during the campaign will quadruple your chances of crowdfunding success.

Therefore, once your campaign is up, you need a determined and aggressive, yet methodical after-launch outreach strategy. Targeting the audiences with a correct mix of advertising in the digital and the physical world will definitely earn you the winner badge.