As in start-up, finding a “killer idea” is usually not the most important factor for creating and launching a successful crowdfunding project. Although ideas are prerequisite to good product development, crowdfunding ideas need effective crowdfunding marketing strategy to succeed.
Crowdfunding models have become dynamic and no longer the miraculous. You have to treat it as a business to succeed. While incredible amount of creativity is required to create a campaign, developing an effective crowdfunding marketing strategy is crucial to succeed.
Creating effective crowdfunding marketing strategy
Since crowdfunding became prominent in 2008, the following crowdfunding marketing strategies have been used effectively by campaign creators across the world to create and reach their crowdfunding goals. You can bookmark this page and refer to it constantly refer as you execute your crowdfunding projects on TechBnk.
1. Focus on the right key objective
As in entrepreneurship, profitability is not the key objective for crowdfunding. This is not to suggest that campaign creators should focus on making losses though. With crowdfunding, your primary objective should be to search and find a product-market fit for your idea. Profit-Market fit is the relationship between your idea and a need that the idea will fulfill in the market. You want to be sure that a need exists in the market for your business or product to solve before launching. You don’t want to build a piece of technology, design, or film that no one cares about, or create games that nobody will play, would you? Your crowdfunding campaign may be a one-off event, but your business is a going concern, so developing a long-term perspective will not only help you raise finance, but gives you the right framework to build a sustainable business also.
2. Build a network of inner circle
The first thing you’d like to do before launching your crowdfunding campaign on TechBnk is creating a network of incredibly passionate people, who are excited about supporting your project as soon as it goes live. Your network of inner circle are early evangelists for your campaign, people who can conveniently take risk with their money on you. They consist of family members, friends and acquaintances who know you and trust you. Building a network of inner circle is a crucial success factor because your campaign needs 100 percent of their support within the first three weeks of going live to succeed. People need to see momentum on your campaign before they contribute, and your inner circle are suited to create the momentum. If you haven’t done so already, start making a list of individuals that fit this network today and engage them on social media about your innovative idea before launching your campaign.
3. Create email list of your network
An email list is a database of your ideal customer segment with all relevant contact details. It basically consists of names and email addresses. Different people capture different data including telephone number, geographic location, and gender. We recommend making your email list easy and simple for subscribers to sign up. Except where you are offering free stuff in exchange for contact details, fields such as First Name, Last Name, and Email Address are just sufficient.
Building email database is an effective crowdfunding marketing strategy for staying in touch with your network and giving useful updates about campaign. Some contributors enjoy reading the story that underpins your creativity to understand how your product would add value to them, and your email database allows you to give such updates at regular intervals. There are several resources for creating email list including Mailchimp, Aweber, or InfusionSoft. Mailchimp offers free account up to 2000 subscribers, and gives you the option to upgrade as soon as your list reaches the 2000 limit. Aweber and Infusion soft are subscription-based.
4. Do not depend too much on friends
When it comes to business, you are safer not depending 100% on your friends. Particularly in a crowdfunding project, some of the “friends” you thought would contribute to your campaign will not unfortunately. Creating an effective crowdfunding marketing strategy presupposes that you do not put all your eggs in one basket. Instead, spend some time educating your inner network (friends inclusive) about your project and the value you are bringing to the market. Sometimes people take their friends for granted, believing that they ought to understand what they are doing; but 90 percent of the time, they will not understand. You need to tell them about your project upfront, making it clear how much their support and contributions mean to your success. Make them aware that you are creating a crowdfunding campaign on TechBnk.Com and let them know how much funding goal you are aiming. Help them to understand the “Why” for the project and how many days your campaign will run on the platform.
5. Time is of essence
Time matters in creating and marketing a successful crowdfunding campaign. The moment you make the decision to crowdfund on TechBnk, it is important to focus on ramping up contributions as soon as possible. Bearing in mind that your campaign will run only for a limited time period to achieve your funding goal, you must prioritize your actions to execute only what matters the most for your campaign to succeed. You do not have the luxury of time and must not leave important tasks for the last minute.
We have created the following highlights to help you focus on what’s relevant for creating your campaign on TechBnk.
Key Breakthrough Actions (KBAs) for your Crowdfunding Campaign
- Create 3 – 5 minutes video that describes your idea or product, the pains it resolves, and the gains it offers.
- Draft a clearly written and edited campaign script that supports your video and makes it easy for your backers and community to understand what you want them to do.
- Insert high definition, eye-catching graphics showing different angles, usage, and benefits of your product.
- Build a well taught-after and Irresistible reward scheme for your contributors
- Consider your ideal Add-On options and possible stretch goals after reaching your initial goal.
- Create different versions of your compelling marketing message and schedule them on social media.
- Use well-researched keywords on your campaign to engage, update, and build relationship with your backers.
- Create effective press releases and marketing strategies throughout your campaign lifespan.
- Set aside a block of time to reply email, comments, or telephone inquiries about your campaign.
Once your campaign is launched on TechBnk.Com, your primary focus will be to drive traffic to your campaign page. We have prepared a crowdfunding media campaign strategy which you use as guide to implement your social media strategy.
6. Create a compelling marketing message for your campaign
Your crowdfunding marketing message should be compelling to attract backers to your campaign. Your ability to tell a persuasive story about your campaign is a key crowdfunding marketing strategy to not undermine. The goal should be to earn your audience’s willingness to contribute to your campaign so you can reach or exceed your funding goal. A story that must make such impact needs to focus on solution, and communicates value that customers want. We recommend weaving your story around the pains or challenges your audience is facing, and offer insight into the solutions your product will give them. It goes without saying that you ought to have researched the need and relevance of your product to your audience.
A fatal mistake many campaign creators make in marketing their crowdfunding campaigns is the inability to make a clear “Call to Action” (CtC). Call to Action is a deliberate instruction that tells your audience what you want them to do after watching your video, admiring your graphic images, or reading your project description. Whether you are creating a video, writing a release, or blogging about your campaign, be sure to insert a Call to Action; for example tell them to “Click the Contribute Now” button and help us reach our funding goal.” This type of statement is important for your prospective contributors to know exactly what you expect of them. Odds are that you are leaving so much money on the table if you are not making a Call to Action in your crowdfunding marketing communications.
7. Set a realistic crowdfunding goal
As much as it is possible, keep your TechBnk crowdfunding goal low and realistic. This is by far a fundamental crowdfunding marketing strategy that seldom gets shared publicly. It is easier for campaigns on TechBnk to generate momentum if your audience perceive them that your goal is realistic. Setting a realistic goal helps you to actualize your funding needs in record time and start generating more finance through stretch goal or MarkedIn.
8. Consider production and shipping costs
Sometimes, some campaign creators underestimate the cost associated with producing, handling and shipping their products or rewards. There is possibility that you could under-price your rewards if you do not take adequate time to calculate the overall costs of making and shipping your product. Find out exactly how much it will cost to turn your idea to a product, and how much you will need to ship them to your contributors. If you can, offer a reasonable discount to inspire early evangelists to contribute to your campaign as early as possible, but be careful to not erode your margin.
9. Make your images pop
High resolution images are important marketing currencies used in social media marketing. For most posts, images and graphics attract people to them on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+. Likewise, it makes an effective crowdfunding marketing strategy to upload relevant images and graphics to your campaign to attract potential backers to your project page on TechBnk.Com. Create high resolution images and write short messages to drive your point on them home.
10. Feature on the right blog
Endeavour to make every step of your crowdfunding marketing strategy count. In addition to your social media activities, find out the blog channels that your potential backers visit and share your story there. Blogging on a niche channel for your product is a good strategy for sharing your campaign with the right people who might support to your project. For example, posting a press release on a niche channel could be everything you need to make a a huge difference to your campaign. Imagine what would happen if a journalist picked your film campaign story from a renowned film news site and decided to share it further with his or her community? That would trigger massive visits to your campaign page and possibly result in more contributions.
11. Learn from what others have done
In life, successful people grow by learning and doing. Unfortunately though, many people stop growing the moment they stop learning. Before finalizing your campaign, take a look at what others in your niche are doing. Pay attention to the:
- Impact their video, graphics, and texts make on you
- Title, description, and wordings they used
- Images they used and how they stood out
- How they structured their rewards
- The questions or comments on the comments section of their page
12. Traffic is good, but conversion matters the most
Many crowdfunding creators fall victim of investing heavily in traffic generation for their crowdfunding campaigns. While we encourage our clients to make reasonable investment to generate traffic to their campaign pages, it is equally important to watch out for the two factors that are counter-productive to investing in traffic generation:
- If your target is irrelevant to your campaign, in other words you are targeting a wrong audience or customer segment.
- If your crowdfunding campaign page isn’t optimized for conversion. Your TechBnk crowdfunding engine is fully optimized for conversion, and your campaign will become searchable in search engines within 24 hours of going live. This means that anyone using the appropriate keywords can find it online.
13. Beware of the Foxes
The moment you hit the launch button for your crowdfunding campaign go live, all hell will be let lose for all manner of unsolicited emails to you. Be careful though; many of the crowdfunding marketing strategy emails you’d receive are from self-acclaimed crowdfunding “gurus” who are trying to sell some marketing or consultancy programs to you. As we already said in 12 above, your TechBnk campaign resides on a fully optimized page. This means that your campaign is visible to search engines. While none of the “experts” represents TechBnk, we do recommend taking reasonable steps to assess their request and act wisely.
14. Beware of last minute rush
The last 48 hours of your crowdfunding campaign is crucial for ramping up contributions. It is a crucial time for sending important updates to your team and inspiring them to ‘stand up’ for the final push. During this phase, you need to be honest in letting your team know how much of your initial goal (and stretched goals if any) has been achieved. For example tell them, “…we have generated £51,700 to date to date.” “We need to raise £3,300 in the next 48 hours to reach our goal and successfully end our campaign, and I believe we can accomplish it with your help.” It’s one of those times you’d take responsibility for the leadership and inspire your team to succeed. Here’s why this is so important. Supposing your campaign is running on fixed funding and your funding goal was £60,000. You and your team will stand the risk of losing the sum of £51,700 already generated if you fail to raise the balance of £3,300 within the next 48 hours. You can download a 48 hour email template here.
15. It’s not always as easy as you think
In the early days of crowdfunding, far too some people misunderstood it for a get-rich-quick model. To some, the concept was similar to “just build it and they will come.” The sad reality is that crowdfunding campaigns take effort, long hours of planning, and relentless focused execution to succeed. You need to treat is a business, be fully involved, take responsibility, and hold you and your team 100% accountable to achieve your goal. You need not start a crowdfunding campaign at all if you can not commit fully for its successful outcome.
16. Say thank you
Sending “Thank you” emails to backers is a good crowdfunding marketing strategy that can make or mar your present or future campaigns, yet only a few crowdfunding innovators apply this strategy. A simple “Thank You” message can inspire a backer to increase his or her contribution or even share your project with their network.
Now it’s your turn. What’s the number one effective crowdfunding marketing strategy you can implement right away to create a successful crowdfunding campaign on TechBnk?