Over the past few years, crowdfunding has evolved into a $16 billion industry. It’s a massive resource for entrepreneurs to gain capital for a project and set the wheels of production in motion. In 2014, Kickstarter transformed 22,252 ideas into real life products, services, or businesses — however, far more proposals gained little to no traction and ultimately failed to meet their goals. Projects fail because crowdfunding is more than asking your network for money, it requires serious finesse and skill to engage people and make them feel invested in your dream.
Nearly all successful crowdfunding campaigns have required significant planning, effort, and pre-launch execution before it’s even announced. The most important element to your campaign is to understand exactly who your audience is and cultivate interest through social media, PR, word-of-mouth, and email before embarking on the actual crowdfunding itself. Day one is likely to be your most crucial aspect so you can’t afford to launch without a rock solid plan.
Want to ensure your crowdfunding campaign exceeds all expectations? Follow these proven tricks and tips and you’ll be well on your way.
Gain Influencers and Discover Traffic Sources
Knowing the exact demographic you are aiming to influence is the most vital element to your crowdfunding efforts; without intimately knowing who these folks are, you will almost always miss the mark. Actually reaching these folks is a key area where many businesses struggle. One of the first things to investigate? Examine successful crowdfunding campaigns that had a similar audience and objective and uncover their top lead referral sources.
Kickstarter utilizes Bit.ly to generate abbreviated URLs and to track analytics information. By adding a “+” to the end of any shortened URL, you can gain information on its referral data and establish the most effective avenues to promote your campaign. Additionally, tools like Klout and Buzzsumo can help you develop influential social figures who have shared similar campaigns and related materials. Once you have identified the authoritative social figures in your niche, reach out to them directly. State your case. Create a win-win for them as well. Tailor your email to suit the individual that you are trying to link with and explain why your campaign is a good match for this person to promote.
This is another moment where Buzzsumo is crazy helpful; it will also help you create the type of content that audiences value most in your chosen niche or industry. Additionally, Buzzsumo is aces at suggesting various websites or media outlets that that may be interested in helping to promote your campaign. If you want to try to connect with traditional media outlets, USNPL is a great directory of local television stations, newspapers, and radio stations across the country.
Generate High-Quality Graphics
Developing professional-grade graphics for a campaign can often cost a pretty penny, but it is still a necessary component to marketing your project to the masses. There are many ways to make this an inexpensive endeavor, but make no mistake, you cannot skip visual content. Less than 15% of funded projects are text-only.
Canva is an easy-to-use graphic design tool created for those that don’t know much about graphic design. Drag-and-drop features make generating top-notch images, social banners, infographics, and just about everything else you could need super simple. The platform houses a myriad of free graphics, templates, fonts, and layouts to build all of the beautiful imagery you could possibly need. Additionally, Canva allows you to upload your own images so that all of your materials can be branded with your company’s personal image.
This is just one of many inexpensive and powerful tools; the point here is you need polished images to accompany your campaign.
Schedule Social Posts
A robust social media strategy is a must for any crowdfunding launch. Not only does it help build excitement throughout the community, but it can also help to reinvigorate the buzz when it starts to wane off mid-way through the process.
Make the social process easier by using a scheduling tool like Buffer. This allows you to write posts, attach images or links, and schedule when they will land on any and all social networks. Be sure to constantly keep your audience updated on flash sales, press releases, milestones, and new features to remain top-of-mind.
Automating your social media activity will help your social profile stay active, keep you organized, and put one less thing on your plate for day-to-day activities.
Create a Personalized Campaign
As we are seeing across nearly all marketplaces today, people want to connect with authentic, transparent, and personable companies; the more humanized an organization becomes, the more people resonate with it. The same goes for crowdfunding donors. These people are driven by connecting to a story more than an idea. In reality, most of these people are not funding your project, they are funding you, so think about various ways to humanize your project. The key element to this is your story. What is the story behind your project? What problem is this solving for you personally and how will it help others? By developing a narrative you open the doors to present your dreams and goals authentically and let others personally connect with your vision.
Create Your Pitch Video
Video is quickly becoming the most powerful form of content on the web. Cisco predicts that by 2019, video will account for 80% of all consumer internet traffic. Additionally, campaigns that utilize pitch videos generate 4 times more funds than those that don’t. This video should once again revolve around your story, and must be informative, engaging, and persuasive. If you don’t have the budget to create a video, worry not, as the following steps will guide you how to do this for free:
- Write your script. Pitch your idea in a story format that is engaging and compelling.
- Record the dialogue on a smartphone voice recorded, upload the audio recording to your computer, and convert it to a video file.
- Collect your best graphics, video clips, and images of product shots, team photos, behind-the-scenes production pictures, and anything else that is personable, relevant, and can help tell your story. Upload all of these materials to the YouTube Video Editor in addition to your script recording.
- Arrange the materials as you see fit with the drag-and-drop feature. Drag your audio recording into the “Audio” section to have your recording play over the video.
- Apply any titles, filters, transitions, and music that you deem necessary.
- Create your new pitch video.
Still need more help getting your crowdfunding campaign up and running? Fanatics Media can help alert the masses and set you up for success.
Call us at 760-262-4252. We’d love to help.