It’s no surprise that small business owners are using crowdfunding to raise capital for business ventures or startup projects, especially at a time when bank loans are not easily available to small businesses, and lines of credit are also hard to come by. But if you’re considering crowdfunding, make sure you spend plenty of time planning how you’ll market your campaign. You may have a great crowdfunding idea and story, but if people are not aware of it, you will inevitably fall short of your goal. In order to develop a comprehensive marketing plan for your crowdfunding campaign, you need to include these six strategies in your marketing campaign.
Thirty percent of your initial donations will come from people you know. That is why it’s critical to have a strong network before you launch your crowdfunding campaign. Your goal should be to have an email list of at least 2,000 contacts before you launch. You should also line up five to ten people with email lists at least that large, who would be willing to share your campaign with their contacts.
- A Captivating Video
Video is a hugely compelling selling tool. You should tell your campaign story on camera and include it on your crowdfunding platform, as well as on YouTube. Your video should be two minutes or less, and should tell a story. Remember, you are selling yourself as much as your product or service. You should also record a 30- to 60-second direct appeal that you push out through email.
- “Friend-Raise” on Social Media
Social media is an incredibly powerful component of a crowdfunding campaign. In order to attract people to your campaign, you must already be part of the social media community. If you’re not, you will come off as disingenuous and no one will support you. Social media success is all about giving to get. Remember that you want to promote your campaign, but you still need to share other relevant content that is not your own. A good guideline to follow is: for every four updates you post, only one should directly promote your product or service.
- Information Should be Shareable
If you want people to share your information via email or social media, create pre-written messages that contacts can simply cut and paste into their platforms. Make it as simple as possible for people to help you market your campaign.
- Don’t Forget Bloggers
Three months prior to your crowdfunding launch, build a list of 15 to 25 bloggers who are dominant with your target audience. Then engage them through PR pitches. Offer a pre-written blog post, similar to what you are doing with the sample tweets and Facebook posts. Make sure you offer a benefit to the bloggers. Sponsoring a blog post or providing free product to try is a nice way to reciprocate the marketing ask.
- Pay-Per-Click Advertising
The average crowdfunding campaign raises less than $10,000. If you have a significant goal, buy pay-per-click ads to drive traffic to your campaign website. Facebook ads are a great option if your campaign is targeting consumers, and the social network allows you to really target your best prospects using geography, gender and other socio-graphics.
Crowdfunding is not only a great way to raise funds for a new business, but when done well, it becomes a huge marketing platform for you. Take the time to develop your marketing plan to ensure a successful campaign.