Creating a successful crowdfunding campaign is not just about launching your product on the right platform, such as Kickstarter or IndieGoGo. There’s a LOT more to crowdfunding. When you see campaigns like the SLASH 3D printer, you feel the urge to know how they were able to earn TEN times their pledge goal in such a short span of time. What did they do to achieve that level of success and what should you do to make your campaign work better?
The answer lies in your whole promotion strategy. Crowdfunding is no longer confined to the boundary of the platform alone. People are promoting crowdfunding campaigns in more places than ever before! There are backers everywhere, and it’s your job to get their attention at the right time and in the right way.
1. How to Reach Your Goal Within the First 3 Days
When you come across the ongoing campaigns on Kickstarter and IndieGoGo, there are two things you’ll instantly notice. Some campaigns have already surpassed their goal within two to three days of launch while some others are still struggling to cross the 50% mark with little time left.
Good vs. Bad Crowdfunding Campaigns
Where is the difference between the campaigns who struggle and campaigns that soar past their goals? This can’t be based on the product type alone because most of these products are not out in the market yet. So, in a way, backers are putting their money only on the basis of virtual credibility and personal interest in the campaign.
Now, if you haven’t had the attention of backers in those first three days, you are seriously going wrong somewhere. Most of the time, this is because of not doing enough promotion online.
2. How to Gain Crowdfunding Campaign Credibility
The first step to building credibility online is increasing visibility. The best way to start gaining visibility is to start with your personal contacts. This includes family and friends, your colleagues and social media followers, and online influencers with reach in your niche. You need to draw the attention of all those people even before you launch your campaign.
One of the most crucial lists you must consider is your email contacts. If you prefer a phone call because you have a relationship with the contact, that’s fine. There’s nothing better than the power of word-of-mouth marketing to get the attention of those who already know you and your eagerness to get that product out there.
3. Give Your Earliest Backers The MOST Love!
Get creative with your perks! Some of the best crowdfunding rewards for Kickstarter pledges you will ever see are “early bird” and “super-early bird” deals meant to reward early backers with attractive discounted product pricing. The goal is to make your earliest backers feel a warm welcome.
If you were organizing a party, would you want the first guests to arrive to feel extra-welcome? Of course. There is a value in securing a seat at the table before the end of the campaign! In fact, your early backers will sometimes demand better treatment than any deal or special perk that you enable at the end of the campaign.
4. What Makes the Best Perks and Crowdfunding Rewards
“Perks”, as they are often called, are crowdfunding campaign rewards. Perks are a huge opportunity for campaign owners to offer their product at a limited time discount. Campaign owners can also set a limited quantity for each perk on Kickstarter and IndieGoGo. This helps to get you to your goal quickly with discounted perks, and then to soar past that goal piggy-backing off of that early momentum.
Building Backer’s Trust
As a campaign owner, you will be using backers hard-earned money after the campaign to make their dream product a reality. Therefore, they need to trust you in order to put their credit card info in and hit that pledge button. An attractive product at a good discount, or creative perk can make the difference for someone considering backing your project!
5. Incentivize Early Backers
Your goal is to incentivize early engagement in order to build the critical mass so that it can enjoy sustained growth through to the end of the crowdfunding campaign. mentioning these first backers personally on social media and boost their morale that way. You never know; they might go ahead and promote your project to their contacts and build that niche group of people who could be your influencers in the long run. And all of this will be done within the first three days of your campaign!
Early Bird Perks
It is usually worth spending a little extra time planning creative perks to reward backers who make a contribution during the first 3 days of your campaign. You want Day 1-3 to be some of your best in order to see the drive engagement and hit your goal as quickly as possible. Social media posts from excited early-backers are really helpful in capturing potential backers that may be on the fence sifting through the comments later. The early adopters usually can’t wait to get their hands on your product, and this effect is compounded if they feel they nabbed an amazing early bird discount, bundle deal, or exclusive content only available through that campaign BEFORE it sold out.
6. Crowdfunding Campaign Marketing
Things are constantly changing in the crowdfunding meta-game. There are new campaigns being launched every day of the year – some good and some not so good. You want your campaign to stand out of the crowd? There are a LOT of campaigns and in order to reach page 1 – 3 of Kickstarter or IndieGoGo, you are going to have to study up on the current trends in crowdfunding. While there are more platforms out there, these are the two that hold the majority of the backers and campaign funding raised. Therefore, it’s safe to say that Kickstarter and IndieGoGo set the trends for the entire industry and we are looking at hundreds of campaigns on those platforms to gather these tips for you. Below you can find some of the best tips for building and marketing a successful crowdfunding campaign in 2017.
7. Crowdfunding Social Media Tips
Before you bring a new product to the crowdfunding marketplace, you need to build some initial following on social media and in the press. Another area where you can increase your campaign’s traction paid advertising and PR (only if you have a budget). You must remain focused and dedicated to your targeted audience when you are building brand awareness around a new crowdfunded product. Paid advertising on Facebook Ads can help you reach the backers you need, especially if you are still busy working on finalizing your prototype like many IndieGoGo campaigns. Below are some tips to help get your social media channels off of the ground, as well as tips for if your social media is already rockin’.
Tips for Campaigns Without A Following
If you don’t have a significant social media following, then consider using platforms like Gadget Flow or BackerClub and use their large fan base and email lists full of regular crowdfunding backers to grab the attention of a global audience. If you want to build your social media following organically all on your own, then you will need to spend a lot of time learning the platforms and at least 2-3 months to get your first 1000 followers. We recommend getting at least 500 followers before launch day – any less and you risk sitting at 0% funded for the first week, and this is deadly to any crowdfunding campaign. Better to have patience and build up the proper following, or pay for a professional to take care of this.
Tips for Campaigns With A Following
If you are lucky enough to have a significant social media following (maybe this isn’t your first camapign), then there are lots of options to gather interest. We recommend giveaways that you promote through social media to gather emails as people register for the giveaway. Content submission contests are really trendy on social media right now, such as ‘Create a 30-second or less video showing our product in a new or funny way’. Contests like this are incredibly powerful to stimulate your community and to draw traffic to your website. Social media posts showing sneak previews of your team working on the soon-to-be crowdfunded device as it is being built can be incredibly useful too.
8. Crowdfunding Advertising and PR Tips
Do you ever see the really nice-looking “As Featured on Inc., Huffington Post, Gizmodo” and other logos near the top of a crowdfunding campaign page? PR is a huge part of any successful crowdfunding campaign. Reaching out to bloggers, online influencers, journalists, and media personnel to write about your project is usually hit or miss. You may be immediately successful if you have an amazing idea or product. For most crowdfunding campaigns, the media will treat you very skeptically. This is especially true if your campaign hasn’t reached 100% of its funding goal. For pre-campaign marketing, we recommend simply emailing writers and media you respect with a brief introduction and summarized information about your upcoming campaign. This may be enough to generate some early interest in the press.
Getting A Press Release For Your Crowdfunding Campaign
An official press release on launch day announcing the campaign is one of the most cost-efficient ways to get PR and advertising. This doesn’t have to be expensive! We recommend using the service CrowdNitro because they offer this service for under $300. This CrowdNitro deal is amazing and you won’t find a better price for PR anywhere!
9. The First 3 Days of Your Crowdfunding Campaign
Here’s a quick overview of the multi-tiered backer-building strategy that crowdfunding campaign owners should consider. As soon as your crowdfunding campaign launches, people will immediately back your campaign if the perks or rewards are good. If you see no traction after 3 days, kill the campaign and go back to the drawing board for a re-launch. Make the first 3 days of your crowdfunding campaign your priority, because these the most important days to building traction and media attention for your crowdfunding campaign:
- Email List and Personal Contacts including Social Media Followers
- Kickstarter or IndieGoGo Marketplace
- Paid Advertising Strategy
- PR Attention
10. Want To Ignite Your Crowdfunding Campaign?
There are several crowdfunding marketing companies that can help you get a boost before your campaign. One of the best we have seen is The Ignite Agency because they create professionally-designed campaign pages complete with graphics. Ignite can also make you a catchy campaign video, a full brand and logo design, a full website or just a crowdfunding-specific landing page. The even have a white-glove social media service, in case Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram aren’t your specialty. They know a formula to making a successful campaign, All of these components makes an amazing campaign. Ignite works on a wide variety of campaigns, check out this creative and interesting way they show the campaigns they worked on with amounts they raised!
Written By: Jordan @ Crowdfunding Headlines