Crowdfunding can be an effective way of raising capital for your business. For a crowdfunding campaign to be a success, you need to encourage enough people to give you money so that you reach your funding target.
Thanks to the internet and associated technology applications like social media, today you can potentially reach a lot of people with a crowdfunding campaign very quickly. But simply setting up a crowdfunding campaign on a popular platform like KickStarter or Indiegogo and hoping that the money will roll in is naïve.
You need to drive potential investors to your campaign. You can do that by applying best practice digital marketing principles to make the most of your crowdfunding effort.
Use the services of a digital marketing professional
If they’re good at what they do and if you have a good concept, a digital marketing professional will be able to generate a lot of crowdfunding capital for you. They’ll help you to develop a campaign strategy to improve your chances of reaching your crowdfunding goal.
Think of their fee as an investment you need to make to maximise the investment of others in your crowdfunding campaign.
Make sure they have experience in crowdfunding campaigns and a demonstrated track record of success. And before you engage their services, ask them for referrals from their past or current clients. They should be able to provide them.
Differentiate your offering
This is ‘marketing 101’ for any product, service or concept to be a success, and a crowdfunding campaign for business capital is no different. What makes investing in your business attractive and what differentiates it from other business investment offerings on the market?
You need to be able to answer these questions before you start putting your campaign together. They should be the key driving themes of your campaign. A good digital marketing professional will probe you for answers to these questions to help them develop a compelling crowdfunding campaign marketing strategy. They’ll then execute that strategy to deliver the best possible crowdfunding results for your business.
Use digital advertising
Digital advertising can be extremely powerful because you can target people’s online behaviour. For example, you can advertise on sites related to your campaign that potential investors may be likely to visit.
· IP address
· geographic location
· pages visited
· searches via search engines like Google.
This information is valuable marketing data that may be sold to third parties for online behavioural advertising campaigns. No personal details (e.g. names, addresses and contact details) are collected.
IP addresses that reflect similar interests based on the user’s online behaviour can be grouped together into market segments and shown relevant ads. That could be an ad for your crowdfunding campaign for an appropriate market segment.
The pages that a user (and their market segment) visits and the searches they make reveal a lot about their interests. It also reveals the types of products and services they may be interested in buying or investing in. Potentially this could include your crowdfunding campaign.
Use social media
Platforms like Facebook derive their revenue from digital advertising. They compile a lot of data about their users’ likes, dislikes and interests, as well as many of their demographic characteristics (like their age, gender and geographic location). This information is collected from user-generated content. Facebook is arguably the best social media marketing platform to target specific market segments.
Getting your crowdfunding message to the right people on popular social media platforms is crucial. Again, digital advertising allows you to that. And the power of social media is that a message can be shared very quickly. It’s crucial for a crowdfunding campaign to establish that momentum as early as possible.
There is also a lot of research that shows people are more likely to be influenced by the referral or recommendation from a trusted friend than by a generic advertising approach from an organisation. Social media encourages friends to connect and share information and ideas. You need to harness that power for your crowdfunding campaign.
Use search engine marketing
Search engine marketing involves paying search engines like Google to drive online traffic to your site based on key search terms or words. To make the most of search engine marketing for your crowdfunding campaign, you need to think of the search terms and words a potential business investor may enter when looking for opportunities.
If you can hit those people with a well-targeted crowdfunding campaign and a compelling investment pitch, they’re the ones who’ll be most likely to invest in your business.
Use email marketing
Although email has been around for a long time and it’s not as sexy as some other digital marketing messages, it’s still the most widely used method of business communication. It encourages a two-way flow of information and it can help you to build relationships.
If you’re an already established business, you’ll probably have an extensive email database of past, current and potential future clients/customers, as well as organisations that you do business with (e.g. suppliers). If you do, you have a great head start in getting your crowdfunding message out.
These are people who already know about you and/or your business and they might already support what you’re doing. If you’re crowdfunding for capital to expand your operation, they might be very keen to get on board.
At the very least, email should be one part of your crowdfunding marketing campaign.
There’s an old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. That’s probably true if it’s an impacting and insightful picture that can crystallise a moment, a feeling or complex information. A well-crafted short video that can capture the essence of your business and your crowdfunding needs can have a similar effect. It can help you tell your story and sell your message better than words might be able to.
An impacting video can also be very popular on social media. You should seriously consider a professionally produced video for your crowdfunding campaign.
Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments below!