If you’re a startup thinking of crowdfunding your next big idea or the product you’ve been tinkering with for months, there’s a few tried and true steps you’ll want to follow to launch a successful campaign. Whether you’re using Kickstarter, Indiegogo, RocketHub or some other platform, there’s definitely a lot on the line as you prepare your marketing strategy for your campaign.
1. Start Early
The early bird catches the worm…or so the saying goes, and it couldn’t be truer. When it comes to initiating your crowdfunding campaign, you must start early. If you think that you can simply set your site live on the day of the launch and hope for contributions to come pouring in, you are deeply mistaken.
It takes a significant amount of preparation and strategic planning to get the number of contributions you’ll need to reach the goal of securing a minimum viable product. Your preparations really should include a significant amount of media outreach, content marketing, and social media marketing prior to launch—not just after the campaign goes live, or as the campaign continues—to ensure that you create the right amount of buzz to meet your predetermined goal.
2. Reach Out
Despite having the best intentions, many groups who utilize crowdfunding fail to do any type of media outreach prior to launching their campaign. Spending time reaching out to various industry thought leaders, who write about and review the type of products you’re offering, will be the difference between a wildly successful crowdfunding campaign, and one that is headed straight for the rocks.
It may take a lot of careful planning and several great pitches to get people interested, but it will be well worth the effort. The benefit of doing outreach prior to launching will help your potential contributors believe in your product, considering that they’re hearing exciting things about it from sources they read and trust.
Additionally, early media outreach could translate into an increase in potential contributors, considering that they might find your campaign where they otherwise wouldn’t have.
Lastly, the early outreach can really help create the buzz around your product that you desire even before your campaign launches. The payoff for doing this sooner than later could mean double, or triple the number of contributions you anticipated.
3. Distribute Content
It isn’t just enough to approach your product launch with a picture or two, and a brief description of the product you’re trying to market. Give the people what they want! GIFs, videos, and more will prove incredibly useful for your campaign as you strive to reach your funding goals. By utilizing the types of content that web users like and regularly consume, you are giving your crowdfunding campaign the edge it needs to get funded long before the campaign’s end date.
4. Be Social
It would be absolutely impossible to launch and run a successful crowdfunding campaign without social media. In the weeks prior to launch, and during the 30-45 day campaign that you run, you need to be more socially connected than you ever have been.
Promote your product, engage your target demographic, and offer feedback to and answer questions from your contributors. Engage users on various social platforms to ensure that you are reaching everyone, and creating the buzz that you need to meet your funding goal.
With all of this, perhaps the most important thing you can do once the campaign launches is listen. Listen to your contributors. For example, if they have suggestions for improving the product, duly note the recommendations and thank the individual(s). Doing this will not only increase your social credibility, it will help build the brand of the product you’re promoting before you even get around to distributing it.
Employing these different tactics as part of your crowdfunding strategy will ensure that you reach (or even exceed) your funding goal with the maximum number of contributors, and help establish an early marketable demographic for your product or service.
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