Used by everyone from budding entrepreneurs to major corporations, crowdfunding has fast become one of the world’s favourite sources of alternative financing.
Offering not just money but also a greater connection with an idea or product’s target audience, crowdfunding is more than worth it – but as with all things successful, you only get out of it what you put in.
So, once you have taken the time pre-launch to create a watertight campaign strategy, build your content, establish the rewards you’ll offer, budget your costs, devise a timeline and grow your network, your work does not end there.
Since crowdfunding, by definition, relies on funding from as many backers as possible, then the final phase of your pre-launch plan should focus on one of your campaign’s most important ingredients: promotion.
As soon as you hit the launch button on your campaign, you should be ready to promote it as much as you can, in any way that you can, to anyone you can. Here’s how.
In this era of the internet and social media, no crowdfunding campaign should even dream of launching without having a plan for online promotion.
Start by building your own website to promote your campaign – and it doesn’t need to be over-complicated. A basic site containing quality content on a home page and blog page, as well as links to your other online resources such as your social media pages and your campaign page, will promote it just as well as one with more high-tech (read: expensive) content.
You might also consider building a mailing list from your website, to which you can send newsletters or mailshots about your campaign directly to your followers’ inboxes.
The quickest way to host your campaign videos is also another effective method of online promotion: YouTube. As with your website, however, make sure you keep it updated, answer any comments added, and upload all the relevant information about your crowdfunding campaign, so that viewers can easily find more details.
Social Media Promotion
A key part of your pre-launch plan should be setting up pages on social media platforms. These will support your crowdfunding campaign, both by widening your network to engage new potential backers, and by driving traffic to your campaign page through sharing its URL.
Your pre-launch phase should also be the time to research what social media platforms will work for you, and crucially, how much time you will be able to devote to keeping them updated. Consider involving other collaborators or team members who can assist you with keeping a steady stream of relevant, updated and interesting social media content on each of your pages, while also sharing the link with their own circle of contacts.
Plus, you may already be a follower of similar pages or groups, and so, if permitted, make sure to also promote your campaign page through those.
When it comes to promotion, there is little as effective as word of mouth or meeting your followers face-to-face.
Consider organising a launch event for your campaign, promoting it to all attendees and urging them to back your idea (and to tell their friends about it).
A launch-day mobile message sent to your closest circle of family and friends, containing the link to your campaign page, is also an effective method of reminding them to contribute. Likewise, you could also contact companies or organisations that are related to – or may even benefit from – your crowdfunding idea, and pitch your story to them, including those all-important details of how they can contribute.
Don’t forget the more traditional forms of promotion too, such as the press and media. Write a short, high-quality press release about your campaign and send it, along with a few high-resolution images, to the local print media. If you can relate your campaign to one of the local TV or radio programmes, meanwhile, then you could even try pitching your idea to them, in the hope that they might offer you a slot on their show and gain wider exposure for your campaign to their viewers and listeners.