9 Budget Marketing Tactics For Crowdfunding
Have you ever considered crowdfunding to raise money for your business venture?
If not, the idea is certainly worth exploring. Crowdfunding is a low-risk way to dip your toes into a new business idea without the insane expenses or crazy loans.
Back in 2015, we successfully crowdfunded an adult onesie company. While we certainly didn’t “hit the jackpot,” we secured enough funding for our first production run and marketing campaign.
But successful crowdfunding campaigns don’t happen without planning. They take a dedicated strategy both before and during your campaign to maximize success. Many experts suggest building an audience at least three to six months before your campaign launches.
That’s great, but if you’re planning to run a crowdfunding campaign, odds are you aren’t swimming in cash. That’s ok!
With a blend of hard work and creative thinking, you can strap together a quality crowdfunding marketing strategy on a dime. Here are a few tips how:
1. Create an awesome video
Crowdfunding campaigns with videos perform 20% better than those without videos. And it makes sense.
Video is one of the richest forms of media to deliver your message. Engaging human senses of sight and sound, video is the ultimate communication form in the digital space. But you’ve got to make sure your video quality is high.
If you’re making a crowdfunding video yourself, make sure you follow video best practices. You need your video to be authentic, yet professional.
If video isn’t your expertise, you can always hire a company to create a video for you. At Water Bear Learning, we have experience working on a handful of successful crowdfunding videos.
2. Use your social media to its full potential
Social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram provide a wealth of opportunity to share your story. And the best part? It’s free publicity.
But social media is more challenging tool than it seems. And you’ve got to set realistic expectations. For example, if you start a Facebook Business Page, don’t expect one post to lead you to getting 1,000 likes. These things take time.
You don’t have to launch every type of social media platform either. Explore all different social media channels and launch only the platforms that make most sense for your target audience.
In the case of Funsies Onesies, we started with a Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. This was more than enough for a new brand. Social media may not lead to many direct sales, but it’s a brilliant way to tell your story.
3. Share with your own family and friends
Your own network is always the best place to start building your audience.
You’re going to have to ask for things. Financial support. Social support. And no one will be more willing to support you than your own circle of family and friends.
Create engaging social media posts. Then invite your friends to share your social media posts. That may mean reaching out to people one by one and asking them to share. It’s uncomfortable at first, but gets easier as you go. And your true friends won’t mind, and will be more than willing to help support you.
As you launch your campaign, remember the power of your own personal network. Leverage your people to help propel your campaign forward.
4. Spend time on cold outreach
Cold outreach can be brutal.
Hours upon hours of the same tasks, the same emails. To be honest, most of your personal public relations and cold outreach will not amount to anything. If you send ten cold emails, expect about a 10% rate of response. That means, one email back.
Reporters receive hundreds of inquiries each day about products they should feature. Why is yours the best?
The best use of your time is to start local. Discover some local newspapers, organizations, or bloggers that fit with your product offering. Then reach out to them with a compelling pitch. And by compelling pitch, we don’t mean a straight sales pitch talking about how cool your product is. The goal here is to build a personal, long-term friendship with reporters.
Sign up for Help A Reporter Out. They send you daily emails with “topics” that reporters are writing about. If you find a topic relevant to your product, you can send them an email and pitch your idea.
5. Pay for crowdfunding services for a little boost
If you do have a little cash to spend, a crowdfunding booster can be extremely helpful.
We spent about $300 for Crowdfunding Booster. This service boosts your Crowdfunding rank within the category pages.
In our case, 35% of our funding came from individuals browsing directly on Kickstarter. So if you’re able to increase your page rank, you should get more traffic to your page. Which in turn should translate to funding. Our conversion rate soared for the five days we purchased to boost our ranking.
Definitely do your research before selecting a service for boosting. There are many spammy sites that won’t help you or your business at all. Be careful!
6. Try paid Facebook or YouTube advertising
It’s well known that Google AdWords is effective, but expensive.
Facebook and Youtube advertising, however, are still in the early days. This means that both platforms are significantly less competitive than Google AdWords. Less competition means lower cost CPC and CPM.
And while there certainly is a learning curve, it’s worth your time. If you can master paid social media ads, this skillset can work your company wonders even after you’ve completed your crowdfunding campaign.
7. Hack Kickstarter With Tim Ferriss
Tim has written tons of valuable articles.
But one of his best is about Hacking Kickstarter. Although a bit outdated, this article is still one of the most insightful and comprehensive guides to launching a crowdfunding campaign.
Loaded with useful advice and templates, Tim reiterates the importance of proper planning with your campaign. He provides the exact step by step guide to how he helped a friend raise $100,000+.
Even if you don’t follow each step, definitely check out the templates he providers. From PR outreach templates to simple emails, it’s all there for you to use and adapt for your campaign.
8. Start your company blog
Blogging alone is not going to raise $50,000 for your campaign.
But it’s still an incredibly effective way to tell your brand story and build your website’s domain authority for SEO.
Along with pictures and videos, blogging gives you another format to share your product information with your audience. But your posts definitely shouldn’t be able selling your product.
You need to create value for your audience. The more quality, shareable content you create, the greater organic reach you’ll receive. And greater organic reach can lead to more potential customers learning about your crowdfunding campaign.
Blogging should be a part of your marketing strategy. Explore topics in your product niche and see how you can make them better.
9. Above all else, thank your fans
Never forget to thank your fans.
After all, they are the only reason you’re here. Whether you meet your campaign goals or not, genuinely thank your fans for every interaction.
If you’re on social media, respond to every comment. Most of marketing is moving people toward an action. Any individual that makes a comment or asks you a question is an individual that is already curious about your company. Respond promptly, warmly, and always say thank you.
Your fans are your only link to success. Keep them happy and keep them curious.