Crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and IndieGogo can be instrumental in turning your great idea into reality. Whether you are using crowd funding as a last ditch effort to get your project off the ground, or using it as a means to test your ideas before pitching them to VCs, you need to first figure out how you are going to market your idea.
Anyone who has experience with crowdfunding can probably tell you that you are in for at least 40 days of chaos. Whether you hit your funding goals, or fail miserably, your short term life is going to be insane. This is why I am adamant about getting prepared before your campaign goes live. Knowing where to focus your efforts and having immediate content resources available, your campaign will go far more smoothly.
Create Lots of Content
Since social media is going to be a major traffic driver for your campaign, you need to craft your message in multiple types of content. I’m talking Infographics, Video, Podcasts, carefully worded 140 character posts, Memes, and full blown professionally written Press Releases. You name it, do it all. By crafting your message into multiple formats is going to force you to think about your project from outside perspectives, which will in turn help you sell your idea much more effectively. It will also help you appeal to different segments of your target market, on the platforms they prefer.
Set Up Analytics Early
You can do this quite simply. By using a URL shortener like Bit.ly or for a more robust view I recommend Raven Tools, you can individually track each of your pieces of marketing content. This way you will get an early on idea of what mediums are working the most effectively. You might find that the press release you submitted to Mashable got you a ton of traffic, but very little of it converted into actual donations, but that tweet you sent out at 2am while sitting at the bar converted like crazy. By figuring out what works for your target market early on, it will help you make the most of the limited time your campaign is running.
Know your Frickin Market
Sorry, I know that’s not the most eloquent way to put it, but seems to be a common trend where most campaigns (and small businesses) fail. The better you know who is likely to donate to your cause/fund your idea, the better you will do. It’s that simple. Know where they hang out online. Know what kinds of content they share. Know what makes them tick. Know what makes them break open their wallet and passionately throw money at an idea they love. There are many sub groups inside of your target market (the ones who will donate a dollar vs. people who will throw down the big bucks) but inherently they will all fall under the same larger umbrella.
What is your experience with Crowdfunding? Tell me about it in the comments section.
Also, here are some resources for getting your marketing off on the right foot.
MuckRack It’s a database of Journalists on Social Media. Get your story picked up by right people.
Visual.ly Make Great infographics easily.
IFTTT If This Than That: Helps you automate pretty much every task you can think of.