The success of your crowdfunding campaign is not only based on your high-quality, unique, problem-solving product, but also the effectiveness of your marketing plan. To reach your crowdfunding goal, you’ll need to set objectives to help you get there. Similarly, to implement your marketing plan, you’ll need a list of tools to help curate the results you want.
Build Your Social Media Community
First — we recommend tapping into your existing contacts to kick off your online presence. Start by establishing, or expanding, your business’ social media profiles. This includes choosing the right social media platforms overall. You can get started on popular sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram. Choose a social space best suited for your quality and quantity of videos, photos and links. For example, what works for some projects on Instagram, may not work for others, and the same can be said for any social media platform.
At the very least, you should maintain a community on Facebook. Facebook’s Business Manager is a powerful tool to build legitimacy for you new brand, early on. You should reach out to your network of friends and family and ask them to like and follow your brand’s page, leave a review about you as an entrepreneur or the features and benefits of your product if they’re able. You should also add sophisticated, high-quality photos and videos to the page to demonstrate the functionality of your product.
Develop a Facebook Ads Strategy
Once you’ve laid the groundwork for your social media community, we advise kicking off Facebook Ads — it’s time to specifically target your pre-determined user demographic, as well as find new audiences based on common interests on Facebook. During pre-launch, you could promote a free product giveaway, share preliminary campaign deals, and promise users they will be the first to know about the campaign’s lowest prices by signing up for email notifications.
Facebook Ads should be utilized before, during and after launch — this type of paid social media advertising is your strongest tool during your campaign. The performance of these ads is critical to crowdfunding campaign success.
Learn more about our recommended Facebook Ads strategy here.
Manage Social Media Content
Additionally, you’ll want to maintain a social media presence. This may seem like a low priority during the hustle and bustle of your live campaign. Luckily, there are many social media scheduling tools like Hootsuite or Buffer that can help you take care of it.
Hootsuite is one of the most popular social management tools that allows users to schedule and post updates to any page or profile on over 35 popular social networks including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, WordPress, and other platforms from one tidy place — the HootSuite dashboard. It lets you quickly find and schedule great social content and measure its impact.
However, there is a more affordable option — Buffer. Buffer and Hootsuite both help you manage what and when you’re posting, as well as track how you’re performing, but the Buffer dashboard only shows your scheduled posts while Hootsuite shows your timelines, replies, and more.
Buffer offers a cleaner user experience, while Hootsuite comes equipped with all the bells and whistles. Whichever social media management tool you choose, we urge you to save yourself hours each week by automating this process.
Use a Landing Page Builder
There are plenty of easy sites and landing page builders you can use, like Kickofflabs, Wishpond, and more, or you can use a higher-end option, like WordPress, to create your pre-launch page. WordPress is typically the fastest, easiest way to jump-start your website.
WordPress gives you everything you need to create anything you want. It’s flexible, secure, and powerful, just like you want your business to be. The site should provide an overview of your product’s features and benefits, share images and videos, build your fan base, promote your new taglines, link coordinating sites and host contests.
Organize a Promotion or Sweepstakes
The best platform, in our experience, to create, manage and execute a pre-launch promotional giveaway is through Viral Loops. This contest software takes an unlimited number of entrants so a few lucky people can win something special — typically a free product, package or service. Viral Loops’ powerful technology lets you run referral programs, giveaways and pre-launch campaigns in a single platform, and is easy to install on your pre-launch landing page.
Simply select a template that best suits your business and your needs. This platform does a great job of taking something that once was complex, expensive and painful (creating, implementing and running a referral campaign) and makes it simple.
It can be set up in just a few minutes without any technical skills or experience. Once your contest or referral program is set up, Viral Loops makes it easy for you to clearly manage, edit and track all activities. The analytics dashboard shows your campaign’s best performing channels in addition to a long list of your participants, or as we call them, leads. You can also view the engagement of each user and export the entire list. Additionally, the Viral Loops contest software can seamlessly integrate into your Email campaign strategy.
Determine Your Email Management Software
While there is a range of email management software out there, we recommend MailChimp for managing your email needs throughout your campaign for both new and existing contacts. MailChimp allows you to create beautiful, branded emails that make you look like a pro. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re already an expert, MailChimp’s easy‑to‑use email builder has the tools you need to grow your business by writing, designing and distributing purposeful email marketing messages.
The platform also lets you see exactly what’s working and what’s not — it keeps track of open rates, clicks, and more, and segments data with a built-in analytics tool. Additionally, MailChimp has a mobile app for you to create, edit, and track performance on your email campaigns wherever you are. MailChimp’s templates are designed to look great on mobile, tablet, and desktop.
Before you send your first email, it’s important to come up with an email marketing strategy. Think about what content you want to include in your emails, what call to actions, images and graphics you’ll incorporate, how you’ll use email to support pre-launch and launch, and more.
Create Compelling Graphics
We encourage you to create eye-catching graphics to accompany Emails, Facebook Ads, social media posts and finally, your campaign page. There are plenty of user-friendly websites that can help you create engaging designs — one of our favorite platforms is Canva.
Canva is a simplified graphic-design tool website that uses a drag-and-drop format and provides access to a gallery of photographs, vector images, graphics, and fonts, or upload your own materials. It is used by non-designers as well as professionals. The tools can be used for both web and print media design and graphics. We advise you to use this time to familiarize yourself with Canva as you prepare to create engaging, informative graphics for your upcoming campaign page.
It’s about time you start preparing information and materials for display on your upcoming Kickstarter or Indiegogo launch page. You should seriously take into consideration the layout and design of your campaign page. Your page should effectively introduce the product, show it’s full functionality, and explain all the features and benefits. It should consist of diagrams, photos, videos, GIFs and other compelling graphics.
Once you’ve laid out the order of the information for your page, we suggest you start compiling as much as you can into a sequence of graphics — again, Canva is the perfect tool. It will help you format your graphic designs in a sophisticated, clean, consistent manner.
Utilize Public Relations Strategies
Before you know it, it’s about time to launch your campaign. After you’ve utilized these marketing tools and effectively managed a pre-launch time period for your campaign, you should be prepared to get your campaign off to a good start.
As you reach campaign milestones, we encourage you to utilize public relations strategies and reach out to media outlets in efforts to gain coverage. Keep in mind, your public relations outreach plan should be somewhat organized before the campaign since Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaigns are only live for a limited time. We have a blog post on free tools to promote your campaign once your campaign is live.
There are public relations management tools that can help research and identify specific media outlets and influencers, distribute marketing and press materials, and measure your results. We recommend Cision as the leading tool to find journalists, monitor news, personalize pitches at scale and review advanced analytics.
Grab a Partner
Overall, when it comes to the success of your crowdfunding campaign, there are a lot of tools there to help. One of the strongest tools not mentioned here is a marketing, advertising or branding partner, like Enventys Partners, who you can collaborate with you to ensure you have created a crowdfunding campaign that is up to par with your next big idea. If you have questions or would like to learn more, we’re here to help.
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