Crowdfunding is now an incredibly popular and prominent way for start-ups and entrepreneurs to help make their ideas a reality. But that popularity comes at a price. To be successful, gain traction and land pledges, campaigners need to be willing to spend a significant proportion of time preparing and strategizing how they are going to meet their goals…
There’s no secret recipe to a successful crowdfunding campaign other than meticulous research and fully-purposed preparation before you launch. If your idea should be funded then you need to be able to articulate the reason why people should pledge. But to be able to do that you need to have identified and pinpointed your audience.
Social media allows you to focus your crowdfunding efforts specifically on the individuals that would be interested and could make a significant difference to your campaign. Social networking is, by its very nature, a community-building tool that facilitates campaigning. The sheer reach associated with campaigning via social media is unobtainable by other traditional forms of media – something that makes it particularly valuable to niche start-ups.
Whatever the purpose of your crowdfunding campaign, social media needs to be involved. Without it your reach just won’t be up to standard. Here are some key points to remember…
Identify where your audience hang out
Not all Social Networks will be suitable for all crowdfunding campaigns, and for that reason you should spend some time identifying where you would have the biggest impact and focus your primary efforts there. Analyse the size of each of your networks, the quality of followers and where relevant conversations are most prevalent. You will find it easier to harness networks where activity is most prominent, so take that into account. Traditionally Facebook and Twitter have been the most popular for campaigning due to high rates of interactivity, but social networks such as Instagram are becoming increasingly popular, so it’s worth considering how you could be using them.
Focus your efforts on building interest before you launch
In order to have a successful campaign launch you need to already have an established social media presence. Be willing to put the groundwork into building a community of supporters and advocates. This community will play a vital role in stirring up interest both pre and post launch. Without them, regardless of how potentially lucrative your audience base is, you stand little chance of reaching your goal. It’s all very well to have a perfectly branded product featuring in content with high production value, but if you don’t have real people contributing to a real dialogue potential investors could end up wrongly dismissing your idea without a second thought.
Choose a unique and succinct campaign hashtag
Hashtags are not only an incredibly useful ordering tool for users, allowing them to conglomerate widespread posts on the same topic, they have in some ways become a tool for branding for social media campaigns. Instantly recognisable hashtags that drum up intrigue help campaigners to put a title over that dialogue. As often as possible you want to be encouraging advocates and backers to use the hashtag too, in order to build that conversation and bolster it with real life testimonies.
Use video to promote your campaign
Every campaign will need a video to help drum up interest. Video content is not only vital to your campaign page, it’s also the style of social media content that gets the most attention from users. Keep that in mind as you create content. Video can also be used to throughout your campaign to give updates and sneak-peaks surrounding features etc. As far as social media is concerned, awesome video content is a confetti cannon – but poor video content is a ticking time bomb. So use it wisely.
Keep delivering campaign news and updates to backers and advocates
It’s important to continually update your backers about where you are getting with your efforts. It’s important to remember that your community of promoters, advocates and backers is your most vital asset. Those real-life testimonies are the ones that will make a difference to your campaign. So invest time into delivering campaign updates and products news to them regularly and continually throughout your campaign.
Start with creative content and don’t forget about it halfway through
Creative content, such and your campaign video and feature graphics, will be the cornerstone of your campaign. It stands to reason that at the get-go you will be utilising them to start conversations and develop intrigue, but don’t forget to introduce new examples further down the line. Don’t fall into the bad habit of regurgitating the same content and attempting to drive sales – this will fall on dead ears and your campaign will dry up as a result.
Focus on building a dialogue and only invite pledges – but always go for gold
Ultimately, your bottom line is getting donations. In order to do that you need to identify potentially lucrative donations and go for gold. But when you identify instances of interest but aren’t sure about donations, focus on building that dialogue. Always encourage people to share and help build your campaign reach; don’t ask people for money, it just doesn’t work. You want to be building that dialogue across social networking and seeing the benefits as a result.
Schedule, monitor and repeat
Crowdfunding campaigns, by their very nature, do go on a bit. Therefore be sure to schedule your primary posts beforehand in order to develop revolution, while posting updates and news live. As you do this, track the results of each type of content and see what gets the best response, and aim to repeat that style going forward. If you continually refine your social media content you look to make the biggest possible impact on your overall campaign.
Invest in social media and they will invest in you
If you can spare the budget, investing money into social media advertising and promoted posts will help increase your reach dramatically and widen your crowdfunding community.
Crowdfunding campaigns rely on a community of backers and advocates who are willing to continually promote your campaign alongside you. Social media is the ultimate campaigning and community-building tool. Therefore, campaigners who get serious and take time investing in a solid social media strategy are often the ones who get funded. Good luck!