How to Host a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign, Part Two
Continuing our series on crowdfunding success from this post, today we’re diving into the aspects behind getting the word out–one of the biggest challenges for most Kickstarter campaigns!
Strategize authentic cross-platform engagement in the primary places your community gathers.
We live in the age of lean entrepreneurship, and marketing is not exempt from this trend. What are the top three ways you can reach your customers? One of these ways will always be a website. You can grab a $12 domain and a free Tumblr theme and have a simple one-page informative website in a day, or you can go bigger with a Squarespace or Shopify eCommerce site if you plan to scale. Make sure your website complements your Kickstarter campaign and redirects them to your funding page at every available opportunity, without being spammy.
This leaves two more avenues through which to reach your customers. While I am partial to email, I know that not every business model incorporates an email list. What’s most important is that you are reaching the majority of your community with the fewest variable touchpoints. If your market lives on Twitter and Snapchat, focus only on those. If your community loves email newsletters and gathers on Instagram, focus only on those.
The content for these platforms will come primarily from your campaign, so engineer your media and content to be re-purposed thoughtfully across platforms.
When strategizing for cross-platform marketing, you’re establishing pathways to your story, which ultimately leads to your rewards. Each platform should work together, meaning they lead to one another, sharing complimentary stories on complimentary days and times, and all maintain the same brand-image.
Generate buzz with ambassadors, articles, and word-of-mouth marketing.
Just like a brick-and-mortar business, you want a line at the door on opening day. By pre-planning everything above, you’ve set the stage for a successful launch. What will bring your launch to life are the voices who already believe in your project sharing their passion with their personal networks.
Three things to look for as you create your list of word-of-mouth community ambassadors:
- Do you and your target ambassador have complimentary or similar markets? And, does their market contain potential customer segments you’d like as part of your brand’s community?
Does your project benefit the ambassador and their market?
Do you the resources and time to capitalize on the ambassador’s promotion?
Rather than going the promotional road entirely on your own, bringing 10 - 15 ‘ambassadors,’ which can be brands, individuals, or platforms into your marketing mix will amplify your message indefinitely. Diversify your ambassador pool with blogs, social media influencers, friends and family, and brand-faced platforms who can speak plainly, knowledgeably, and personally about your project to their audience. This may include sending product or a sample to individuals, leveraging connections for interviews and videos, and taking a leap of faith into someone’s inbox.
When you believe in your project, and others feel your passion through your communication, they will surprise you with their generosity and support.
Review this plan with your team and with a trusted advisor.
Measure twice, cut once. Once you have your business plan, operating budget, reward pool, compelling media, curated project page, cross-platform marketing strategy, and a confirmed list of campaign ambassadors, you are ready to take the plunge.
During your campaign, you’ll act on all the plans you created, solve the problems that inevitably arise, and continue to promote your campaign as much as possible. You’ll be chopping through your goal with a sharp axe, and your plan will create mental and functional space for your team to work on what matters during your campaign:
The updates section inside of Kickstarter is beneficial in so many ways - mainly, it’s your first touchpoint for new marketing before you distribute the messaging across your platforms and ambassadors. By creating your updates for Kickstarter, you’re communicating with your supporters and showcasing your continued commitment to an evolving project page. Then, syndicate that message to your website, your social channels, and your direct audience communication as fitting.
Updates are a place not just for logistics and specifics, but a place of celebration and gratitude.
Kickstarter is first-and-foremost a place of community support.
Thank your community. Praise your community. And celebrate with them the success of each project milestone! Good luck on your crowdfunding adventures.
Amelia Bartlett is a new knitter, long-time crocheter, and enthusiastic writer, entrepreneur, and photographer. You can follow her through her website, Instagram, and on Steemit, where she shares a variety of content on everything from woman-run business practices to hand-blended teas!