By Julian Steinforth, Expedition PR
To find out more about crowdfunding best practices, I recently attended the webinar “Learnings from Crowdfunding” with and the author Johanna Lehmann, author of “How to Love San Francisco” who is currently running her own campaign on Indiegogo. The webinar was hosted by EFactor Webinar.
Here is a quick recap of what companies should do to run a successful crowdfunding campaign.
A successful crowdfunding campaign needs planning in advance. There are three different stages that you have to consider, I) activities before the campaign II) activities during the campaign and III) activities after the campaign.
I. Before the campaign
To ensure coverage of your crowdfunding campaign, start engaging with bloggers, reporters and journalists before you launch the campaign. Similarly, you need to build your social media channels prior to the campaign in order to have the reach to create some buzz at the launch. Facebook and Twitter are both highly effective channels for promoting a crowdfunding campaign. Invest some time – and maybe even some money – in your video. The funding community will most likely decide if they want to support you while watching the video. If they don’t like your video, they probably won’t even read the campaign’s summary. Also use crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter or Indiegogo and if your campaign is film related we suggest Seed&Spark. People trust those platforms.
II. During the campaign
Don’t aim too high for your financial campaign goal. You can run a series of crowdfunding campaigns; which means that you launch your first crowdfunding campaign to collect, for example, money for your prototype. In a second campaign you collect money for marketing activities. Remember that 30% of the donations will most likely be from friends and family. So make sure they know about your project first and contribute early on. This initial interest will encourage others to follow suit.
Your campaign summary should be as visual as possible; try to be emotional and give your campaign a personal touch. Do not use “Please guys, I need your help” sentences. Instead tell them why they should support you and what value you are bringing to them.
Try to offer exclusive or limited perks in your campaign. Don’t offer more than nine different perks. Also, think about cross marketing – is there another crowdfunding project with which you can exchange perks? Are there companies or friends you can partner with to offer exclusive perks?
To support the first days of your campaign organize a launch party for friends and family a day before you officially launch your crowdfunding campaign. Invite them for brunch, dinner or a glass of champaign and make sure they will support you during the first days after your launch. Put some thoughts in finding the right day for the launch of your campaign – usually Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best days for crowdfunding launches. Schedule your campaign during a week in which YOU are not too busy, as running a crowdfunding campaign takes time. You will be busy promoting the campaign via social media, e- mail and phone calls.
After your campaign started, update your campaign about three times a week. Add new photos, introduce new perks or update the video and summery text.
III. After the campaign
If you were successful – good for you! But the work is not over yet. Make sure to thank everybody, send out the perks, and let them know what you are using the money for. Stay in touch with your supporters. Think about what worked well, and what can work better next time. For example, what channel was the most successful to attract supporters? What perks were the most popular? Chances are, you’ll be running another crowdfunding campaign, and you can perfect the art of running a crowdfunding campaign with every time.