Your million-dollar idea should appeal to your potential investors in its first impression. The solution is a well-planned marketing campaign mixed with a product and business plan that make sense. Any crowdfunding campaign has three main phases: Pre-launch, Launch, and Post-launch; and marketing is an essential component of each phase. Here are some of our best marketing tips through each phase:
The Foundation of successful marketing lies in its preparation and should start at least three to five months before the launch:
This cannot be stressed enough! The product and idea are ready, but the marketing for crowdfunding needs more readiness. How can you best approach marketing your offering to investors, that will balance effectiveness and compliance? For example, there is a thing called “excessive marketing” that violates the SEC’s rules and regulations. Here, you can seek help from securities counsel on what is defined as too much.
- Budget Allocation
A good entrepreneur knows his or her finances! Deciding on the budget mixed with your needs and what is available will help shape an effective investor marketing campaign. For example, defining a customer love group and audience will help you better target the right kind of investors to optimize spending through the best channels.
The right crowdfunding platform is directly proportional to the success of your campaign. Build your website if you plan to host the crowdfunding by yourself or look for the right third party platform. Some third-party crowdfunding platforms are traffic amplifiers and can help promote your project through high rankings and a large number of investors.
Here is a helpful article on the “Top 10 Best Crowdfunding Platforms for Reg A+.”
- Find your Audience
Keep in mind that investors may or may not be customers and you should look for platforms and channels with a high density of potential investors. There are just 2 places where you will find your audience, online and offline. But that isn’t so simple, right? So here are some suggestions:
- Email List: If you already have a blog, eCommerce store, or other internet properties with followers, that is the best place to start from, and if not, identify influencers with a similar audience.
- Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Parlor, Youtube… take one or take all, you are the boss here, but make sure to reach out to the relevant audience. Each of the social media platforms mentioned here has a niche, and you may want to take advantage of it.
- Relevant Websites: Make a list of websites that can talk about crowdfunding in their posts. News channels, finance websites, community websites and others will come in handy here.
- Forums: A forum, similar to Quora and Reddit, is an online discussion platform where people hold conversations through messages. A simple search will give you various options to create your customized target
- Clubs: Chances are you are already a part of some clubs that have people who may be interested in your product/service, and if you are not associated with any, this is the time to find them. For example, if you want game app funds, you should look for gamers’ clubs.
- Support Groups: Find out support groups that can use your product/service. For example, if you have a vegan product, you may want to reach out to groups supporting the vegan diet.
- Neighborhood / Community Events: Start making a list of events coinciding with the dates of your campaign. You can use these places to talk about your project later.
- Prepare Marketing Material
- Content: Curate relevant content to create the right impact. Tell your story through personalized messages, focused press releases, and social media quotes. Write a punch-line and summarize the solution you are offering to the problem or pain point. Support your content with testimonials to highlight the impact.
- Video: Your product/service is unique, and so should its marketing be! While taking ideas can be useful, copying or plagiarism is not. Create unique videos and high-quality pictures for print and web: using explainer videos and catchy viral-style videos.
- Website: If you plan to host the crowdfunding offering on your website, now is the time you should start working on it. Outside of the design, focus on the development and technical specifications too. Nothing is more upsetting than people willing to invest, but they can’t because your website server won’t support it. Alternatively, you can partner with a firm like Equity Track to provide such technology through its Cloudraise® platform.
- Brochures/Leaflets/Pamphlets: These will come in handy for both your online and offline marketing efforts.
Reach out to friends, family colleagues, or existing supporters for feedback. See if the visuals and content agree with them emotionally and logically. Feedback will help you tweak your marketing materials, and who knows, you may even land up with some out-of-box suggestion. Also, conducting formal surveys through Google Forms, SurveyMonkey or Feedier will help you get critical feedback that your friends and family may not be willing to give you.
|Marketing Tips for Each Phase of a Crowdfunding Campaign|
|Research-Research-Research||Seek securities counsel to balance effectiveness and compliance in marketing efforts|
|Budget Allocation||Decide on the budget mixed with needs and available resources for effective marketing|
|Selection||Choose the right crowdfunding platform or build a website if self-hosting|
|Find your Audience||Identify potential investors online (email lists, social media, relevant websites) and offline (clubs, support groups, community events)|
|Prepare Marketing Material||Curate content, create unique videos, focus on website development, and prepare brochures/leaflets/pamphlets|
|Interact||Gather feedback from friends, family, colleagues, and conduct formal surveys for critical feedback|
|Ask for Help||Request promotion from friends, family, journalists, blog writers, and influencers|
|Host a Party||Organize a crowdfunding campaign party or virtual event to engage potential investors|
|Participate in conferences and trade shows||Utilize the opportunity to reach a larger audience and convert them into investors|
|Display the Prototype||Showcase a working prototype to help investors connect with the product|
|Announce Incentives or Rewards||Offer incentives or rewards for contributions made, mention them specifically throughout the campaign|
|Harness the power of Social Media||Share the campaign on social platforms, leverage paid services if necessary|
|Search Engines||Utilize paid marketing with Google and Bing ads mixed with SEO|
|Website||Enhance website conversions, include social media buttons, and offer enticing landing pages|
|Utilize your email list to send out marketing material at regular intervals|
|Say thank you||Express gratitude to investors through emails and posts, encourage their continued support|
|Fulfill your promise||Ensure the delivery of promised rewards or products to campaign participants|
|Regular updates||Provide regular updates on project progress, fund utilization, and clear vision to maintain transparency|
- Ask for Help
Your list of friends, family, business, acquaintances, journalists, blog writers, influencers is ready, and so is the customized content. Send out the content asking people to promote the crowdfunding offering. You may even need to pay some in cash or cash-in-kind but do it, if it makes sense.
- Host a Party
Not just any party but a crowdfunding campaign party, where you invite the potential audience and talk about your campaign. If your budget does not permit a large party, opt for a smaller cheese and wine get together, or even something virtual like a webinar.
- Participate in conferences and trade shows
Conferences and Trade Shows attract a larger audience and participating in them around the dates of your crowdfunding campaign will ensure immediate conversions.
- Display the Prototype
A working prototype allows investors to connect with the product rather than just imagining it. If you have a service or technology, consider keeping a short live demonstration of the process in your videos on your investor and home pages.
- Announce Incentives or Rewards
People are more likely to invest in exchange for a gift or reward. You may want to categorize your offerings depending on contributions made. Whatever it is, mention it specifically throughout the campaign. One example is providing bonus shares or your product for the first 50 investors.
- Harness the power of Social Media
Share your campaign on social platforms in your list, tagging family, friends, and everyone on your list. The wider your reach, the more potential you have for investors to see it. Some platforms offer paid services that you can take advantage of.
- Search Engines
While Organic marketing is good, you can even opt-in for paid marketing if your budget allows. Google and Bing ads mixed with SEO if the campaign will be a long-term one.
Increase website conversions with chatbots, forms, marketing automations, and 24/7 automated meeting scheduling. Include your social media buttons, so people visiting can easily share it with their network. Offer something enticing with a landing page to get people to sign up through an email list. Having a pattern to help you run your marketing automations, even for your normal business activities can be a great benefit. Contact us to get connected today.
Make full use of your Email-list. Send out your previously drafted marketing material at regular intervals.
- Say thank you
A little gratitude goes a long way. Thank investors through emails and posts. They may also help you spread the word and be more willing to help next time. A follow-up email sequence can help optimize this process for you.
- Fulfill your promise
Whether it was a product sample or the free 3-month free subscription to the application you collected funds for, ensure it reaches everyone who is a part of your campaign. If it was equity crowdfunding, it will probably take care of itself but ensure that you have the right transfer agent to see things through.
- Regular updates
Ensure that you are posting regular updates on the progress of what you promised your funders. While you may choose to protect sensitive information, being open on the project development, fund utilization, and clear vision will
Equity Track can help you with capital raising, cap table management and more. Connect with us here