It is a popular myth that once you’ve created your crowdfunding campaign, your job’s mostly done. You now just have to wait for the money to flow in, right? Unfortunately not! Choosing the right crowdfunding partner and creating a campaign is just the first step in the right direction. But the actual work begins now.
We agree that marketing a campaign is not everyone’s forte, but there have been many who have raised funds creatively following our tried-and-tested rulebook. Here’s a complete guide to help you strategize:
Start early. There is a lot of strategizing to be done before the campaign is launched. In most cases, campaigns that create a pre-launch buzz tend to be more successful.
1) Create a database, pick out your core donors
Picture credit: FIAP
Create a database of your friends, family, co-workers, ex-colleagues, college batch mates, club members; anybody and everybody you can think of. Find out the strengths of each one on that list and target them likewise. Don’t be shy about reaching out to someone. At least 25% – 30% of the funding should come from this database.
2) Don’t dismiss the email
Even with social media buzzing all around you, emails are still proven to be the most effective tool for marketing. A study by convinceandconvert.com states that 44% email recipients have made purchases based on promotional emails. Another report by Mckinsey and Company states that email conversion rates are 40 times more than Facebook or Twitter.
The trick is to remain as relevant and as personalized as possible. So instead of making one template for all, divide your audience into categories and customize emails.
3) Fundraiser Story is your Hero
Believe it or not, the fundraiser story is your most important PR pitch. If people believe in the story, they will believe in your campaign. Give your fundraiser story a very good thought. In fact, give it more than one thought. Write a draft and get it read by a couple of people to make sure it’s having the right effect.
Remember, while you are writing for friends and family, you are also writing for people who don’t have the first clue about your campaign or cause. Be brief, but don’t skip out on any necessary details.
4) Don’t Underestimate the Power of the Image
Good images will do 50% of the convincing, while a good video will do 75% of the convincing. Don’t stretch your video to more than 5 mins and keep track of the first 30 secs. If the first 30 secs entices the audience, most of your campaign work is done. Here are some good campaign videos, you can take inspiration from.
If you can’t make something elaborate, even a simple, personal video explaining your cause and why you need the funds would work well. This is a good example.
5) Make The Social Media Plan
Most people think of a social media strategy after their campaign is live. But, crowdfunding your campaign needs social media support throughout.
Here’s what you can do differently on each medium before your campaign is launched.
Facebook: This is the easiest and the toughest one to crack. Before you launch your campaign, create a Facebook page/group to generate buzz. If your organization already has a Facebook page, create an event on it for when your fundraiser goes live and invite people. Keep people in the loop even before you start asking for the money. Tell them about your idea/program and how it will help. Tell them about the Impact you’ve already created. This will not only help you push the campaign once it’s live, but also help you gauge interest in your project and estimate who your potential contributors could be.
Twitter: Make a list of all twitter influencers that can help market your campaign. Target the ones that are the most relevant to your campaign. But, wait don’t tweet out just yet. Twitter is more about here and now so go full swing once the campaign starts, but be ready with a strategy. In case, you are new to Twitter, or want learn it better, here’s a guide for you
LinkedIn: Networking is critical. Connect with similar-minded people on LinkedIn and share your campaign idea with them. If they share your passion, they will surely help you market it once your campaign is live. Again, spotting and reaching out to influencers is important.
Google+: Though not high on the priority list, Google+ can be leveraged well if you use it smartly. Begin by joining relevant circles and forums on google plus and post a short note on your campaign. Make sure, it looks genuine; most groups have low tolerance for what might be considered spam.
Next, connect personally to distant friends, relative or professional contacts, add them to your fundraiser group (much like Facebook) and keep posting regular updates about how the campaign is coming about.
6) Create a Brilliant Microsite
Microsites are an effective way to put all your campaign related information on one page. Impact Guru allots each organisation a microsite to start their campaigns. Make sure the site is updated with crisp and relevant information about your organisation/ enterprise with great images!
7) Get a Team in Place
Get a team of at least 2-3 in place that would constantly help/support your campaign. 90 days is a long time and you may tend to get busy once in a while. Assemble a team that has your back, which can bring in new ideas and handle the campaign if and when you are unavailable. Plus, the team members’ network and contacts will make your reach much richer.
You are all ready for a great campaign launch now! Good Luck!