Guest Post by Adrienne Erin
While crowdfunding is not a new concept the Internet has taken it to new heights. It’s now seen as one of the most effective ways to fund large projects and has been used by Hollywood producers, global charities and entrepreneurs with big results.
Have a project you think crowdfunding would be appropriate for? Here are a few ways to make your campaign a success with viral social marketing.
1. Find The Right Site
The success of your crowdfunding campaign depends on starting with the right website and platform. While the options may seem overwhelming, look through past crowdfunding campaigns that have seen success.
Check out the sites you come across and give their demos a try. Do they seem easy to use? Are they simple to understand? Reach out to the support team and ask questions; if they’re quick to respond and seem helpful, you may have a winner.
2. Create a Clear Communications Strategy
Once you’ve settled on a platform, think about how you plan to communicate your mission to your potential donors. Your strategy should be clear and you should be able to share a 1-2 sentence elevator pitch at a moment’s notice. Clearly define your goal and make sure you’re able to describe its importance to you. If you’re able to communicate your mission clearly, your potential donors will be more likely to participate.
3. Spend Time and Money on a Great Video
People want to be a part of something bigger than themselves and video is a solid way to demonstrate that idea. Therefore, having a great video as a central aspect of your crowdfunding campaign is crucial.
Your video should clearly explain your campaign, your goals and exactly what the funds raised will go for. Images, music and a script are all areas that should be focused on at this point. If you’re not able to produce a video yourself, reach out to a professional videographer or SEO company. If your goal is to raise an astronomical amount of money, spending some up front should be a part of the process. It will be worth it in the long-run.
4. Test Your Campaign
Test your campaign with those closest to you. Reach out to family and friends and share your site. Ask for their honest and constructive feedback and use it to your advantage. The people that are close to you will want your campaign to be a success, because of this, they’re the best way to test what you’ve created and to give an idea of how successful it may or may not be.
5. Use Your Networks
While it may not seem like you have a great network to start with, chances are you’re wrong. The average Facebook user has over 650 friends. You’ve probably also established a Twitter following (if not, work on it right away). Also, focus on building a strong e-mail list; many crowdfunding experts recommend aiming for at least 2,000.
Share your crowdfunding site frequently. Thank those who take the time to donate publically. Encourage followers to share (and be sure your site of choice makes this easy to do). By leveraging the power of social media, achieving viral status doesn’t have to be an impossible task.
6. Offer a Great Reward
You want people to share the same fervor for your crowdfunding campaign as you do? They might. But, chances are they’ll be drawn by your cause unless you sweeten the deal. What motivates people? Rewards.
Think of a great reward you can offer those who take the time to donate; better yet, offer rewards based on how much is donated. Looking to produce a short film? Offer advanced copies to those who participate. Crowdfunding for a sports initiative? Offer tickets, jerseys and memorabilia. Think of what your campaign’s end goal is and create a reward that will encourage users to donate and share. Just make sure you can back up what you’re offering!
7. Make it a Priority
Whatever tactics you employ, make your crowdfunding campaign a top priority. While the idea of crowdfunding is simple, making it work is not. It requires effort and work and you should be at the center of it. Remind your followers to participate. Create contests to encourage sharing. Give daily updates across all social networks. To be a success, your crowdfunding campaign should be a central part of your daily life until your goal is met.