Crowdfunding is trending right now. This particular method of raising money with the help of friends, family, customers and individual investors is a booming business in the United States, but also in Europe and Asia. You probably have heard about Kickstarter or Indiegogo? They are the most popular platforms for raising money online. Your idea might be good, but how can you turn it into a success? And how do you find the audience that will support your crowdfunding campaign?
In this blog post, we’ll discuss some aspects you should keep in mind while designing your own crowdfunding campaign.
Do I need a website for my crowdfunding campaign?
Yes! If you are not online, you simply don’t exist.
At Baldwin, we believe the development of a website is a must for any product or service. If someone’s searching for your product online, you don’t want them to end on a Facebook company page or the website of one of your competitors. A business without a website is like a person without a Facebook account.
Why have a website before you launch your crowdfunding campaign?
What’s the easiest way to re-target people who showed interest in your product or service? Exactly, email.
It’s highly recommended to launch a website for your crowdfunding project. Not only to inform people and see if there’s any interest but also to gather email addresses from potential funders. And of course, credibility. Credibility is important for every kind of business. When you’re crowdfunding, this is the factor to gain trust. Learn here how you can keep your e-mail subscribers happy.
Some crucial components on your landing page/website:
Tell backers what they’re getting. Be as complete as possible.
Tell backers what professionals think about your project.
Give 3-5 reasons your project is different from anything anyone has ever seen.
Why pledge now?
List a few attractive reasons why backers should support you, including why you need the funds to build your project.
Before starting your first campaign on social media or general marketing campaign, be sure you crafted your (pre-launch) landing page and installed the Facebook pixel on it. With the installation of this pixel, you’ll be able to retarget every website visitor with a Facebook account.
Only 20% of your posts should directly ask people to pledge to your campaign. 80% should look at more meaningful things such as exciting project news or relevant developments globally – with your crowdfunding campaign link at the end. If you continually ask people to pledge they will lose interest.
Pre-launch Facebook campaigns
Just as the pre-launch page, the pre-launch Facebook Ads have one main objective: collecting email addresses of your potential backers.
How you should target:
- Broad audiences of your industry interest
- Public figures in the industry
- Narrow the audience of interest of “Kickstarter or Indiegogo” and the industry or public figures associated with it
Facebook Ads during your crowdfunding campaign
Now that you have a range of potentially interested people, use this information to re-target them.
Some audience recommendations:
- People on your pre-campaign email list
- Re-targeting website visitors who did not opt-in on your pre-launch page
- Look-a-like audience on your pre-campaign email list
- Look-a-like audience of website visitors
- With 48 hours to go, re-target all new website visitors that came to your site during the campaign
Tips and tricks:
- Use “Ending Soon” and “Act Fast” as some reminders
- Use a “timer” in the ad, to show time’s running out
During your campaign, it’s a bad idea to use video ads. It’s better to use those video ads only for building brand awareness, which is in the pre-launch campaign. Without a video on Facebook during the actual campaign, the click-through-rate will be higher, because people will be triggered and curious to discover your project.
Facebook Ads after your crowdfunding campaign
Don’t forget to run ads after your campaign. If your campaign was a great success, and you’ll be going to mass produce your product, it’s necessary to target the right people to increase sales:
- All website visitors from your early-landing-page days to the present (excluding those who backed your campaign)
- Your current email list (excluding those who backed your campaign)
- Look-a-like audiences of everyone who backed your campaign
The promised rewards for backers
Limit your rewards
Kickstarter’s tool gives you the possibility to give titles to your rewards, clearly list what you’ll be offering, how much you’re asking for the reward and how limited the available quantity is.
Quantity limits can also create excitement around special-edition rewards or signed copies.
What you should offer
You know better than anyone what your community wants. Think of things that would get you to back a project.
Be careful with the amount of offered rewards. Don’t use more than 3 to 5 rewards. You should start with a super low reward (1 to 5 EUR) for support, followed by a(n) (super) early-bird offer and a combo package with a fair discount of the estimated retail price. Make sure there’s something worthwhile at every level.
What you shouldn’t offer
There are a few things that are prohibited, including offering financial returns and reselling items from elsewhere.
How you should price
Just be fair. People thinking about backing your project are asking themselves if your rewards are a good deal for what they are contributing. The most popular pledge on crowdfunding platforms is 25 EUR — so make sure you offer something around this level.
Footage – Videos
Having good photos and a good video are the lifeblood of a campaign’s message. Since backers will have no way to “try it before they buy it” the only way they can experience the product is through visuals. Kickstarter says “projects with videos succeed at a much higher rate than those without (50% vs. 30%)” and they’re “by far the best way to get a feel for the emotions, motivations, and character of a project”.
Crowdfunding is built on the community. (Potential) funders want to trust you and want to make sure you’re competent. Make sure you bring out your energy, have fun and smile, to strengthen your passion and excitement. You should really watch out with the length of your video. During the first 10 seconds, you need to show all the main features of your project and convince the viewer that your video is worth finishing and your project is worth investing in. As most people have short attention spans these days, you can’t make your video longer than 2 minutes.
According to Kickstarter, there are some basic questions you should answer during your video:
- Tell viewers who you are
- Tell viewers the story behind your project
- Come out and ask for people’s support, explaining why you need it and what you’ll do with their money
- Talk about how awesome your rewards are, using any images you can
- Explain that if you don’t reach your goal, you’ll get nothing, and everyone will be sad
- Thank everyone!
Some last tips & tricks
Talk to the experts
At Baldwin we designed and developed a wide range of websites & webshops, we can say for sure what features and UI & UX elements a website or shop should contain in order to conquer the heart of a potential funder. The same goes for our marketing team; from fine-tuning your website’s SEO, to creating the best ads on Facebook, they can do it all.
Check out the competition
Do some research about projects similar to your own. Take a look at the rewards they are offering and the content that works well.
Don’t Launch during Summer
Most people go on holiday during the summer months. It’s a fact that fewer people visit crowdfunding websites —which means that fewer people will see your project page.
Be realistic with your target
Don’t set your funding goal too high. When people see a lot of projects on a crowdfunding platform, they go towards the one that has the green bar already filled in. Success creates momentum, and momentum creates a ‘snowball effect’.
Factor in your costs
Delivering rewards and devoting time and energy to a campaign can cost money. Factor this in when setting your target – it won’t all be net income.
The official kick-off
The first 48 hours of your crowdfunding campaign are crucial. The actual launch will be one of the most important things you’ll do.
Use the contact details of your funders to stay connected after the campaign has ended. Inform them about the production progress, new models or colors, estimated shipping costs, etc.
Come and join us for a coffee so we can talk about your steps towards a great website and/or a marketing strategy for your crowdfunding business. Or send us all your questions through the contact form.