It is easy to assume that your crowdfunding opportunity lies solely within the time of your campaign’s launch and its closing date.
But don’t be fooled – limiting yourself to promoting your cause just within the campaign’s set period could well mean that you won’t hit your funding goal in time.
In fact, crowdfunding success depends on how effectively you promote your campaign before you hit the launch button.
By adding a pre-launch marketing plan to your campaign strategy, you can establish an interested audience for your campaign that is ready and willing to support it, creating a success-enhancing boost within the first few hours of its launch.
Here are some channels you can explore that will help you to create a buzz and craft a story, drawing the attention of your target audience before you launch your campaign.
Create a project website
A sleek, up-to-date website speaks volumes both about your project and you as the project owner. It shows your commitment to your cause, while reassuring that you know what you are doing.
It does not have to be an expensive set-up, but it should reflect your project as much as possible. Make sure the domain name echoes the project title, with interesting content already in place before it goes live. Just as essential is to regularly update any new content – such as opinion polls, blog posts, events or project news – onto your website as well as your campaign page, to show that there is ongoing activity.
Have a dedicated landing page to sign-up
A mailing list is a straightforward, highly effective way to build your audience. Through it, you will be able to keep your target audience engaged by sending them more information about your project and the crowdfunding campaign’s launch details, as well as offer them early bird offers or exclusive rewards.
Through a dedicated landing page on your website, anyone interested in your project can quickly and easily sign-up to your mailing list.
Once your campaign launches, send your mailing list a mailshot directing them to discover your crowdfunding page and pledge their support – and then keep them informed throughout the campaign with regular newsletters.
Keep up with social media
Social media can be a valuable resource in the world of crowdfunding, as it connects you – for free – with your target audience at the push of a button.
Build your bond with potential backers and followers by posting interesting and relevant content that opens a dialogue with them, while giving them an easy way to be redirected to your campaign page as soon as you launch.
Be selective about the social media platforms and pages upon which you present your project, as each has a varied and targeted audience, with some irrelevant to your cause. Having chosen, then be sure to make a plan for your social media activity, including when, what and where you will post on a weekly basis, while keeping a check on analytics to determine what approach or pages are working best for you.
Participate in crowdfunding forums
Forums, chats or groups related to crowdfunding are a great place to engage with like-minded individuals who are either campaign supporters or creators.
As well as making your own project visible to a specific audience of industry experts and others on a similar crowdfunding journey as yourself, participating in these forums gives you the valuable opportunity to ask for early feedback about your project.
Establish your PR outreach strategy
Don’t limit yourself to promoting your campaign single-handedly. Instead, make sure to share information about your campaign and its launch strategy with local press, PR specialists and bloggers.
Make sure to maintain a strong relationship with these PR professionals, since they can widen your reach by promoting your campaign to their own audiences, as well as any other future projects.
Remember word of mouth
It may be easy to overlook it, but word of mouth remains one of the most effective methods of promotion.
Be sure to speak about your project with anyone you meet – and perhaps script a concise overview of your campaign for you to use in these situations and keep a business card or save the date leaflet with your planned launch date on you to offer. Likewise, your pre-launch marketing plan should also include any relevant networking events you can attend, where you can promote, promote, and then promote some more.