Crowdfunding: The $60 Million Marketing Recipe

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Crowdfunding is a Great Way to Finance and Build Your Brand at the Same Time

Donate money for my project at Kickstarter!

 Sign up for my Indiegogo!

We’ve seen these posts come across our Twitter or Facebook timelines. We might click on the link depending on if we know the person posting the campaign, or at worst, that think that person is only out for money.

After all, shouldn’t someone who is putting together a project – be it Veronica Mars, a potato salad recipe, or a music tour – come up with the money themselves?

Yes and no. Crowdfunding is a business model of relying on small contributions from a lot of people to achieve a goal, usually through Kickstarter or Indiegogo. While these fundraising campaigns are about raising money, they are more than about money.

WHAT IS THE POINT OF CROWDFUNDING?

From a long-term perspective, I’d say that raising funds to finance your campaign is actually the least important part of the marketing campaign.

BUILD YOUR BRAND THROUGH FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGNS

The true strength of crowdfunding comes down to raising brand awareness and building a community.

When you promote your Kickstarter, you’re building awareness for your cause. It’s a marketing campaign and a fundraiser rolled into one.

When people donate to your campaign, they’ll want to follow your project’s goal from beginning to the very end. There you have an invested customer.

TIPS TO BUILD A SUCCESSFUL CAMPAIGN

Kickstarter and Indiegogo customers are rewarded with several levels of perks as they invest in your campaign. If you’re trying to raise funds to write a book, for example, a $5 prize may include a free copy of the book. The $20 level may include a personal phone call or large poster of the book jacket.

The prize offers are an opportunity to connect with individual customers in a unique manner. The most successful campaigns offer many small rewards, last under 30 days, and feature a video.

TREAT CUSTOMERS LIKE THEY ARE INVESTORS

The key word in crowdfunding is investing – people are not making a donation, they are making an investment. In you.

Fundraising campaigns aren’t for every project, or rather, every entrepreneur. If your project is successfully funded, your interaction with your audience doesn’t end there. In fact, it’s only started.

Your audience will expect updates and recaps. They’ll not only want to know that their money is going to proper use, but also be along for the ride.

If you understand and meet these expectations, then crowdfunding is a powerful resource as you already have a built in customer base that is financially and emotionally invested in your project.

SUCCESSFUL CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGNS REQUIRE THE RIGHT ELEMENTS

While Kickstarter and Indiegogo are the two most popular crowdfunding platforms, there are niche sites that attract a specific audience. This is about finding your audience.

The most successful Kickstarter campaign of all time was a video game that raised $60 million. And even if you don’t end up raising that much, a well run crowdfunding campaign raises brand awareness and builds customer loyalty. And you can’t put a price on that.