So you’re looking to launch a crowdfunding campaign – great stuff! Now it’s time for the planning and preparation ahead of the big launch. Alas, it’s not quite as quick and simple as pressing a button. Take a look at our top tips for preparing your crowdfunding campaign.
A question we often face is how can you gain enough interest and excitement before the campaign launches so that it kicks off with a bang? How do you build a pool of potential backers that will be ready to pledge as soon as it goes live? With 3 record-breaking campaigns under our belts, have we got some golden nuggets for you.
1. Prepare a unique landing page
One of the first things to do is create a unique landing page on your website with details of the Kickstarter campaign, including launch date, the product or idea you’re raising funds for and highlighting incentives such as special discounts or limited bundles that are available in the first 24 hours of the campaign. This gives you something to share across your social media channels and is the perfect opportunity to build an audience in the lead up.
You can also use your unique landing page to get potential backers to sign up and be notified when the campaign goes live, allowing you to build an email database. Not only will this give you a good idea of potential initial interest, it also helps with the hunt for new backers. You can start retargeting your future advertising campaigns to the interested audience based on the information you gain.
2. Open your Crowdfunding account
We know you’re probably excited to get started, so this will be one of the first things you do. Fill in as much information possible, including company details, bank info and ID. The sooner you do it the better, just in case there are any problems that crop up to give you time to rectify.
3. Press and Ambassadors
The bigger your reach on day one, the more your campaign will be shared throughout. Getting samples of your product out for review is a great way of preparing your crowdfunding campaign and sparking initial interest. Speak to ambassadors, review sites and the press ahead of the launch. Seeing the product in use can really reassure your backers, purely because it proves that the product actually exists!
Ideally, a good target is to prepare a pre-campaign estimated reach of 10 million people, directly or indirectly, from day one. That sounds like a lot (it is!) but it takes a good few months to plan a campaign. Like we said, it doesn’t happen overnight. Setting this target for day one heightens the chance of triggering the crowdfunding platform into directing organic search to the campaign page.
4. Create a primary campaign video
Video marketing is becoming more prevalent on all platforms, highly favoured by algorithms. Creating a video to go on your campaign page that can also be used across your social media is definitely a good idea when preparing your crowdfunding campaign. It should be between 3 and 4 minutes and no longer! Generally people are more likely to watch shorter views – everyone’s in such a rush these days!
We recommend editing the video into 2 or 3 thirty second videos if possible. This gives you more to work with and share, but also makes it more likely the videos will be watched the whole way through. You need to capture people’s attention within the first 10 seconds or they’ll simply scroll past.
5. Prepare the campaign story
The great thing about crowdfunding campaigns is how detailed they are. It’s a chance for you to not only show off your idea but also yourself – you are a human being after all! Or are you…
Make your campaign story as detailed as possible. Include information on how your idea came into existence and what brought it to life, USP’s you have, product testing and performance, testimonials, reviews and ambassador content. Even if there were little niggles along the way, share them with your audience. Backers like honesty and are more likely to invest if you present all the facts.
6. Add in the technical stuff
The more technical detail you can provide in your campaign the better. Inevitably, these will be the questions backers have, so the more in depth you can be the less likely you’ll get questions once it’s live that could have been easily answered by preparing your crowdfunding campaign in detail.
7. Animated GIFs
Backers love these, as do the algorithms. They’re a great way to show off features in a snappy, unique way and provide you with more video content to play with. Prepping these in advance means you can add them into your initial copy to boost your optimisation, or you can hold them back to release with backer updates or share across your social media channels.
8. The FAQ page
Much like the technical elements of your idea, the more in depth you can be when creating your FAQs, the better the customer experience. They want to be able to find everything they need to know without having to contact you directly. It limits dead time where potential backers are waiting for responses before they pledge, and ultimately reduces frustrations they may have.
9. Decide on your shipping plan
Do not leave this ambiguous or until last minute. Research your shipping options and make a decision so it can be laid out clearly in the campaign. Will the shipping cost be charged to backers? Will they need to pay VAT and Duty taxes? It varies country to country, so decide how you’ll be shipping, who with and when so a clear statement can be added into your campaign copy.
10. Choose your perks
One of the most exciting parts of preparing your crowdfunding campaign is determining what perks backers can pledge to receive. Keeping the number limited reduces confusion, so make each one really clear. It’s a good idea to present these as graphics to make the perks stand out on your campaign page. That way anyone scrolling through at speed can see the important bits straight away.
You can always allow backers to add more items once they’ve selected their pledge, or even after the campaign has finished, by offering discounted prices or bundles. Treat it like a gift shop!
11. Pick some stretch goals
This is a great way to reward backers for their input, backing and sharing the campaign. For each stretch goal reached, they’ll receive something as a thank you. This could be a new accessory, a new bundle, an extra discount on additional items or even a free item, like branded clothing or a USB, for example. 3 or 4 stretch goals is usually good to aim for – and aim high!
12. Address the challenges
Honesty in a campaign is key. Be sure to own the lowest common denominator rather than let backers find it. They’re incredibly smart when it comes to crowdfunding and if they discover you’ve tried to hide something, they’ll be all over it!
13. Delivery date
Delivering on time is crucial. There’s nothing that frustrates backers more than someone who doesn’t deliver. You have to have a month and year specified for delivery on your campaign page, so don’t overestimate what you can do. Be realistic. If you think there are potential delays that could occur, make that clear in your shipping info so the backers aren’t surprised.
If you’ve got this far, that means you’re well on your way to preparing your crowdfunding campaign. We can’t wait to see your hard work come to life!
If you need any help with your crowdfunding management, we’ve got lots of experience in managing award-winning campaigns. Feel free to get in touch.