The Apt Marketing Strategy for a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign
Posted on 22 November, 2016 by Team Wishberry
With the crowdfunding industry growing multifold, your marketing approach stands as the thin line between success and failure of your crowdfunding campaign. For the sake of simplifying this, let’s treat a crowdfunding campaign as any other product or service and elaborate on the marketing strategy we adopt at Wishberry, putting it in the context of the all-time famous 4 Ps of Marketing - Product, Price, Place and Promotion.
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The product here is clearly what the artist plans to create post receiving the funds. Before opting for crowdfunding, it is imperative for the artist to evaluate the uniqueness of his/her product and have a prototype or a work-in-progress to showcase his/her efforts towards the project. Now this product needs to translate in the best possible way on the campaign page of the crowdfunding platform in the form of a gripping video and catchy content, rubbing off the passion of the artist onto the target audience. These creative projects are generally backed by fans, followers and patrons of the artist’s work. Hence, rewards offered to the funders also act as key motivators as they get to keep a small memorabilia, first copy of the project or valuable learnings from interacting with their favourite artiste. This final campaign page is what gives life to the product in the crowdfunding arena, and is also the final decision making point for the funder.
At Wishberry, we follow an ‘All or Nothing’ policy. Hence, the artist needs to be spot-on while calculating the budget of his/her project and deciding on the crowdfunding target (Price). Any miscalculations here need to be avoided as the artist ends up getting nothing if he/she fails to reach 100% of the target in the given period. A conservative target might not end up providing the artist with sufficient funds to deliver the project with the promised quality. At the same time, a target too steep might just end up making it difficult for the artist to achieve. The trick here is to decide on the bare minimum amount required by the artist to deliver the project as visualized on paper and promised to the funders. Wishberry follows this policy to gain the backers trust and ensure the project creators accountability.
Now comes a stage wherein the artist needs to define his/her target audience and where will he/she find them. Family and friends are the major contributors for any crowdfunding campaign followed by fans, followers and patrons. The remaining few are the ones who get inspired and contribute the first time they come across a project. All the various platforms where this target audience can be found is compiled in a single list and content is created to be pushed on each of these platforms. Planning this within the 25-30 days period before the campaign goes live will not only make the job easier but will also prevent any form of confusion when it’s time to execute the same. Creating maximum traffic of potential funders to the campaign page should be the sole objective while shortlisting the communication platforms.
This is when all the tedious and meticulous planning gets executed. In crowdfunding, email marketing has proven to be the most effective. An email is sent to the list of email ids created by the artist in the planning stage, using an email management system (EMS). After the first round of emailing, EMS throws out results showcasing the different actions by the recipients on the email sent, such as the number of people who opened the email, the ones who clicked on the link to visit the campaign page, etc. The recipients who react positively are again contacted through email in the second round and so on. The initial round of email targets close circuits of family and friends, followed by fans, followers, acquaintances, depending on the email ids that the artist can source. At the same time, content starts going up on the social media handles of the artist as well as his/her project. Social media pages need to be regularly updated with the progress of the campaign, encouraging more followers to contribute and back the project. Once the artist reaches 40-50% of the target, it increases the possibility of attracting the interest of influencers such as bloggers, twitteratis and journalists to talk about this campaign on their respective platforms and reach out to their set of followers and readers. Getting covered by these influencers legitimizes the campaign further.
The marketing mix elaborated above is an organic approach and does not include any form of paid marketing. However, for crowdfunding campaigns which aim to raise INR 15 lakhs and above, it is advisable to invest a small amount in Facebook ads and have a paid collaboration with a few high reach bloggers as well as social media influencers. Apart from family, friends, fans and followers, such large ticket campaigns need to reach out to a much wider base of general funders, in order to meet their targets.