A crowdfund is an inherently social event; it’s an incredible tool that allows you to rally your friends, family, and acquaintances around your campaign to fund and promote your project.
However, that powerful support base can only be utilized if you successfully bring a crowd to your fundraise profile page from the get-go.
Here are a few methods to drive a steady stream of traffic to your crowdfunding campaign and increase your odds of being funded:
Social media marketing
Social media marketing is one of the most effective tools to drive traffic to your crowdfunding campaign but only when utilized correctly. You have the potential to reach your immediate and extended networks through a single social media message if it gains enough attention. Since that’s improbable in practice, it’s best to use a continuous social media marketing approach (sending messages to your network more frequently).
The first step in social media marketing is choosing the best platform. There are countless social media channels available for startups; the key lies in choosing the one whose audience most closely aligns with your own.
After successfully choosing a social platform, it’s time to fine tune your messaging and strategy. Determine how you’d like your brand to come across in every message you send – are you young and hip or are you professional and highly knowledgeable? Be aware of your tone and language in each post.
When choosing the content of your posts, try to vary the messaging. While the end goal is (of course) to drive traffic to your crowdfunding campaign, be careful not to sound like a broken record. Sprinkle quotes, pictures, questions, and industry-related articles in between your posts asking for people to contribute to or share your campaign. If you build a trusting community around your brand, they’ll be happy to help!
Similar to social media marketing, email outreach can be very useful in driving traffic and pledges to your crowdfunding campaign. To streamline your email outreach, segment your network into close friends, family members, acquaintances, and business contacts or clients.
After dividing your network up, write several template emails announcing your crowdfunding campaign in a manner that fits with each respective segment. When possible, personalize your emails for those you know best before sending. For example, you’ll want to customize an email going to a group of aunts and uncles to be much less formal than the email you’ll send out to a business contact.
A great way to make the most of your email outreach is to have a specific ask in mind: a dollar amount or a request that your contact share your message with others will provide actionable items for those you’re reaching out to.
Also be sure to remove contacts from your email list who do pledge or decline to pledge from additional email requests, you don’t want to come across as spam!
People love to share that someone they know was covered in the news; give your network the chance to share your story by bringing in great media coverage of your startup! Whether it’s a product placement or an interview, a well-timed article can help boost your traffic immensely.
Start by creating a press release telling your startup’s story or relating your startup to a current hot trend in the news. Journalists are most likely to cover stories that will garner lots of shares and views. After writing a press release, research journalists in your industry whose audience is similar to yours. Read several of their previous articles, check out their social media profiles, and become familiar with their style.
After your preparatory steps, write a brief email to the journalist(s) you’ve chosen to pitch your story. Keep your pitch concise, professional, and use bulleted points describing your story if possible. Attach your press release to this email and voila – your startup is newsworthy!
If you don’t hear back from the journalist you’ve pitched, don’t give up! Journalists are incredibly busy, and it may require follow up emails or phone calls to bring your story to their attention. You may need to follow up several times; however, perseverance pays off in the form of great coverage to share with your network!
Put it all together
Now that you have a few steps to begin driving traffic to your crowdfunding campaign, try to come up with a few unique methods of your own.
Are you attending a conference or industry event? Try giving demonstrations of your product with a laptop handy to show viewers your campaign. Perhaps you know an entrepreneur in a complementary industry – a crowdfunding launch party at their venue may be a great kickoff to your campaign!
What kind of methods will you use to drive traffic to your crowdfunding campaign?