Everyone’s heard the Cinderella stories. A group of friends come up with a revolutionary idea, seek out seed money from venture capitalists, and strike out. All hope seems lost… until they post their idea to Kickstarter and are funded within a week!
The crowdfunding strategies behind these successful campaigns are omitted all too often. The teams use social media, cunning marketing, and branding to create a public buzz leading their Kickstarter projects to success. And for every media hit with a famous spokesperson and nostalgia clout like Reading Rainbow, there are thousands of successful, quieter campaigns.
This is great news: if fairy dust is not responsible for their success, then the strategies can be learned! We’ve created a list of the 5 indispensible crowdfunding tips.
Very few people seek out projects to fund on their own. The vast majority of your potential investors will find your project through social media, news outlets, or word of mouth. Remember when the potato salad guy went viral?
Before you even launch your campaign, figure out who your potential customers are. Are they busy parents? Exercise enthusiasts? Establishing your customer base will inform every part of your crowdfunding campaign: which social media platforms to use, which blogs and websites to court for articles, and the design and voice of your campaign materials. If you’re marketing to young male gamers, then your Tweets, emails, and visuals should appeal to young male gamers.
Now it’s time to appeal to their hearts. Excite them! As your teachers used to say, “Show, don’t tell.” Tell stories, whether from real experiences or hypothetical ones. Make your campaign vibrant and personal. Citing specs isn’t enough: you have to show your funders how this product will help them or someone they love.
Create prototypes and concept art, or even a video trailer to introduce your idea to the public. Media has the power to excite and engage people in a way that words alone can’t touch. The team at Gowyim asked Zco to develop a game trailer and promotional video to highlight the potential of their game concept. Their IndieGoGo campaign can be found here.
Create dedicated social media accounts for your product. Tweeting your smart pitches as “soccerplayer88” is a quick way to lose your credibility before you’ve even built it. Create brand-focused accounts dedicated to sharing content on the problems you’re going to solve and the benefits of your idea.
Now, don’t go crazy and create accounts on every single platform. Be strategic. Who is your potential audience? How much time can you dedicate to posting and interacting? At the very least, establish your brand on Facebook and Twitter. Depending on your audience and product, consider other major platforms, such as Google+, Pinterest, and YouTube. Share relevant and share often. Build relationships. Follow and RT. In short, be someone that other people want to follow and share!
Your idea should be ready to go the instant you post your campaign. Whether you have developed final prototypes or story-boarded your entire game, it is important that you know your product inside and out. More specifically, it’s important that you convey this confidence and depth of knowledge to your potential funders. Be specific and clear about why your product is a one-in-a-million idea.
Make your campaign the best, too. Take a look at this list of the highest-grossing crowdfunding projects. Browse through recently successful campaigns on the site of your choice. Jot down notes. Odds are, if something appeals to you, it will appeal to many other investors.
Crowdfunding campaigns are not “set it and forget it” moneymakers. They take time, and a little elbow grease. A successful campaign requires time and energy throughout its lifespan, which can be up to two months. Some crowdfunding ventures will pick up momentum on the first day, and others will scoot in under the wire. It is important to make the commitment to see things through to the end. After all, if you don’t believe in your project, who will?
In the end, you need to be your idea’s best cheerleader. Your project is worth funding! Say it loud, and say it proud!
To learn more about Zco Corporation’s creative services, click here or give us a call at 603.881.9200
Zco Corporation is a custom software company with headquarters in Nashua, New Hampshire, USA specializing in mobile app development, enterprise software, and 3D animation.
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