By Honey Comer Crowd funding sites have been the center of pop culture buzz in recent years, and for a good reason. Kickstarter users alone have pledged more than 1.2 billion dollars in donations since the site launched in 2009, funding everything from big film projects to one notoriously expensive batch of potato salad.
So how can marketers snag a piece of the action? With a little creativity and by following a few best practices, you can use crowd funding to try something fun with your brand while also attaining ROI. Here are a few crowd funding tips to consider:
- Find the platform that aligns best with your goals.
Are you fundraising for a non-profit partner or throwing the world’s largest pizza party? Do you want to keep all money donated or only charge fans once you’ve reached your goal?
Each crowd funding platform has its own individual strengths, as well as a unique audience. Doing a little homework about the pros and cons will maximize your chances of having a successful campaign.
- What is your goal and why should your audience care?
When it comes to crowd funding, users are looking for a cause they can rally behind. Whether it’s building a school or bringing back their favorite discontinued product, let your audience know what lies for them on the other end of a successful campaign.
- Use digital video to tell your story.
According to Crowdtilt, campaigns with video are as much as seven times more successful than those with text alone. Use the hero video as an opportunity to set the tone for your project and make a dynamic pitch to your viewers.
- Limit the time frame for optimal momentum.
Crowd funding experts agree that shorter campaigns do better, with 30 days being the optimal duration. Though it may seem like more time equals more money, an aggressive deadline will actually help convey a sense of urgency and keep your fans engaged.
- Provide regular updates to maintain momentum.
Have you hit a major milestone with fundraising? Leverage this opportunity to keep the conversation going. Consider sharing an update from your brand mascot or another ambassador. This is also a chance to lend credibility to your campaign by showing fans that their peers are already on board.
- Be strategic about setting perks.
Offering reward thresholds for your audience can be a fun way to incentivize donations -- but be conscientious. Consider including non-tangible rewards or prizing that drives donors to a point-of-purchase. Above all, avoid fan backlash (a-la-Zach Braff ) by having a clear game plan for fulfilling perks in a timely way.