There is a youtube video of a talk given by a man by the name of Darren Marble, the CEO of CrowdfundX. He has shown that there is a method to the success of a crowdfunding campaign. He mostly talks about equity crowdfunding, but the three principles he talks about in his talk are just as applicable to other crowdfunding campaigns. You’ll see in a minute.
The three elements of Crowdfunding
- Crafting a story
- Producing the story
- Distributing the story
Part 1: Crafting a story
There are a couple of things he tells about this, but the most important one is that you have to create a story that emotionally connects with the audience. The impact of your company, product or service has to be much bigger than just making money for yourself. You should ask yourself the question: “What is your contribution to society?” and be able to answer this very concretely. In other words, as Simon Sinek would have asked it, “Why do you do what you do?”. If you have the specific and concrete answer to this question you can start with step 2, that is producing the story, preferably visually.
Part 2: Producing the story
And a visual one at that, at least that’s what I got from the talk. Darren talks again about a couple of questions you need to ponder on as a business to really know what it is all about and why your story is more compelling, better, funnier or just more authentic than that of the other. The questions to ponder on are:
- What does your company really do?
- How are you different than your competitors?
- How are you going to make money?
- How are you going to return the money to the investors? Or in our case: how are you going to show our backers that it is not only for a good cause but it creates the impact they want to see. Another way is to provide perks. Small or large gifts that come as a counterpart of the donation.
- Why the backers need to take action now? In other words: How do you create an urgency with your crowd that they feel they have to give money this instance.
This is one of the more important and cognitively more difficult challenges to counter when you have a campaign I’ve already seen. Now the part where it is actually all work.
Part 3: Distributing the story
In this part they explained or better said Darren explained what they exactly did to distribute the story. He shows that the best campaigns make a huge community. To create this you need to do a lot of different things. He talked about PR and blog outreach, the journalists and bloggers they helped out, two months of preparation, email marketing, lots of press hits and with this creating a huge community.
For example the amount of effort putting into this one CF-project they had. They spend 50.000 on the campaign and roughly got 1 million back.
During this campaign they reached out and try to use 1000 journalists and bloggers to write about the project, had dozens of press releases, used digital marketing tools like: thunderclap, reddit, AMA check, product hunt campaign and hacker news.
Darren also talks about paid media. 80% of their budget goes to Facebook ads. To lock the target audience. With this you can target your audience very specifically. So if your definition of your target group is valid, it can have amazing results. The way to do that is to check your first 500 investors. Get their emails. Facebook matches them u to people that own the profile and does an analysis of the demographics of this baseline audience. This creates a look alike audience/persona and Facebook gives you 500k to 1 million people with the same demographics. Then buy 100.000 ads and use them to target new investors.
One of the last tips he mentions and als adds that it is maybe one of the most important things to consider when doing business with another company is: “You have to believe in the company you’re doing business with”.
To get a very large community in a small period of time for a crowdfunding campaign you need to invest money into Facebook ads and a large enough team to execute the other activities that will be needed. Creating a target group, structuring and creating your story, setting up a list with journalist and bloggers, contact them all try to draw attention from the conservative media and much more.
Since we don’t have a budget, or at least a very small financial source we can use for this campaign, we aim to use the other mentioned methods. We’ve been busy with many things that are being called under the attention of this movie, which is, I think, a good thing. For example we have made long contact lists, have used and are using digital marketing (social media and mailing), We have created a storyline and with that a tagline “We take them to the starting line”.
I think it would be very interesting to see how Facebook in this sense works. I’ve only had the liberty to check out Facebook insights these last couple of weeks. This was very helpful, but I think when you have some budget to spend on it it becomes even more interesting. The ideal place to find, communicate and getting involved with your target audience.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned!