TED talks all around: Trigonis J. and Westcott V.

I’ve watched two interesting TED talks on crowdfunding that were brief, but nevertheless useful.

Crowdfunding today, tomorrow, together

trigonis1

John Trigonis is a movie maker and now also seen as somewhat of a crowdfunding expert. He says that engaging a crowd is an art. And I have to say from what I’ve heard and seen so far he is right.

“The pitch is the invitation, perks the incentives and promotion the interaction with your crowd.”
– John Trigonis

He tells that when you do a campaign video you should always tell the following to your crowd:

  • You should tell who you are
  • What your project is all about
  • Why your audience should fund you

You should speak to your audience like they are a friend. A very personal approach is needed to get your crowd enthused and willing to spend money on you and your project.

Crowdfunding 101

victoriawestcott

Victoria Westcott talks about crowdfunding in relation with her youth. She was a very entrepreneurial spirit and still is. Out of the experiences she had in her youth with selling all kinds of things, like lemonade in her street, she gives us 5 lessons. Five lessons to live by when you do a crowdfunding campaign.

  1. Make something awesome
  2. sell to your audience
  3. Don’t ask for charity
  4. Follow through
  5. They might just give you tips

In summary you should just make an awesome project that people want to be involved with. You need to grab them by the hair so to speak. You need to sell. Persuade them to buy the product from you. Let them see you want to improve something through the realisation of your project. Remember that it’s not charity that you do with your project. Stand behind it. Be persistent and be kind and be changeable in the way you present your product.

Conclusion

Two things that I see constantly with building a crowd and achieving your goal. Be persistent and be very personal in your approach. We tried this during our whole campaign and you can see the outcome of that: Success!

 

 

 

Quick check of a couple of social media tools!

Over the course of my internship I have had my focus on my internship which sometimes caused that I hadn’t had time to work on my thesis. But luckily I have made rich notes on most of the activities that we did throughout the course and the work needed to be done.

In the second month of my internship we began looking at the different activities that needed to be done if we want to have a successful crowdfunding campaign, which of course we do. Therefor we also needed the right tools to work as efficient and effective as possible. Some of these tools were very similar and therefor someone needed to look at what tools best to use for the crowdfunding campaign. I looked into a couple of different tools that we could use. Below you’ll find a small overview of the tools that I looked at and the ones that we actually choose to use in our crowdfunding campaign.

Mailchimp

mailchimp

Mailchimp is a mailing programme. Based around marketing purposes. Great to create and send out newsletters or other forms of. It is very easy to create a list of contacts various ways that you can actually achieve this. You can import google spreadsheets, put them in manually and many other ways. You can create stylish designs fairly easy, with preprogrammed grids or frameworks that you can use. You can also link the mail to your social media. The designs you have created you can also save and are therefor reusable. It’s a great tool for email campaigning. Some analytics on the open rate and click rate of your mail can be viewed to better your mailing.

Hootsuite

hootsuite-1

Hootsuite is a tool to manage your social media. With the free version you can have up to 3 social media that you can manage. You can schedule posts, look into some basic analytics of your social media, have a good overview of the newsfeed that are relevant for you and provides suggestions to post under one overarching theme. Hootsuite should be very reliable, they have partnerships with Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Evernote, Flickr, LinkedIn, Tumble and Google+. Check out my detailed post on the usage of Hootsuite.

Nouncy

nouncylogo

This is a tool which you can use to let your social networks work for you. You can ask your network for help, which they can provide by writing a post for you that you can save up in Nouncy. When you need to cut through the noise on social networks you can let Nouncy send all the messages and posts you saved up in one blow for maximum attention. Could be very handy when we want some extra attention during the launch of our crowdfunding campaign.

Thunderclap

thunderclap

This tool has a couple of features that are very similar to what Nouncy does. But what thunderclap does differently than Nouncy is that they collect the messages from the crowd. People want to lend their voice to certain causes and this crowd is what Thunderclap uses to create a “social media explosion”.

Conclusion

There are two systems that we are definitely are going to use, which are Hootsuite and Mailchimp. These are very handy tools to use in our endeavours to create a crowd, interact with them and have a good overview of multiple social media. Thunderclap and Nouncy both could be useful, but only when we are further in the process of the crowdfunding campaign.

Facebook Analytics: PART 2

In the last post I made about the Facebook Insights I laid down a framework of this interesting tool. This post will be about the progress we made with the usage of this tool and the experiments and insights we’ve gotten from it so far. We started our Facebook page in May 2015. Since August 2016 we started posting on a regular basis. Between the 5th and the 26th of September we did an experiment where we used two kinds of parameters to assess our progress. The amount of postings we put out and the type of content these contained. Especially the statistics and progress of these last couple of months will be the object of inquiry, because this is the period we’ve been actively busy with the building of our crowd and her involvement.

In this post we will go over:

  • Our starting point
  • The experimentations fase
  • Latest progress
  • Our best messages
  • Best frequency of posts
  • Who is our audience?
  • When is our audience online?

Within this post you’ll get insight into the steady progress we’ve made so far with looking for the best ways to communicate and build our crowd. We start with the very beginning of our work. As I said we started in August of 2016.

Our starting point

Our starting point with Facebook was around a few hundred people a week who viewed the messages on our Facebook page. We almost got no visitors on our site before we started posting regularly. This was not very strange since we didn’t put out any messages. The page only contained a few things about DELITELABS.

2-8aug385views

In the overview above you see the week 2 till 8 Augustus. You see that the reach of our page (shown in the below left graph) is around 385 and had an increase of 6% that week in comparison to the previous week. This was the week before we started posting more frequently than we had before. You can see an enormous change the week after when we began the week after this one, like you see in the graph below.

8-14aug7-200views

So only posting a couple of post that week made a huge change to the amount of views and involvement we got from our audience. We continued this for a couple of weeks until we wanted to conduct an experiment with this.

Experimentation fase

What we did. We had a couple of weeks where we actually tested with the amount of messages that we posted. To be very precise we did 3 weeks of experimenting with this, from the 5th till the 26th of September. The first two weeks we scheduled two post per day. The main subjects of the post we put out were: Our upcoming course, posts about entrepreneurial subjects and famous entrepreneurs like Ramit Sethi, Gary Vaynerchuck and Simon Sinek. The views we got per message were actually pretty poor, but went way up if it was about applying for the course or pictures of the students that had started on the 19th of September. You see in the next paragraph “Best messages” that two of the most successful messages that we have put out so far were on this very day.

Reach facebook 5 sept - 26 sept

The last week we put out a few messages in a week. These messages were mostly about our course because we had seen that these were the messages that got the most reach and the most involved people behind it. I was curious why there were such deep lows in this graph. Reason: The 16th and 17th nothing was posted and on the 23th, 24th and 25th of September, same story. So one of the things to keep in mind, every day needs at least one post.

We wanted to know what made the most impact. So here is an overview of the things we have been checking to improve our Facebook output.

Latest progress

26sept-23oktfboverview

This is the progress we have made in the last month. From 25 till 22 of October. We see that we have an increase of the pageviews, the involvement and videoviews. Only in the amount of likes we see a small decrease of 17%. According to Jordan, digital marketing expert, involvement is what it all comes down to, so in that respect we are on our way.

Best messages

To know what the best messages were I checked a couple of factors. The parameters I took in account were what kind of post it was(photo, link or video), the time it was posted, the amount of people saw the post, the clicks on the messages, the reactions or shares that these messages had and last but not least the kind of content was provided.

To give you an overview of our best messages in the last period (Sept – Okt)

 

Type of post Date Time Reach Clicks Reaction/share Tags (y/n) Type of content
Link 8 Oct 11:10 1,4k 337 5 n Getting to know our participants with pictures of 4 of them
Photo 11 Oct 12:17 1,3 222 72 n Usual hashtags, @utwente
Photo 5 Oct 13:57 1,1k 190 25 y, 12 students picture of students, hashtags
Video 17 Oct 10:23 869 165 42 Video and hashtags
Picture and link 7 Oct 0:01 1,3k 133 20 First CFpost and hastags
Picture 19 Sep 14:28 1,1k 118 55 y, Violeta and guestlecturer Hashtags
Picture 13 Oct 18:55 879 103 3 n hashtag and pitching @utwente
Picture and link 10 Sep 12:20 1,9k 100 72 n Apply course
Video 19 Sep 12:15 958 90 30 n hashtags
Picture and link 7 Oct 0:01 1,3k 90 2 n post CF 25%

Analysis done 2016

What’s interesting in this table is that most of the messages are pictures of video. But almost all the messages have in common is that our students are in the picture. Not our company, not posts of famous entrepreneurs we also posted, but our own students. The mission we have to help these people. The advice that for example Jordan gave us in an interview I did, was very accurate to the findings we have here. The advice was that we should make our posts as personal as could be and we did. Another advice we only used a couple of times paid off as well, the tagging of other people in the post we made. You can see this in the photo we posted in the 5th of October, third best post on our Facebook page so far.

Best frequency of posts

We have began frequently posting from August 2016 onward. But we waited till the beginning of September to devise a more structured system to it and set up an experiment. In the three weeks from September 5th till the 26th of September we did our experiment. In the first 2 weeks of the experiment we scheduled Facebook messages twice a day. From the messages that we put out in the first two weeks we could conclude that 2 a day was a bit over the top, especially because in the third week, when we put out 5 messages in stead of 14 we got more reach than the previous two weeks.

We had seen that the amount of posting was incredibly important, too many posts was a turn off for our audience. What also very much mattered were the kind of posts we put out. Especially the third week showed a big difference in the amount of viewers.

Who is our audience?

With these statistics we can start to describe our target user. For example the following image will show what percentage of a certain age group has the most interaction with our Facebook page. Additionally the image shows what percentage of age groups are most involved.

screen-shot-2016-10-24-at-00-28-11

The highest amount of people that visit or interact with our Facebook page are people between the age of 25 and 34. The younger or the older people in comparison to this group, the less likely it will be that they will interact with our page. The ratio between men and women is pretty similar in the clicks they give. You see that the percentage of involved people (people who react or share a message) is higher with the men.

Another interesting statistic that you can see in Facebook Insights is the geographical information of our target user. We see, if we look at the places where most people live that this is actually where we were stationed. Amsterdam and Valencia.

targetusergeographics

 

What time is our target group online?

Facebook Insights has a very handy tool to find an answer to this question. When you click on the button messages when you are in the statistics screen of your Facebook page you can have an overview of the amount of people per hour are online.

OktoberOnlineMensen op facebook

This is the graph I was talking about. The thing that immediately draws the attention is the large gap between midnight and 8am. After 10pm the amount of fans that are online drops. Furthermore you can see that on the rest of the graph that its very slightly rising. You can also choose a day to see if the pattern changes during the days. We have found slight changes in behavior. For example, On Mondays and Sundays our fans approximately are an hour later online in the morning than the rest of the days. This difference is shown in the graphs below.

Monday

screen-shot-2016-10-24-at-00-09-53

Tuesday

screen-shot-2016-10-24-at-00-13-36

 

Conclusion

A couple of conclusions I can draw out of this. First is that, because of our effort we set up a Facebook page that has a couple of thousand views, and growing, in stead of a couple of hundred.

Second, from the experiment we did we can now say that people get oversaturated when you post more than two or more times a day

Thirdly, personal messages, messages about Delitelabs and their students get a much higher involvement and view rate than other postings. This is what you can see in the “best messages” paragraph. Another, rather obvious finding was that video and pictures work better than just plain text

Fourthly, our audience consists of almost a fifty/fifty division of male and female, although we can see that men are a little more involved than the women. Most of them are between the age of 25 and 34. The main languages are English, Spanish and Arabic and most of the people that visit our site are from Amsterdam and Valencia. There is also an interesting pattern found in the time that our target group is online. Roughly sketched they are online from 9:00 to 22:00, with a small variety on Mondays and Sundays.

 

Science of Persuasion

I always had an interest for persuasion, but like most other people do, for a long time I thought some people had it and some people had it. Well according to this talk it’s not at all, we can learn to be persuasive. And there are special ingredients you probably will need to achieve it.

Most Sales people will know the 6 most powerful rules of persuasion. It’s interesting that most of these principles I’ve encountered many times before in other books, all together or a few of them. This gives me the idea that there must be some kind of truth to these. The book “How to win friends and Influence people” by Dale Carnegie is one of the most popular examples of sales techniques and be a better human being if you’d ask me. All these principles are being recommended by a whole variety of experts in sales. Here we go!

The 6 most powerful persuasive techniques

  1. Reciprocity
  2. Scarcity
  3. Authority
  4. Consistency
  5. Liking
  6. Consensus

Reciprocity

Reciprocity. Roughly defined its getting something back once you’ve given something yourself. Otherwise put it: It’s the obligation you feel whey you receive something. Almost every person has this bias in their system. They can’t do anything about it. The same goes for example a question. A pending question just waits to get answered. A couple of months ago I worked for a sales company and they gave me this insight. If you want to hold people one of the best ways to do it is asking a question or during the talk giving something to them.

There are even numbers on this researched on in a restaurant. An example of this is the waiter that is bringing a gift with the bill, like a mint. This increased the amount of tips with 3%. When there where 2 mints on the platter the tips even increased with 14%. But when the waiter walked away, turned around with another mint saying: “you people can have more than one mint” even increased the tips with 23%.

It’s very interesting to know what these seemingly unimportant behaviours can cause in terms of change.

Scarcity

Scarcity is also a big pillar in sales as well. To summarise it in one phrase would be: “People want more of those things they can have less of.” We see this all the time. I myself see this in the way people I follow try to sell their courses. “you have one day left to register for course x”, “This unique course will teach you what only other people dreamed of having”.

These kinds of phrasing are very compelling for most people and very understandably. I don’t know the main reason I heard correct, but it seems very logical to me. I heard it from Tai Lopez. The reason is that evolutionarily we came from circumstances where we were in a constant state of scarcity. Scarcity of food, of security, almost everything was in scarcity. This is biologically been framed in our hardwiring. This makes it very difficult to say no to things like, sugar and fat for example. Resources we needed to have but was very scarce. Industries like the food industry play this card all the time. Very effective sales tactic that is being used in so many commercials and marketing. You won’t believe.

Authority

This says that people will follow the credible experts. When talking about what they will be willing to do. The Milgram experiment is one of the most popular quoted experiments conducted on this bias.  We listen to people who we think knows more than us in a specific subject. We see this as well in commercials of toothpaste. Providing the right credentials and we follow almost everyone if the deal seems reasonable.

Consistency ( or Commitment)

This comes down on the consistency of our actions and what we said to other people or to ourselves. People tend to want to be consistent, how paradoxical a situation might be. We want to be the person we say we are if not we feel bad about the actions we take. In sales we try to take advantage on this to let a person say yes at a very specific set of questions. Getting them into the “yes-state” is one of the things you do by leading them in a stream of their thoughts that you steer.

So if you want to persuade people to do something for you try to let them to do a very small favor for you first. They are way more likely to comply after doing this.

Liking/Likeableness

This is a very interesting and powerful tool as well and now to come and think of it, I use this actually all the time. The ability to be liked by other people in a sense. One of the most important ones. It’s fairly simple put. People want to give you more if they like you. There are two things to take in account when you want to increase this powerful tool. And I think it’s highly recommended for everyone because this is one of the most genuinely morally good tools you can actually use for yourself.

  1. Similarity
  2. Pay (genuine) compliments

Similarity

If you want to be likeable to the other person, the other person has to see a part of themselves in you. In face-to-face situations you can use body language and the tone of voice to persuade them. The more you act like them the more, oftentimes, will people like you. But again, you have to be genuine in your pursuit. But this also means, provide what people want from you. Don’t say one thing and do the other.

A nice statistic on this is what they’ve done with two groups of sales people. One group got the objective to especially be very careful with the time they had. i.e. Close the deal ASAP. The other group was instructed to try and share and ask for personal stories of people. And wouldn’t you know, the first group got a 55% of people closed, the second group 90% closed. For a large part you could almost say that good Sales is all about making friends.

Pay (genuine) compliments

Pay people compliments this makes people feel good, and when happy, especially when you make them happy, want to do much more for you. A nice phrasing is in place: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel ” And if we assume this is true, it is very important that we make people feel good.

Consensus or Social proof

“People will look to the actions of other to determine their own.” We are herd animals. We tend to follow the herd. You see this very much in trends in fashion for example. People who work in marketing are highly aware of this bias of us and is using this oftentimes in their commercially outputs. Messages in commercials like: 9 out of the 10 people who recommended this is happier/skinnier/has more hair or whatever. And it works.

This video that I once watched as part of a sales training program will let you see what some of these tactics can do.

Conclusion

Not all of these tactics can be put to use by us, or maybe better said, I see some ways working way better than others. So the tactics I will want to use are Scarcity, Authority and Consensus.

Scarcity

The methods of scarcity we can always use. Especially for events, and we did that with the event of the 19th of October, we really press the uniqueness and the pressing of time to get more people to come and it was our biggest event yet.

Authority

Authority is a bit tricky, but since our last course we can see the outcome of our actions and these are definitely positive. This means our courses work. Not necessarily to create businesses, but better peoples lives. The people that joined DL have a higher chance of getting a job, know how hard they can work, we provide them with a network. All these things have benefitted the people that do a course with us. And when you ask these people what they think of DL they are all very grateful that we were there to give the course. This we can use to profile ourselves as authority, especially after so much of experimenting and just doing it and see what happens. We have grown as a business. Every course we know better what tactics work better and implement this in the following course.

Consensus

Consensus. We can show how many people support us and have joined us. At this point this amount is already pretty high, but we can even put it up a notch. We can actually see that during the last three courses Delitelabs has become every time more popular. And I can say from experience that everybody that joined DELITELABS as a participant was very grateful to have given this opportunity, which we can use when we profile ourself when we communicate with the outside world. Especially stories from our participants are now one of our key ways of communicating to the outside world. This is to build more connection with our audience and so far this method has been proven quite solid. See this also in the movie we did for the crowdfunding campaign, the photos on Instagram we put out and the stories we share on our blog.

 

 

Crowdfunding Marketing: Creating a story

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.

darren-marble

The three elements of Crowdfunding

  1. Crafting a story
  2. Producing the story
  3. 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”.

Conclusion

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!

– Bas

 

My Notebooks and what I’ve learned from keeping them

My notebooks. This is a thing. I’ve been very lavish with the use of paper these past couple of months. Acquired knowledge that has been stored in more than 10 notebooks. Half of it for the crowdfunding campaigns. I’ve learned a couple of lessons for this.

1. Categorise the subjects

This is one of the most important things to do. Else you don’t have a clue what’s inside of these books. Normally I started out by writing a title on the frontcover. Something like “Notes on Delitelabs” or “Lectures and interviews” or even “summaries on articles”. But this stays very vague on what the notebooks actually can help me with. So a couple of weeks ago I began to read them all and provide the cover with all the subjects and contents of the notes I took. It looks like the image below. The handy thing about this is that if I want to write an article now I can just search up the subject I want to write about and start typing.

My notebooks

2. Start Transfering to digital Straight away!

I started to late with transfering what I done research on to the digital. This is I think not uncommon. I hear many people not implementing what they learned or forgetting it all together. Especially when you go to lectures people often forget their notes. Now that I begin to have it all in one place it is like a database of knowledge that I can search very easily in. I really love that Idea. A literal accumulation of knowledge that, when used proper, you can have massive impact with. Or at least… I really hope for it.

3. Start implementing straight away

This is one of the biggest mistakes that I have made. I know that I’m not the only one, but that doesn’t make it less foolish of me. Put to use what you have learned straight away. This is how things are actually become intuitive after a while. There are so many things that I’ve written down on how to do certain things that this abundance of stored knowledge is sometimes like a big wave that overflows me. Overwhelms me and I forget it all. Now when I read my notes, which lately have been frequently, I’ve been starting to implement it more and this feels kind of cool. It’s like having a very big manual on how the subjects that I’ve been working on (personal development, digital marketing and crowdfunding) actually work and how you can implement it to learn and use it yourself.

4. Keep only the good

You make notes on loads on different things. What do I need to do today? What have I learned from this lecture? What do I want to get from the supermarket? All different lists on things you have to write down because otherwise you forget. What I have been doing with my notebooks is cutting down on the things that don’t have any purpose or interest for you anymore. Just rip out those pages and feel free from the irrelevant topics that lost their meaning to you. This leaves only the good stuff for you to learn from and keeps your head clean on what is really important, applicable or interesting.

So as a conclusion

I’d say keep categorising my notes, start accumulating them digitaly, or even better online so other people may also benefit from my findings, start implementing what I’ve learned and keep editing my notes. I think that sometimes it’s better to do instead of being paralysed by the thinking process. And that’s what I’ll try to do more.

Top 10 succesful Crowdfunding movies on Kickstarter

There are many things that are effecting the likelihood of a successful CFcampaign. In the beginning of my research I tried to get the overview of things that needed to be done to acquire this goal. some of the things for example that you have to acquire a large crowd, a team with specific tasks assigned to each member, a large contact list of people, companies, bloggers, journalists and other acquaintances to promote and spread the name of our NGO. And that entails not even half of it.

To acquire this overview of how to manage a successful crowdfunding campaign I’ve looked into overall marketing by reading a couple of books, specific workshops like crowdfunding and storytelling, met with professionals, used manuals on content creation, Youtube videos and books. Read it about it in the provided links.

This article will be about the crowdfunding campaign’s video. This is one of a couple of articles on learning on how to shoot a good CF video.

The way I’ve did this is by first selecting the 10 best crowdfunding campaigns on the platform Kickstarter. And then writing a analysis on the videos selected. Below you’ll find the videos I did an analysis on. In the analysis I look at a couple of features. The target amount, the percentage of the target amount acquired, the amount of pledgers, the average of the pledged amount, three key features of the video, the perks, the duration of the campaign, the duration of the crowdfunding movie and with some movies the order of the scenes.

#1 The Soloscope Automatic Watch by Xeric

XericSoloscope

Target amount: $50.000
Reached goal in percentage of target amount: 1358,62%($679,310)
Amount of pledgers: 1623
Average amount of pledge: $418
Key features of movie:
They show the watch very close up. Letting the beauty of the design show through. The makers of the watch really SHOW that they have their credentials straight. They say that they are already a long time in the business and are lovers of originality. They SHOW this again by displaying a large variety of watches that they have taken. The way they “play” the customer is to say that this design is for people who want to stand out.
Duration of the campaign: 40 days
Duration of the movie: 2:06

#2 Tom Bancroft

screen-shot-2016-09-19-at-21-10-14

Target amount: $13.500
Reached goal in percentage of target amount: 263.44%
Amount of pledgers: 498
Average amount of pledge: $71
Key features: This CF campaign is for a colour book that Tom Bancroft wants to publish. It’s a pretty interesting campaign especially when you look on how the structure of the video is set up. He tells his story in a very structured way. 1. He tells first on where he wants to go. 2. He tells the audience that he has made big steps toward his goal 3. He can back them up way more than he has to which makes his video even more compelling. 4. Even though he has shown you he has worked his ass of and showed his passion to you in a very detailed manner the tone of the video is as light as air and makes it very nice to look at. 5. He makes connection with what everyone can do.
Duration of the campaign: 30 days
Duration of the movie: 3:50

#3 Awaken the Legendary Soap Bubble Bokeh: Trioplan f2.9/50

camera-lens-kickstarter

Target amount: $50.000
Reached goal in percentage of target amount: 1367,60%
Amount of pledgers: 1028
Average amount of pledge: $665
Key features:
This video mostly plays with beauty and nostalgia. With beautiful pictures, because it is a camera lens, and the story of a extinct piece of brilliant equipment they persuaded the donator to back up their product. They also go into the rich history of the company and the 100th birthday of it. And lost but not least the famous words in crowdfunding world: “With your help we can accomplish our mission.” How effective apparently.
Duration of the campaign: 35 days
Duration of the movie: 3:41

#4 The golden ratio book

screen-shot-2016-09-19-at-20-58-47

Target amount: $27.000
Reached goal in percentage of target amount: 1790.66%
Amount of pledgers: 8297
Average amount of pledge: $58
Key features:

Again a very personal story about a man, Rafael Aranjo that falls in love with the logic of nature, aka the golden ratio. He also works in a natural way. Not with digital designing programs, but everything stil with pen and paper. He describes this in very delicate words:”the secrets of natures beautiful designs unfolded before my eyes. phi, the golden ratio, is equal to 1.618 and is found everywhere in the realm of nature.” This structure of it being so personal you see throughout the video, mostly by talking about himself (I am) :

  • I am Rafael Aranjo
  • I am an Architect and Illustrator
  • I have been drawing for 40 years
  • I was fifteen when I started to notice the intelligent patterns in the work of nature.

Duration of the campaign: 37 days
Duration of the movie: 3:17

#5 Descants & Cadences  – Stephanie Law

descants-candence

Target amount: $26.400
Reached goal in percentage of target amount: 442.48%
Amount of pledgers: 998 backers
Average amount of pledge: $117
Key features:
She starts out with a quick explanation of what a decant and cadence is: “A descant is a improvised musical counterpoint that is placed above a basic melody. Cadence is the rhythmic flow of wards of music, words or less literally of time and experience of the world.” She tells about her art as a mingling of these two concepts. She does this visually by showing her art, which is beautifully astonishing. The beauty that she wants to sell is what she is showing, a combination of her art and delicate piano music.

Dialogue: “I think of art as an overlay for reality. It is a way of perceiving beyond what your eyes see. Beyond and into these unnoticed places between. Or in the places that are completely forgotten.”

Duration of the campaign: 29 days
Duration of the movie: 4:09

#6 Trinus – the affordable all-metal 3d-printer

trinus

Target amount: $50.000
Reached goal in percentage of target amount: 3242.04%
Amount of pledgers: 3,147 backers
Average amount of pledge: $515
Key features:
This video explains the story of the professional and the person behind the product. He lives and breaths it and he is the commentator of the Trinus. Afterwords he explains the features of the product and why it stands out from the rest. The video has been shot very professionally and humourously. “If people should ask me if I rather have the perfect girlfriend or the perfect 3d-printer, I choose the perfect 3d-printer.” The campaign uses timelaps to show the workings of the machine. The overall impression of the movie is very light, humours and simple. Anyone should be able to follow. On top of this the video is all about show, show, SHOW.
Duration of the campaign: 31 days
Duration of the movie: 3:12

#7 Brixo Building Blocks

Brixo Building Blocks

Target amount: $50.000
Reached goal in percentage of target amount: 1433,58%
Amount of pledgers: 6.171 backers
Average amount of pledge: $116
Key features:
One sentence to explain the product: “It’s an awesome version of building blocks that makes your designs come to live with electricity, sensors and bluetooth.” After this explanation they begin to show various designs made by the buildingblocks, which are awesome, beautiful and surprising examples. Humour is overdone, till it’s fun. “It will change your life… Or just make you happy.”
Duration of the campaign: 51 days
Duration of the movie: 2:17

#8 Trap Tap

Trap Tap

Target amount: $85.000
Reached goal in percentage of target amount: 439.44%
Amount of pledgers: 2697 backers
Average amount of pledge: $138
Key features:
Presenter has an identity to the product. He keeps it supersimple. He explains the problem very plainly: “people believe they’re important and we spend 8billion dollar on speeding tickets only in North America” He has a sollution to that problem. KISS = Keep it Super Simple/Keep It Simple & Sexy
This is goes for the video, but also for the product itself.
Duration of the campaign: 60 days
Duration of the movie: 3:48

#9 Aerospace Grade Spheres: Titanium + Oligodynamic Copper

copper-sphere

Target amount: $5.000
Reached goal in percentage of target amount:10059.96%
Amount of pledgers: 3057 backers
Average amount of pledge: $164
Key features:
It’s almost disturbing how crazy simple this video is. What you see is what you get. Without any other explanation than that you get a very round ball of almost 100% copper there is none. This is the nr. 1 CF-campaign when you look at the percentage of the target amount that they needed and what they actually got. They got 100 times more than what they asked for. Almost lost faith in humanity when I saw this one. But it also gives a lesson. Make it as simple as you can.
Duration of the campaign: 30 days
Duration of the movie: 0:57

#10 ADV3NTURE HOODIE with 23 Pockets and Features!

adv3nture-hoodie

Target amount: $25.000
Reached goal in percentage of target amount: 3075.952%
Amount of pledgers: 5.900 backers
Average amount of pledge: $130
Key features:
Interestingly that this crowdfunding campaign is still running and is well over their target amount ($25.000, but pledged already $768,988). This hoodie has a multitude of features that makes it very easy to store your gadgets and other things. You can also fold it to use it as a cushion, it has a zipper that also functions as a bottle opener and some other interesting things. I perceive the video almost as a how to video, which makes it also very persuasive to buy it. It mostly conveys the message of utility, in other words, you can aways use it.
Duration of the campaign: 34 days (7 sept – 11 oct, still running)
Duration of the movie: 2:50

Conclusions to these videos

Target Amount & Pledges

A couple of things that are very interesting about these videos. Most of them have a target amount between the $5.000 and the $50.000, with one exception the TrapTap, which had 85.000. The general amount people pledged in the campaigns is around $130, with exceptions of the Xeric watch ($418), The Trioplan camera lens ($665) and the Trinus 3d-printer ($515). The rest had pledges stretching from $58 till $164. These 7 campaigns have an average of $113 pledged. The average of the campaigns comes down to $239.

Backers 

I wanted to find some sort of correlation the amount of backers and one of the other characteristics I measured, but it seemed that there wasn’t one to be found. Yet, there are big differences between the different campaigns when it comes to amount of backers.The amount is stretching from 498 backers for Tom Boncraft’s cartoon book and the staggering 8297 for the Golden Ratio Book. Which are for example both about a drawing book, but different genres and backgrounds. The average amount of backers is 3341.

Content of the video

The main thing that really is evident after researching this is the simplicity of the videos. You know at the end of every movie what you are going to get, what the product is and why you should trust in the producer of the product (due to the large amounts of credentials that they SHOW). I think that the two main reasons of persuasion in these campaigns are Beauty and utility. Beauty in the campaigns: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 9. Utility in the campaigns: 3, 6, 7, 8 and 10.

Another characteristic that was noteworthy about the larger majority of the videos (8 out of 10) was the the lightness or amusement factor that they all had. It was enjoyable to look at these videos. Some of them humorous or very beautiful. None of them were serious. This is a big hint for us, because we now may assume that the best approach would be to make a light and amusing video to watch. With our main subject being refugees we could have done it in a more serious matter, but now it looks like a lighter tone in a video would be the better approach.

Duration of the campaign and video

The duration of the campaign is stretching from 29 till 60 days, with an average of 38 days, but most campaigns are around 32 days. The duration of the videos stretch from 57 seconds to 4 minutes and 9 seconds. The average video is around the 3 minutes.

 

Steve Vick: Let an expert do the talking

Steve Vick is de founder van non profitally. This is a company that helps building a non profit from the ground on up. They take you through the whole process. One of the subjects also discussed on the site in deeply, luckily, is how to successfully run a crowdfunding campaign. There are a couple of videos on this and one of them gives a very good overview of what a crowdfunding campaign in essence always needs, unregarded on what type of project you want to start a crowdfunding campaign for.

stevevick

This is him, Steve Vick. In the Youtube video: How to start a crowdfunding campaign? He lays out a couple of ground rules if you really want to launch a crowdfunding campaign. There is actually a whole lot more prep work than I initially thought. Not only man hours have to be put in to execute the things that needs to get done, but a lot more strategically think work that you need to get your head around before executing. Here are a couple of things to ponder on, that I will get into later:

  • The team
  • Set period of CFcampaign and target amount
  • The story
  • PR/marketing
  • Sollicitation
  • CF-video
  • Webpage

These are the subjects he touched upon and where very helpful to have an overview of the activities that we have to spend time and maybe money on to make it a success. So I’ll go over them step by step. First of…

The Team

Because there is so many activities to get done you really have to get a team. If you don’t find one. Defining the roles of the team is an essential part. If you define the roles and responsibilities beforehand the activities that need to get done will be so much more efficient and effective, so very important to divide the roles that need to get done. Roles that need to be divided are: Content creation, phone calls that needs to be made, managing and enlarging your network (making a crowd), the creation and maintenance of the webpage, devising a story (and creating perks and incentives). All these things have to be done and handled by the team and if you don’t have your roles and responsibilities well organised the effect will be a lot less than it can be.

Set a period for the CF-campaign and target amount

This is another essential part of running a crowdfunding campaign. The donator wants a couple of things. Before he donates any amount of money he wants to know if the campaign is for a good cause, if the amount will be reached (or if it is likely to be reached) and there has to be an urgency.

The urgency that we, as the creators of the CF-campaign, need the money ASAP. You can say we’ll run the CF-campaign for 5 months, than we’ll have plenty of time to get funded, but the research has shown that the results of this strategy is counter-intuitive. The incentive or urgency for the funding is out of the window. Most successful CF-campaigns run a period of 7 to 9 weeks.

Some people will answer to the question: “For how much would you like to get funded?”. “As much as possible”. But normally this is a bad incentive for the donator. You have to show them why you need that kind of money. You can do this with a couple of things. The most successful CF-campaigns they also have the most interesting and beautiful videos. They show you quality, beauty and most of the time the credentials that back up the quality that they already shown. Tell your audience who is going to benefit from the money that they give, most campaigns on Kickstarter have perks that they give away for a pittance price for example. So also think about how it will help the donator. Will it only make them feel good by contributing or like the projects on Kickstarter let them also buy an interesting new innovative product? So make your target amount reasonable and feasible.

PR and Marketing

There are many things that you have to and can do when it comes to PR and marketing of your CF campaign. But if we get to deep in the matter it will be gibberish for your so I thought to myself how can we make this a bit easier. To do this here are a couple of questions you should ask yourself that will keep you starting with the PR and marketing the same as we have done. Guided by this video and a couple of others. Here are the questions that you should ask yourself when you’re working on the marketing:

  • How much pre-made content has been made for every (social) media output that you are going to use? (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Whatsapp, Phonecalls, mailing)
  • What content should you spread and how should it be structured? Check this link to learn this.
  • Which tools are you going to use to systemise your media output so that you can be more efficient and effective? (think about the social media named above, but also tools like Thunderclap, Mailchimp, Hootsuite, Heroes&Friends, Nouncy, etc. Check this link if you want to know what these tools can bring.)
  • Who are we as a company, what is our mission and how are we going to convey this message?
  • When are the milestones of your campaign and how are you going to let your crowd know when these have been reached?
  • Have you written a Pitch text that is inspiring for people to listen? (max. 500 to 800 words long)
  • Which platform are you going to use?

CF Video

The crowdfunding video is also a crucial part of the campaign. This is your opportunity to shine and persuade your costumers to actually incest in your product. Here are a couple of tips on a interesting CFvideo. To really know how to make a great video I’ve compared 10 very successful Crowdfunding campaigns of Kickstarter in one of my articles. I’ve also visited a couple of events that get a little more into storytelling. Check my visit at the Campus Party, my evening on storytelling or my visit at the Filmschool Amsterdam.

CF Platform

Before you go into the platform here are also many things to consider before you choose the right one. Ponder on the following questions so that you can make a better decision on what the best platform would be for your campaign.

  • Does the platform allow multimedia (video, pictures, integrated social media functionalities, etc)
  • How much effort (amount of clicks) does a potential donator has to do before he can actually donate? This really is a huge factor in how well your campaign will go.
  • Can you import a mailing list in the platform?
  • What are the fees that are being asked? (AKA how much money keeps the owner of the platform in what situation, success or fail?)
  • Can you keep the money even if your campaign does not reaches its goal?
  • Can you place updates (e.g. about milestones) on the platform?
  • Is the page customisable?
  • Is it also a customisable url?
  • 30% of the platforms needs an approval process. How long is this process?

I hope this was a good read for you guys! If you have any questions, remarks or suggestions just let me know!

Keep you posted!

Conclusion

This was a very interesting talk. I got a way better idea how much work is in the creation of a successful crowdfunding campaign now and that frightens me a bit, because it is so much work and we are only with a small team. On the other hand, we know now that it is a lot of work so we can be better prepared for this. see here how we went about social media, here what we did to create a good story and here is the actual campaign we launched and created success.

Facebook Analytics: PART I

Facebook is the biggest Social network in the western world, so tells Statista in a poll with 1.7 billion active users. Many people see it as the ideal marketing tool and it has shown that you can use it with great advantage as such.

For our campaign we also started to use it. First pretty chaotic and not ver frequently but since a couple of weeks we’ve been experimenting with it. In this post I shall give a quick overview of how Facebook Analytics work. I’ve also written another posts that shows the exact outcomes of our implementation of our usage of Facebook. To see our results click here.

As I said will this post be short manual on hot to use Facebook analytics as a marketing tool.

Facebook Insights

This is a tool that works pretty well if you want to have a few insights in how your Facebook page is doing in regard of posts, likes and reach. It’s not for nothing that it is called Facebook Insights. You can learn which posts have better impact than others, when it is the best time to post and you can even check out some geographical and demographic characteristics of the people that are interacting with your page.

Facebook Insights Start screen

This is the screen where you start if you start with the statistics of your Facebook page. Here is already much to see. A small overview can be checked when you scroll a bit down. This is what you see:

Overview Homescreen FB Analytics

The overview

Here you can see the amount of activities that our Facebook has and how you are doing with them individually. You can check the amount of actions you have implemented, e.g. postings. You can see the involvement of your posts, this is the amount of people interacting, talking about or sharing your page. The likes that you have gotten in this period of time and the comparison with that of the last period(normally a week). The reach of your page, so how many people have actually seen your page in this period. The involvement of the messages you put out. In other words, how many people interact with the messages you have spread out. And last but not least the amount of video’s been checked.

The revision of your page

You can do this revision with a couple of tools. We will get over them quickly and clearly. Firstly I’d like to touch upon the revision of Facebook messages that you have put out and how you can check what impact they have gotten. You can few this in a couple of ways. Firstly with a list of the messages you have gotten. This is an example:

screen-shot-2016-08-14-at-21-11-42

A little explanation should be suffice I’d think. We will go through all the columns. The first is the date and time when the post was published on your page. To the right of that you see the first few lines of the post and this also serves as a link to the actual post so you may review it. The column to the right of that shows you what type of post it is. Is it a message, link, page or video. Next is the target group which is mostly for paid promotion which you can also do in Facebook. Next is the reach you have created with the message you have posted. How many people have seen the post. In this example you don’t see that much difference in the reach of the posts, stretching from 489 people to more than 1.5k. The penultimate post is about the involvement of your posts. This last one is, what I’ve heard so far, one of the best indicators of the performance of your posts. Because this can lead to more likes, more shared messages and page shares and that results in a better way to enlarge the brand awareness, which we need make the campaign a success.

You can also do this in a more graphical way. This is a good method to see your progress in Facebook. You can see for a specific period what the results are in e.g. Facebook likes, page views, involvement and the time people are most likely to look at your Facebook posts. Here an example:

graph of likes in facebook analytics

In this example you see the amount of comments, likes and shares that have been done in a period of time. The first graph is showing the amount of likes the page got on a specific day and the second graph shows how much comments, likes and shares have been made with different messages that we have put out. You can see that the 14th of August was a pretty good day for us with 41 likes.

It can be have a very big impact when you check both and discover which messages work best. You can check how long the messages should be, the kind of messages (personal or formal), about which subject does your audience want to listen to, if pictures work better than text, if you get more attention with videos in your messages, the days that you have to post, etc. Hard work but the results can be very interesting and beneficial for any business.

Examination Crowdfunding platforms

Another part of the research I’ve been doing is what type of crowdfunding platform we are going to choose for our CF campaign. I didn’t know this before but there are actually quite a lot out there, even in a small country like the Netherlands there are whole bunch. I first started my investigation overall. So, I looked at a couple of comparison websites, like top10crowdfund.nl/. This website gave the overview of crowdfunding websites that are active in the Netherlands. The website estimates that there are 92 crowdfunding platforms operating in the Netherlands.

cfplatforms

What should we choose?

There are very many different crowdfunding platforms to choose from. Some very specific to a certain topic or a specific way of funding (e.g. just by lending instead of donations and rewards) and some are more generic like Kickstarter or Indiegogo. I’ve looked into most of the popular ones, but most of them looked like a saturated pool to me.

The two golden questions and a bit of myself

It was nice to have an expert, which I interviewed before this research,to give me advice on this subject. Eric Heesen, the founder of Crowdfundy, told me two golden questions I should ask myself before chosing a crowdfunding platform. First “Wat was the topic our crowdfunding would be about?”. The second question was “What type of financing system did we want to have?”. In crowdfunding there are four different kinds of funding: equity, loan, rewards and donations.

What I also saw on many crowdfunding platform that there is a certain fee that you have to pay beforehand or afterwards. These fees depend on wether or not you have successfully achieved your goal and how big your goal was. This is called “placement fee” and “success or failure fee”. I’ve put these also in the description for a more detailed overview.

Our answers

The answer that our team had answered to these questions was that: “We were a social enterprise and worked with refugees and inspired enterpreneurship.”. So three topics I could search for when looking into the “right” crowdfunding platform.

And the second answer was that we didn’t want any lending crowdfunding campaign, nor do we want convertible lends (loans that can be converted into shares). We want to go for the rewards and / or donations. Ideally a mix between the two.

So I set my two parameters to these conditions and out of these came four platforms that we are going to discuss at large on the first of September, which is this Thursday. A quick note, I’ve put the financial details of the platforms at the bottom so it is easier to compare.

The Platforms

  • OnePlanetCrowd
  • 1%club
  • Chuffed
  • Crowdaboutnow

OnePlanetCrowd

oneplanetcrowd

OnePlanetCrowd is a platform that is stationed in Amsterdam. Their main topic is social sustainable impact. So, it is ideal for our organisation to take into account, because our organisation is similarily concerned about the same topic. Their main target group is social entrepreneurs, which we also are. Further than that, everything that falls into this category is allowed. OnePlanet has a few criteria that we would have to take into account.

Conditions

  • The project has to have an positive impact on man or nature
  • There is a concrete, urgent and clear communicable spending target
  • The financial needs must be between the 1.000 and the 1.000.000 euro’s
  • The campaign has to be totally led by the one who started the campaign.
  • If you don’t get your goal, every penny is send back to the investors

Another thing to take in account is that the platform is mostly based on projects in Germany and The Netherlands.

One%Club

1%club

This is also a crowdfunding platform that is stationed in Amsterdam, but other than the previous platform, the one%club is internationally oriented. It spreads the message that the projects that are being put on the platform all do ‘something good’. This can mean anything, but is in the realm of social projects. For example there are projects in Zambia that fund a new sustainable school, support refugee employees in Greece or support a sailing school just in the Netherlands.

Conditions

  • The target amount must be between the 250,- and 1.000.000,-
  • Successful or not, you will always get your money with this platform

Chuffed

chuffed

Chuffed is an Australian platform that is internationally oriented. And it was actually interesting to see that this page was one of the few, that had a tab especially for refugees. And since our core business is helping refugees, I was compelled to look into this one. The more I read the more I liked it. To quote Chuffed:

“We only crowdfunds non-profit and social enterprise projects. That’s it. That means we know what works for social causes, and our community is only interested in projects like yours.”

The website is very suitable with a lot of information on how to promote your own campaign. Luckily One%club has the same policy, but the afore mentioned onePlanetCrowd does not have that at all. What makes it a more difficult choice is that this is the only platform that is not stationed in the Netherlands.

CrowdAboutNow

crowdaboutnow

This platform is different from the rest because it is the only platform that is completely Dutch oriented and is stationed in Utrecht. It is all about social entrepreneurship. They assume you are one, of course, and they stretch the importance of the network that you already have. They say they offer much support during the campaign. I called this company as well and they advised me to check what kind of finance system we want. If we want to go on to (convertible) loans we should look at a platform like OnePlanetCrowd. When we want to do it more based on rewards and donations it’s better to choose a platform like us, more peer-to-peer based.

Financial situation

OnePlanetCrowd

Placement campaign: €200 + 1% target amount
Transaction costs: €0.50 (only paid if campaign was a success)
Succesfee: 7%

1%club

Placement campaign: free
Succesfee: 7%
Failurefee: 5%

Chuffed

Placement campaign: –
Transaction costs: €0.50 + 2.9%
Succesfee: –

CrowdAboutNow

Placement campaign: 1% target amount
Succesfee: 6%

Conclusion

Based on these examples I have chosen 1%club. Especially since we get started sooner than expected. With one%club you get your money, either way. One%club is also Dutch, and is centered in Amsterdam. It has the same overarching mission as we do, “doing something good”. Since this is our first campaign as a company ever, and we still have a lot to learn about how to do a good crowdfunding campaign, one%club is a logical option to take. This needs only to be discussed with the team.

Keep you posted on this.

– Bas