5 Tools to Boost Your Crowdfunding Success
At Technica, we are excited to be gearing up to help another client promote their crowdfunding campaign. Media attention and social media engagement are always economical and powerful ways to get the story of your campaign out into the world. However, there are a few more tools you can use to bolster your campaign’s presence on the web. These can be especially critical at the beginning when you need to gain momentum quickly and maintain it.
Have you ever looked at a product on Amazon, then saw an ad for that very same product show up on another site you are looking at? This is what Ad Roll does. It follows users from your website to other sites, and if there is available ad space, it will display one of five ads you have set up. The better an ad performs, the more Ad Roll’s algorithms use it.
If you do nothing else, we’d recommend setting up Ad Roll. People typically don’t always contribute the first time they check out a campaign. Sometimes, they want to wait to see how things go, other times they are just plain busy. Ad Roll is critical to reminding people about your campaign and encouraging them to contribute if they have not already.
In a recent campaign Technica oversaw, our client spent $30/week for 37,889 impressions and 792 clicks over a two month period. Total spend was $389 or an average of about $.50 per click.
One thing to keep in mind is that the technical aspects of crowdfunding campaign pages often do not allow you to set up cookie tracking on the campaign page itself, which is how Ad Roll works. Instead, you have to set up Ad Roll to direct people to your website. There, a large call to action image and web button at the top of your site should point people to the campaign page.
Facebook Ads and Boost Posts
Budget $300 ($10/day)
Now that it’s a public company, Facebook is looking to monetize commercial activity on its site. Recently, Facebook announced its algorithms would no longer push promotional posts from a Page on to an individual’s news feed. Instead, it encourages Pages to boost their posts if you want people to see them in their feeds.
We recommend that you do a few different ads for your Facebook page at the beginning of the campaign. Depending on how many followers you have already, you may want to put up an ad that encourages people to follow the page. Before you start your campaign, you want at least 500 people following you. So, begin this activity as early as you can, and fill your Facebook Page with quality, engaging posts.
Once the campaign begins, you’ll also want to boost posts related to coverage you’ve received on the campaign, or any news about the campaign that you want people to know about. Additionally, pure call to action posts can be boosted to encourage people to contribute. This can be especially critical during the final days of the campaign.
Bloggers and Crowdfunding Support
Budget – $1000/campaign
There are a lot of sites out there that will help you spread the word about your campaign. Once your campaign begins, you will be contacted by many of them.
Typically for $500, these sites will write a few posts about your campaign and direct traffic to it. Additionally, more and more bloggers will ask to be compensated for writing about your product and sharing it with their large social media followings. The range for compensation can be from $50-$250.
In the past, Technica has experimented off and on with this option. We contracted with GadgetFlow in the past, which referred 275 people to a campaign page we worked on. Additionally, we’ve found the TriplePundit Podium platform to be very beneficial in increasing a company’s social media exposure around a piece of news, such as an article by the company or a press release.
However, overall you can gain more bang for your buck by reaching out to media journalists and bloggers who do not require your payment. These outlets typically have larger followings and their reporting is more non-bias, which will garner higher readership.
There are a few different ways you can advertise on Reddit, such as within some of the mobile apps and on the site itself. For most crowdfunding campaigns, banner ads are the most economical. Since Reddit has a very witty, web savvy community, make sure your ads are causal, conversational and clever. With Reddit, you really have to understand the community you are targeting.
In a recent campaign, Technica ran (for a completely unknown brand at the time) a $200 one moth budget that generated over 271,000 impressions and 756 clicks, with a cost per click (CPC) of $.25.
This is a little secret that crowdfunding campaigns and sites don’t like to admit. Sometimes, it helps to boost a campaign’s funding with anonymous contributions of a few thousand dollars here and there. Many anonymous contributions could be purely organic, but every now and again there’s one from someone close to the company, for the specific purpose of helping to keep the campaign active, and growing. This can keep the campaign to the top of a featured campaign rotation on the crowdfunding site, and add credibility to the campaign, showing people are willing to invest large sums.
This activity can also help to ensure that your campaign meets its goal, if it looks like it might fall short. I’ve known campaigns to rally friends and family to contribute at the eleventh hour in order to make the goal, and then reimburse them after the funds have been delivered from the site. It’s not the most ethical of practices, but when all you need is a few thousand dollars to hit your goal, a favor from Uncle Bob can go a long way.
Each of these tools have their own strengths and weaknesses. Depending on the type of industry and campaign you plan to run, as well as your budget, some will work better than others. If you have a very limited budget, we suggest at least advertising on Ad Roll, and adding Facebook and Reddit into the mix if you can afford it. However, before you make any web advertising plans, consult with a PR team who can help you hone your messaging and deliver your story to reporters who will help get the word out to the masses.