1 – Word of mouth.
Word of mouth is the simplest and also the most efficient way of getting your message across. If someone is getting excited enough about your work, and your crowdfunding campaign, to speak about it spontaneously with friends that is definitely a sign you are on the right track!
It is your job to get the ball rolling by enthusiastically telling your close friends about what you are working on long before your crowdfunding campaign begins. Doing this means that your close circles of contacts won’t be surprised when you reach out and ask them to support you.
If you can get them talking and excited enough, a snowball effect may then occur. To get the most out of word-of-mouth, set aside some time to reflect upon the following question: how can I get people excited about my project? How can I get them to want to speak about it with their friends?
2 – Email.
Email remains the most used means of online communicating and is therefore an must in any successful crowdfunding communication strategy. You can use it in many ways, we recommend at a minimum these two different approaches to interact with your target audience:
- personal emails sent individually to people you know, or are introduced to
- group emails sent to your list(s) of subscribers via an email tool such as Mailchimp or Mailjet
3- Phone calls and text messaging.
Your phone will mostly come in handy for organising your team, and meeting people who can help promote you. Having said this, we have also used phone calls and text messages on launch day as a way to make sure everyone gets on board and acts fast – and this has given good results.
4 – Your website / blog.
For a good online communication strategy it is important to have a website, even if it’s very simple one. At a minimum you want it to display a description of your project, your contact information and frequent updates that are interesting for your target audience.
5 – A Facebook page for the project.
We recommend creating an official facebook page either for the project, or for it’s creator. Official pages differ from your personal account in that they enable you to boost your posts to reach larger audiences (paid traffic). It also means that people you don’t know can find you and interact with your content. It will even be visible by people who don’t have an account on Facebook.
6 – Twitter
Twitter is a great tool for connecting with people who share interests, and values with you. It’s a good way to break the ice and create opportunities for communication partnerships and so forth.
7 – Videos
We strongly recommend creating at least 1 video to promote your crowdfunding campaign.
The statistics are pretty convincing for this one: according to Ulule, crowdfunding campaigns using video have on average 30% more chances of succeeding than those without. If you can make videos fairly easily, we would suggest going further and creating many videos all through the campaign to thank your backers and share updates and keep fans informed of your progress.
8 – Offline channels
Although at Komgourou our expertise lies in helping you design and implement an online communication strategy, we always take time to look at what can be done offline as well. Depending on the type of project you are working on, the offline aspect might be very important. For example, if your work involves events you might be able to take advantage of these to distribute flyers to – and collect email addresses from – people who are interested in your crowdfunding campaign.
9 – The crowdfunding platform (your campaign page)
All the main crowdfunding platforms offer the possibility of publishing news about your project on the campaign page. Typically these updates also get delivered to your backers via email automatically. This is one of the best ways to say thank you to your backers and tell them what you are up to both during, and after your crowdfunding campaign.
10 – Other social networks
Depending on what type of project you are funding, it might be in your interest to use other social networks such as Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn etc. There are many networks, and more new ones coming out every month. The challenge here is to find the ones that get used frequently by your target audience, and then understand how to create engagement.
11 – Your partners in communication
If you have contacted people that you think would be interested in your work, and therefore up for sharing your crowdfunding campaign, it is very important that you ask them to share your content as often as possible through their communication channels. This may involve reminding them to do so frequently in a friendly way.
I often speak to creators who have gone to the trouble of creating strategic partnerships for their crowdfunding campaign, but don’t make a clear ask when it comes to promoting it.
When communicating with these people, make sure to let them know when your campaign ends so that they can communicate about it soon enough.
12 – Forums, blog comments etc
If your project aims to solve a specific problem – which in many cases it should – we recommend finding the websites, blogs, and forums on which people are looking for solutions to this problem you are solving.
You can then post replies, in which you invite readers to discover what you are working on. Don’t be pushy. Don’t be salesy. Just offer help and solutions via your project and therefore via your crowdfunding campaign. Make sure that the solutions are available as rewards to your backers. OFFER VALUE!
13 – Contact the press : newspapers, radio, television.
Last be not least! As soon as your campaign starts to gather momentum, once you make it past the 30% mark for example, it will become a lot more convincing to newcomers. This is the ideal time to start reaching broader audiences by securing coverage in mainstream publications, newspapers, radio programs, tv etc.
Start with smaller, more specialised publications and channels and progressively expand towards the mainstream as you gather coverage and interest in your work progressively grows.