A crowdfunding campaign is time-consuming, no matter how well designed it is. Find out about some cool resources that will help you streamline and automate your efforts.
In order for your crowdfunding campaign to be successful, you will have to reach out to as many potential backers as possible. This involves a lot of work across many channels, so your efforts need to be coordinated at all times. One of the most effective ways to achieve your goal is to set up a plan dividing your campaign in three stages:
1. Attract visitors: use social media and email to get people to learn about your project.
2. Convert visitors into backers: use the right content and right rewards to persuade users to take action.
3. Convert backers into promoters: do not abandon your backers once they have donated —rather, keep in touch and encourage them to spread the word about your project.
No matter how well defined your strategy is, though, it will still mean a lot of work. Therefore, you should look at ways to make jobs as efficient as possible. Ideally, you will count on a team or at least an assistant you can delegate some tasks to, and you will set up as many automated systems as you can. These will save you countless hours of manual work and allow you to focus on more valuable aspects of the promotion.
Backercamp: Promotion and Support Services for Your Campaign
Creating a successful crowdfunding campaign is part art, part science and centers around the overall experience your project has implemented since its inception: A hard work that can easily become your full-time job. Backercamp partners with Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns to provide them with a wide range of crowdfunding services – including social media promotion, press release distribution, extensive media outreach, online marketing, backer communications, expert feedback and advice, and more.
Backercamp has helped over 4,000 Kickstarter and Indiegogo creators with promotion and support, raising more than $40,000,000 in successful funding. It even accepts projects in the pre-launch phase.
Buffer: Be on Top of Social Media Effortlessly
Buffer offers a brilliant, free-of-charge solution for handling social media publishing. Basically, you just need to sign in and schedule the content you want to post and Buffer automatically publishes your updates through the day, allowing you to keep a consistent social presence to ensure you stay top-of-mind. All you do is install a browser extension, and whenever you are on a page you want to share, you just click the Buffer icon to add it to your queue to be auto-posted on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+. Additionally, they provide more analytics than if you were to post to those networks directly, and on premium plans you can add more social accounts, team members and additional features.
Also, they write about social media in their blog, where they usually share useful tips and how-to. And last, but not least, they have a great customer support which makes you smile, no matter what the problem you’re having with the service is.
MailChimp: Beautiful Mass Emails
To contact the rest of your database, those who you don’t know personally or don’t have such an influence on your community, MailChimp is your best approach. Their solution to design and send great looking mass emails is free if you have less than 2,000 subscribers and send less than 12,000 emails per month. You can code and design your own emails, or pick one of their templates. Need some inspiration? Take a look to their Gallery.
Also, MailChimp provides great insights to see how well your emails have gone: they allow you to track how many people opened your email campaigns and see exactly what they clicked. Analytics are an important part of a crowdfunding campaign, and these reports give you lots of valuable information to help you improve your campaigns going forward.
Mention: Track Anybody Talking about You
Mention is a real-time media monitoring application that makes it possible to receive alerts every time your name, brand or competitors are mentioned on the web. It monitors millions of sources in 42 languages and it generates and exports reports. Also, it can be connected with socials accounts (including Buffer), so you can directly reply their mentions, RT or favorite their tweets. It is a handy tool to quickly see where your audience is, what their main pain points are and what they love about your project.
Wunderlist: Your Overall Campaign Coordinator
Wunderlist is a free productivity app that allows you to easily manage and share to-do lists. You can access your lists from virtually any device, add notes, set reminders and assign tasks. More advanced functionality —like being able to create subtasks— is only available on premium accounts, which start at $4.99 a month.
Klout: Connect with Your Influencers
If we accept that influence is the ability to drive action, a great tool to identify online influencers on your immediate circle is Klout. As Tim Ferriss explains in his blog, all you need to do is connect with Facebook or Twitter, select “friends” from the drop down menu in the upper right hand corner of the screen, then click on “top klout score” on the right. Klout will then grade all your contacts and give them a score from 0-100. Anyone above 60 can be considered somewhat of an influencer, so you should definitely try to reach out and encourage them to share your project on their Facebook and Twitter.
You may be wondering… How is the Klout Score calculated? They measure multiple pieces of data from several social networks (ex, the ratio of reactions a user generate compared to the amount of content they share), and also real world data from places like Bing and Wikipedia. Then they apply them to the Klout Score algorithm, and then show the resulting number on user’s profile.
Bit.ly: Take Control of Your Links
Bit.ly is a utility that allows users to shorten a long URL, share it, and then track the resulting usage. For example, you can turn this link http://www.megafounder.com into this link http://bit.ly/P1aQEd. It’s much easier to include the link in an email or Twitter post without it breaking or taking up space. To see how many clicks that link has gotten and explore other info (such as where the link was shared, the geographic distribution of clicks and who shared a bitly to the content), simply append a plus sign to the end of the url (ex, http://bit.ly/P1aQEd+).
ReTargeter: Create Your Own Surround Sound Effect
Especially on the first few days of your launch, you want your project to be everywhere. With ReTargeter you can optimize your ad spend by showing highly targeted, real time digital banner ads to people who have previously seen your campaign —whether they opened an email, visited your site, engaged with you on social media… The investment starts at $500 to reach 10,000 of these people who already know your project but may be unsure as to whether or not to trust you, so it might be something worth investigating if you have a high-end target.
Boomerang and TextExpander: Craft Personalized Emails
If you want to capture the attention of an influencer in a positive way, thank a backer for their exceptional donation or simply honor your friends for their unconditional support, one of the best things you can do is creating an email specifically for them. In this regard, TextExpander ($34.95) allows you to paste frequently used text or pictures into any document, email or text field by typing an abbreviation. So, for example, you can create an abbreviation like “Grtng” for your greeting, and when you type it, it will appear in any field. You can then use Boomerang, a Gmail plug-in, to schedule your emails.
Now you’ve got the resources, it’s time you got down to work and start actively promoting your crowdsoucing campaign. Best of luck!
Photo: Matt Biddulph