Opinion: How to create a winning crowdfunding strategy

Since launching its crowdfunding division in 2013, Dynamo has raised over $30 million for clients on platforms such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo. As the agency prepares to host Dynamo Crowdfunding 2017, a set of events and webinars to ring in 2017, co-CEO Paul Cockerton tells Gorkana his top tips for creating the perfect crowdfunding strategy.

paul-cockerton-bc

Paul Cockerton

Understanding crowdfunding is a great asset to have in your modern PR toolkit. You can predict how individuals will act as they wait, try to be first, or follow others reacting to a campaign. The tips listed below come direct from our experience with over 60 crowdfunding campaigns.

There are many things you can do to de-risk failure. In an increasingly crowded, noisy and competitive market we’ve listed the essentials:

Video and imagery first

  • Apart from the headline of the campaign page, the video is the most critical asset on the page to hold and keep visitors’ attention. They need to be short (less than 2-3 mins), concise, appealing, and look professionally produced. They need to convince the viewer that the creators can deliver. We’ve seen an 80% increase in rate of backer conversion by changing the thumbnail.

Pledge or perk level strategy

  • Limiting the availability of certain pledges increases FOMO and hence velocity of backing. Having some heavily discounted pledges also increases backers’ desire to take advantage of time-limited offers.
  • Some backers will be happy just to donate $1 to keep updated with the campaign, without anything else offered in return. Literally paying to be on a mailing list!

Build your community in advance

  • You can’t rely on media alone to make campaigns successful. Ideally you want to have built up a community prior to launch, ready to push the button and back your project when you go live helping the velocity and number of backers.
  • Communities take time to build, whether through networking, previews, events, speaking, but are now critical to campaign success. We’ve seen campaigns where communities have accounted for more than 20% of initial backing.

Plan your communications

  • It can be an incredibly hectic time post-launch, so plan all of your communications before you go live.
  • This will mean pre-briefing media under embargo. Preparing all of your Q&As for the community, as well as the press. Agreeing a news release of passing the goal, ready to go live (on more than one occasion we’ve had to release this within a few hours of launching).
  • You should also prepare campaign updates, such as introducing ‘stretch’ targets for when the campaign reaches its goal. Community updates show that you’re talking and investing time in your backers.
  • As with any public launch, you will have supporters and detractors. Be prepared to respond quickly to any criticism in an open and honest way. This way you’ll generate support from other backers who will more often come to your aid.

Choosing the right platform

  • With numerous crowdfunding platforms now available (over 400), featuring everything from reward to equity crowdfunding, a business needs to think carefully about which one is right for them. Bring in someone with expertise who can advise on the pro’s and con’s of different platforms.
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