Look, you don’t need to be some marketing guru or “expert” to launch a successful equity crowdfunding campaign. Will it be a breeze? No. Will you get frustrated at times? Yes. However, if you follow proven systems and steps many successful campaigns have taken, you can see incredible results tailored to your unique campaign.
Now, where do you start? What are some surefire marketing tools and processes that can help you kill it from day 1?
Don’t worry, I got you!
When I did my first marketing campaign, I quickly realized that equity crowdfunding requires a very unique approach compared to the regular day to day marketing.
Without further ado, here are the 10 best tools that will help you engineer a successful equity crowdfunding campaign from day 1!
Krowdster is perhaps the single best tool you can use to market your equity crowdfunding campaign.
What if I told you that instead of building your own community you could leverage an already existing one? Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, that’s kinda what makes Krowdster one of a kind.
Krowdster compiled lists of backer from Kickstarter, Indiegogo and other platforms. You can sort list by industry.
Now you know who is the most likely to invest in your campaign. Your next step is to reach out in a friendly way and build awareness of both your company and equity crowdfunding campaign.
Krowdster helps you automate this process by following people who are most likely to be your supporters / customers. And the best part? This tool can also automatically send these guys a personalized message and engage with them.
Here is an example of what you can say:
Hey Samantha, excited for your tweets! We just launched a crowdfunding campaign for our cat quadcopter startup. Would love to know what you think. <Link>
Good PR is like pouring fuel into the fire, when it comes to letting people know that you are fundraising. Don’t expect to go viral without some magical PR outreach.
Have you written and distributed press releases? If the answer is “yes” than you know how painful and time consuming it can be. The Krowdster team will write your entire press release for you. They will also distribute it to their network of 350+ media sites. All of this for only $199. If that’s not a steal, I don’t know what it!
Press release and distribution is great and will hopefully result in journalists reaching out to you. This inbound marketing method is great and always welcomed.
Now you need to work on some more targeted outbound marketing. Yep, You guessed it, you’ve got to send out quite a few emails. I’m not talking about randomly spamming people and hoping that you get through to someone’s inbox. You can now systematically send out targeted emails to verified addresses from various sources.
Krowdster will do the grunt work and compile a list of 250+ reporters for $89. You can also use MuckRack for this. Scroll to the MuckRack section for details.
Finally, you’ve got to test drive your community and build new followers. Say you have 50,000 followers. How many of them do you think would be interested in your equity crowdfunding round? Well, the only way to find that out is to ask them by driving them to your pre-launch page.
This strategy will help you get an explosive result on your very first day, because people would have anticipated your raise for a while.
Note: before jumping into it, make sure to check in with your lawyer for compliance purposes. Equity crowdfunding is a bit tricky and makes it difficult to announce your raise before you are officially out.
So by now you have a beautiful looking campaign page with engaging visuals and a bit of support from your community. You need to be ready to branch out to potential investors / backers who have never heard of you. About a half of all investors are usually “cold audiences” aka people who haven’t heard from you before.
If you’ve already created Facebook ads, you know how painful and draining it can be. Can you create 500 ads, and A/B test every headline, image, audience and link? Of course you can. It will just take you 50h and make jumping off the empire state building headfirst seem like an awesome idea :)
AdEspresso is by far my favorite tool for email marketing. It can do all the things mentioned above in literally 10 minutes or less.
But what if are new to the game and have never created Facebook ads before? Where do you start? What’s this Ads Manager? What in the world is a Power Editor? Stop. Breathe. Relax. AdEspresso’s got you!
AdEspresso has a free online University that will teach you everything you need to know about Facebook ads.
Bonus: Get ready to learn and laugh with these awesome videos. I heard there’s some funny Italian accents in these videos, but it could just be a rumour ;)
Giveaway contests are one of the secret-not-secret weapons for marketing your crowdfunding campaign. Essentially, people will enter your giveaways for free and then have the opportunity to win an unforgettable reward. This should be something that people can’t just get on a regular day like a once in a lifetime trip to Antarctica or having lunch with a celebrity crush.
Gleam is a tool that makes giveaways easy. Here is how it looks:
<a class="e-widget no-button" href="https://gleam.io/iR0GQ/gleam-demo-competition" rel="nofollow">Gleam Demo Competition</a>
Check out this helpful case study “How To Smash Your Kickstarter Funding Goal by 700% With Contests.”
The biggest equity crowdfunding campaigns campaigns such as Elio and XTI Aircraft effectively leveraged giveaway marketing and so should you.
At CrowdTap, this has also been one of our go-to strategies. Check out one of our giveaway videos:
Canva will come in handy when you need to design beautiful visuals for social media, facebook ads and your campaign page itself. Even if you know how to use Photoshop, you might want to consider using Canva. Canva can be a big time saver and the ease of use just makes for a great experience. It also comes chock full of pre-loaded graphics and icons that are all centrally located in a drag and drop editor.
HotJar is an analytics tool that helps you understand how website visitors behave on your site. You can literally see their mouse moving and page scrolling. In addition, heatmaps will show you the most engaging and the least engaging content helping you understand weak/strong points.
HotJar will help you optimize your campaign page and see where people drop off. If your campaign has multiple pages, you can see a funnel that leads visitors to back you.
I promise that you will want to use HotJar long after you got your startup backed. There is just nothing like it on the market.
Note: HotJar is a script that you put in either your <header> or <p>. It’s a super simple copy / paste job. If you have no idea what <header> even means ask you website admin or check in with your crowdfunding platform.
So by now you’ve gotten your press release out, connected with journalists and hopefully had a few articles published.
The big question is: *how do you drive these readers to your crowdfunding page?*
Snip.ly will created a non-invasive button on the bottom left part of the readers’ screens with your call-to-action. Having a strong, clear call-to-action will ensure people head over to your crowdfunding page to see what you’re all about.
Simply put, this simple tool can double the number of people who click-through your link. More click-throughs means more potential backers. It’s a win-win!
Instagress helped me go from 0 to 1,000 followers in 2 weeks on Instagram. The tool follows people in a specific geographic area given your keyword. For example: “hardware enthusiasts in the Bay area.” And all this takes only 5 minutes to set up. Social media magic, isn’t it?
Instagress can also automatically comment under these guys’ pictures and entice them to visit your instagram handle.
Don’t forget to put a link to your crowdfunding campaign in the description!
Note: Read how to use the tool correctly. I’d recommend to pause Instagress every time you want to post a new picture. Think about it this way, Instagram will see that you are submitting an image and commenting / liking someone’s page at the same exact second! Unless you can stop time that’s a red flag for Instagram.
Why not to start your crowdfunding campaign with a bit of crowdfunding?
Thunderclap helps you crowdfund social shares. When you hit a targeted number of shares, they can go off at the same time or according to your unique schedule.
<iframe frameborder='0' height='540px' src='https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/36496-hiboo-text-with-no-taboo/embed' width='250px'></iframe>
Creating a lot of visibility at the same time can get you picked up by media, which will give you an obvious boost. When the media sees a lot of people express interest in something, they automatically want to cover it. Why not get your first few articles some media coverage and ride the buzz?
You may just go viral using ThunderClap.
Most importantly, ThunderClap clearly quantifies your social support. Your Facebook page likes or the number of people on your email list do not matter, if no one engages.
If Krowdster wasn’t enough and you still want to do some more sophisticated PR or find more journalists or bloggers, feel free to check out MuckRack.
MuckRack helps you identify and contact media that’s most likely to cover your startup / product. Think about it as a specialized search engine for reporters.
If you are a bit more experienced with PR work and marketing, you can use BuzzSumo to distribute content and identify even more reporters.
Simply type in a search term - “cat drone” or whatever your startup is and you will find the most popular articles written on that particular topic.
From here you can see who shared your content as well as find backlinks to the article. You can now reach out to them and continue to organically grow your amount of shares/engagement.
Don’t be that slimy, salesperson here. This isn’t an opportunity to spam someone with your product. Here’s a simple message template you can use:
Hey Sam, I saw you shared “Cat drone inventor works on flying cows - BBC News.” I thought you’d also love my article [or campaign] about my cat drone company.
Whew! That was a lot, wasn’t it? I know, I know, the task may seem daunting but it’s not that bad. In this article, you’ve discovered a wealth of actionable resources you can use to supercharge your equity crowdfunding campaign. On top of that, you now have proven samples of messages and templates you can literally copy and paste to suit your campaign. Remember, you don’t have to use all of these tools in some crazy frenzy. You can see major success by using just a couple of these tools. Implement and see what works best for your campaign!
Remember one thing - *No tool can replace an expert*. If you feel like you need that little bit extra, we’re always here to can help you engineer a state-of-the-art, tailored, pleasant crowdfunding campaign. If you just want to focus on growing your business, you can leave the fundraising to us!
Interested in learning more?