By John Auckland, TribeFirst
Why is it that some crowdfunding campaigns get bogged down part-way through?
It could be because the market isn’t ready for your product, regulation holds back earning potential, or your ideal investors are distracted with other campaigns. With luck, your market research will highlight such issues before you go live, and your timing can be adjusted.
Other reasons that campaigns sometimes struggle is poor communication or inadequate outbound marketing messages. It’s unrealistic to expect enough investors to find your campaign organically.
So, if your campaign gets bogged down what can you do to get it motoring again?
Use LinkedIn & AIN
Both LinkedIn and the Angel Investment Network (AIN) are ideal places to find investors. You can to target each potential investor group with tailored messages.
For LinkedIn, you’ll need an ‘invitation to connect’ message of 300 characters at most, followed by a longer message for new and existing connections explaining your proposition. As LinkedIn messenger isn’t the most user-friendly place to read long messages, keep it as concise as possible while including key information e.g.:
- The problem you are solving and your solution ‒ one or two short sentences
- Your key USPs ‒ one sentence
- Market size ‒ something short to pique their interest
- Traction so far ‒ these could be 3-4 bullet points
- Call to action ‒ usually a question for them to respond to, such as “Would you like to arrange a short call so I can answer any questions you may have?”
You can’t attach files directly to LinkedIn messages, but you can include links. Use solutions like DocSend to include a copy of an executive summary in the message, providing potential investors with further information and a taste of your branding.
With AIN, you can be even more targeted in your search and you know everyone on the platform is an active investor. You’ll need a short nudge message of up to 5000 characters to lead potential investors to your campaign page. There they can download key documents and see your entire campaign.
Engaging potential investors directly is one of the most effective ways to draw attention to your crowdfunding campaign and opens you up to their extended network.
Writing articles for the press can be a highly effective marketing tactics for any crowdfunding campaign. Instead seeing this as an opportunity to talk about your product and crowdfunding raise, consider how to hook your ideal investors and educate them on your market.
We meet a lot of founders who just want to promote their product or service – that’s called advertising, and you’ll be asked to pay to place an advert.
Instead, find an angle to grab the attention of the publication’s audience ‒ your potential investors. Make it useful: solve an issue they might have, and show how your solution can do it faster, cheaper and/or easier.
Positioning your PR articles like this will get the widest adoption by relevant press. The byline and ‘about the author’ section provide the opportunity to mention your business and crowdfunding raise, gaining your campaign much-needed traffic.
Promoting with Social Ads
Advertising on social media, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. allows you to target users based on specific parameters, delivering different messages. As such, social ads can be fantastic for addressing the different concerns of varied investor groups.
The main benefit of social ads, however, is that they can perfectly complement your PR and outreach messages. They are regular reminders of your business, your idea, and your campaign.
Say a LinkedIn investor sees your outreach message, searches your brand name on Google, and sees a bunch of press articles you’ve written. Perhaps they download your executive summary to read later before becoming distracted. Adverts popping up on LinkedIn and Twitter, for example, would then remind them of your brand and proposition, bringing them back to your original message for a follow-up.
Facebook ads can even be used to promote the PR coverage you gain from your articles, helping enhance your reputation through third-party content whilst educating your marketplace. They really are the perfect complement to your other marketing activities.
Marketing activities like these will give your campaign what it needs, both at the start and part-way through. They help create impact early on, and, just in case you find you get bogged down, holding a little back can help provide the needed boost to get you motoring again.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John Auckland is a crowdfunding specialist and founder of TribeFirst, a global equity crowdfunding communications agency that has helped raise in excess of £17m for over 50 companies on major equity crowdfunding platforms, with a greater than 90% success rate.
TribeFirst is the world’s first dedicated marketing communications agency to support equity crowdfunding campaigns and the first in the UK to provide PR and Marketing campaigns on a mainly risk/reward basis.
John is also Virgin StartUp’s crowdfunding trainer and consultant, helping them to run branded workshops, webinars and programmes on crowdfunding. John is passionate about working with start-ups and sees crowdfunding as more than just raising funds; it’s an opportunity to build a loyal tribe of lifelong customers and supporters.