(NOTE: to see how our thinking has evolved over the years, check out this overview of our current process.)
The following suggestions don’t necessarily guarantee success (crowdfunding is notoriously trial and error) but followed correctly, they will most definitely maximize your chances of a well-funded campaign.
A successfully marketed campaign needs 2 things:
- Coverage on the right blogs
- Active social media participation + traction
First off, make sure to PREP. Now, we aren’t your mom telling you to study before the big test so you’re not pulling an all-nighter before but….we kind of are. (although once again, we’re not your mom.)
Do everything you can in advance. Before your campaign launches make sure you have your media list well-researched and ready to go and your outreach emails written.
Top sources of traffic to your campaign page will usually come from
- Direct traffic (thru email links)
Step 1: Create a Media Outreach List
Build a substantial list of influencers and bloggers to reach out to prior to your campaign launch. You’ll want to cultivate a list of about 30-50 reputable sites that fit your target audience. Everyone knows how to use google, take a few hours and get it done!
Pro-Tip: Research similar products to yours and find out who has written about them before.
Step 2: Tap Into Your Personal Network.
This includes family, colleagues, friends, and friends-of-friends. No one wants you to succeed more than these people. Make sure you keep them updated and in the loop on your project. Reach out and give them a preview link of your Crowd Supply campaign. From there, they will be able to become your first backers (thanks aunt Kathy!)
Also, the day your campaign launches, ask them to blast out your link on all of their personal social media networks.
Step 3: Send Out A Press Kit to Key Influencers
Identify 10-12 influencers (bloggers/sites with a wide reach and credibility with your target audience) and send them a tailored press kit prior to your launch. The best kits are personalized, simple and clever. This is an extra cost but the return-on-investment can be huge. Most people don’t go the extra mile, which is what makes you more awesome than most people.
Step 4: Blogger Outreach
Get out that media list you worked so hard to create and start your outreach about 24 hours before your campaign launches. Have your campaign preview link and make sure you market it as an “exclusive sneak peek” because no one wants to cover something that has A. Already been covered before and B. Old news.
A note on press releases: In our opinion, personalized correspondence is much more effective than your standard press release, but at times they still can be helpful. Think of a press release as secondary background material to a personalized pitch.
- Make sure you have a strong headline + email subject. You want it to sound compelling and “newsworthy.”
- Spit it out. Get your main points out in the first few sentences. Be succinct yet interesting.
- Make it easy. Include quotes, hi-res images, approp links and omg don’t forget your CONTACT INFO. (you’d be surprised.)
It can also be helpful to visit user-curated sites such as reddit, digg, design you trust, notcot, etc. and post your campaign link there. Most of these are moderated and not everything will get posted but they can be excellent sources of traffic if you target them correctly .
And there you have it! Just a few handy tips from your friends at Crowd Supply. Just remember: