An investment crowdfunding campaign involves storytelling. You're telling the story of a product or vision you believe in while sharing the process you're taking to execute it. The planning and hard work you put in at the start will begin to pay off when you find investors to support your project.
To meet the right investors, your investment crowdfunding campaign must reach those who share the same values and beliefs in your vision. Marketing plays a pivotal role in these stepping stones of your campaign’s success.
Marketing campaigns can be challenging but also rewarding—here are things to keep in mind.
Stories are at the heart of a crowdfunding campaign. People won't resonate with your message if you cannot locate and connect with them. Although your product, service, or project will eventually be center stage, the story you tell about it will bring it to life for your audience. Ask the following when you're planning your campaign’s narrative:
- What are your mission and vision for the future?
- Why is your project important for the audience?
- When did/will the product or service launch?
- How much will the project need to succeed?
- Who is spearheading the campaign?
Besides knowing your audience, you have to identify the tools you'll need to reach them. To be successful, you have to connect with the right audience that resonates with your vision, as the medium to communicate with your audience can be an integral part of your success story.
Executing your investment crowdfunding campaign requires the right digital tools. Besides funding platforms like Republic.co and StartEngine, you can start a page or an account on popular social media platforms. Leveraging these can give you a good start and help you build an audience that will prove useful once the crowdfunding campaign is live.
Usually, the landing page (campaign page) is the section where people get all the information about your campaign, so you want it to be as good and complete an experience for them as possible. This means including all necessary information on how they can invest right away or at least some indication in case someone might have questions later down the line about investing.
However, the marketing channel for your campaign is equally important as this is the medium through which you convey your story to the audience and bring people to the campaign page. The marketing channels and fundraising page are essential and work in synergy to bring results for crowdfunding campaigns.
Remember, in order for an investment crowdfunding campaign to be successful, it’s crucial to generate an eager and supportive crowd. Leveraging social media platforms and direct outreach to potential investors and customers is a proven way to capture the traffic needed to fund your campaign fully.
A crowdfunding campaign's main landing page is on the platform that the company picks as its licensed broker-dealer or funding portal partner. All the marketing strategies ultimately drive traffic to this particular page, where investors can make their final decision whether to invest in the company.
You need to create the best page possible—one that has all the information investors would need to know. Below are some components that should be present on your campaign’s landing page on the platform:
Campaign card reference image (taken from Republic.co)
- Campaign card: Your project should have an eye-catching card that people will remember as this is one of the first things potential investors lay eyes on when they reach the home page of the platform you are raising through. It should have an attractive image and a captivating introduction that will nudge people to open your landing page and contribute.
- Campaign Title: Besides eye-catching graphics, you need a memorable slogan. A copywriter can help you come up with a title and tagline for this campaign.
- Photos and Video: Include visual elements like video and images—fundraising becomes more concrete for prospective investors when you show them pictures that are relevant to your business, products, or investment.
- Contact Information: Make it easy for investors and followers to subscribe to updates. Display follow buttons and calls to action prominently on all marketing materials. Provide them with different ways of contacting you as well—some people prefer to speak on the phone, for example, while others like emailing or commenting on posts.
*These details must be mentioned on the platform that you pick to fundraise in order to abide by FINRA’s regulations.
In addition to the elements mentioned above, one of the most crucial aspects of your campaign is the campaign video. You need to make it compelling and clear; it's your elevator pitch to prospective investors. The video should bring together the elements of your story, enabling you to create buzz for your project.
Keep your videos short—about two to three minutes long—but include an introduction, campaign goals, and a call to action. Finally, include the key people from your team making the business happen. Your investors want to hear from you (directly) as well. Talk about your passion for this company, and your energy will help convince people to invest in you. Authenticity is always relatable.
After coming up with marketing materials, you should figure out where you can best engage your audience. Campaigns are typically born from an established connection between an organization and its audience. Brand consistency is crucial to marketing success, so you should only build on the existing relationships with your potential investors. Here are channels you can consider using.
- Email: Compelling email campaigns help excite your audience. It is also a more direct and personal channel. Creating compelling narratives over several emails will keep your readers curious—if you have a ready list of potential investors, this is a preferred channel to use. Just be sure to remain compliant in how you communicate an investment opportunity - always consult with professional legal counsel before marketing your investment crowdfunding campaign.
- Forums: Promoting within niche forums related to your project will introduce you to cold traffic, people unfamiliar with your product or cause.
- Facebook Ads: Besides having a dedicated page for your product, you can also run advertisements on Facebook. This social media platform has powerful targeting tools that help you narrow your focus to a well-defined audience. You can also retarget your mailing list through Facebook to create another touchpoint.
- Instagram: IG is a primarily visual medium, which makes it perfect for crowdfunding campaigns. It has plenty of content formats like posts, Stories, Reels, and IGTV. On this platform, you can run ads aligned with your Facebook ads & help perpetuate your business vision.
- Twitter: Products that lend themselves well to sound bites and buzz will find a great home on Twitter. Your marketing campaign's success on this site, though, depends on your existing network's reach. Retweets from influential users could also boost your posts, so you will want to factor that into your plans.
- TikTok: If you have resources and a creative team, you can also use TikTok to reach new audiences. This platform is perfect for authentic marketing. Try watching a few videos before you post; to succeed, you need to nail the unique approach and "voice" people use on it.
- Facebook Groups: This is a community of like-minded people with shared interests, and can be a great audience for the campaign. If targeted correctly, some of these groups may result in a great response.
- LinkedIn Groups: Similar to Facebook groups, LinkedIn has its own set of communities where people share business ideas or interests. LinkedIn as a platform might just be the perfect place to build connections for present and future campaigns.
There is no one size fits all solution to marketing a campaign. You can start with where you know most of your audience congregates online, but be prepared to shift your tactics once you have data that points at a different platform. Don't spread your resources thin—choose two or three places where you believe you'll have early successes, and then you can think of launching on others.
A successful launch hinges on how well you generate interest around your investment opportunity. Do this through a combination of tactics—use community building, qualified traffic, pre-selling, and upselling to hit your crowdfunding goal.
Build a Community and Investor Funnel
Each part of a campaign involves gathering support. There are various approaches to finding investors and building momentum for your campaign in today's digital world. Typically, campaigns will have three layers of investors:
- First layer (Early Adopters): This group has the most trust in your project—it consists of the 10 to 50 people in your network like friends and family. Initial momentum and funding usually come from this group of first-degree connections, which is critical to attracting future investors less familiar with you and your offering.
- Second Layer (Early Majority): The following - and professional network - you've built over the years is outside the first layer. You have a good start if you already have a small but highly invested group of followers that may count as second-degree connections on any social media platform or communication channel (like email). These are people who have been with you since the project began taking shape.
- Third Layer (Late Majority): Finally, there are the unknown potential investors you will draw to your business because of the buzz you generate toward your selected investment crowdfunding platform. This group is crucial to reach, but they often don’t invest until they see significant traction on the raise from the first two layers of investors.
Your goal should be to build a community around your offering, one that is excited about your product or service even before you release it to the public. Interacting with the different layers of investors is crucial, especially before the launch. Nurture your leads by sending targeted ads, driving traffic to your campaign page, and getting them to subscribe to your pages on social media.
Be transparent with them as well—post photos of the product or service in action, show a walkthrough of your prototype, and put your team's personality on display. These types of posts will help you connect with your audience and be more relatable. The more you interact with the different layers of your community, the more they'll be excited about your product.
Leveraging Crowdfunding Participants To Better Your Business
Crowdfunding is a great way to gain traction and raise money for your company. Not only will it help during the initial stages, but crowdfunding can also be used in various other ways down the road.
The audience base you create during the campaign stage can come in handy for insights crucial for any business to succeed. The campaign stage is the perfect time to create a community of interested people who will provide valuable feedback for your business. These investors understand what it takes to succeed and how they can get involved in making sure you do too.
Along with this, the existing investors can contribute to brand advocacy by spreading the word about your business. This will help you gain more traction in their networks, and if everything goes well, these investors could be a great help for future investment purposes because they already believe in the business. Thus making them excellent referrals for more investors.
Launch, Test, Scale
The framework you build is meant to grow with you. It is why moving to different social media platforms matters; as you gain more followers and supporters, you have to find efficient and sustainable ways of reaching everyone and providing updates. Teaming up with crowdfunding-specific marketing agencies takes the uncertainty out of the equation as they are great at creating press-friendly ways to spread the word about your campaign. Instead of worrying about how you can launch, now you'll only have to think of the product and your message.
Investment Crowdfunding involves telling your product's story. You can't launch your product without a lead-up and expect people to support it—even if it has excellent features and will help many people, you have to introduce it properly to audiences, so they will see why it's valuable. Launching a campaign is simultaneously convenient and more challenging today because we live in a digital world. You have to leverage online channels and earn your audience's trust—finding a company specializing in investment crowdfunding will help.
Beanie & Blazer cultivates communities and helps entrepreneurs realize their vision. We specialize in investment crowdfunding, assisting businesses to scale their impact, raise capital, and launch campaigns within and outside North Carolina. Contact us today for more information.
Beanie & Blazer does not provide investment advice and is not a registered investment advisor or broker-dealer. Investing in startups is risky, never invest more than you’re willing to lose.
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