Crowdfunding Tips from a Product Launch Agency

Happy National Crowdfunding Day!

To celebrate National Crowdfunding Day, as a Digital Marketing Agency with experience in the product launch space, we thought it would be helpful to share our thoughts!

What is crowdfunding? 😵‍💫

Crowdfunding is a product launch method that allows brands large and small to create a campaign for a particular product in order to fund its development. Typically individuals will “back” your campaign with money, in exchange for the goods or services.

Some of the most popular crowdfunding platforms you may have heard of are Kickstarter and Indiegogo. These platforms are specifically designed for reward crowdfunding, which is typically for consumer goods. There is also equity crowdfunding, which handles pitches for investment for existing businesses.

If you’re new or a little daunted by crowdfunding, that’s understandable. It’s a completely different route to a normal product launch, with a number of areas to consider. 

As a UK Digital Marketing Agency with 10 years of experience in product launch and B2C crowdfunding, we thought we’d give you some of our key pointers…

*Flash mob time* 👯

The number one element of crowdfunding is building a crowd. If you launch your project on Indiegogo or Kickstarter without having built a dedicated audience ahead of time, no one is going to see it. It is essential to have a crowd of interested potential backers from early on into your campaign. Read more about building a database.

Test the waters 💧

When it comes to database building, we recommend implementing a validation-style testing period, to ensure campaign sustainability. By using a lower budget and performing a handful of weekly tests, you can identify the ad elements that work best before committing a large budget to a less refined and less engaged audience. Read more about test advertising.

Creating a buzz 🐝

What we love about crowdfunding is creating a BUZZ. We would recommend building ⅓ of your desired backer goal ahead of the launch via email marketing and website sign ups. On top of that, another ⅓ can come from pre-launch advertising.

You want to hit your target as early as possible, preferably in the first 3 days! Setting your target low will help, as once you have met your external target, your platform will start sharing your campaign with their internal audience of backers i.e. the final ⅓! 

Making them click 🖱️

The crux of the matter is, you can get a crowd to visit your campaign, but what is going to make them click?

You need to create a campaign that, not only can they not stop thinking about, but also one that is clear, trustworthy and credible. 

When writing your campaign pitch, consider including the following things:

  • An engaging crowdfunding video
  • Up-to-date product photos or renders
  • Key product features
  • Brand founder bios
  • Risks and challenges
  • Product development story
  • Estimated project timeline
  • Credible sources e.g. compliance, standards etc.
  • News and media coverage
  • Testimonials

In the loop ➿

Especially with crowdfunding, the trust element is important. Typically, backers will have a longer wait period ahead of delivery than if they bought some socks on Amazon Prime. This could be anywhere from 3 months to over a year, dependent on development timelines.

You must consider that your backers are paying their hard earned money in exchange for your new product, so keeping them updated on your progress and notifying them of any changes to delivery is important. The last thing you want is unhappy backers or a flood of refunds because your delivery timings weren’t set out from the start. Read more in our blog on product delivery.

We would recommend sending occasional updates or newsletters to show your development progress and what’s next. Here’s a good example from Starling Games. Their ‘Everdell – Complete Collection’ raise had over a year’s wait, however they provided regular monthly updates within the Kickstarter platform. On top of this, they use their general newsletter for more wider company news and stock updates from them.

Is crowdfunding for me? 🤔

As a product launch agency, needless to say, we love crowdfunding. However it’s not the route for everyone. 

We often get enquiries that sound really interesting, but just aren’t the right fit for the B2C market, or aren’t typically topics that are popular on the biggest platforms.

See our handy graphic to get an idea of what each platform is best known for…

There’s lots of areas to consider when it comes to crowdfunding, check out our blog on the good and the bad here. If your product doesn’t fit the typical mould, it might be worth looking into other options. 

For example:

  • Raising funds on your own website
  • Traditional e-Commerce
  • Equity crowdfunding
  • Venture funding
  • Business acceleration programs

We’re all ears 👂

If you have any questions around the crowdfunding process, or want to discuss whether your project is the right fit for a crowdfunding platform, feel free to drop us an email.

You can also check out our blog post on things to consider ahead of a crowdfunding campaign here.

What we do 🖥

At BrandRefinery UK, we are a digital marketing agency that have over 10 years of experience in the digital marketing and product launch space. We can aid your launch process from research & strategy, to asset building, website development, product validation or full campaign management. Read more about our services.

We would love to learn more about your exciting plans and help find a solution that works for you. 

Happy Crowdfunding Day everyone!