By Evan Varsamis, founder/CEO at Gadget Flow and investor and marketing advisor at Qrator Ltd.
Over the years, we have seen that every crowdfunding campaign gains momentum with pre-launch marketing. In fact, those first sign-ups actually turn out to be our clients' most loyal followers of all times. However, this form of marketing will work only if you identify your target audience base.
The idea is to gauge that audience and then nurture them into becoming your ambassadors right from the moment you decide to launch your campaign. Word-of-mouth marketing is considered one of the most trustworthy and budget-friendly ways to increase your customer base. So, if you are able to grasp the attention of your audience even before you launch your campaign, you'll definitely have an advantage over others. Take a look at how you should go through this process.
Find Your Target Audience
Before you start nurturing your pre-launch campaigns, it's important to identify your target audience. Once it's established, start exploring different platforms on the web, including social media, to generate conversations and figure out where your audience is most active. The most common platforms you can use would be Twitter, Facebook, Instagram as well as online forums and collaborative platforms such as Quora and LinkedIn Groups. You can also post polls and discussions to see the kind of response you get.
Look at What Your Competitors Are Doing
This is not just confined to crowdfunding. Before starting off with any venture, you need to keep an eye on your competition. Now that crowdfunding is growing rapidly, it's imperative to check on similar campaigns and their activities. As a matter of fact, this can actually help you plan your pre-launch campaign and work on factors you might not have considered before.
Do Pre-Launch Facebook Ads for Email Signups
With 2.07 billion monthly active users, Facebook is one of the best marketing platforms you can use before you launch your campaign. Target your ads based on your audience and try to get a good amount of email sign-ups. Facebook lets you target your audience based on detailed segmentations (age, location, gender, demographics), which is what makes it a great platform to grab those first backers.
Nurture Your First Subscribers
Once you grab your first batch of subscribers, nurture them into becoming your campaign ambassadors. Send 3-5 emails before you launch your campaign and make sure you present your story and value proposition in each one. You need to connect with them on a more personal level to allow them to relate to your story.
Offer Exclusive Early-Bird Perks
Make your pre-launch subscribers feel even more special with special discounts and offers. These could be limited time perks (valid within the first 24 hours of launch), 1+1 deals or any additional discount. The purpose should be to grab their attention right from the moment you launch. This will help you reach the first 50 percent of your goal faster and much earlier than expected.
Evan Varsamis is an entrepreneur, founder/CEO at Gadget Flow, investor and marketing advisor at Qrator Ltd