By Evan Varsamis, founder/CEO at Gadget Flow
If you are planning a crowdfunding campaign and have been researching around it, you must have already come across countless articles that give you input on how to run a successful campaign and target ambitious financial goals. Whether it's through social media or email marketing or search engine optimization (SEO)-friendly content, you can be sure to do it right with industry-acknowledged tips and tricks, some of which I've written about before.
However, when a global pandemic like the one we are in now strikes, things get trickier. It's not something we've experienced before in this industry, which certainly creates a lot of confusion and hesitation among backers as well as campaign creators.
But, given the fact that we are facing this pandemic in an age when the internet exists, it might be the time when you need to make use of this source of fundraising in a whole new way.
So, what could you possibly do to make your campaign capable of raising significant dollars in crowdfunding?
Well, the answer lies in insightful planning.
Focus more on prelaunch.
Since this might not be the best time to launch your campaign if you haven't already, this should be the time you focus on your prelaunch plans. At first, focus on your campaign page, and spend more time in enhancing the description as well as the video. If you need to shoot outdoors, you might keep the video on hold for some time but still have some graphics in hand for use on social media or newsletters.
Many freelancers are still working and are available for projects, so you may as well use their skills to prepare some killer copy or get some good graphic designs for your product prototype.
Also, since many brick-and-mortar stores have closed and stopped advertising on Facebook, your costs per thousand impressions (CPMs) and costs per action (CPAs) are cheaper, which means that you could get 20-40% more email subscribers during your prelaunch phase with the same budget.
Book spots for on-time marketing.
If you are planning to work with known crowdfunding marketing services, this is the best time to do those planning calls. Have your discussions with them, and book spots in advance -- many of them are offering spots at discounted rates. You can actually spend more time in planning your activities and make them worth your time and money.
Empathize on social media.
Considering the fact that more and more people are spending longer hours online right now, this is possibly the best phase for you to build your social media presence. You can easily start your profiles on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to begin with. Your approach should empathize with the current scenario and how you are trying to build your product line even in the middle of the chaos. You can go live on social media platforms or even comment on other profiles and start raising your brand credibility before the actual launch.
Gather those emails.
Doing Facebook Ads for email signups is one of the best ways to begin your prelaunch marketing phase. It requires planning and budgeting, as well as the idea of targeting the right audience. If you have the budget, go for a reputable agency that can help you out with this, or try your own skills with the Facebook Ad Manager. The emails you gather from the ads will help you plan your email marketing campaigns later when you actually launch.
Stretch your fulfillment deadline.
Since the global fulfillment scenario for e-commerce is not at its best right now, it would be advisable to stretch your fulfillment deadlines right from the beginning. This will avoid delays and miscommunication among your backers when the campaign is over. Being straightforward from the beginning is never a bad idea. Instead, it shows you're focused and dedicated to delivering what you promised on time.
Be transparent in your tone.
Finally, it's very important to build a transparent brand tone during this phase. It will help you build your brand with better credibility compared to those who go wrong with deadlines and the way they market their products. The more you empathize with your audience and answer their questions with clarity, the higher your chances to get funded.
It's all about taking the time under consideration and molding your plans based on the scenario you are in. The change in business scenarios and industries will keep happening -- it's you who needs to ensure your plans can easily cope with anything that comes your way.
Evan Varsamis is an entrepreneur and founder/CEO at Gadget Flow, as well as an investor and marketing advisor at Qrator Ltd.