Why is it that crowdfunding campaigns that look strong on paper can sometimes struggle, and others look potentially weaker yet go amazingly well?
Timing is key. If the market isn’t ready for your product, regulation holds back earning potential, or your ideal investors are distracted with another campaign, you won’t get the investment you’re hoping for.
If investors aren’t aware of your campaign, they won’t be able to fund it. Good, consistent marketing messages can help hammer home those key benefits, explain features and revenue streams, and grow your reputation as a business that’s getting things done.
Assuming it’s not going well, let’s look at how you attract investors and get your crowdfunding moving again.
Both LinkedIn and the Angel Investment Network (AIN) are ideal places to find investors. You can create tailored messages to target each potential investor group.
For LinkedIn, you’ll need an ‘invitation to connect’ message of 300 characters at most, followed by a longer message for new and existing connections explaining your proposition. As LinkedIn messenger isn’t the most user-friendly place to read longer messages, keep it as concise as possible while including key information e.g.:
- The problem you are solving and your solution ‒ one or two short sentences
- Your key USPs ‒ one sentence
- Market size ‒ something short to pique their interest
- Traction so far ‒ these could be 3-4 bullet points
- Call to action ‒ usually a question for them to respond to, such as “Would you like to arrange a short call so I can answer any questions you may have?”
You can’t attach files directly to LinkedIn messages, but you can include links. Use solutions like DocSend to include a copy of an executive summary in the message, providing potential investors with further information and a taste of your branding.
AIN is similar. However, you can be even more targeted in your search and you know everyone on the platform is an active investor. You’ll need a short nudge message of up to 5000 characters to lead potential investors to your campaign page. There they can download key documents and see your entire campaign.
Engaging potential investors directly is one of the most effective ways to draw attention to your crowdfunding campaign and opens you up to their extended network.
Writing articles for the press can be one of the most effective marketing tactics for any crowdfunding campaign. Instead see this as an opportunity to talk about your product and crowdfunding raise, consider how to hook your ideal investors and educate them on your market.
We meet a lot of founders who just want to promote their product or service – that’s called advertising, and you’ll be asked to pay to place an advert.
Instead, find an angle to grab the attention of the publication’s audience ‒ your potential investors. Make it useful and genuinely interesting, solve an issue they might have, and show how your solution can do it faster, cheaper and/or easier.
Positioning your PR articles in this way will get the widest adoption by relevant press. The byline and ‘about the author’ section are where you can mention your business and crowdfunding raise, gaining your campaign much-needed traffic.
Using Social Ads
Advertising on social media networks, like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, allows you to target users based on specific parameters, delivering different messages. As such, social ads can be fantastic at addressing the different concerns of different investor groups.
Perhaps one audience is more concerned with saving time while another cares more about saving money. Perhaps you have a two-sided marketplace that benefits businesses and customers. Social ads are short, punchy ways to deliver these messages directly to the most relevant audience.
The main benefit of social ads, however, is that they can perfectly complement your PR and outreach messages. They are regular reminders of your business, your idea, and your campaign.
Say a LinkedIn investor sees your outreach message, searches your brand name on Google, and sees a bunch of press articles you’ve written. Perhaps they download your executive summary to read later before becoming distracted. Adverts popping up on LinkedIn and Twitter, for example, would then remind them of your brand and proposition, bringing them back to your original message for a follow-up.
Facebook ads can even be used to promote the PR coverage you gain from your articles, helping enhance your reputation through third-party content whilst educating your marketplace. They really are the perfect complement to your other marketing activities.
If you’re planning your equity crowdfunding campaign or mid-way through and faltering, marketing activities like these will give your campaign the necessary boost. Remember that while you need impact at the beginning it’s good to hold a little back for a mid-campaign uplift if needed.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John Auckland is a crowdfunding specialist and founder of TribeFirst, a global equity crowdfunding communications agency that has helped raise in excess of £17m for over 50 companies on major equity crowdfunding platforms, with a greater than 90% success rate.