Intro to Crowdfunding
If you’re looking to engage your customers and increase brand exposure, crowdfunding is the way to go. It is an excellent way to gain recognition, feedback, and funding for a project, event, or product. And if done well, crowdfunding can be the key that helps you create strong, lasting connections with your target audience! With crowdfunding you’re inviting people to do so much more than just like a photo or share a post; crowdfunding invites your audience to engage by giving! And let’s be real, people are much more likely to engage long-term if they’ve got resources invested. So let’s dive a bit deeper into how this works…
Thinking Outside the Box
When most people think crowdfunding, they typically think small startup seeking funds or non-profit fundraising. Typically there’s a cool prototype released to get people excited, then a sweet (and totally moving) promo video. And lastly, there’s the call to action (AKA, give us all your money). This system is great and it totally works! However, if your understanding of crowdfunding is limited to this, you’re seriously missing out! No matter the size of your brand, crowdfunding can be an excellent tool for promoting anything from an innovative concept, to an up and coming product. It allows you to approach a cause, create a mission, and set a goal. By putting on a crowdfunding campaign you won’t just be receiving funding, but you will be gaining feedback and insight from a large-scale audience. Talk about a win-win!
Get Your Audience Involved
Crowdfunding is a great way to get the people involved! When people get to fund a new idea, it helps them feel less like a customer and more like a stakeholder. And who doesn’t like holding the stakes?? The trick is to invite your audience to invest in your idea. Investing is so much more than just giving money and walking away. They get benefited too! Getting your target audience to interact can be such a huge asset in growing your brand. I’m not just talking funds here, I’m taking real engagement from a real audience. And with audience engagement comes audience relationships, which then leads to sweet connections and long-lasting customers.
Let’s look at an example of a time that crowdfunding actually worked (and I mean, really worked). Any gamers out there? If so, you may have heard of Star Citizen. This is a video game that has been almost entirely financed through crowdfunding. The creator, Chris Roberts, drew in his funds by enticing his audience with an exclusive preview of his video game that was still in the early stages of development. All you had to do was make a donation and you were given access to experience a taste of this up-and-coming video game before the rest of the world. Sounds intriguing, right? Turns out, lots of people found this intriguing. Since 2013, Star Citizen has acquired over 181 million dollars in funds. Every dollar brought in has been from normal people like us, not high-end investors. All of it done through crowdfunding.
Define Your Mission
Whether you’re creating a new video game, or you’re digging a well Africa, the same three questions remain:
- What’s your mission?
- What’s your cause?
- How much money do you need?
When creating your crowdfunding campaign it is important to have a clearly articulated mission as well as a solid, well-stated goal. This way people know exactly what they’re giving to, and a general idea of how much they should give.
What does this all look like practically? It’s easy! To create a crowdfunding campaign for your online shop, we recommend using a plugin like this one: WP Crowdfunding. You know the drill, install and activate the plugin, then you should see a Crowdfunding tab in your WP Dashboard. There you can set your general and Woocommerce settings, as well as your style and social share settings.
Next, navigate to your campaign product edit page. In the Product Data tab, set the Product data to Crowdfunding, then adjust your settings as desired.
That’s it! The next step is to spread the word. We’re talking social media, emails, live events, all of it! Set a goal and go achieve it. Happy Crowdfunding!