If you are thinking about starting a crowdfunding campaign you may or may not want to read this post. It includes an example low budget crowdfunding marking plan. My personal experience with marketing a RocketHub campaign is outlined in the following paragraphs and includes both my achievements and faults as I see them. On the positive side I feel the process was overall rewarding because, as a result of this, I am better informed about how to go forward with marketing my product. On the negative side I spent a lot (comparatively) of time, money and energy investigating marketing ideas that did not result in a return on my investment-other than experience. My hope is that by writing this post I might help other entrepreneurs to make informed decisions in this process.
The end result of my crowdfunding marketing
Everyone is always interested in the end result and I’m a people pleaser, so I will start with the results.
Disclaimer – the numbers not a 100% accurate (who has that kind of time? ) but it gives you a pretty good idea.
- Spend: $450
- Reach/Views: 814,000
- Clicks/Engagement: 680
- Funding: $1080
- Time: 60 days
In addition to my own time (not included here) I spent the $450 on video commercials, blog posts, digital advertising, email campaigns and PR. What I learned is that my product and my marketing materials do not appeal to consumers online. Despite the traffic and amount of views I received from this marketing effort the 800k are really just a drop in the online ocean – so to speak – and not enough to get a working online sales funnel going. I really found this to be the case when, after weeks of campaigning, even contacts in my personal network were unclear on what I was doing. (Ok – to be honest I was feeling things out and not 100% clear myself in the start)
New tactics and services I tried:
- app.krowdster.co – provided strategy, PR lists, and Distribution (lots of info)
- http://www.fiverr.com – video commercials and traffic
- http://www.rockethub.com – platform for crowdfunding
- http://www.outbrain.com/ – paid content promotion
- http://www.contentrunner.com – wrote blog posts I wanted (Loved this!)
Detailed look at my small marketing budget
Detail Crowdfunding Marketing Budget
Tips I’ve learned from this experience
- If you are going to use paid advertising in marketing your campaign, drive the traffic to a site that you can view details on the analytics. RocketHub does provide a very limited type of reporting, but it’s nice to have numbers on a graph. HOWEVER – based on the lack of enragement associated with this traffic it’s would only be useful information about what or who NOT to look for.
- Avoid paid ad services or sick to a couple that you know work. Of the money I spent on marketing about 30% of it was unintentional. One ads with a low daily limit (facebook) went on weeks past my intended stop date. Also one with a high daily limit (outbrain) experienced technical issues and I was unable to login to adjust/stop the campaign. Experimenting with paid services, free trials and the like results in waisted money.
- Go for quality not quantity. With a limited marketing budget the best bet is to stick to your close supporters. If I did this again, I would focus on personally calling people and sending personal letters. In the end 74% of my funding came from 21% of my backers – all people I know personally. It does follow the 80/20 rule of sales! Of the, close to 1 million new people, I only converted 1 unknown person in my campaign. So the cost of reaching ONE new customer, from one point of view, was almost 20 times the income from my product(Spent $450 sold $25).
- Have alternative plans. One of the challenges for any start up is being able to pivot with the feedback on their project. I set my goal high considering the rate of failure on crowdfunding campaigns. According to the reports on krowdster.co the chances of a project being fully funded on RocketHub are less than 15%. Even though I only reached 10% of my goal I’m moving forward – with a revised strategy for sales and a better understanding on my market / product.