This week I received a question which I’ve heard several times before, so I thought I would share my answer here.
The question was from an upcoming rewards-based crowdfunding campaign and was:“Can you help us calculate the percentage of crowdfunding contributors we can generate across media relations, outbound marketing, social media and partner marketing?”
The short answer is no. The medium-length answer is that it’s tricky to compartmentalize sources of supporters, backers or prospects. Think of something you recently purchased or committed to — a technology gadget, an accessory for your home, or a cause you recently supported. Can you honestly think of ONE thing that you saw, heard or read that led you to that decision? It’s a rare situation that even as consumers we can discern single marketing moments where we are influenced.
The long answer is that each of these channels support one another; they all work together to communicate your vision, share your authority and to demonstrate your impact; and you need to cover each base. You could just work on media relations, but if you aren’t actively engaged and sharing that media coverage over social media, then you would miss out on increasing your market scope, to share this coverage and to determine your tribe’s interest and likes from their online responses and engagement. And if you had no email marketing, you would miss out on opportunities to build relationships, to communicate on a more detailed and intimate level. You could just do email marketing, but without media you would miss out on the third-party endorsements and a broader reach. And without combining well-considered social media into that campaign, you wouldn’t reach new people. You get the idea. It’s a blend of activities — carefully coordinated, planned and working to increase the vision, authority and impact of your campaign.
In the advertising world, there’s the factor of ‘effective frequency,’ i.e. the number of times an individual needs to be exposed to a message before effective communication is achieved. You want someone to see you on social media, then to pick up a magazine and read about your campaign, then to get an update from a business partner that also mentions you. I’ll give you a few examples of how we use cross-tactics in our campaigns and crowdfunding experience:
Media relations (when it’s done right) creates visibility, shares authority and demonstrates impact to your target audiences. Then you’re going to share these results: over social media, in your outbound marketing, in inbound list-building activities, in your events, online. Part of the power of media relations is that a journalist or editor, an influencer or commentator, provides a third-party endorsement to your campaign.
Social media is an amazing opportunity to engage with relevant influencers and individuals while sharing your organization’s views, personality and beliefs. Sharing media results, linking social media content to really compelling content marketing strategies to drive sign-ups and to build your list can be a very strong tactic. Involving partners in social media can be a very rewarding exercise, for both parties.
List-building — which I feel is the core of a great campaign — is supported by all of this, and is not a stand-alone activity. The team at Prompt has just released its list-building methodology, Tribalist. This program shares how to build a list for crowdfunding campaigns, step by step. List-building is one of the many moving-marketing-parts of a successful crowdfunding effort. But I think it remains a misunderstood discipline — and it can have an enormous impact.
See? They’re all linked. And that’s just a few of many examples.
At the end of the day, I know that marketing and PR spend is core to an organization’s growth. So I’d even challenge the questions listed at the beginning — and would flip them to consider the impact on business objectives and reach. In which case my follow-up questions would be:
How much is each new prospect worth to your campaign? How much is each cold lead potentially worth? What is the potential lifetime value of a new supporter to your business?
If you could halve the decision time it takes a supporter or backer to buy from you, what would that mean to your business?
What are your financial goals for your campaign? What financial resources do you have available to support this?
And my final one: What happens to your business if your crowdfunding campaign fails?
If you are planning to crowdfund and are serious about increasing your list-building practices, then check out Prompt’s Tribalist, our step-by-step program on how to identify your tribe and create a list to support your crowdfunding campaign.