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There’s no denying that crowdfunding is a great way to raise the capital you need to successfully create a product or launch a new venture. In fact, Kickstarter, the largest online platform for crowdfunding, has raised over $1 billion for projects since its inception in 2009. But did you know that crowdfunding can also be an effective marketing tool? Today, we’ll look at 6 hidden ways crowdfunding can help boost your marketing program.
1. Get qualified leads
Finding interested buyers is one of the toughest challenges for any small businesses—especially for new store owners. With crowdfunding, however, your supporters are primed and ready for the final product. When you launch, you’ll already have a full list of qualified leads to help jumpstart your email marketing campaigns. And people who have invested in you from the jump are the same ones who want to see you successful over the long haul.
2. Save on market research
Market research can help you determine product viability, consumer interest and ideal price point. It can, however, also be expensive. Crowdfunding is a great way to gather a lot of the same information—and instead of paying, you make money doing it. For example, if no one supports it, you’ve got a good indicator of your venture’s lack of viability. If you get way more support than expected, you’ll know there’s a strong consumer interest. And the investment levels can be good bellwethers for your pricing.
3. Accelerate product development
Traditional product development is based on focus groups or comments over time. With crowdfunding, however, the product development process is almost instantaneous. By putting your idea out into the world, your supporters might suggest something you’d never imagined. This direct feedback from potential users and buyers of your product is great way to make your product more valuable to customers and at the same time, could help you fix holes you hadn’t seen in planning.
4. Boost word-of-mouth marketing
Getting the word out about a new venture can be grueling. Like getting buyers, it can take time for people to build a relationship that they feel comfortable sharing with their friends. Due to the viral nature of crowdfunding, however, it can help crank the word-of-mouth up to 11. If you’ve got your crowdfunding set up properly, your supporters will share your venture on their social networks, exposing your brand to their friends. And since they feel vested in your success, they’re more likely to inspire more people to fund you.
5. Establish your brand
Most crowdfunding sites include a pitch video, a mission statement, and additional information about you and the product. This is a great way to let consumers know exactly what your brand is about. Are you hooked on green living? Or maybe you’re the next tech innovator. Make sure to consider your audience and use these content assets to communicate the essence of your brand. Remember, these are all qualified leads. Let them know what you’re about now, and you’ll stay in their heads after they’ve donated their funds.
6. Harness the free publicity
If you’ve ever tried to do your own PR, you know it can be a difficult task. Reporters and bloggers, who could receive tons of pitches a day, don’t usually write about something unless there’s a news hook. A successful crowdfunding campaign might just be newsworthy enough to warrant a story. If they don’t write about your venture at the close of the campaign, it might still be one extra fact to push them to write about you at launch.
Have you run a crowdfunding campaign? What unexpected benefits did you find?
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