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Lessons for Founders from 50+ CrowdInvesting Campaigns (3/4)

10 Marketing tactics to make your campaign rock

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A few weeks ago we've marked the 50th crowd investing campaign launched on SeedBlink (now at 57). Our business analysts have seen more than 1500 startups, of which only 50 have passed the Funding Committee and launched their funding campaign on the platform. From this experience, we have identified some patterns and compiled a consistent set of do's and don'ts when it comes to running an investment campaign.

1. Marketing is not a “nice to have”, it’s a must

Fundraising campaigns – even having promising ideas and startups, are not always able to get exposure and bring traffic. Sometimes, the vertical is not “sexy enough” or the potential of the solution is more difficult to understand without having expertise in that particular field.

Each piece of the puzzle has its place in the ecosystem. Campaign strategy, digital marketing tactics, specific channel activities, team contribution - they all play a role in getting the ball rolling. Most of the time, these efforts lead to results that go above and beyond the estimated plans, as external support kicks in too.

SeedBlink guides founders to prepare the needed tools and to launch the campaign, but this effort needs to be a collaborative one.

2. Have a marketing strategy

It’s important to sit down and define your strategy & plan your campaign before launching it. Think about each activity, each tactic, each channel, and write down what you can do for each of these.

Be ahead of the game:

● Plan and segment your community

● Transform your most loyal fans into ambassadors

● Reach your target audience on those channels that are best fit for them, where they are most comfortable

● Create a few social media templates to use during your campaign

● Add a pre-registration page to your website so that you have a personalized place to receive your early guests

● Reach your target audience through email/SMS/or other personal channels that would engage them the best

● Organize and attend your events, to educate your audience

● And most importantly, don’t freak out if day one closes with zero funds raised.

This is not a regular shopping action, even though it’s not far from that in terms of a number of clicks. It takes time for the investors to check the details, read and understand all your materials, and only then do they decide upon it.

3. Gain visibility - pitch in front of investors

Before your campaign starts you’re encouraged to go out & ask for help, ask for advice, and get introduced to investors and experts - if needed.

This prior process will be a huge help for what comes next.

When you’ll launch the campaign, you’ll be prepared and confident having a network of investors, ambassadors, and campaign advocates ready to carry your message forward.

4. Brag about it!

Crowdfunding is a milestone in each startup’s journey. Celebrate it!

Expand the support you receive from the SeedBlink community of investors, and create a buzz around the campaign by distributing your efforts.

Get help from your Communication/PR specialists or outsource to a PR agency to help you:

● Send news to a meaningful lot of local and international media outlets

● Post the campaign launch announcement on your company page and/or on your blog

● Turn your employees into advocates and empower them to share the news on their channels

● Add a banner on your website towards the campaign page

● Invite your network to spread the word and contact you for details, if they want to get involved

● Let your users, clients, or partners know that you’re running a crowdfunding campaign - your happy customers will likely turn into investors

● Create a company video - because nothing makes things more interesting than a video.

There’s no better way to get investors to know your business than through your company video and your channels. So, share the video & boost your campaign.

Quality content never fails to attract leads.

5. Activate your network

Like any other marketing campaign, a fundraising one also focuses on generating awareness and engaging a dedicated audience towards a specific goal.

In our case, investors are those who should feel attracted and engaged to decide to put money on the table.

You can amplify the efforts of this campaign by reaching out to people who’ve been supporting your business so far, which can be friends, family, regular followers of your activity, partners, customers, or even previous investors.

These interactions will create a domino effect.

6. E-mail is your secret weapon

It’s well known that e-mail has been one of the most effective marketing tools.

WHY?

E-mail marketing is personal, and it goes straight to your inbox.

You get to know exactly if the person is interested or not.

You get to know how much time is spent on it.

And you get the chance to tailor your message to be more effective.

Your email touch-points are your strongest access for a successful conversion during your campaign. Inspire your recipients with your mission and help them navigate through the SeedBlink sign-up process, so they can invest easily in your success.

7. Linkedin is your power shield

If email marketing is your bridge to personal connections, Linkedin should be among your primary go-to-marketing channels.

This is the place where you can expose your message in front of angel investors and high-net-worth individuals who are looking to invest in startups like yours. Linkedin lets you see their prior activities, what type of conversations they had, what type of content they consume, and what’s their past track record with other startups and investments.

The way your industry is moving can have a massive impact on your product and positioning in the market. During these 50 past campaigns, we’ve found out that a challenging vertical can motivate founders to dig deeper into the subject. Then, during the investment phase, they can share those industry insights & trends with the investors interested in their startup.

All the current trends, the way you align with them & all the expected upcoming changes, can become your strongest points during the campaign and can shape the way you make decisions to build your product or grow your business.

9. Prepare your best pitch and business plan

Raising a venture round is a sales process and any question mark over a founder’s trustworthiness can result in a negative outcome rather than an investment. We cannot overemphasize how important it is that founders should be transparent and upfront.

When not sure how to do it you can get inspired by some of the most popular examples found in the pitch deck repositories. Below we listed a few recommendations, containing examples from well-known companies, such Facebook, Airbnb, Uber, Sequoia, and more:

- 30 Legendary Startup Pitch Decks and What You Can Learn From Them

- 35 Best Pitch Decks From Real-Life Startups

- 30+ Best Pitch Deck Examples, Tips & Templates

There is more than one factor influencing how investors decide to invest in a startup and not every investor will assign the same weight to each. Similarly, there are a few documents that you might need in the fundraising process: a detailed business plan that showcases your action plan, financial forecasts, and your unique pitch deck.

Based on our first 50 campaigns we have identified a few mistakes you can avoid when pitching an investor. Here they are:

● Do your homework (Go back to pct. 12 to understand better) - We know you want investors attention, but you don’t need all of them. Focus on those investors who are interested in your industry and business.

● Keep it short - All your resources, such as pitch deck, video pitch, executive summary, and more should speak on point, with the exact amount of information the investors need to make a decision. Don’t overwork yourself and do more than required. We’re here to help you achieve this optimum!

● Show your team - Many investors consider the team behind an early-stage startup more important than the idea or the product.

● Why you? Why now? - You have to explain to all investors interested in giving you money why your current position in the market is an opportunity, and how it will evolve.

10. Celebrate victory

Once the campaign is done, take a moment to celebrate this huge milestone.

Sharing this victory with your network will create extra engagement from your followers and will intensify word-of-mouth actions. This is crucial for the snowball effect you want to create in your campaign, leveraging on their support to reach backers that were not in your initial audience.

Inform the world about the amount raised and be thankful for your new supporters, now and then.

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Hey, thanks for reading! That's it for the third part. In the coming days, we will give you some hot recommendations on the deal side of running an investment round.

Check the first part here (dedicated to founders & teams) & the second part here (dedicated to core business elements).

Coming Soon - Part 4: Investment rounds - from both investor and founder perspectives

By SeedBlink Knowledge

PublishedOctober 29, 2021


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