A startup ecosystem has always been challenging. Off late the scenario has become even more competitive with innumerable startups looking to make it big. The golden era of startup funding — a funding spree that took its peak in 2014–15, has now run its last lap. This situation has further compounded the rise of startups with venture capitalists and seed funding enterprises taking a cautious route to investments. With funds drying, startups have taken to alternate avenues such as Crowdfunding to raise the necessary capital to fuel their dreams.
Crowdfunding — The Popular Funding Mantra
The name sums up what Crowdfunding is — asking the crowd for funds. It’s resorting to social media and seeking funds leveraging an online transaction portal. The average investments from multiple people, sum up to become the necessary financial foundation for startups to operate.
The quest for funds isn’t easy, especially in social media where credibility becomes a major issue. Entrepreneurs looking for funds need to establish a community. Build and nurture the same, all the time communicating their project, idea and its viability to engage interested individuals.
Platforms That Set You Up
Establishing a community and getting the bucks rolling isn’t a walk in the park. Fortunately, various crowdfunding sites are available which provide a community for entrepreneurs to bank on. Bitgiving, Crowdera, Catapult, Ketto, ImpactGuru — platforms like these introduce startups to a network of interested and potential groups. Here credibility leads the way and as your community shapes up, people start contributing to your cause.
As a startup, you would probably be breathing a sigh of relief now, with a platform giving a base for your venture. You shouldn’t relax yet. It’s great to have a prospective community. It is another thing to be able to successfully engage them. You need a well-planned and viable digital marketing strategy to boost your community engagement.
Digital Marketing — Your Engagement Booster
The success of Crowdfunding depends on the level of funds you can generate within a given period and the supporters you can bring. A well-thought-out digital strategy — right from the commercial viability of your project to practical insights to campaign planning and optimization to connect with the intended audience. Positioning your message on the right community and influencer support will bring wind to your sails to your crowd-platform. Let’s explore the key ingredients that fuel digital marketing programs.
Story Telling –
A rough idea and specs of your idea won’t do the job. You need to tell a story of your idea that connects and generates empathy, giving a meaningful context to your campaign. Chances of donor conversion increase once community members are emotionally connected to your startup story.
Brand Advocates –
It’s crucial to reach out to the right individuals and ensure that they help you expand your reach further. The right engagement strategy ensures that Promoters and Fundraisers are in sync with your venture and furthering your campaigns with social sharing by acting as brand advocates.
Insights & Analytics-
Your gut feeling might work in most cases but for social media strategy insights work better than intuition. Click rate, number of emails opened, messages read — data matters and helps you plan your next course of action.
Influencer marketing always extends your reach and brings better results. If you can connect with an influencer and inspire him to be your social ambassador, you can reach out to a larger and more engaged base of audience. People will listen to an established startup head or an erudite personality popular in social circles of the startup ecosystem.
Opportunities can always be unlocked on crowdfunding platforms and a sound digital marketing strategy is your key to unlocking the potential connection and enabling the desired fundraising.