So, you’re sitting on a complete offer document, a pitch video and a campaign page, all ready to launch? Congratulations - now the hard work begins!
We’re sort of kidding. The volume of work that goes into collating stats, facts, figures, film content and copy for your equity crowdfunding literature is more than half the battle, but without a solid marketing and promotion plan, it’s all for nothing.
Why do I need an equity crowdfunding marketing campaign?
The point(s) of having a comprehensive marketing plan are as follows:
- To drive investment
- To gain broad support and reach a wider audience
- To ensure your campaign is having maximum impact across appropriate channels
The purpose of an established plan is to also be mindful of time. How successful you are requires consistent visibility and impact across several stages, which we’ll expand upon in further detail below:
- Pre-launch phase - generating buzz
- Mid-phase - duration of the live campaign/investing period
- Post-launch - celebrating, thanking, and staving off those cooling off periods.
Stage 1: Pre-launch equity crowdfunding marketing
The run-up to the open call for investment should last a month - long enough to generate maximum exposure, short enough to hold interest. This is your chance to get potential investors seeing, engaging with and interacting with your product, service or brand online across several channels:
Campaign Landing Page
Your campaign landing page is the channel through which all of your external marketing will funnel into.
We work in tandem with you using tried-and-tested methods and real-time market experience to turbocharge the impact, credibility and effectiveness of your campaign page. See here for an article on best practice.
Your email database is your most important tool for official communications and announcements. Start with a warm-up email in advance of launch, followed by the launch announcement itself. This is your digital ribbon-cutting ceremony, so make it big, bold and enthusiastic - visuals, animations, and exclamation points all welcome!
One meaningful email a week is much more effective than constant spam. We've all been at the receiving end of daily countdown emails from brands. This isn’t just unnecessary, it’s annoying. Your mailing list is composed of people who have trusted you with their details, so use it only for good, for example:
- To announce major milestones (e.g. 50%)
- Significant countdown points (e.g. 1 week to go, 1 day to go), and...
- The all-important ‘thank you’ when the campaign has closed.
Which social media outlet works for you will depend on your brand, your target audience, and which sources you’ve been drawing your existing following from. Twitter is the most business-friendly of the socials, allowing you to leverage its broad reach and balance of fun and formality to get followers excited. Facebook may work for you if you have a lot of friends and family who are likely to invest in or at least share your campaign. Instagram and TikTok may generate traffic and followers, and are a good place to implement influencer strategy, but the young user bases may not lead to your desired conversion rate. LinkedIn can be good for promotion, but the connection pool of many users tends to skew towards ex-co-workers, business acquaintances and recruiters. If you have a prolific and well-established profile, it may suit your purposes.
Whichever you choose, get your team members, brand ambassadors and even friends and family sharing and spreading the message, and see here for our deeper dive into social media marketing for equity crowdfunding.
Press & PR
It’s not uncommon to come across startups and crowdfunding campaigners who seem to be connected up to the hilt with PR people, influencers, industry leaders and press. These are the people that will get you into the papers, financial news, and society magazines that your target investors read daily. If you don’t have this kind of publicity-pumping network organically, it can feel like the odds are against you. Not to worry - you can access these services via a digital agency or PR specialist to level the playing field. In the meantime, you can use this guide for some recommendations on how to write a superb press release.
Stage 2: The duration of your live campaign
Now you’ve maxed out your satellite marketing efforts, the focus will be on your campaign page. Investors will be reading, re-reading, deciding, and (hopefully) making their investments. Your copy should be convincing and professional enough to remind interested parties why they registered their email address in the first place.
Contact from seriously interested investors is likely to increase at this stage. They’ll be coming in with questions and expecting prompt answers. Stay on-brand with your tone of voice in your responses, and keep your hard-selling in check.
In terms of social media marketing, most important at this stage are progress posts. It’s the oldest psychology in the book - we want what we see other people buying. Don’t be shy to update your audience when you hit a milestone to instil FOMO in your undecided investors.
Stage 3: Post-launch equity crowdfunding marketing
The campaign is over, doors are closed, and you can breathe a sigh of relief. You can take a rest from the manic marketing - your communications at this point become a lot more streamlined.
Two key post-launch communications to focus on are 'thank yous' and updates. Your 'thank yous' should be very personal, featuring faces, speech, and smiles. Your updates can be less familiar and more automated, for instance, newsletters or mailing lists to advise on new key accounts or product launches. It’s probably painfully obvious, but make sure your mailer program is auto-filling your investors’ names - not addressing them as ‘Dear Shareholder’.
Involving them in your company ‘family’ might pay in more ways than you think. Initial financial investment aside, many shareholders will have the connections and experience to offer you publicity, skillsets and valuable feedback to catalyse your success - after all, they have a vested interest - so keep those channels of communication flowing.
Your marketing period is the time to squeeze everything you can out of all the channels and resources available to you. A professionally-engineered equity funding marketing campaign might seem expensive, but if it’s the difference between a successful launch and a failed one, it’s money you’ll see returned. Talk to us about our network of digital agencies, PR firms, designers, videographers, and consultants that can help you.