Use PR to gain more visibility for your crowdfunding project
What do you do when your business has a terrific, creative idea but you just can’t find the dollars in your budget to make it happen? Many are turning to the crowd funding site Kickstarter for the answer.
Maybe you thought Kickstarter was just for startups, artists and inventors of the next big thing. Actually, anyone who wants to bring a creative project to life can use Kickstarter. For example, the most-funded project today is a Smart Watch made by Pebble Technology. Your company can create a Kickstarter campaign, too, and PR can help.
The company was started in 2009 as a way for individuals and companies to raise funds through the public for creative projects and ideas.
To date, the company has helped fund more than 85,000 projects, totaling approximately $1.7 billion through pledges from more than 8 million people.
To participate, you describe your project and set a funding goal. If people are impressed with your idea, they can choose to give money to help you make it happen.
Only projects that reach their goal are funded and you are given approximately one month to attract enough backers.
Successful projects have come from many different fields, such as film, music, art, writing and technology. Other categories include games, photography, design and food.
You don’t have to give up any ownership to your backers (but you’ll want to find nice ways to thank them, like an invitation to your product launch event). The company does apply a fee of 5 percent to every successful project.
In addition to raising funds, a Kickstarter campaign is a way to rally support for your idea. You can also connect with groups that are interested in your product and, in return, you give them a look inside what it takes to bring a project to fruition. Backers get excited to see a product they helped fund make it onto the shelves.
The rules: What you create must be shareable with others; you must be honest about what you are creating; and you cannot raise money for charity or other financial incentives. Additionally, your project cannot promise to cure diseases, contain offensive material or involve gambling or politics.
How you can improve your chances for Kickstarter success
Start with a terrific idea. The process allows you to collect feedback from friends before launching your campaign so you can better hone your project.
Tell your story and make it compelling. When was the last time someone bored you into making a purchase? People are more likely to fund a project or buy a product when they can see how it will add value to their lives or have a positive effect on the world around them.
Take advantage of all the tools Kickstarter has to offer. For example, you will be able to see where your backers are coming from and keep them updated on your project. Doing this allows you to engage with potential customers and predict future interest. Kickstarter also provides a Creator Handbook to help you.
Enlist all the help you can get. Many successful projects receive assistance by spreading the word as much as possible through blogs, websites and influential thought-leaders to help with promotion. Don’t forget about attracting media attention, as well, both traditional and online.
How a PR firm can help
At Axia, we can help promote your Kickstarter campaign to your target audiences through media relations and social media initiatives. In addition, we can create eye-catching videos and innovative content to get your campaign noticed. Contact us today to learn more about our special projects services.
Lisa Goldsberry is a writer for Axia Public Relations with more than 15 years of public relations experience. She specializes in business, higher education and technology PR. Connect with Axia Public Relations on Twitter @axiapr.
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