Step 4: How to do a Low Budget Crowdfunding Marketing Plan

If you are thinking about starting a crowdfunding campaign you may or may not want to read this post. It includes an example low budget crowdfunding marking plan. My personal experience with marketing a RocketHub campaign is outlined in the following paragraphs and includes both my achievements and faults as I see them. On the positive side I feel the process was overall rewarding because, as a result of this, I am better informed about how to go forward with marketing my product. On the negative side I spent a lot (comparatively) of time, money and energy investigating marketing ideas that did not result in a return on my investment-other than experience. My hope is that by writing this post I might help other entrepreneurs to make informed decisions in this process.

The end result of my crowdfunding marketing

Everyone is always interested in the end result and I'm a people pleaser, so I will start with the results.

Disclaimer - the numbers not a 100% accurate (who has that kind of time? ) but it gives you a pretty good idea.

  • Spend: $450
  • Reach/Views: 814,000
  • Clicks/Engagement: 680
  • Funding: $1080
  • Time: 60 days
In addition to my own time (not included here) I spent the $450 on video commercials, blog posts, digital advertising, email campaigns and PR. What I learned is that my product and my marketing materials do not appeal to consumers online. Despite the traffic and amount of views I received from this marketing effort the 800k are really just a drop in the online ocean - so to speak - and not enough to get a working online sales funnel going. I really found this to be the case when, after weeks of campaigning, even contacts in my personal network were unclear on what I was doing. (Ok - to be honest I was feeling things out and not 100% clear myself in the start)

New tactics and services I tried:

  • app.krowdster.co - provided strategy, PR lists, and Distribution (lots of info)
  • www.fiverr.com - video commercials and traffic (why not?)
  • www.rockethub.com -  platform for crowdfunding
  • http://www.outbrain.com/ - paid content promotion (Negative experience)
  • www.contentrunner.com - wrote blog posts I wanted (Loved this!)

Detailed look at my small marketing budget

Detail Crowdfunding Marketing Budget

Tips I've learned from this experience

  1. If you are going to use paid advertising in marketing your campaign, drive the traffic to a site that you can view details on the analytics. RocketHub does provide a very limited type of reporting, but it's nice to have numbers on a graph. HOWEVER - based on the lack of enragement associated with this traffic it's would only be useful information about what or who NOT to look for. Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 1.16.21 PM
  2. Avoid paid ad services or sick to a couple that you know work. Of the money I spent on marketing about 30% of it was unintentional. One ads with a low daily limit (facebook) went on weeks past my intended stop date. Also one with a high daily limit (outbrain) experienced technical issues and I was unable to login to adjust/stop the campaign. Experimenting with paid services, free trials and the like results in waisted money.
  3. Go for quality not quantity. With a limited marketing budget the best bet is to stick to your close supporters. If I did this again, I would focus on personally calling people and sending personal letters. In the end 74% of my funding came from 21% of my backers - all people I know personally. It does follow the 80/20 rule of sales! Of the, close to 1 million new people, I only converted 1 unknown person in my campaign. So the cost of reaching ONE new customer, from one point of view, was almost 20 times the income from my product(Spent $450 sold $25).
  4. Have alternative plans. One of the challenges for any start up is being able to pivot with the feedback on their project. I set my goal high considering the rate of failure on crowdfunding campaigns. According to the reports on krowdster.co the chances of a project being fully funded on RocketHub are less than 15%. Even though I only reached 10% of my goal I'm moving forward - with a revised strategy for sales and a better understanding on my market / product.