Nourishing Your Crowdfunding Community
While crowdfunding campaigns last for a finite amount of time, they have the potential to generate long-lasting communities of people who will support your business. Whether the campaign met its fundraising goal or not, try to stay in contact with and continue to deepen your relationship with backers. It is important to maintain and develop relationships with your community by making supporters feel valued, acknowledged, and involved. People who invested in the business are likely to be emotionally invested, and will be curious to learn about how the company is doing. Here are some tips on how to engage the crowdfunding community after the campaign is over:
Give a Proper Thank You
Send your backers a thank you email bursting with gratitude to make them feel recognized and appreciated. If you make a thank you video where you call out names of your backers, it will make them feel super special. Send a personalized and elaborate thank you to the people who invested the most in your business – or better yet, name your next product after them.
Even if the campaign was not fully backed, remember to traffic the language of gratitude on social media sites and in emails. It will show that your supporters that the people behind the business are gracious, even if the crowdfunding results were not ideal.
No matter what the outcome of your campaign, host an after party. Have your friends, family, local backers and employees join together to celebrate. You deserve it.
With equity-based crowdfunding, investors own part of the company which means that they will be loyal to it and care about it more so than had they made a one time donation. Investors should give rewarding dividends and provide regular financial updates. Dividends will serve as a reminders to your investors that they made a smart decision to finance your in the company, and will keep your business at the top of their minds.
Engage the Community
Send out regular updates via email on your company status, new initiatives and events. Backers will want to see progress; they are rooting for your company. Show investors that their funding efforts are paying off, but also remain honest about what is going on behind the scenes. Keep the dialogue, images and videos real so that they can truly understand where they put their money.
Survey The Community
An online survey is a fast, inexpensive, and easy tool that can help you to better understand your target audience. If you have the email addresses of your backers you can utilize this research method to gain insights that could propel your business to the next level.
Social Media Mix
Use Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and blogs to thank and stay connected with your target audience. Post unique and engaging content on each site to keep fans engaged. Host a contest or post a creative video to generate buzz. Ideally your social media efforts will encourage members of the community to have an ongoing dialogue that will keep them excited about your brand.
People invest businesses when they want them to succeed. By its very nature crowdfunding creates a community of funders who all want a project to excel, and therefore they are likely to become loyal to the business. They may also discuss their investments with friends and family which will generate word of mouth, buzz, and potentially create brand evangelists. Crowdfunding often creates high brand awareness during the campaign, but after it is all over, it is the company’s job and in the company’s interest to keep the community alive.