Campaigners receive a lot of guidance on their communication strategy for pre- and during the crowdfunding campaign. How to evolve and maintain the post campaign communication strategy should be of equal importance.
At a high-level, the importance and use of communication at each stage of the campaign boils down to:
- Pre-campaign – to build your initial community, most likely from close friends and family as well as your immediate social network.
- During the campaign – to mitigate information asymmetry between yourself and backers, and grow your community to build the momentum of the campaign.
- Post-campaign – to keep backers engaged in the journey and re-assured that you are working on delivering the rewards; also converting backers into long-term supporters.
Post campaign, your communication strategy and message evolves from “help me to fund my dream” to “my dream is now real”.
This type of strategy has two components: i) communication with your original backers and ii) communication with potential consumers, as well as with the crowdfunding and venture capital ecosystems.
Communication with original backers
The messaging and communication techniques with the original backers of your campaign has to be adjusted in your post campaign communication strategy.
Communication pre- and during the campaign focused on building the community and interacting with backers. Post-campaign messaging should focus on three key communication goals:
- maintain the transparency of the manufacturing and shipping process, for example, tell backers if the rewards will be delayed;
- maintain the sense of community with the original backers, because you want backers to remain excited and engaged with you on your journey;
- convert your original backers into long-time supporters and customers. The original backers will most likely be early backers for your next project, growing your circle of close friends, family and social network!
Campaigners may want to review the tools and techniques used when communicating with original backers. Project updates should be communicated via the online platform’s update feature (to keep the project information in one place), but to maintain a sense of community and convert backers require innovative uses of communication.
From my experience, a number of experienced crowdfunding campaigners understand post campaign communication very well. In general, they tend to under-promise and over-deliver on their campaigns, especially relating to shipping timelines. By keeping their original backers happy, they are ensured of retaining their community and getting support for the next campaign.
Communication with future stakeholders
The communication strategy also has to be expanded to include new consumers as well as stakeholders active in the crowdfunding and venture capital ecosystems.
Messaging should focus on:
- attracting new consumers and stakeholders to your product, for example, creating a pre-order campaign or actively marketing your product;
- showcasing your successes to the crowdfunders and venture capitalists, especially in your pitch to investors. This will help boost their confidence in your ability to deliver, as well as influence the valuation of your company, especially if you bring a large dedicated community of supporters to the table.
This is where the importance of branding comes into the picture, as well as leveraging social media and building your successful crowdfunding campaign into the story of your company.