How to Pick the Best Crowdfunding Sites for Successful Fundraising Campaigns
In the booming Crowdfunding indsutry, the most important question that every Crowdfunding campaign manager (Crowdfunder) asks themselves is, “which Crowdfunding site is the best platform to launch my fundraising campaign?
Which Crowdfunding platform such as IndieGoGo.com vs. Kickstarter will offer the best chance of success? Is it better to risk an “all or nothing” strategy with a Kickstarter campaign and hope that it funds 100%, and then pay a commission of 5-percent? Or is it better to go with an IndieGoGo campaign, where Crowdfunders will be allowed to keep all the money regardless of whether they reach their Crowdfunding goal or not, and then pay a higher 9% commission fee?
These may seem like simple questions, but they will get complicated quick when trying to make a wise, sound financial decision on which Crowdfunding website is best for a given campaign, especially when the there are 900 different platforms from which to chose. And when Title II, Reg. D Equity Crowdfunding becomes legal, they will get even more complex, but we will save that topic for another article.
Here are a few simple questions to help analyze a Crowdfunding portal’s performance to find out which one offers Crowdfunders the best chance of success. Selecting the best Crowdfunding site to launch a fundraising campaign can be boiled to a few simple questions:
1. How much web traffic does a Crowdfunding portal generate?
2. What is the composition of the site’s target audience demographics?
3. What is the site’s industry reputation?
4. Does the site provide any analytic information on its vertical segment landing pages?
5. Does the site provide any type of audit statement on how many investors the site has registered and the propensity for them to donate or invest a particular industry, product or service?
In the future, all Crowdfunding websites need to provide an industry-standardized Crowdfunding Audit Statement. Using Google Analytics or other types website traffic analysis tools, all portals know exactly how much web traffic their entire website receives; what landing pages are receiving the most traffic; what search engine keywords are delivering the most donors/investors; and what external websites are referring the most visitors.
This chart is from Alexa.com:
This chart is from Google Trends.
Kickstarter has a global ranking of all websites on the internet at a ranking of #830 compared to IndieGoGo’s global ranking of #2,422. In the United States, the largest Crowdfunding donation market in the world, Kickstarter has a ranking of #399 compare to IndieGoGo’s ranking of #1,140.
Another important statistic to review is the number of websites that have links to pointing to Crowdfunding websites, which helps their search engine optimization and places them higher in the search engine results. Kickstarter has twice as many link backs at 84,130 compared to IndieGoGo’s link backs of 40,720.
Based on the information above, it is easy to see that Kickstarter’s numbers exceed IndieGoGo’s by a large margin.
Last, but not least, we are going to discuss how Crowdfunding sites at the top of pack got to their current position and why every successful business development strategy includes a wide variety of marketing campaigns that are designed to build a profitable sales and distribution channel for the company’s products and services.
If you do a Google search on “Kickstarter,” the search will turn up 25.7 million results. A search on IndieGoGo yields a 5.5 million search results. How did Kickstarter amass 5 times more coverage and the resulting link backs to their website? The simple answer is marketing. The Kickstarter Handbook guides Crowdfunders through a step-by-step process on how to launch a successful crowdfunding campaign.
One of the most important things the book covers is how to use public relations to write a press release and issue it over a professional news wire service such as Businesswire.com, Marketwire.com or PRNewswire.com. The purpose of a press release is to feed news to a group of reporters on a news circuit or beat. Every day reporters scan these news wires for potential stories to cover. Issuing a press release with the word “Crowdfunding” in it will cause a press release to automatically hit every reporters inbox with a Google alert set on the keyword.
All Crowdfunding sites should work with the major news wire services to make it as affordable for their Crowdfunders to issue as many press releases as possible. Marketwire allows a Crowdfunder to add two URL links to any website related to the press release and each press release is usually picked up by 75 to 100 news outlets. At 200 link backs per press release issued, it should be easy for any SEO expert to understand why press releases are so important.
A well-written press release combined with an intelligent PR agency that has developed media relations with the 450+ reporters that cover the Crowdfunding beat usually results in several news articles, which provides credibility for the Crowdfunding campaign and a significantly higher rankings for the Crowdfunding portal hosting the campaign.
Kickstarter has done a tremendous job of teaching its customers how to successfully market their Crowdfunding campaigns. It will be interesting to watch new Crowdfunding platforms as they come on line to see if they can match the marketing prowess of Kickstarter. All Crowdfunding sites should should offer a Crowdfunding Business Partner program that offer Crowdfunders both an affordable price on issuing press releases as well as a list of PR firms that are willing to help their Crowdfunders launch cost-effecting PR and social media campaigns.
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