Crowdfunding and Crowd Management
Crowdfunding is a compound word with crowd being the first and most important word because from the crowd comes the funding, but this is a very myopic view of Crowdfunding and the use of social media as a business tool with the ability to provide multiple business communication outcomes. Building the crowd MUST come first in any Crowdfunding campaign, and the effort put into building the crowd will pay many lasting dividends for the brand. Building the crowd will:
1. Increase Brand Awareness – elevating the awareness of your brand, product or offering
2. Improve Customer Service – better catering to the needs of your customers, for support or general relationship management
3. Increase Lead Generation – fill the pipeline for your Sales team through social media conversions that turn into leads
4. Improve Community – fostering engagement and dialogue to build a community of supportive customers and fans who develop a relationship with you
Communicating with the Crowd
Focusing the brands communications resources on building the crowd will pay dividends with these above listed outcomes, and you can see that if you increase your brand awareness, improve customer service, increase your leads, and create and foster a strong community of brand advocates raising the funds will be a much easier task than an unknown entity with a limited social interactions and a small community of engaged, enthusiastic, brand advocates.
Post crowdfunding campaign the crowd is still the most vital asset you received from a successful campaign. The crowd has now transformed into your marketing and promotion team by becoming brand advocates that increase your brand awareness and brand reach through social media. They have become an integral part of your product/service development team a diverse focus group that can provide market validation and proof of concept.
Integrate the Crowd
Crowd management as a major goal will also pay tremendous dividends post funding because you now have the market research, industry data, and a market for your product or service. Building the crowd first has many benefits for the brand that is entering the Crowdfunding ecosystem, but remember to approach Crowdfunding with a big picture view of building a strong community of engaged and enthusiastic brand advocates that will not only fund your project, but buy its products, but most importantly become engaged community members