The success of your crowdfunding project relies on your ability to get others to believe in and support your vision. You need to get your family, friends, community and the broader public excited about your product. That begins with generating awareness, which requires a serious effort at pitching your crowdfunding project to bloggers and journalists.
PR is an important tool for marketing your project outside your immediate sphere of influence. A solid PR strategy will help spread the word via the media, which can generate additional contributions to your Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign. Getting press to cover your campaign can be tough, but, attention from even a few outlets can make a huge difference and attract attention from additional outlets. The secret to a successful push to garner media attention is to create a great pitch, contact the right people and patiently pursue them until they give you coverage.
Create your pitch
To help your crowdfunding campaign stand out from the innumerable others underway, you need to convey your story effectively. The newsworthy story is not the fact that you are raising funds – many people launch crowdfunding projects every day. It is the human-interest element: why your effort is unique and interesting.
It helps to research potential competitors or similar project ideas so you can communicate why your product is different and what needs it meets or problems it solves. You may also want to check out other projects – both successful and unsuccessful – on Kickstarter or Indiegogo. This research will help you develop your best angle for pitching, plus it may give you ideas for what outlets to reach out to based on other projects they have covered.
Media outlets generally look for local angles or personal stories, not stories about yet another product or project. Most reporters and bloggers receive countless pitches every day, so you need to craft an engaging pitch that will grab their attention in the first 10 seconds and make them interested in your crowdfunding campaign.
After a great opening hook, your message should:
- Concisely present the who, what, when, where, why and how of your project.
- Include visuals, such as a few high-quality photos of you and your product in use.
- Link to your project page.
- Prominently display a phone number or email address.
- If possible, offer samples so they can write an informed review.
Make a list of contacts
Before you send out any kind of pitch or press release, develop a plan to target the media outlets that will be the best fit for you. Creating a list of reporters and bloggers to contact takes time and research. Instead of a scattershot approach, target those journalists who have covered topics like yours.
Connect with journalists, key influencers or bloggers via Twitter or email. Most journalists include an email address or Twitter handle with their pieces. Use that to build your contact list.
While you might dream of coverage in TechCrunch or Forbes, target smaller outlets as well. Campaigns that get covered by larger outlets are typically farther along in the process and have already hit their funding goal, so smaller outlets are often a great place to start.
Pursue patiently – and follow up
You may get some attention at launch time, particularly from bloggers and influencers who like your samples. But do not be disheartened if coverage is slow to come at first. A successful campaign is more interesting to most outlets than a freshly-launched campaign. Accordingly, plan to reach back out to the media outlets at major milestones or if something exciting happens. If your campaign is successful at drawing dollars or viral attention, it will draw media attention.
Get help and advice
Getting a PR campaign off the ground is a big effort that will take a lot of time and energy. However, countless successful campaigns on Kickstarter, Indiegogo and other crowdfunding platforms have gone before you.
Like other aspects of your campaign, doing it right will take effort and time. You may opt to hire professional help from an agency with crowdfunding experience. You can also learn what others have done to garner exposure and ensure their campaigns are successful by tuning in to our podcast, subscribing to our newsletter or getting in touch.