Social Currency … an effective crowdfunding strategy
Crowdfunding is all about getting people to fund your project – right? Yes, but there is a really important additional aspect when it comes to starting your campaign.
Let’s assume you are successful and people are really catching on and fund your project. You go off and build a great product and now what? Who’s buying it? Did you think how to roll it out to the market? 97% of all Kickstarter projects that raised more than $100,000 fail! Ouch, sounds like a huge waste of money to me! There are many reasons for projects to fail but one of the most important causes is bad execution and part of it is a poorly planned market rollout. You think that you’re just building your really cool and useful product and the market will come - WRONG! If you don’t know how to sell your product, don’t bother developing it. So what has all this to do with crowdfunding? Well, you should use your crowdfunding project to build mindshare and a market that you can use to sell your product.
At 48Bricks.com we thought a lot about how to build a platform that allows brands to raise money and build mindshare at the same time. We combined our proprietary tracking and conversion technology in a highly gamified platform with the goal to identify your top tastemakers and engage them to generate a viral stream of leads that come back to your campaign site. We value sharing of top tastemakers at least as high as pledges and we believe that they deserve great rewards for becoming your brand advocate – it’s called Social Currency. Top brand advocates will find donors for you plus help you build mindshare and therefore a market with their followers. Think about building your campaigns with that in mind. Don’t just focus on the money; focus on mindshare and the money will come.
Viral strategies – how to make people share
Did you know that 72% of all Millennials want to be the source of information TO a friend and only 28% of them want to be informed BY a friend? People want to be tastemakers!
When we started 48Bricks.com last year, we wanted to create the best platform for marketers to find tastemakers and engage them to spread their brand message. And apart from developing unique tracking and conversion technology, we deeply dove into the psychology of what makes tastemakers tick and created a gamified campaign process catering specifically to their behavioral characteristics. One of the key elements that we exploit is “social currency”. Research has shown that people share when they think that they have something to offer that makes them shine in front of their followers. You probably all remember when LinkedIn sent you an email declaring that you are one of the top 1%, 5% or 10% most viewed profiles on LinkedIn. And you probably remember also that a lot of people shared this message with their friends on social media. This was a very good example of exploring social currency for brand promotion purposes – in this case LinkedIn. When you want people to share, give them something that they perceive of making them look cool or smart in front of their friends. Ipsos Open Thinking Exchange found that over 60% of people share “interesting things” and 42% of people share “important or funny things”.
An increasing number of companies use social currency to reward their most effective brand advocates with free products or services. While there is nothing wrong to acknowledge the great value true brand advocates bring to the table, brands need to be careful not to game the system. Shares equate to digital word of mouth and it is important for both the fan and the brand that shares comes across as authentic. True and lasting brand advocate relationships are built on the brand listing to their fans and truly engaging with them – making them part of the marketing process and not just a tool. (If you are interested in learning more about this, I recommend Jonah Berger’s book Contagious – Why things catch on.)
Years ago Google gave us search - and we shared with them what we were looking for.
Then Google gave us Gmail - and we shared with them what we were talking about.
Google also gave us Maps - and we shared with them where we live and go.
We also got Chrome - and shared with them what we were looking at.
Then came Android - and we gave them a window into the way we communicate.
Then Google purchased Nest - and we gave them the right to know how we live.
Now Google gives us Glass - and we gave them the right to know everything we do.
Google gave us the gift of 1984 - thank you! It’s great being watched all the time!
… another drawing from Emily for our Haiyan relief campaign at bricksforhope.com. Spread the word and help rebuild the Philippines. Your contribution is a simple repost :)
check out Emily Rodger’s cute little campaign girl … she is doing a series of pro bono drawings for our Philippines relief campaign . See more of her other work on her FB page. Thanks Emily!
Bricks-For-Hope is the world’s first crowd-sourced reconstruction project! Caritas Manila is using the latest technology to unite the global community to rebuild Salcedo in Eastern Samar (Philippines), an area that was badly devastated by #Haiyan. Check it out:www.bricksforhope.com
I really like your blog. Esspecially the post about that we are moving away from words to pictures which I always new was kind of ridiculous. I wanted to know why are you using kickstarter and not some traditional form of funding ie angel/mentor for seed funding?
Thanks for following me. We’re using both traditional investing and our own crowd funding platform. The reason is that we believe that using crowd funding will allow more people to get involved and show their support. Our philosophy is to create mindshare and by just having a few big investors, we forgo this opportunity. If you believe that great ideas need people to think and talk about them - spread the word :)
Why we need a Kickstarter for Causes
A few months ago my friend Jatin and I considered using Kickstarter for our new company 48Bricks (48Bricks.com). We realized that the first thing you cannot do with Kickstarter is launch a campaign for a cause. However there are many important non-profit organizations out there and over 40% never reach their fundraising goal. - We need a new Kickstarter for causes!
When looking at most fundraisers, you may think that it’s all about the money. But money doesn’t necessarily create mindshare. However it is mindshare that makes an idea fly … plus it certainly helps a lot when you want to raise money. Check this out: If a charity raises $10,000 from 10 donors, they created 10 supporters. However if they raise $100,000 from $10,000 donors, they created a movement for change – and while the money raised is really important, it’s the movement that makes lasting change possible.
… we ended up developing the solution for causes ourselves – there was just too much of a vacuum to be filled.