Tool Time: E-Sources for Crowdfunding Campaigners
It goes without saying that the Internet is full of immensely powerful tools and platforms — Indiegogo itself is an indication of this. But for crowdfunding campaigners, it’s sometimes difficult to know where to begin when it comes to finding tools that will help them optimize their crowdfunding efforts. That’s why we canvassed the Indiegogo team — with decades of combined crowdfunding knowledge and experience with campaigners — for as many helpful online resources that they could think of, so that we could share them with you!
We tried to represent each part of the campaign process — the before, during, and after — with hopes that you can make the most of your crowdfunding experience and make your ideas come to life! The Internet is vast, and this list is by no means a full representation of its power — in fact, we hope to see this blogpost live and evolve, so if there are other resources you think should be included, please share them with us in the comments!
Building Your Campaign
From your campaign page to your social media presence, these tools are helpful for sprucing up your media and preparing to spread the word about your campaign!
www.animoto.com — An easy-to-use online video editor with free and paid versions.
http://www.apple.com/ilife/imovie/ — While still user friendly, this video editor gives you more options and control.
http://studio.stupeflix.com/en/ — Another easy-to-use and browser based video editor with a variety of pricing plans.
www.vimeo.com — A common destination for campaigners who want their pitch videos to display in higher quality or larger formats.
www.youtube.com — A great place to host campaign-related videos given its vibrant social sharing environment. You can also add link annotations to the video that link directly to your campaign!
Blog — Though it’s great to utilize your campaign page as a kind of blog, the blog hosts below can be a great supplement given their large communities of bloggers, which you can tap into and engage with — spreading your campaign beyond your network.
http://unbounce.com/ — Allows you to create landing pages for surveying your campaigners or advertising your campaign via things like Google Adwords.
Social Media Presence:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php — Creating a Facebook Page for your campaign is a great way to engage your campaigners and spread the word about your campaign via social media.
http://plus.google.com — Creating a Google+ Page for your campaign is great for connecting with a slightly different crowd than on Facebook.
www.twitter.com — There is a huge conversation about crowdunding on Twitter — as well as others that might have relevance to your particular campaign. Whether you start a handle for your campaign or your own personal one, getting involved in this conversation can bring a big boost to your campaign. Check out some of their best practices.
www.pinterest.com — A great place to get involved in the conversation around the topic(s) of your campaign — as well as a place to share pictures relevant to your campaign.
http://instagram.com/ — Picture sharing is the name of the game on Instagram. Campaigners have used it for everything from sharing pictures of perks to snapshots of their campaign page. Make sure to use hashtags like #indiegogo and include a link to your campaign when you post!
Shortened Links — When sharing a link to your campaign in social media, save space by shortening the link.
On every Indiegogo campaign page, under the area where a pitch video is displayed, there is a box with a shortened link to the campaign that you can share with your network! This can also be used to run a referral contest.
www.bitly.com — Bitly’s tracking tools to see how many clicks you’re getting and from where.
Music Sharing — Musicians, you probably already know these ones, but if not — these are great ways of sharing your current music with potential contributors to get them excited about supporting your musical efforts.
http://fotoflexer.com/ — Whether you need to edit photos for your campaign page or perks, this is a free and user-friendly online solution.
Create Infographics — Some campaigners choose to create infographics to use on their campaign page. These can be used to illustrate everything from a breakdown of your campaign fundraising goals to explaining your perks.
http://www.slideshare.net/ — A good way to share images from your campaign (perks, etc.). Slideshare also has a social community that might be interested in your campaign!
If You Need an Extra Hand:
https://www.taskrabbit.com/ — If you need some extra help with any aspect of your campaign, you’re likely to find someone who can help on Task Rabbit.
http://invite.zirtual.com/what-we-do/ — Virtual personal assistants!
Campaign and Team Management
Before and after you launch your campaign, you’ll need to be able to easily communicate and collaborate with teammates and contributors as well as track your progress — and these sites can help you do that!
www.basecamp.com — A great way to delegate and manage tasks with your campaign team.
Document Collaboration — Google Docs is a free tool that allows you to create documents, presentations, spreadsheets, and more — and then easily share them with your team and collaborate in real-time. See how these campaigners used this strategy!
Sharing Large Files — Most email clients have limitations on the size of files you can share. These sites provide free and paid services for exchanging larger files with your campaign teammates. Great for sharing media like pictures and video.
www.google.com/analytics — If you are using an additional site like a blog for your campaign, then it’s a good idea to see where your traffic is coming from — that way you can adjust your marketing strategies.
www.bitly.com — We mentioned this one earlier, but again, sharing links to your campaign via Bitly will allow you to track the number and origin of clicks to your campaign page.
http://batchgeo.com/ — Interested in where all your contributions are coming from? Batchego let’s you take the information in your campaign dashboard and create a world map of your contributors.
Spreading the Word
Your campaign is live, and now you need to tell people about it! The following tools can help you manage your email and social media, provide communication best practices, connect with local press, engage with people offline, and more!
Create Pre-Campaign Buzz:
http://launchrock.co/ — Launch Rock allows you to create a “Coming Soon” page for your campaign! It’s a great way to get your network curious/excited about your campaign before it launches.
www.mailchimp.com — A tool for managing emails to larger lists of addresses as well as designing emails with a more professional look.
http://www.boomeranggmail.com/ — A plugin for Gmail that let’s you do things like schedule an email blast for later.
Email Best Practices:
http://mailchimp.com/resources/ — Mentioned earlier, Mailchimp hosts a number of resources that can help you optimize your email strategy — helpful whether or not you plan to use their paid tools.
Google Labs — Gmail is always introducing new tools as part of their Labs program. There could be something in there to help your campaign!
Social Media Best Practices:
https://business.twitter.com/basics/best-practices/ — Though this document is especially for Businesses, there are a number of best practices that apply to anyone wanting to make the most of Twitter for their campaign.
http://www.hubspot.com/how-to-use-pinterest-for-business/ — Again, this can be helpful to people trying to leverage Pinterest to spread the word about their campaign.
Social Media Management:
www.hootsuite.com — Hootsuite allows you to schedule tweets in advance as well as “listen in” on conversations of your choosing.
www.tweetdeck.com — A free alternative to Hootsuite, developed by Twitter.
http://klout.com/home — Allows you to see the influential status of people on Twitter — great for helping you decide who to reach out to and engage with. There is also a free Google Chrome extension that automatically integrates with Twitter.
http://web.stagram.com/ — A web-based app that lets you monitor Instagram hashtags and mentions.
http://pinstamatic.com/ — A manager for Pinterest.
http://instajelly.com/ — Similar to Pinstamatic — but for Instagram.
Social Media Amplification:
http://clicktotweet.com/ — Rather than just ask people to tweet about your campaign, you can provide them with a link that serves them a tweet you’ve written to send to their followers.
www.paper.li — Allows you to create an online newspaper around your campaign’s social activity.
https://www.thunderclap.it/ — Create a “thunderclap” by having people agree to spread the word about your campaign — after you reach a certain number of people, everyone will simultaneously send out your pre-designated tweet!
Finding Related Audiences:
http://www.google.com/alerts — By following certain keywords that are related to the subject matter of your campaign, you can stay connected with current events, topics, and voices — and engage accordingly.
http://www.meetup.com/ — Find local groups of people who share your passion!
http://www.helpareporter.com/ — This site helps connect you with reporters who might be looking for source material for an article they’re writing.
http://www.usnpl.com/ — There are local news outlets near you, and they’re always hungry for strong local content.
http://www.google.com/alerts — Wondering if someone has been writing about your campaign? Google Alerts will send you an email when someone has!
http://twitalyzer.com/ — Helps you find out more about who is interacting with you on Twitter and how they are doing so.
https://www.rapleaf.com/ — Have a large email list that you’d like to understand better in terms of demographics, location, etc.? Rapleaf does just that!
Paid Advertising — If you’re looking to spread your campaign even further and are willing to pay for it, the following are some strong resources for paid advertising that can connect you with like-minded audiences.
http://www.linkedin.com/ — Connect with individuals in industries that might be related to your campaign.
http://www.reddit.com/ — “The Front Page of the Internet” — Reddit is a great source of content and a great place to share your campaign. It has innumerable “subreddits” that focus on highly specific categories. It also has traditions like “Ask Me Anything” where people open themselves up to questions from the Reddit community — another way to spread the word about your campaign.
http://www.stumbleupon.com/ — This site shows users websites based upon their interests — you can submit a link to your campaign!
https://twitter.com/ — From engaging your inner network to tweeting up, Twitter is one of the best ways to connect with people who share your passions — near and far.
www.moo.com — Moo makes easily customizable business cards that get shipped straight to your door. Making business cards for your campaign could be a great way to spread the word when you’re out and about around town!
http://www.fedex.com/us/office/online-printing-services.html — Sometimes, spreading the word in your community about your campaign can be just as powerful as using Twitter or Facebook. Fedex provides simple printing services if you wanted to make flyers, banners, and more to share your campaign with your local area.
Once you’ve finished your campaign, it’s important to stay in touch with contributors and share the love by fulfilling your perks. Below are services that can help with printing and shipping — as well as collecting information from your contributors.
Custom Printing — If you have an image or logo you want to put on a perk, the following sites have countless things to print them on.
https://teelaunch.com/ — This service was designed specifically for crowdfunders. They not only print your t-shirt perks — but will also send them straight to your contirbutors.
Shipping in and from the US:
http://www.avery.com/avery/en_us/Products/Labels — By the nature of crowdfunding, you want a lot of contributors, but fulfilling perks can sometimes take time. Bulk printing your shipping labels can save you hours.
https://www.usps.com/business/priority-mail-flat-rate-for-business.htm — Minimize perk shipping costs with the USPS’ flat rate boxes.
https://www.usps.com/send/priority-mail-international-flat.htm — USPS also offers flat rate boxes for international shipping.
http://www.backerkit.com/ — This online tool helps you manage your perk fulfillment — designs especially for crowdunders.
Surveys and Online Forms — Want to follow-up with your contributors about their perks or survey them about a new campaign you might launch? These sites can help you create online surveys and forms to do just that.
If You Need an Extra Hand:
https://www.taskrabbit.com/ — Mentioned before, TaskRabbit could definitely come in handy as you fulfill your perks and being to execute your project.
Marketplace for Crowdfunded Products:
If your campaign is product-based and you want people to keep discovering it even after your campaign ends, submitting to this site is a good way to keep promoting your business.