Step-by-Step Guide to Marketing Your Crowdfund. Part 2: Building Your Online Presence Through Social, Content, and SEO.

In Part 1, we covered Optimizing Landing Pages for Crowdfunding. If you haven't read it, we suggest checking it out before reading on.

Now that you’ve got a website and built out some landing pages to test, it’s time to bulk up the traffic coming to your website. One way to do this organically, is by improving your social and content game. In doing so, you’ll lockdown a sustainable, long-term strategy that will support company and brand growth for as long as you’re selling. Unlike paid acquisition, the results won’t happen overnight, but you also won’t need to consistently add logs to the fire in order to see flames burn.

Social

alt news Deciding how much you want to throw into building and maintaining a strong social presence is dependant on your product, the business you’d like to build, and how much you’ve got in terms of resources. For crowdfunding, it’s important to cultivate a social following before and during your launch. This way, more customers will find you, your launch will have greater viral potential, and your brand can command stronger authority.

These are the basic accounts we recommend setting up for your crowdfund (and beyond):

  • Twitter—Post original tweets, tweet other’s content, respond to and favorite customer mentions, and build lists. Lists will help you follow and retweet influential people within your space (we’ll touch on this below). Post at frequency that makes sense for your audience, whether that's several times per day or once weekly. Buffer is a great tool to schedule tweets and social posts.
  • Facebook—Post product updates, customer stories, repost any original content, share relevant articles, photos etc. Post daily.
  • Linkedin—Build out a company page, and share the same relevant product updates, company news, and any original content. Join groups targeted toward your crowdfunding idea and participate in conversations.
  • Pinterest—Post and tag cool pictures of your product or idea and any other things happening within your space. For hardware and crowdfunding ideas, Pinterest won’t be a high-performing social channel, but over time, you may notice some additional traffic.

Content Strategy

alt news Within the last 5 years, content has become an integral part of brand-building, customer acquisition, and overall marketing strategy. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find a major crowdfunded product, startup, or other cutting-edge brand that doesn’t keep a company blog. The reason for the mass blogging movement: it helps grow businesses. When done correctly, for a long-enough time period, content is one of the best marketing investments you can make.

Here’s how to start a blog on your website:

  • Set-up your blog. Use a readymade platform like Tumblr, Ghost, TinyPress or WordPress to setup a blog on your own website, and get it running ASAP. Blogging on another platform, like Medium, is a good way to share your content, but you want to host the blog primarily on your website in order to boost your web traffic and ranking.
  • Develop a Strategy. Writing is great and all, but if it’s not targeted for your customers, it won’t affect your crowdfund. Writing to get customers means knowing who your customers are, and writing within the specific niche your product falls into. For example, if you’re crowdfunding idea is for a electronic longboard, you’d probably want to write about commuting to work or “green” transportation--whatever branding angle you’re taking. Writing about travelling South America or magic tricks will not generate the right traffic to your website. Here’s a detailed post by the Content Marketing Institute on developing a content marketing strategy.
  • Write. Experiment and test different formats and topics to see what generates the most “buzz”. What types of content are getting the most shares? Is it a blog post, a white paper, a podcast, an infographic? Content is complex. Some posts may not take-off right away, but will continue to generate solid traffic, achieve great search result page ranking, and be a constant source of leads. These pieces are called “evergreen”, and should be your primary aim. Stay away from “fluffy”, clickbait posts (like Buzzfeed) and focus on writing longer (1000-2000 word articles) that will stand the test of time. In 6-12 months, your footprint will grow organically, and the linkbacks to your content from other sources will greatly improve your SEO. Longform content is especially beneficial for public discovery if you’re in a crowded space.
  • Distribute and Promote. You know that metaphysical quote that says, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”? Well, content is the tree. You can write the best, most targeted, niche post in the world, but if you don’t promote it, it’s like it never existed. You will need to establish a slew of distributions channel that work for you. This will include channels you “own” like your twitter followers, Facebook fans, or subscribers. It will also include the channels you have little control of like Quibb, Growth Hackers, Quora etc. Ideally, you can develop relationships with like-minded brands or publications who will share, syndicate, or cross-publish your content. The end goal of a mature, well-played content strategy is to simply publish and have your following do all of the distribution for you.

Like a fine wine, content gets better with age. Remember, it’s a long-term strategy that requires continued maintenance; the more you put into it, the more it will pay off down the road when effort vs. return becomes exponential.

Search Engine Optimization

alt news SEO is a scary word acronym. However, if you can get at least two fingers worth of a hand-le on it, it can be quite beneficial to your crowdfund and overall growth strategy. In short, SEO is a methodology used to obtain higher pagerank placement in search engine results in order to bring more visitors to a particular website.

After google took over the world, SEO has become hugely important, making or breaking a brand’s public discovery. The easier you are to find on the web, the better, and SEO has a large part to do with who’s found. Here are some starting points to help improve your SEO to build better brand awareness before you crowdfund:

  • Track Where Your Visitors are Coming From—What keywords are your current visitors using to find you? How is your pagerank? How many outside websites are linking to you? Use tracking tools such as Google Analytics, Google Toolbar, plus Alexa to determine your standings.
  • Competitor Intel—Don’t reinvent the wheel. Spend some time on Google figuring out the language and keywords your competitors use. Great tools for this type of keyword searching: SpyFu, Adwords, BuzzSumo, Hubspot, Moz.
  • Employ Keywords into Your Content—Weave in the keywords of your competitors throughout your website. The appropriate keywords should be included in your blog, headlines, web copy, URLs, title tags, image names etc. Include keywords everywhere you can, but don’t let it feel contrived or spammy. Link Back to Yourself—Link to other pages, write content that links to older posts, and keep incestuous linking alive! MarketingVox explains, “The more relevant words point to a page, the more likely that page is to appear in search results when users run a query with those terms.”
  • Social Media—Share original content from your blog on your social media channels. This will help fertilize the land with links back to you!

To get more acquainted with the underworld of SEO, follow-up with these resources:

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