Regulation crowdfunding (Reg CF), or equity crowdfunding, has been a game changer in the business world over the last couple of years.
Just like inventors and creators can get funding for their projects through sites like Kickstarter or Patreon, start-ups can further their visions with investment capital from the crowd.
Sites like WeFunder, StartEngine, and Republic now allow entrepreneurs in a variety of industries to go online and find communities of investors – from ordinary people to corporate professionals – to support their businesses.
If you’re an entrepreneur with high hopes for your startup, running an equity crowdfunding campaign is a great way to level up in the business world, and there are a number of reputable platforms out there to help you do this.
But no matter which platform you choose or how much potential your business model has, one thing is non-negotiable: marketing.
You can’t get funding using equity crowdfunding on your own; you need investors, and the only guaranteed way to get investors for your equity crowdfunding campaign is to market aggressively and deliberately.
Every great business person knows it’s essential to tailor your marketing strategy to your purpose. Equity crowdfunding is a unique mode of getting funding, so equity crowdfunding marketing requires a unique approach.
If you’re hoping to get investors for your startup through regulation crowdfunding, you need a well-thought-out marketing strategy. That is, a plan for how you are going to manage Reg CF marketing and drive investors to your campaign.
So, here are some of our top tips for formulating an effective equity crowdfunding marketing strategy.
(By the way, if you want to know everything there is to know about crowdfunding for startups, we have a FREE course for you!
Our equity crowdfunding course will show you how to pick the right platforms, raise funds, get investors, and more. It’s well worth your while to check it out, and I guarantee it will answer ALL of your biggest equity crowdfunding marketing questions.)
What Do You Need to Communicate?
Regulation crowdfunding marketing is all about telling investors that your business is worthwhile.
Their impression of you will come from the way in which you present your material, and that’s why professional-grade Reg CF marketing practices are key. You need to make sure your landing page and advertisements accurately reflect the promise of your business.
Some of the things investors look for in a start-up include:
- Certainty: Don’t leave any room for doubt. Let everyone know they can’t go wrong by investing in your business.
You can do this by establishing a strong track record and talking about your previous successes.
If investors can see that you’ve been reliable in the past, they’re more likely to trust you in future endeavors.
- Urgency: Urgency is one of the main mechanisms that drives people to take action, so don’t give them enough time to change their minds about investing. Let them know that the best time to invest in your business is NOW.
Consider offering early-bird specials or limiting the time that your campaign is available. These things effectively give investors a deadline and bring you to the forefront of their attention.
- Credibility: Investors need to see that you take your business seriously and know what you are doing.
Remember: with regulation crowdfunding marketing, you aren’t just talking to serious hard-nosed professionals – you’re also talking to ordinary people who don’t necessarily have a business background. Make sure your approach to equity crowdfunding marketing addresses both.
Hard numbers and industry jargon are great ways to establish credibility with businessmen who know what they mean, but you can also appeal to people through emotion.
Don’t be afraid to have a little fun or get a bit personal as you tell the story of your business, as these things can really reach the hearts of your investors.
- A Call to Action: Your call to action is the part of your reg cf marketing campaign that attempts to close the deal.
This is where you tell your audience exactly what you need them to do: invest in your equity campaign now!
Make sure all of your content includes a clear call to action that brings people to your page and prompts them to become investors.
- An Angle: All of your equity crowdfunding marketing content needs to contribute to at least one angle.
In other words, each piece of material should highlight one specific attribute of your company that makes it attractive to investors.
Some possible angles to pursue might include a focus on the innovative technology or software your business uses, reputable investors or individuals who are involved with your business already, existing or previous success, and market opportunity.
Ideally, you should develop multiple angles, but you don’t have to cram them all into every piece of marketing content your produce. Instead, consider tailoring them to different marketing channels for different audiences.
You might develop one angle through social media campaigns, and another through webinars, for example.
- Freshness: If your approach to marketing your equity crowdfunding campaign never changes, you aren’t likely to continue catching attention. That’s why you need to keep it fresh.
Every experienced marketer knows repetition is vital. This means you should keep putting out material, but it doesn’t mean you should bludgeon your audience over and over with the same message.
If an advertiser showed you the same commercial a million times, it wouldn’t make you more likely to buy their product. It would just make you bored and a little annoyed.
In the same way, you need to keep investors interested with dynamic and changing content. You don’t want to stagnate, so stimulate your campaign by switching up your approach every once in a while and using your tools in new ways.
If you’re trying to market your WeFunder or StartEngine campaign, consider turning your landing page into a living document by occasionally switching up images, headlines, titles, and text to reflect new updates.
Keeping it fresh is also a great way to broaden your audience. The more approaches and angles you pursue, the more likely you are to hit upon the one that resonates most with each potential investor.
What Do You Need to Have?
As you begin to formulate your regulation crowdfunding marketing strategy, curate a collection of content that reflects the strengths of your business model. This includes all of the tangible resources you have that tell the world who you are as a company, such as:
- Copywriting: This refers to all of the written text you are using for marketing purposes and encompasses writing done for your landing page, email blasts, blog posts, and other promotional materials.
Copywriting is how you will tell investors about the most important aspects of your startup, like what your business model is, what you will accomplish, and what kind of tech you are using.
This is the most basic tool you have for selling your idea, so give great consideration to the type of language you use and the messages it conveys. All written copy should be clear, concise, and accessible, and it should work to get investors excited about your ideas.
- Graphics: In addition to high quality images of your product, infographics and charts are great ways to organize data and numbers for potential investors. They deliver information a bit more intuitively than words alone, so consider making a few for your page.
Graphics also refers to the color schemes, logos, thumbnails, and fonts you choose to represent your business. These things may seem small, but they can indicate a lot about your credibility.
A startup website with text written completely in comic sans may have a great business model, but it doesn’t exactly convey professionalism.
Graphics comprise the first impression investors will have of your startup, so select them with care and deliberation.
- Videos: If you want to market your equity crowdfunding campaign, a well-done pitch video is a must-have.
Videos allow you to combine language and images, so they’re one of the most effective ways to generate anticipation for your startup. That’s why you need to make your video as professional as possible.
You don’t need to buy a bunch of expensive filmmaking and editing equipment, but take your pitch video seriously. A strong video shows investors you know your stuff.
- Social Proof: Social proof refers to all of the tangible proof you can offer to establish credibility. It includes things like accolades, previous investors, previous successes, founder accomplishments, good sales metrics, target market opportunity, and positive reviews.
Essentially, social proof is anything that tells investors other people view you as valuable. It communicates the larger impact you’ve already made, and it should be woven into all of your marketing materials.
Here’s a tip to get some additional social proof for your WeFunder campaign: WeFunder has a built-in vouching feature that enables colleagues to recommend you to investors. Send some of your contacts a link and ask them to vouch for your credibility. As an added bonus, this will also prompt them to become investors themselves!
- Slide Decks: What’s the best way to deliver all your copywriting, graphics, video, and social proof to potential investors: SLIDE DECKS!
Slide decks are pretty much the bread-and-butter of regulation cf marketing, and you should put together a few for your campaign.
A compelling slide deck should reflect things like problem and solution, market size and opportunity, and an introduction to the main players in your company.
If you’re using WeFunder, you can make slides downloadable or embed them on your campaign page.
All of these things can be arranged to tell your story, and as an entrepreneur, you likely already have a lot of them on hand. They will constitute the body of the marketing content you put out, and once you’ve gotten them in order, you’ll start to see your reg cf marketing strategy take shape.
Remember, when it comes to marketing your WeFunder or StartEngine campaign, presentation is everything!
The way in which you choose to display your content will define your brand, so make sure all of your materials reflect the values, strengths, and potential of your business.
Who Is Your Audience?
A good equity crowdfunding marketing campaign always knows its audience. As you form your strategy, think about who you are trying to reach and what is most important to them.
It helps to think of your audience as segmented into two categories:
- Warm Contacts: These are people who already know you, including friends, family, colleagues, previous investors, and press contacts. You should keep a comprehensive list of all your warm contacts.
When it comes to impressing these contacts, the burden of social proof is a bit lower because you already have an established track record with them. Sometimes it’s just a matter of reaching out and letting them know you are looking for investors.
However, it is important to remember that just because someone has invested in your ventures before doesn’t mean they’re automatically going to do it again. You still need to show them that you have all your ducks in a row, and you can’t rely solely on warm contacts for capital.
- Cold Contacts: These are all the members of the investor community who don’t already know who you are and haven’t worked with you in the past.
With cold contacts, your goal is awareness, and your marketing tactics should be oriented towards helping these potential investors find you and get to know you.
Since you can’t rely on a preexisting relationship to form their opinion of you, you might have to put some extra work into convincing cold contacts to trust you, but if you can warm them up and move them down the marketing funnel towards becoming investors, it will be worth it!
Keep in mind that regulation crowdfunding campaigns are public-facing campaigns. Anyone can be a potential investor, not just people in the finance world, so don’t exclude lay people from your reg cf marketing campaign.
How Will You Reach Them?
Now that you’ve segmented your audience and generated a list of contacts, you need to start thinking about the best way to reach them with your marketing materials.
These days just about everything is digital, and that includes marketing your equity crowdfunding campaign.
Some great ways to spread info and get investors for your business include:
- Social Media: Using social media for organic marketing is especially effective for warming up cold contacts.
You can post marketing content on sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and YouTube. You don’t have to use all of these platforms, but it’s a good idea to pick at least one or two to share videos, graphics, text, tutorials, and updates about your business.
- Paid Marketing: Have a budget put aside for reg CF marketing, because you’ll need to pay for some of the channels you want to use.
Putting out paid advertisements through Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, or apps can go a long way towards getting you funding for your equity campaign.
- Phone Calls: This is a little thing that can make a big difference. We don’t suggest calling investors at random, but if you allow interested parties to schedule one-on-one phone calls with you, you’re opening the door towards forming a lasting business relationship with them.
Potential investors likely have some concerns you aren’t even aware of, and there’s no better way to address them than through a personal conversation.
Let investors tell you what’s most important to them so you can explain how you will meet their needs.
Use a software like Calendly, which has built-in functionality with WeFunder, to schedule personal calls. Admittedly, it might get a bit overwhelming if you try to do this with every potential investor, so maybe reserve it just for the biggest investors.
- Webinars: Webinars have become increasingly popular over the last few years, and you can include them in your equity crowdfunding marketing campaign.
If you have a well-rehearsed and convincing startup pitch, why not hold a webinar with some interested investors to show them you know your stuff?
A webinar is an opportunity to personalize your approach to marketing and address the concerns of multiple individuals in one session.
Or You Could Hire an Equity Crowdfunding Marketing Agency…
If you’re finding this a little overwhelming, you’re not the only one.
Marketing is serious business, and how you handle it can make or break your campaign.
In order to get funding using equity crowdfunding, you need to be prepared to put serious time and effort into perfecting your marketing strategy.
And you need to know a lot about the reg CF industry.
Fortunately, crowdfunding marketing agencies like CrowdCrux can help.
Helping independent entrepreneurs and creators get the funding they need is all we do, and we’re just as excited about your startup idea as you are!
Marketing your WeFunder or StartEngine campaign might seem like a lot of work, but you can leave all that to the professionals and keep running your businesses.
You can also check out my book Equity Crowdfunding Explained, the definitive guide to getting funding from the crowd in a matter of minutes.
Get your free copy with a free trial of Audible now, so you can start gathering the capital you need to take your business to the next level!