My friend, Jud Bergeron, makes some really cool artwork, but it can be expensive to create. When he needed money to complete his most recent sculpture project, QUACK-QUACK, he followed the lead of other artists and entrepreneurs before him and launched a Kickstarter campaign. The result? The project was funded in three days, and Jud raised 128 percent of his goal.
It wasn’t dumb luck that the campaign succeeded. Jud worked hard at spreading the word about it. And, whether he realized it or not, he employed many best practices that marketers of all stripes might learn from. He followed three basic steps:
1. Build a relationship with your audience. In the digital age, you have to go beyond broadcasting your message to engaging your audience on a personal level. This means providing content your audience values—whether it’s original content or curated content. It means listening to your audience, answering questions, and adjusting your course based on you learn. In Jud’s case, it means posting and interacting with followers on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.
2. Tell a compelling story. Jud does this using his Kickstarter video, which movingly tells how his baby daughter inspired QUACK-QUACK. By engaging audience emotions, compelling stories transform audience passivity into an urgent need to act—and convert leads into customers.
3. Be wherever your audience is. This can mean going beyond social networking and engaging in more traditional advertising, PR, and direct marketing efforts. Jud advertised his Kickstarter campaign on key art blogs, persuaded art blogs to post about QUACK-QUACK, and engaged his followers via automated emails. The Content Bureau similarly engages with its clients by posting original marcom thought leadership—like this!—on its blog each week, which it shares via LinkedIn and Twitter.
Follow these three basic steps, and marketing success is more likely to follow, whether you’re raising money on Kickstarter or selling widgets in the marketplace.