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Social media for SMBs: Leveraging on Kickstarter for funding and online marketing

July 26th, 2012 by | 2 Comments

Image by Victor1558

On the social Web, brands are getting more and more ingenious in finding ways to reach their targeted audience. And while bigger corporations have the necessary budgets to get their campaigns and projects off the ground, the little guy (AKA enterprising individuals and small businesses) are challenged to instead boostrap their way to success. For them, Kickstarter has definitely become the savior, enabling them to crowdsource funding to launch their brilliant ideas.

While crowdfunding may be Kickstarter’s main purpose, many brands are also realizing how much of an Internet marketing gold it can be. In fact, proactively launching a successful project on Kickstarter require practically the same tactics as empowering a brand’s online presence. In a nutshell, both will need four important components—

  • A brilliant idea as a launchpad
  • Compelling content that should be updated often
  • Continuous engagements with the right people online
  • Product, brand and content marketing across the social Web

“Projects” can be art installations, new books, music albums, and product development. For instance, some of the most popular and successfully Kickstarter-driven projects include the social network Diaspora, the Pebble smartwatch, Amanda Palmer’s collaboration album with the Grand Theft Orchestra, and Seth Godin’s latest social media marketing book.

Aside from finding seed funding for projects and other endeavors, small businesses putting up projects on Kickstarter can reap multiple benefits, including the following.

 

A New Platform to Market Your Brand
Social media marketing involves building your brand’s identity and reputation online which is quite an undertaking for new businesses. Brands who have decided to take the Kickstarter route will find that it can be a good avenue to reach people online.

If you’ve got a great project, it can definitely build buzz online. Blog and news outfits are always on the look-out for topics to feature. Mashable, TechCrunch, Engadget and even the New York Times are only some of the companies that have commonly featured Kickstarter projects. You can gain some social media mileage and even offline publicity if they chance upon your project and write about you on their sites (or you can even send them your press releases to grab their attention). Plus other sites may also pick up on their posts and feature you as well.

 


Image by Ben Sutherland

Fosters a Tighter Relationship with an Involved Audience
Launching a project on Kickstarter involves creating a video pitch for potential investors. So after finding the project that captures their interest (and if they find it to be worth their time and money), they can click on the Back This Project button.

From a social engagement vantage point, this is where the hook starts. People are automatically invested the moment your project attracts their attention, and they solidify their support for it when they start pledging their financial support. Throughout your project’s progress, they’ll be following and regularly interacting with you, and may even be deeply emotionally invested through challenges and successes. This connection is valuable, enabling you to grow your brand’s following and forge a close relationship with them.

 

Provides Access to Talented People and Partners
When a Kickstarter project gets enough buzz and is put on the spotlight, the brand behind it can get some significant clout on the social media and in their respective industries. Because of this, you can easily find interested people who are willing to help or partner with you to make projects easier and even give you new venture ideas to explore as your brand grows. For instance, a video game startup seeking funding to manufacture a gaming console can attract other like-minded developers and hardware engineers to get on-board and help them. Similarly, the aforementioned Pebble smartwatch found a partner to develop apps for their units even a couple of weeks before their Kickstarter run had ended.


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