Contributed by Andrew Nunnelly, Marketing Associate at Indiegogo
The ubiquity of the internet allows information and change to move faster than ever before. In a matter of minutes, millions of people around the world can mobilize behind an idea — something that would have taken days, if not months, to happen just a few short years ago. This is the power of the “crowd.” This is the power Indiegogo has tapped into with its global crowdfunding platform.
Crowdfunding is a pooling of funds from the people who have a passion for your idea. With the right planning and the right pitch, it not only provides your idea with crucial capital but also real-time:
- Market validation
- Customer data
At Indiegogo, anyone, anywhere can raise money for any idea. It is an open platform — no application process. Only a couple clicks from the Indiegogo homepage, users can create “campaigns” to raise money for their projects — and go live whenever they want. These campaigns are then eligible for promotion by Indiegogo through a democratic algorithm known as the gogo factor. A variety of factors go into this equation — from the amount a campaign has raised to how much a campaigner has interacted with contributors and vice versa. The unbiased nature of this product feature is at the core of Indiegogo’s philosophy.
Another cornerstone of this philosophy is an enjoyable and personalized customer experience — from using the site to education of crowdfunding best practices to successfully running a campaign. This effort is coordinated by the Customer Happiness team. Far from only available to help users with site issues, this highly knowledgeable and skilled team acts as in-house consultants, helping campaigners improve their pitches, hone messaging, and redirect marketing efforts.
Unlike others in the crowdfunding space, Indiegogo is a truly global platform. Because of our payment and disbursement options, people around the world are able to both receive and make contributions. One recent campaign recently closed with contributions from over 80 countries. For small businesses, this provides an unparalleled opportunity to find and connect with new customers.
In line with its commitment to being an international funding platform, continuing to expand its global reach, and supporting entrepreneurship, Indiegogo has recently partnered with Google and Stiftung Entrepreneurship in Germany to launch a competition for German-speaking entrepreneurs. Together with a new, localized German-language Indiegogo site (http://de.indiegogo.com/) and the ability for contributions to be received in Euros, this competition marks a major milestone for Indiegogo and crowdfunding. Competitors will launch Indiegogo campaigns to fund their startup ideas, and Google will be matching successfully funded campaigns until its 150,000 € prize pot is exhausted.
To give a sense of what entrepreneurs can do with Indiegogo, here are some recent examples of successful campaigns:
This entrepreneurial campaign definitely had “viral” in mind when it created this campaign. Though slow and steady can absolutely win the race of a particular crowdfunding campaign, “buzz” can often accelerate a campaign far past its original funding goal in a much shorter period of time. This can be particularly important if a business hopes that its contributors will also be its initial user base.
They have combined an endorsement/sponsorship with a strong idea and professional means of delivery — in particular, their video: A piece of media that can be passively consumed in such a way that the key information is taken in and some excitement can be generated. They also have AMAZING perks for their particular audience. The most expensive ($10K) buys a person a character named after them in Margaret Atwood’s next book. And someone bought this perk.
This campaign successfully tapped into its immediate, closest networks to raise initial funds and trigger word-of-mouth. They were able to do this with limited, local brand recognition. Together with WoM, they were able to move beyond their inner networks by providing tangible perks that appealed to a larger audience.
Through these examples, it should be increasingly clear that the possibilities for a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo are essentially infinite — it is entirely up to the innovation and imagination of the campaigners to make it happen. An entrepreneur with a great idea already has the basic ingredients for success with Indiegogo — the rest is just finding the messaging and other means to effectively connect with the crowd. But remember, there’s not just one crowd, there’s your crowd — a group of people, all around the world, who connect with your idea and want to contribute to it.
Editor note: the views & opinions expressed herein are those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the opinions & views of ff Venture Capital.