The Recipe for Money

Great, now that I’ve got your attention with that heading (I can see why pop-up ads succumb to using that line), let me tell you about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge! JOKES!

Whilst the Ice Bucket Challenge raises money for the greater good, this week’s post is about raising money for you. Although it doesn’t come easy, funding your brilliant idea and bringing it to life has been made a lot easier thanks to a combination of risk-takers, the internet and social media. 

 

Enter: Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding in its simplest form is the ‘act of raising small amounts of money from many people’. Throw in a pinch of internet, a dash of social media, and a tonne of people with spare cash and what do you get? Online crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo that will have raised a projected $4.35 BILLION by the end of 2015. In short, you get money.

A great infographic on crowdfunding statistics is available here.

 

How it works

Different platforms have different restrictions and guidelines but at the most basic level, there are two main entities involved (adopted from the Kickstarter model):

  • Creators – musicians, filmmakers, artists, and designers who share their idea through text, images and videos
  • Backers – people who put their money into a project they believe or support in, or simply find awesome

Backers’ money –> channeled –> covering Creators’ costs and expenditures. In return, Backers are promised some sort of reward based on their contribution. And whatever Creators save through over-projected costs can be –> channeled –> covering a First Class airfare and a fancy bottle of wine for their next meeting. 

There are some flaws with regards to hidden costsfeasibility and tax consequences, but despite this, crowdfunding has seen the same upward trend as the ice bucket challenge in recent years.

 

CF growth

 

Some projects manifest ingenious ideas and are extremely successful,

some campaigns come extremely close but don’t make the cut

…and then there are these

 

I’m sure a lot of you would have skimmed through the first half of my post because you already know what crowdfunding is. However, mastering the art of squeezing money out of a crowd does require a closer read.

 

There are two parts to any crowdfunding attempt:

  1. the creation – the actual product/project
  2. the marketing – how you build awareness and attract funding

You’re on your own for the first half of the concoction, but I’ve created a delicious recipe for the marketing side of things.

 

Creamy Crowdfunding Cookies

Ingredients

Social Media Batter

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Countless Friends

Campaign Cream

  • 1-2 Videos
  • 5 Photos
  • 1 Heart

Extras

  • 1 Cup Coffee
  • Gummy Bears

 

Method

First, a couple months before launching your campaign, mix Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to create a foundation of awareness and understanding of what you are working on. This will make sure that your project stands out from the crowd during launch on one of the crowdfunding platforms. Beat this social media batter with posts and content to keep the crowd updated and don’t forget to include links to the campaign throughout. To help with the consistency, throw in countless friends to spread the word on all 3 social media ingredients.

Just before baking (ie before the campaign has been launched on Kickstarter for example (I’m really trying here, so work with me)) line the tray with one or two short, concise and to-the-point videos that highlight the benefit to the consumer. For that extra flavour, sprinkle some photos of your product prototype to instill some faith and trust in potential backers. Finally, pour your heart into the mix because people generate support for products that get personal and connect with the creator.

You’ll also need some coffee to stay active with backers, customers, media, donors, investors, and others who demonstrate interest in your…delicious…cookies.

And some gummy bears to sweeten the deal of course..

 

#digitallyinterweave

  • What cool campaigns have you seen on a crowdfunding platform?
  • What else is important in the brand-me-and-my-idea process of crowdfunding?
  • Do you like gummy bears?

 

QR in the ER

Many of you probably already know what a QR Code is – and if you haven’t, I’m sure you’ll recognize it when you see one.

QRCode

 

Ring a bell? Yes? No? Doesn’t matter – here’s a little summary:

The QR Code stands for Quick Response Code, and is used to store information in a visually displeasing arrangement of bricks (are they black bricks on a white background or white on black?) Using an appropriate app on your tablet or smartphone, you can scan this wonderful image (using the device’s camera) and it presents you with a surprisingly wide variety of information such as details on the business, a redirection to a URL or even a coupon you can use for your next purchase – at the brand that placed their QR code somewhere visually effective and got through to you.

That’s where the purpose of this post kicks in – QR codes suddenly lost their spark in the last couple of years, soon after creating a breakthrough in the way we interact with brands. One of the primary reasons for this sudden downturn in what could have been a powerful marketing tool is that they weren’t used correctly, often being placed in ineffective positions within the brand’s touch points.

I was in Bali over this past weekend only to be diagnosed with food poisoning and an overnight stay at the paradisiacal BIMC Hospital. Yay. Anyway, as I got off the bed to relieve myself of one of food poisoning’s treacherous symptoms, I saw this:

2014-08-20 10.28.16

A QR code on the base of the IV drip hanger. The person who came up with this idea is both a genius as well as…not so much one. He did foresee that hospital patients only look at two things whilst sick: the ceiling when they’re lying down, and the floor when they get up (therefore achieving 50% exposure success). But would any patient in their right mind (and body) put their pain and suffering aside to take out their phone and scan the QR code for more information on the last thing they want to see, an IV drip hanger?

 

For some fail examples of QR code placement, click here.

 

So what makes a good QR code then?

  • Location. They must be in a location that does not inconvenience the customer – not too high, not too far. Sometimes when they are large enough it can compensate for the distance but then this may drown the supporting stimuli that appears alongside the code. 
  • Incentive. The customer must be offered an incentive that makes it worthwhile for them to scan the code. Despite the simplicity in scanning a QR code, no one would carry out the action without purpose. Why should they?
  • Relevance. Many brands decide to throw in a QR code where they can, just for the heck of it or because it became a fast-growing digital trend. Marketers must learn to keep them when relevant and ditch them when not.
  • Mobile-site. The importance of leading to an mobile-optimized site is underrated. No one wants to be directed to a page where they have to scroll horizontally to read text, and where half the links are unclickable – it ruins the experience!

For some great examples of QR Code placement and marketing integration, click here.

 

#digitallyinterweave

  • What do you think is important for brands to consider when implementing a QR Code?
  • Do you think QR codes still have a chance at digital marketing?
  • What great/failed examples have you seen of QR Codes in your everyday lives?