With any crowdfunding campaign, it’s normal to rely on family and friends to share your project. You post… they share… and like a spider web, your Kickstarter campaign is woven through the threads of Facebook and Twitter.
However, if your personal network isn’t full of big influencers with numerous connections, your “friends and family marketing plan” will come grinding to a halt. Let’s just say Grandma’s Facebook post about her grandson’s new movie won’t get the retirement home to throw cash your way.
So now it’s time for something more, for the most important aspect of any crowdfunding campaign – the media. If you want to take a mediocre campaign to the next level, you need press coverage. Wait… let me say RELEVANT press coverage.
Let me explain. I say relevant because I’ve worked in TV news for almost 15 years… and during that time, I’ve been pitched a lot of junk. They find me through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and email. Now I love hearing a great story idea, but most of it isn’t newsworthy and wouldn’t interest our TV viewers. Bottom line – these folks are pitching the wrong person and the wrong media outlet.
However, here’s what works. I received an email a couple years ago along these lines… “Hey, Erin. I saw your story last week on XXX and thought this story might interest you…. By the way, congrats on your new baby!”
Ding. Ding. Ding.
That person got press coverage.
Why? She took the time to find a reporter who had actually covered her topic in the past. She also took an EXTRA step and personalized it with just one sentence about my baby. So easy… yet so smart.
So how do you find relevant press and bloggers who might be interested in your campaign? Here are the top, FREE tools I use.
1. Google – Custom Date Tool
I start by researching similar campaigns. For example, right now we have a client launching a Kickstarter campaign for a comic book. So I start by searching for other successful comic book campaigns on Kickstarter. Then I head to Google and type in the name of the campaign… BUT HERE’S THE TRICK… I hone my search by clicking on “search tools.”
Instead of “any time,” I scroll to the bottom and select “custom range.” I then set the search window to start a week before the campaign launched and end a week after the campaign closed. Google quickly shows me which journalists and bloggers covered the campaign while it was live.
If you haven’t already heard of this little gem, I guarantee Buzzsumo will change your world. You simply go to www.buzzzumo.com and type in a keyword in the search bar. Not only will it discover relevant stories, but it shows you how many social shares each story received. Just like Google, you can also customize the date range.
And yes… you get all that information for FREE. If you want to see the people who actually shared the story (which is amazing info by the way) you can upgrade to BuzzSumo pro to access the extra data.
Spokepoint is another great tool to find relevant press. Same deal – simply search for your keyword and you’ll find the articles about your topics. You can take it a step further, and Dan and his team will help you craft a pitch and really get the right attention from the press.
So as you use these three tools, start an excel spreadsheet and list every publication you’d like to target. Include the name of the journalist or blogger, their email (if you can find it) and their twitter handle. This is the beginnings of your press list.
However, your press list is half the battle. Next you have to craft a press release or perfect pitch to grab their attention! We’ll save that for another post. Until then, happy crowdfunding!
Erin Kienzle has worked in TV news for almost 15 years. Yes, she wears a little too much hairspray, but she knows how to get a reporter’s attention. Questions about creating the perfect pitch? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org