If you have been following along with our recent blogs, you know that part of pre-campaign planning deals with growing a list of potential backers for your project. The bigger the list the better! This is because no matter how useful, innovative and impressive your product is, not all backers will be interested in it. Product development is a niche business and it is necessary to find the right audience who can benefit from your product or idea. An essential part of running a successful crowdfunding campaign is engaging potential backers who align with your brand and have a need that your product provides.
Of course, it’s useful to cast a large net when engaging a potential audience, even those who won’t directly buy your product may share it with their network and other potential backers. However, taking steps to better identify and qualify your audience will pay ongoing benefits to your campaign and save time and resources that allow you to hyper-focus on the people who are most likely to back your campaign.
There are successful crowdfunding campaigns and then there are ultra-successful campaigns. What sets them apart? One key component of ultra-successful campaigns is that they find an audience that perfectly aligns with their product offering. To do so, it’s necessary to identify the key demographics, values, and desires of your audience.
Define Your Audience Profile
Your audience profile is a group of characteristics and demographics that are common to your ideal backer. Identifying this depends on asking key questions about your audience that goes beyond the concept of if they need your product or not. Here are some questions to ask yourself…
What problem does my backer need to be solved? If you have done your job right, your product should solve a problem or alleviate a pain point for your audience. Make sure you know your product’s unique solution to this problem.
How can your product solve their needs better than others? Your product may not be the only one of its kind available. Ask yourself what type of user would benefit from your product’s unique solution over that of your competition.
Who are the people who may need this solution? What ages would be appropriate for your product, where do they live, and what activities does your product fit into?
What are their values? Are users of your product desk workers? Athletes? Outdoors people? Understanding the lifestyle of your users can help identify a value system that you can use to craft more specific marketing communications.
What are their shopping habits? Buyers of certain products, such as tech gadgets tend to be online shoppers, while buyers of other products tend to shop in person where trying the product hands-on is more important. Can you appeal to both?
What are their social habits? Does your product appeal to young people who are active on social media? Or older people who might be more comfortable on forums or other long-form discussions. Knowing this can help guide your marketing efforts.
How to Learn More about Your Audience
Chances are, you have created a product that solves a need that you yourself, or your friends and family have experienced. That can tell you a lot about who your audience is because they likely share some characteristics with you. But in order to dig deeper, you need to do a little research.
Research other campaigns featuring products similar to yours. There is no better place to learn about the future than to look at the past. Examine successful campaigns in your niche and look for clues as to who their backers are as people. What kind of marketing appealed to those people? What kind of campaigns did they respond to positively? Search on the internet for comments and testimonials about these products. Listen to how those backers talked about how the product fits into their lifestyle.
Get active in relevant communities. Join Facebook groups and Forums that align with your product’s niche. Listen to people, and learn about their wants and needs. Pay particular attention to things they don’t like.
Ask questions. Begin with your social channels, ask questions, offer surveys, and start a conversation directly with potential backers. Find out from them, just what they want and need from a product such as yours.
Get out of the laboratory! Don’t just sit behind a computer screen to do all your investigation. Go to places and participate in activities that relate to your product. Get to know the people who actually use products such as yours. Ask them what works and what doesn’t work for them. Make a note of the people you meet and their demographics, hobbies, and interests.
Take cues from influencers. Look to the key influencers or product reviewers in your niche. What can you glean from this information? What is the audience profile of their typical followers?
Work with experts. If this all seems daunting to you, or you lack the time or staff resources to complete this important research, consider working with a crowdfunding-specific agency that can help. Often they have already completed deep research and developed accurate audience profiles in many niches that can give you a step up in preparing your campaign.
Why is Audience Research Important?
Careful audience research and development of backer profiles is important because it helps to focus your efforts on the right people. There is no use in targeting ads to people who have no need for your product. It’s much more effective to use very specific targeting and communicating in a relatable way to potential users to get the most return on your marketing dollars and time spent.
If you are readying your campaign and you haven’t taken time to work on your audience profile, put it in your task calendar now. It is an essential part of any successful campaign and will boost your campaign and help fuel your post-campaign sales and success. If you properly identify your audience and learn what is important to them from both a product solution standpoint and a lifestyle values standpoint, you will not only gain a backer now but also gain early brand adopters that identify with your mission and can become lifelong supporters.