PRUnderground

Case Study: Using a press release to publicize a Kickstarter crowdfunding project (9 Tips!)

As the popularity of crowdfunding campaigns has grown, PRunderground.com has seen an increasing amount of entrepreneurs using a press release to help publicize their funding campaigns. After seeing many  successes and failures, here are a few tips we can offer you before publishing your crowdfunding press release:

  1. The product must be good: If your product does not have a market, is priced too high, or is low quality, it is not going to raise crowdfunding capital no matter how much marketing or publicity you do. Period.
  2. Pitch, before press release: PR pros know that you first need to pitch your story as an exclusive to one writer at a time, working down a target list until someone takes it. Personal emails, no copy/paste spam. This is the best way to get original blog or media coverage. Also reach out personally to social media influencers in your space. After you have done that publish the press release.
  3. A press release is not enough: Do not think that an online press release alone will make your crowdfunding successful. Beyond #1 and #2, consider other ways to get supporters. Build a mailing list, post in a relevant forum, maybe do some Adwords marketing, speak at local events, network, and maybe run some targeted ads. And make your crowdfunding page the ultimate landing page.
  4. Price it right: You could have a great product, but if the pricing is too high, it won’t fly. Crowdfunders like to be first on a new product, but they also love a deal for funding something that is still at the blueprint stage. Price it fairly.
  5. Excite with your announcement: The press release headline should include the name of your product and what it does. Make it catchy but also consider long tail relevant keywords (See #7). The body of the release should have a link to your campaign, a great 2-3 sentence description of what makes your product special, a quote from a founder, and maybe some backstory on why you are doing it. If people can feel a connection to you and your product, they are more likely to fund it.
  6. Get social: Use social media (Twitter, and Facebook, etc) to promote your crowdfunding campaign press release. That is why at PRunderground we post it for you as well. Here is an example for a crowdfunding campaign for an Evil Dead 2 Board Game that ran a press release on PRunderground. Look at all the likes, shares, and excitement on Facebook.
  7. Work the search engines: A good press release headline, with a nice long tail set of relevant keywords in it will help get very targeted web searchers to your crowdfunding campaign. The press release headline is the most important component in terms of not just attention grabbing but also indexing in Google and Bing. It can even stay at the top of Google News search results for important keywords weeks or months after the press release is published. For example this Kickstarter for a wireless Apple device charger https://www.google.com/#q=Wireless+Apple+Device+Charger&tbm=nws
  8. Re-use the press links: Once you run your press release, pick a link or two from one of the media sites and add it to your campaign page. For example, link to the version of your release in IndustryWeek or DigitalJournal.com or the Pittsburgh Post Gazette to lend some credibility to your efforts.
  9. Announce your progress: One tactic that we have also seen to be effective is to announce your progress, when you reach half your funding, complete funding, innovate, or are ready to ship.

We love crowdfunding as a new way to fund niche products that would never get the attention of VC or larger manufacturers at such an early stage. But many campaigns do fail to get enough funders. A press release can be a small cog in the machine of running a successful crowdfunding campaign, but make sure you consider the 9 tips above to improve your chances overall.

Speaking of successes, here are a few of the fully funded crowdfunding campaigns that ran a press release on PRunderground.com this year. (And no, their success was not because of us, we played a very, very small part in helping get the word out. The entrepreneurs are the rock stars.)

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