There’s no single silver bullet when it comes to building a community around your crowdfunding campaign. There are, however, several guidelines you’ll want to keep in mind as you embark on your crowdfunding journey. We’ve compiled a list of top do’s and don’ts for building a community during your Indiegogo campaign.
1. DO over-communicate
There’s no such thing as over-communicating with backers and prospective backers. If it feels like too much, that’s precisely the right amount. Consider scheduling regular updates to your community and post on that schedule every week, every other week, or monthly. Scheduled updates give predictability to your campaign backers, and they will see you as more reliable when you post updates on a predictable schedule. Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t post additional updates between scheduled posts, but it does let them know you are still working hard behind the scenes when they can anticipate when they will hear from you next. Updates should be updates on the fundraising goal, production, shipping, expanding the team. Backers who have invested in your campaign are doing so because they want to be part of your go-to-market story. Sharing frequent updates with them will help them feel connected every step of the way.
Here, the Stoggles team may not be saying a lot, but they let the community know they are hard at work, as well as the reason behind an unexpected delay.
Even a comment praising the excellent communication is worthy of a few seconds to respond. This campaign owner does a great job of staying positive while revealing how frustrating the situation has been for those involved on both sides of the situation.
This is an example of a great response to a frustrated backer. The campaign owner apologizes for the inconvenience, gives the backer an action they can take, and asks for clarification, and reassures the backer their question will be answered to their satisfaction all in a few short sentences.
For more examples of great communication, we recommend checking out these 3 campaign pages:
Babymaker posts (on average) 2-3 updates per month.
Superstrata also posts 2-3 updates monthly on average.
Mendi posts monthly but is also super active in their comments tab replying to users.
2. DO ask questions
It’s always a good idea to ask questions of your backers. As such, we recommend always including a call-to-action (CTA) in your updates and in your replies. Open-ended questions are key to keeping the conversation rolling. Consider phrasing your questions like “What colors do you prefer?” rather than “Do you prefer black or blue?” when you’re asking for feedback.
In this example, the campaigner uses the entire update to request feedback from backers in order to iterate on and improve their product before it’s shipped.
3. DO respond in a timely manner
You should always respond to comments on your campaign page promptly. This doesn’t mean you need a dedicated person responding to comments every few minutes, but it does mean you should try to respond to comments in a reasonable amount of time. What is “reasonable”? You have the power to set the expectations here! Feel free to let your community know how quickly you will respond. Predictability is one of the keys to keeping your backers happy. We’ve found that by responding to comments sooner rather than later, you can cut down on the amount of customer support inquiries you receive which, as we all know, will save you time and money in the long run. Your community is available 24/7 even when your support team isn’t. This enables customers and prospective customers to access the information and answers they need without waiting for you to respond and frees you up from having to constantly check comments, and answer the same questions over and over again.
When a backer left a comment here, saying how great their responsiveness has been, this campaign owner replied letting the backer know what their motivation is for being engaged and responsive.
In this example, a backer expresses frustration about a perk they received. The campaign owner does a great job of responding and reassuring this backer — and everyone else who reads the comment.
4. DO use video
If you’re less than confident in your writing skills, don’t fret! We get it, writing long posts isn’t for everyone. Video is here to help. Video is an excellent way to get around some of the hardest parts of writing — word choice, grammar, and punctuation — because you can speak directly to your backers and prospective backers.
Videos are a great way to communicate with your backers and even show off the latest version of the product.
5. DO draw inspiration from your comments tab
Are you finding yourself answering the same question over and over again on your comments tab? This can indicate there is some piece of information you may have forgotten to include in your previous updates or that members aren’t picking up on the information you’ve already shared. Either way, it means your backers — and your community — is confused about a key piece of information, and you should certainly take that into consideration when you’re planning your next update. Use the questions as inspiration for a new update highlighting the answer you’ve been asked to give over and over again, therefore saving yourself time and money, and making sure your customers are as informed as they need to be.
1. DON’T copy paste the same reply
Each of your backers wants to feel unique. Copy and pasting the same answer repeatedly not only leads to your backers feeling less valued but also gives the impression that you’re not reading their comments. Instead, try to respond with a fresh reply every time you reach out to a backer. It gives your campaign more of a human face. In crowdfunding, personality goes a long way.
2. DON’T respond to every question via email
It may be tempting, but it’s best not to take everything offline. Posting answers to common questions right there in the comment section creates transparency and trust with your backers. Of course, some replies will need to be handled via email for privacy reasons, but remember that if you answer even one comment where others can view it, it has the ability to reduce the number of messages and comments you receive asking the same question. You may be inclined to take some conversations offline, particularly if it feels like you’re handling a backer who is upset, but by responding and answering that one question publicly, you can show that you are trying to resolve the issue and gain more trust from future backers and customers.
By referring every question to email, it can give backers and potential backers the impression that the campaign is not being transparent or forthcoming with information.
3. DON’T exclusively link to social media
Your backers read your posts on the Indiegogo platform for a reason. Sure, they may also follow you on social media, and that’s fantastic, but if they specifically comment on the Indiegogo platform, we recommend not asking them to hop over to your primary social channel for the answers. Answering your backers where they asked their questions keeps everything in one place. It’s also more polite to answer where the question was asked instead of asking your backers to put in more effort to find the information they’re looking for by answering it right there in a reply.
By linking out to the “full update” you’re asking the backers who have already placed their faith in you to take another step to get the information they are looking for. It keeps the information together for future backers to access, it makes the backers you already have feel valued, and it shows your commitment to open communication.
4. DON’T ignore a cluster of negative comments
If your backers are frustrated with delays or a lack of shipping updates, it’s important to acknowledge their frustrations and address them. It typically only makes things worse when comments start piling up without responses. If a backer checks the comments and updates tab and sees dozens of unresponded-to messages, other backers will begin to feel uncertain that they will receive their perk. Worse, frustration can turn into the feelings of doubt, anger, or suspicions that they’ve been scammed.
Note how this campaign owner builds trust by being transparent. The team is also frustrated by the delays, and a bit of empathy goes a long way.
In these comments and replies, we can see just how important descriptive and frequent updates are beneficial to keep backers engaged and excited.