free online tools
November 3, 2015 · Tips & Insights

7 Free Hacks for Any Crowdfunding Campaign


free online tools

Developing a strategy for your crowdfunding campaign involves a lot of different pieces, including (but not limited to) social media, PR, email and word-of-mouth. No matter what type of campaign you’re running and how prepared you might be, there are tons of useful resources out there that will help you reach success with your idea. We’ve compiled a list of 7 free hacks to use for any crowdfunding campaign.

1. Google Alerts – Track Campaign Keywords and Mentions

Google Alerts are one of the best ways to keep track of your campaign and relevant keywords. This free tool sends you email notifications whenever Google finds results on keywords that you set up alerts for. You can keep track of press mentions and blog posts for your campaign, as well as news hits for relevant keywords. Keep your community updated by sharing these links via social media, email or as an update on the campaign page itself. By creating Google Alerts for relevant keywords and competitors, you can stay up to date with the latest in the industry.

Google Alerts Free Tools

2. Buffer – Scheduling Social Media Posts

Having a social media strategy is crucial for running a successful crowdfunding campaign. However, managing multiple social channels and keeping them updated with fresh content can be time-consuming. Using a social media scheduling tool like Buffer can help you stay organized and keep your social profiles active. Buffer allows you to write posts, attach images and links and schedule them in advance so that you can automate your social media posting schedule. In addition to your constant stream of scheduled posts, you’ll want to update your social community with timely information, such as press releases, new features, flash sales or milestones. If you’re not too social media-savvy, the Buffer blog is an excellent resource with tons of articles on tips and best practices for social media.

Buffer social media scheduling

3. YouTube – Create Your Own Pitch Video

Campaigns with a pitch video raise 4 times more funds than those without, so make sure you upload an engaging video to your campaign page. If you don’t have the budget for a professional video, you can make your own on YouTube Video Editor by uploading photos and video clips and combining them with filters, transitions and music from YouTube’s library. Follow these steps to create a compelling pitch video for free:

  1. Write a script for your video. You want your script to be engaging, informative and persuasive. Pitch your product or idea in story format so that the flow makes sense.
  2. Record your script on your smartphone’s voice recorder. Upload the audio recording to your computer and convert it to a video file.
  3. Compile all of your best images, graphics and video clips, such as product shots, behind-the-scenes looks at production, team photos, relevant press logos and anything else that will help you tell your campaign’s story. Upload them to YouTube Video Editor, along with your newly recorded script video.
  4. Drag and drop your assets in the order you want them to appear in your video. You can drag your script video file into the Audio section to have your recording play over your images.
  5. Apply transitions, filters, titles, text and additional music.
  6. Create your video!

Make a free video on YouTube

4. Canva – Create Professional-Quality Graphics

Want to create great-looking images for your campaign and marketing materials, but don’t have Photoshop or a graphic designer to do it for you? Enter Canva, an easy-to-use drag-and-drop image creation tool with tons of free graphics, layouts, fonts and more for you to create professional, beautiful images. Make presentations, social media images, banners, flyers, infographics – pretty much any kind of image you need to enhance your campaign and marketing strategy, you can make on Canva. Though they provide many free graphics to use and you can upload your own images, you can also buy stock images through the online platform.

5. USNPL – Find Local Media Outlets

USNPL is a directory of local newspapers, TV stations and radio stations throughout the United States. You can find the website, address, phone number, Facebook page, Twitter account, YouTube channel and even the local weather forecast for each media outlet in the directory. If you plan to reach out to the press about your campaign, using the USNPL directory is a great way to target local media outlets for a higher chance of coverage.

6. Buzzsumo – Content and Influencer Research

Buzzsumo is a free tool for you to conduct content and influencer research. On the content side, you can find out what kinds of articles and angles are most popular for a specific topic. You can also see which pages have been shared the most from specific domains. This kind of information is helpful for you to determine what websites might be interested in covering your campaign and how to approach them. Another way you can use Buzzsumo is to find influencers in your space. By searching for a topic, Buzzsumo will provide a list of people who talk about that topic frequently and their Page Authority ranks. You can then reach out to these folks who may be interested in sharing your campaign, multiplying your network exponentially. For more information, check out this detailed guide on how to use Buzzsumo.

7. Indiegogo Prep Calendar – Plan Your Crowdfunding Campaign

With so much going on before, during and after your campaign, one of the best ways to stay organized and on top of all your tasks is by using a prep calendar. The free Indiegogo Prep Calendar outlines all the things you should be doing for your campaign and when you should be doing them, starting one month prior to your launch and one month after the campaign ends. You can tailor this calendar to fit your specific campaign needs, but having this free resource to reference will help you stay on track for a successful campaign.

crowdfunding campaign prep calendar

Not only are these 7 resources free to use, but they are great tools to enhance your crowdfunding campaign efforts. Think of this toolkit as a way to complement your existing efforts to promote your campaign; they’ll help make things more efficient and streamlined while also creating new marketing streams for you to explore. What are your favorite free tools? Let us know what your favorite hacks are below!

Download Prep Calendar Checklist 1

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