Michaela Salomon, Senior Marketing Associate
The Covid-19 outbreak has impacted the behaviour of investors and consumers around the world, causing brands everywhere to rethink their marketing strategies. What piqued investor interest a couple of months ago may not yield the same effect today.
However, amidst Covid-19 global headlines, investors haven’t stopped thinking about growth opportunities, they’re just thinking about them differently.
This guide provides a few key tips on how to market your fundraise during challenging times – whatever they may be – to help you secure the funding you need, and acquire customers along the way.
Think long term
If you’ve ever bought anything online, you’ve likely received emails from businesses advising users on their policy updates. While it’s important to communicate that you’ve implemented hygiene practices and remote working policies, an investor will be thinking longer term.
During periods of uncertainty, investors want to be reassured that companies have a proactive strategy in place to navigate volatility. Shorter term strategies that leverage a crisis to “sell more stuff”, will likely be too short-sighted and transparent to encourage any significant uptick in investment. Instead, it’s important to communicate longer-term growth and defensibility plans, focusing on the elements of your business model that best position you to tackle the current economic climate.
In the context of Covid-19, businesses raising on Seedrs are observing changes in consumer activity. For example, The Cheeky Panda’s crowdfunding campaign surpassed its £750K target in just a few days, supported by news of worldwide tissue paper shortages and increasing support for sustainable brands. Likewise, food brand Miso Tasty’s sales have doubled, alongside a rise in online engagement as consumers spend more time cooking at home. During this time, a number of businesses have successfully leveraged their Seedrs campaigns to communicate to investors that they have long-term structures in place to capitalise on adjustments in consumer behaviour.
Publicise your initiatives
Businesses everywhere are launching new initiatives to support their communities through difficult times – gyms are offering digital fitness content, educational apps are giving discounts on online learning packages and grocery stores are ramping up home delivery services. Mr Lee’s for example, the cup noodle brand currently fundraising on Seedrs, is offering 20% off all UK orders to help support those cooking at home.
Whatever new routes your business is taking to navigate the crisis and support customers, make sure they are publicised broadly to all your audiences on all platforms. Not only is this an opportunity to drive traffic to alternative revenue streams, it signals to investors that your business model is engineered to respond to change and continue to put users first, even when regular channels are disrupted.
Optimise your digital spaces
Many of your marketing efforts will be subject to change during this time. For this reason, it’s important to remain flexible, both in the channels you’re using and the messages you’re promoting.
While your retail spaces may be closed, your digital ones aren’t! As people spend more time at home browsing online, now would be a good time to allocate budget and efforts to hyper-targeted and relevant paid advertising and content. Revisit your social media strategy to provide consistent updates on the progress of your crowdfunding campaign to keep audiences engaged. If you have an investor perk structure in place, such as discounts, premium membership or free merchandise, communicate the benefits investors will unlock when they invest in this round.
With more visits to your website, a crowdfunding banner or pop-up is a great way to let your customer base know you’re raising funds – and how these funds will help your business grow. You can link them directly to your pre-registration page to pledge their investment interest, or straight to your pitch to invest. Likewise, you can use chatbots to connect visitors to your support team if they have questions about the opportunity.
Whether you’re assessing investor interest during pre-launch, or promoting your live crowdfunding campaign, update your audiences consistently to maintain momentum. It’s important to think holistically about the channels you use, while also ensuring you are maintaining a focussed cash-management plan to ensure that you are not wasting money on untargeted advertising.
When approaching sensitive subjects such as the Covid-19 outbreak, context is key. Investors and consumers are bombarded with news updates. Instead of letting this narrative dominate your strategy, focus on the positive work your team is doing (safely and from home!) to drive business and customer support. When dealing with a global customer-base, tailor your visuals and messaging to local audiences.
Your branding should be perceived as harmonious and informed alongside news content, meaning you’ll need to monitor your collateral quite closely. In today’s circumstances, for example, it may be beneficial to avoid images of public gatherings, busy restaurants or people shaking hands, in favour of contactless, direct-to-consumer initiatives. Likewise, remaining more conservative with humour will help to remain sensitive during difficult times. Choose visuals that highlight how the business is moving forward and keeping people connected remotely.
We’re here to help!
We have a number of online resources available here on the Seedrs Academy to help you successfully navigate your funding round. For a guide to our compliance principles, and to download our ready-made email and digital marketing templates, check our marketing toolkit.
For specific questions regarding your crowdfunding campaign, contact the Seedrs support team who will be more than happy to connect you to the best Seedrs team member to help depending on your business’ specific circumstances..