Next to physically giving you some dough, what is the next best thing someone can do for your crowdfunding campaign? If your answer isn't something akin to "tell someone else about it," you need to don the dunce cap and go count cobwebs in the corner for the next thirty. Chatter about your campaign, whether it be digital or analog, is the lifeblood of your crowdfunding efforts. Anyone who's taken marketing 101 at their local community college knows there is no more proven marketing tactic than word-of-mouth advertising. Rule of social validation, the art of social pressure - whatever theoretical moniker you want to assign it, people are more likely to do things they are told about by peers or see them do first.
Monkey see, monkey do.
So how do you get people to fling your feces around the cage? The answer to that is a complex one and open to debate, but one definitive thing you can do to up your chances of shareability is to make what you want shared as easily shareable as possible. Things like Click to Tweet, Facebook share functions, and the entire engine of Twitter are great tools that enable the act of a share, but they do not solve the dilemma of exactly what it is you should be encouraging to be shared. There are a finite number of clicks in any sharer's day, and there is a direct correlation between minimizing the consumption of clicks that your share requires and the likelihood someone will devote some of their precious clicks towards doing so.
So say you write a clever little quip about your campaign, punch it into your project's Facebook page as a post, and you blast it out into the ether. Now say, (very) hypothetically, someone also thinks your quip is clever, and they would like to entertain their personal audience with your brilliant snippet. But they prefer Twitter as their communication medium. Or tumblr. Or whatever. Now they are copy and pasting text, which sucks. And in doing so, they will likely tailor your message to suit their taste, which means now your message is getting garbled as it proliferates out into the world.
Just one example, but basically text is clunky. And boring. And tough to maintain the integrity of as it is shared. Imagery is text 2.0. Exactly what of should be determined by a creative on your team that is integrating it with the core themes and subject matter of your product/campaign, but some bullet points I like to follow are:
· Exactly square, optimizing it for quick shareability (i.e. no cropping or resizing) regardless of the platform
· Between 400x400 and 800x800 pixels in size, and JPG format, to keep file size down and quality up
· It needs to clearly convey the WHAT of your product/campaign, and an easy URL pointing to where the viewer can interact with you and your thing
· MAKE IT INTERESTING - cool, funny, enlightening, compelling...these are the reasons why people share things, not because they want to see your artistic dreams come true
An image from a campaign for a film (catch 22 - http://catch22movie.com) I conducted not long ago is shown here, (hopefully) adhering to all of the above. I call this a "blast slide." You should to, and you should use them to carry your crowdfunding message the next time you want one carried.
Josh Folan is a producer, writer, director and actor with professional credits dating back to 2005, prior to which he studied finance at The Ohio State University. Filmmaking highlights since founding NYEH Entertainment in 2008 include BODY (2015 Slamdance premier, co-producer), All God’s Creatures (2011 Hoboken Int’l premier, best screenplay and actress nominations, writer/producer), it’s just One line (2012 Film Racing NYC 24 Hour Film Race finalist, writer/director/producer), and What Would Bear Do? (writer/director/producer). Also an author and contributor to the independent filmmaking blog community, he penned the low-budget indie case study Filmmaking, the Hard Way. You can follow him (@joshfolan) and NYEH (@nyehentertains) on twitter and facebook if you’d like to keep up with his coming soons.