This is Part 5 of a 6 part series on why Crowdfunding platforms are the new stock exchanges and why they will need to learn from exchanges like NASDAQ, NYSE and LSE to self-regulate and provide a wide range of ancillary services that help campaigns succeed and at the same time, create revenues for the platforms.
As you know by now, I believe equity crowdfunding is moving toward its own exchange-like ecosystem.
In this 6-part series we’ve talked about how crowdfunding platforms are creating a market for small cap stocks that cannot afford to enter traditional exchanges. We’ve also discussed how third-party services like DealIndex and crowdfunding platforms like Crowdcube are providing analytics and intelligence services for investors and companies, much like NASDAQ does. Then we talked about how newswires and press release distribution services are creating the momentum necessary for crowdfunding campaigns to succeed. Last week we discussed the need for companies and investors to meet SEC documentation requirements and how third-party services are making that happen.
So far, however, we have not discussed the most important part of the crowdfunding campaign—content.
The Many Faces of Crowdfunding Content
There is more to equity crowdfunding content than creating a pitch page with an offer. Investors want to know as much as they can about a company, its founders, its product or service, some history, and the viability of the offer. After all, the purpose for the campaign is to generate interest in your company, its products and services, and the problem you are trying to solve.
“For us, it’s about storytelling,” says Bob Berkowitz, CEO of Multivision. “Crowdfunding is a great way to enhance a company’s story in order to attract investors more quickly.”
Multivision specializes in creating video and film presentations for a variety of business purposes. These include pitch presentations, explainer videos, trade show demonstrations, interactive or multimedia productions, webinars, and splash events. With equity crowdfunding picking up steam and online video reaching new heights of popularity, it appears to be a marriage made in equity crowdfunding heaven. In fact, Kickstarter, the largest volume crowdfunding platform requests that campaigns include a YouTube video.
However, video is not the only kind of content available to crowdfunders. They also need news releases, pitch or campaign pages, investor relations portals, digital media that can range from videos and podcasts to white papers and special reports, and online events like webinars, webcasts, and conference calls between executives and potential investors.
Who is Best Poised to Provide Crowdfunding Content?
NASDAQ has learned that investors and company executives need to communicate and connect long before the deal is done. That’s why they offer the following content services on their exchange website:
- Webcasts and webinars
- Interactive multimedia portals
- Investor relations websites
- Websites for media relations
While it isn’t necessary for crowdfunding platforms to provide content services directly, they will invariably attract companies that don’t have the resources to create their own content. Developing a relationship with companies like Multivision or ePressPack, which provides digital and multilingual press releases, on demand newsroom websites and other digital media products, will benefit the crowdfunding platform and its customers.
Content Marketing: The Key to a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign
Success in crowdfunding is dependent on one thing—the ability to get the word out your campaign. That entails more than setting up a pitch page. You have to promote your campaign page.
“What we offer the crowdfunding world is that we can bring a company’s story to life and get people involved before a product launches,” Berkowitz says.
Video can be used just as well for promotions as for pitches. Product demonstrations can be posted to YouTube, shared across social media, and pushed out to the right audience through a well-defined content strategy that is planned and managed by a firm like Content Mist.
There are three parts to effective crowdfunding content marketing:
Content Management: Archiving and managing your content for easy access means getting the most ROI of your content and telling your story
Content is your “story” and making it available in an easy to access well planned and organized fashion is how you maximize your ROI on content. Content is a valuable asset. Contrary to popular belief press releases, webinars, videos are not only event specific but also company or campaign specific. Every content asset that you build or produce is an asset to be archived and made available to potential investors. Press releases are not only for press, they become a story providing details of events leading up to and during your campaign. When researching investments investors or analysts look for a history trail of news releases that shows growth and momentum. Ten to twelve releases over a two year period speak to a company’s development Releases, webinars, video and other relevant content should have its own dedicated space providing easy and efficient access.
“Companies listed on the NYSE, NASDAQ and London Stock Exchange among other exchanges have for years relied on media newsrooms to archive content assets” commented Antoun Sfeir, President of Paris based ePressPack and PressKing, leaders in corporate newsroom and press release distribution services. Mr. Sfeir went on to say “Companies must realize the value of a content archive and invest in building content assets and archiving them to tell their story”.
Content marketing strategists help crowdfunders promote their equity pitches to the right target audience. Someday, crowdfunding platforms will offer these content services or will partner with third-party service providers to ensure equity funding is successful all around. A rising tide raises all ships.