10 Psychological Tactics for Successful Crowdfunding

By Theresa Weaver 

If you look up crowdfunding on the internet the definition that first comes up is “the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people”. Sounds simple enough, but honestly crowdfunding has a lot more to it than just raising small amounts of money, it takes thoughtful planning to execute a successful crowdfunding campaign. Lucky for you I have compiled 10 psychological tactics to help make planning easier and to set yourself up for success.

Tactic 1: Set your crowdfunding goal. You want to set two fundraising goals, a private goal, and a public goal. Know that smaller is better for your public goal, people want to participate in something they see succeeding. Smaller goals seem more achievable. Set your private goal higher and use stretch goals and the momentum from hitting your public goal to fill in the gaps between your public and private goal.

Tactic 2: Plan your crowdfunding campaign ending date on a day that is memorable, this makes it easier for people to recall. Good examples of memorable days are holidays or the last day of the month, and the first day of the month.

Tactic 3: Craft your story. Focus on your WHY, the impact or problem you are trying to solve. Remember that relationships are powerful, and people connect to people, so focus on one relatable individual’s story and the impact that the product or donation would have on them.

Tactic 4: Use a campaign video to tell your story! Campaigns with visual stories do 400% better than campaigns without. Your video not only can educate your audience but is also a great way to establish a more personal connection with them, this leads us right into our fifth tactic.

Tactic 5: Start your video off with a person delivering an attention-grabbing statement, a nice example could be a statistic of what you are hoping to solve. In the video focus on the why, then present an impactful solution, and provide a clear call to action as to how the watcher can help. You want to start your video off with a person and not B-roll or a photo because people are less likely to ignore people when scrolling through a website. For more tips on your video check out this article!

Tactic 6: Set reward levels at common intervals, $1, 5$, $20, $50, $100, for a good outline to setting these check out this article about reward levels.

Tactic 7: Set daily micro goal deadlines. Achieving your entire goal might seem daunting but by setting smaller goals along the way you not only set the pace to achieve your goals, you create mini successes for your backers and fuel the momentum towards your campaign.

Tactic 8: Soft launch your campaign and strive to get 20% funded. Solicit donations from friends and family before you publicly launch your crowdfunding campaign and aim to get 20% funded through them. When you can launch your campaign with funding already secure you start gaining momentum to continue the success as soon as you launch publicly. For more tips on soft launches check out this article from Indiegogo.

Tactic 9: Bring influencers on board to your crowdfunding campaign to help spread the word. Reach out to more smaller influencers instead of a big influencer. This will be beneficial for two reasons, 1. they are less expensive and 2. By reaching out to multiples you can still achieve the same reach as one large influencer.

Tactic 10: Provide updates. Keep your backers updated throughout the campaign. Send out thank you notes to backers and let them know when micro goals and stretch goals have been met. This communication allows you to continue the relationship and keeps your campaign fresh in their mind likely leading them to share it or donate again.

Learn the skills of crowdfunding, and other digital marketing tactics through the UMSL Digital Program.  Classes enrolling today!

New Up and Coming Social Media Platforms

By: Andrea Siecinski

Social media is a relatively new concept, but it has quickly become a way of life in this century. It is hard to break through the noise of the big platforms that are present in today’s society. Many venture in creating the greatest, new social media platform but do not make it due to the competition. There are some social media platforms that are making a splash and turning heads lately, though.
Musical.ly is an app that started in 2014 and is a platform that is popular with today’s teenagers. Musical.ly is a site that allows its users to lip sync or dance to a song for 15 seconds and post it. According to Adweek, it is starting to rival other social media sites like Facebook and Instagram. Even Katy Perry is using it to promote her music.
Vero, which means truth, is the most recent social media platform to get a big break. It has become very popular and has got a lot of hype as of late. Vero is a place to share all sorts of media and ideas. Its feed is chronological, which has been lost on other platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Vero is also ad-free at the moment which is hard to find on other platforms.
Hive is a platform that allows its users to connect and follow people with similar interests. Users create a profile based on their interests, and Hive connects them to people nearby with similar interests. It is being marketed as a way to connect people and to create new friendships. It will also be a spot to get advice on those topics of interest. It has recently been promoted by football player Terrell Owens, and Peter Kraus of the Bachelor.
These platforms are making some headway in the social media world. Who knows if they will thrive as much as Facebook and Instagram have, but they are finding success despite how hard it is to make it. The platforms are unique in their own way which has brought them some success.


Exciting Video Marketing Trends for 2018

By: Lysa Young-Bates

Increasingly, marketers are turning to total experience immersion, allowing consumers enticing opportunities to “step into” a brand’s adventure. Whether through fantastical experience or real-time video-based feedback, the ways companies produce and buyers consume is rapidly evolving, and video provides an experiential medium for meaningful brand-client interactions.

Projection Mapping
Only a few years ago, video projection mapping (a.k.a. spatial augmented reality) was primarily a playground for artists. However, brands are increasingly embracing this powerful medium for high-impact, breathtaking visual presentations. Unlike conventional flat projection, projection mapping turns any building or dimensional surface into a distortion-free canvas, combining motion graphics, animation, and 3D to re-contextualize a structure’s “built” geometry, creating fresh opportunities for massive visual scale and illusional interplay.

VR Video Marketing
Virtual Reality (VR) offers another rich-video experience where consumers can “participate” with brands. According to Marketing Tech News, “VR content has been found to elicit higher emotional and longer engagement than traditional 2D.” Further, Goldman Sachs anticipates that within the next decade, VR will bypass TV, generating revenue of $110 billion. Brands including Merrell, Adidas, Coca Cola, McDonalds, Volvo, TopShop, Patron, and the New York Times have incorporated VR into marketing campaigns, upping the ante on inspiration, engagement, and impact with their consumer-base.

360 Videos
The appeal of 360 video stems largely from consumers’ ability to control their perspective while viewing content. Google recently compared a 60-second 360 video ad against a standard format video of the same length. Neither ad was listed or promoted, appearing strictly via in-stream campaigns or through peer-to-peer shares. Also, both ads ended with the same measurable call-to-action. While full-watch view-through rate was lower on the 360 ad, it out-performed the standard video on overall view, shares, and subscribes. These metrics support 360 video’s benefits of immersion and engagement, increasing the “storytelling” quality of a video experience where customers can manipulate and interact within the view. Psychological studies further indicate that users’ affinity increases in situations where they feel greater control, offering compelling support for brands to consider meaningful ways they can incorporate this technology in their customer interactions.


Share of Ear

By: Gregory Pride

podcasting .jpg
Photo credit: www.nicolassolop.com

Photo credit: www.nicolassolop.com
Observing the Share of Ear report, the obvious takeaway is that podcast listening and awareness are all significantly on the rise. This year, more than half of the survey respondents knew what podcasting is, and that is very important. What that means is that now is a better time than ever before for a company or individual to start developing a brand via podcasts. There are a few possibilities for how a brand could be grown through this medium, but they require dedication and a great deal of patience.
The first, on the individual side, comes from the information about education. Podcast consumers are starting to become more and more like mainstream America, according to the study, so podcasts about very mundane or specialized topics could actually have an audience now. Shows about video games, movie reviews, or other aspects of pop culture could allow an individual to reach out to the market and gain a wider audience.
The biggest value for businesses is that podcasting allows them to reach out to consumers in a venue where they can’t easily grab their attention: the car. By creating a weekly or monthly show about topics of interest to their customer base, they’ll be able to expose consumers to their products while they’re just driving around. As long as the show is actually on a topic that the customers enjoy, this will be a great opportunity for businesses.
Most importantly, podcasting is a venue that’s constantly growing. The trend is rising upwards in every aspect, and individuals building themselves up or businesses growing their brands need to hop on the trend before the market is too flooded for them to gain ground.

Podcasting Panel Recap – Tips for Starting Your Podcast

By: Chelsea Cepicky
UMSL Business recently held a podcasting panel at the Charter Communications building in St. Louis. Panelists included a variety of St. Louis area podcasters with different backgrounds and areas of expertise. This provided guests with a variety of insight and points-of-view. The panel included the following;
Podcasting Panel 1

  • Vernon Ross (moderator) – Founder and CEO of Ross Public Relations and host of the Social Strategy Podcast
  • Jeff Julian – Chief Marketing Offier at AJi Software and host of The Midwest Marketing Show
  • Jade Harrell – Creator and executive producer of RareGem Productions
  • Caryn Tomer – member of the corporate marketing and communication team at Daugherty Business Solutions and co-host of Technically Speakingpodcast
  • Mich Hancock – Owner of 100th Monkey Media, host of MichMashpodcast and Executive Director of TEDxGatewayArch
  • Michael Green – Founder of People Behind the Science podcast

We spoke with the panelists after the event to find out some of their top podcasting advice. Here is what they recommended:
What are your top tips for a beginning podcaster?

  • Vernon – It’s key to know your topic well enough to be able to talk about it with a guest or on your own.  If you’re interviewing, you get an immediate bump in credibility with your audience and respect from your guest when you can have a conversation with them as a peer and not a fan. Knowing your topic well elevates the brand of your show.
  • Mich – Decide how to create your own unique presence in an area for which you have a ton of passion, otherwise it will feel like a chore.
  • Michael – Work on your listener persona or avatar – Who is the one “perfect” audience member you want to speak to? What’s the objective of your podcast and what metrics will you use to measure your progress/success?
  • Jade – Understand that this is a long-term commitment and that makes it a promise to your audience and community – be consistent and deliver.
  • Caryn – Make sure you are starting a podcast because you have something to say and want to serve an audience. If you’re just podcasting for the sake of podcasting, you probably won’t sustain it.

What are your favorite tools/equipment used for podcasting?
podcsting 2

  • Vernon – For podcaster getting started I recommend a Xoom H4N or a Xoom H5. More affordable models include the ATR2100 from Audio Technica. Lots of podcasters use this microphone because they’re cheap with a good sound.
  • Mich – Shock City, I prefer to just show up, interview and allow the experts to make it sound awesome, edit it and send along the final product.
  • Michael – I like learning about and trying the latest tech. My favorite piece of equipment for podcasting is the Heil PR-40 microphone.  It’s a bit pricey, but due to the way it’s engineered it can make an echoey, small room sound nearly as good as a professional recording studio when it comes to podcasting. Tweet me if you would like additional recommendations.
  • Jade – I recommend Adobe Audition.
  • Caryn – While you don’t have to spend a lot, a good mic can go a long way. We bought $100 Shure that work perfectly.

For those unable to make it live to the sold out event, a three part video series will be produced (thanks to Jeff Julian) and released shortly featuring the panelists.  Look for this coming soon. In the mean time you can follow each of these dynamic and engaging panelists on their Twitter as follows:
Vernon Ross – @RossPR
Mich Hancock – @mich_hancock
Jeff Julian – @jjulien 
Jade Harrell – @raregemonline 
Caryn Tomer – @CarynTomer 
Michael Green – @aMikeGreen 
If you’re interested in learning more about podcasting and starting your own podcast, check out our class, Podcasting: Why, How and When with Vernon Ross on November 12 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
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MDMC 16 Speaker Named Brand Innovators 40 Under 40

We would like to extend a congratulations to our MCMC 16 speaker, Veena Ramesh who was named a Brand Innovators 40 Under 40. Veena is the Digital Lead of Global Digital Strategy and Beauty at Johnson & Johnson.
VeenaVeena has a deep understanding of global consumer behavior as she has lived and worked across Asia, the Middle East and the US. Prior to moving into the global role – She increased the Digital IQ, set processes and implemented a hub and spoke model of managing Digital, across the six ASEAN countries, within J&J. Veena also co-created the Advanced Web Analytics program at NYU. Veena graduated from the National University of Singapore with a B.B.A (Finance) and NYU with a M.S. in Integrated Marketing.
Veena’s 4 Trends to Watch For:
1. Attracting Digital Talent – You cannot escape the topic of how to hire and retain digital talent in any forum. This will continue to be a hot topic. Companies should stop hiring based on the same yard stick that they use to hire a traditional marketer. You need to woo and have strategies to retain “t-shape” leaders with vertical digital depth but ability to navigate across the organization. You might need to search for this talent in unconventional ways.
2. Every marketer needs to be a Digital Marketer – Companies are now starting to put traditional marketers through Digital Bootcamps- Rutgers and GA run some good corporate programs. But that is not enough. The only way to learn is by doing. Marketers need to get their training wheels off and be able to plan and execute campaigns that include digital.
3. Role of a Digital Agency – We are seeing an explosion of content providers and low cost production houses flood the market. In this landscape the digital agencies have to step up and play a more elevated role in stewardship of the brand, creating multi-dimensional ideas and providing measurable ROI.
4. Social at the Core organizations – You will attract digital talent only if your employees know how to navigate the social space. Do you have 30s-1min video that outlines the day in a life? Do all your employees engage in the campaigns that you launch? Every company needs to honestly ask themselves how they are perceived by potential candidates.
This article was originally posted on Brand Innovators 40 Under 40

The Importance of Digital Marketing in Education

By: Alexandra Schenk
future of marketing in educationRecently, my alma matter was named a top 5 business school in the United States. While I wasn’t particularly surprised by this fact, I found myself surprisingly disappointed. I have been out of college for a little under two years and I resent my university for being praised on being a “#7 Marketing School” but having zero concentration in digital marketing. Continue reading “The Importance of Digital Marketing in Education”

#MDMC16 Recap: An UMSL Student’s Perspective

By: Kathrin Hanke
Together with over 1300 other people I attended the Midwest’s largest digital and social media marketing event – #MDMC16! It was held on April 21st at historic St. Louis Union Station.
After picking up my badge and swag bag I made my way through the exhibitor booths and tech alley to Dan the Pancake Man. Being amazed by his skills and creativity I wandered off to meet some of the startups and sponsors, and it was then when I saw all these tiny gold fish in their bowl. What great branding!? #MDMC16 could not have made it better – and the best part, you were able to adopt Louie, Ted and all the other little fish.
The day was kicked off by keynote speaker Travis Sheridan and then followed by the first round of breakout sessions. In addition to the three keynotes, there were 40 different sessions throughout the day, split up in seven rounds, each having five to six sessions running concurrently. The big question was: Which sessions do I attend? Making a decision was definitely not easy since there were so many great speakers and topics! Eventually I attended seven breakout sessions and made some notes for everybody who was not able to attend them. Check out my three biggest takeaways below:
#1: “Livestreaming grows at the know- like- trust factor exponentially faster than any other social media platform out there.” – Bonnie Frank, Live Stream Broadcaster
Bonnie Frank believes that Livestreaming absolutely changed the Face of Communication, especially the conversation on Social Media. As a matter of fact, if you are broadcasting with Periscope it will appear in your Twitter – Twitter bought Periscope about five days after launch. Frank also mentions Facebook Live, which allows you to directly live stream to Facebook. FYI: #MDMC16 live streamed parts of the conference on both of these channels. What a great way to engage with the audience outside Union Station, which for whatever reason could not make it to #MDMC16! Frank then shared some advice with her audience: “You gotta know what you are saying you know!” and explains that you have to gain you audience’s trust. She herself just talks about four things on a daily basis and is able to answer every question the audience might have – the key to gain an incredibly exposure without paying a penny.
#2: Creating relevant content is key to success.
We all have heard it a hundred times: You have to create content that is relevant to your audience. Once you have your content you have to make sure that you push it out on the right channels at the right time. But how? Todd Budin from Nielsen shared some tips on how to create memorable ads and how to be successful with your digital advertising.
Memorable Ads:
1. Tell as simple story
2. Use relatable characters and contexts
3. Show identifiable situations with a unique twist
4. Utilize strong imagery
5. Engage emotions
Digital Best Practices:
1. Maintain campaign/brand consistency
2. Align metrics across channels
3. Understand optimal frequency
#3: “Pinterest is not a social network, it’s a catalog of ideas.” – Raashi Bhalla, Pinterest
Raashi Bhalla introduced her audience to the “Art and Science of Using Pinterest” by explaining that Pinterest is THE place to go to when looking for ideas, inspirations and solutions. Pins showcase products with additional advice on how to use or make them. A detailed description or instruction would complete a Pin. She also advises to use text overlays in order to make the picture identifiable. Users are able to create lists and pin their favorites for later use – this allows Pinterest to target at key moments, regarding to life stage, interests and search inquiries. She also says that you don’t need to use Hashtags in your Pins because Pinterest’s “discovery engine” is already so advanced that it will identify and then categorize, as well as associate the Pin with related terms. Nor should you use Hashtags in your Pins because Pinterest might identify Pins with too many Hashtags as spam!
kh3The Midwest Digital Marketing Conference was a great event that had a lot to offer. Besides all the amazing speakers, 12 Arch Grants startups showcased their innovations and business ideas and competed for a $1,000 prize. At the end of the day Swizzle was the winner – a tech startup that does everything from influencer marketing research to app development. Congratulations!
Make sure to sign up for updates all things #MDMC so you won’t miss the even bigger #MDMC17!