Interestingly enough, many promising crowdfunding campaigns across all major platforms fail not because they don’t have a crowd, but because they do not know how to reach it effectively and actually drive traffic to their campaign pages.
If your crowd is on YouTube then you have at least 6 great ways to utilize the power of the world’s biggest video platform and drive traffic from YouTube to your crowdfunding campaign without spending a penny.
On YouTube, the obvious way to reach your audience is through video. Getting your crowd to watch your pitch video on YouTube is fine, but how do you get them to your campaign page where they can actually give you money?
What options are there to reach your YouTube subscribers and generate traffic to your campaign, even if you’re on a zero dollar budget? Read on…
Tip 1: Export Your YouTube Subscribers to a Google+ Circle
From an crowdfunder’s perspective, this is one of the most exciting features that YouTube has released in a while. It creates the ability to easily export your YouTube subscribers to a Google+ page circle and then contact and share updates with them on Google+. ReelSEO has a great step by step guide how to connect your G+ page with your YouTube channel. Once your YouTube account is connected to your Google+ page, go here to get started: https://www.youtube.com/audience_management
Create a top fan circle on your Google+ page
You can manually add people to this circle or go with YouTube’s suggestion.
Export YouTube subscribers to a Google+ Circle
Share daily updates and videos with your YouTube circle on G+ throughout your entire crowdfunding campaign to generate additional exposure and traffic.
Once your channel is exported to a Google+ page circle, you should frequently repeat this process to make sure your circle stays current with your top fans.
Easily Reach Your top YouTube Fans Through Your Google+ Page
Tip 2: Links through Annotations
For our intents and purposes, annotations are simply text layers that can be placed anywhere in a video and be linked to an external page like your crowdfunding campaign. Setting this up takes some time but once it’s done you can easily link directly to your crowdfunding campaign from all of your videos.
Video Annotations are the best way to drive traffic from your videos to your campaign page
YouTube Help: Create and edit annotations
What kind of links can be placed in YouTube annotations?
Besides other YouTube and Google properties, you can link to your own website, granted it’s associated with your YouTube account, and then to a small number of whitelisted Fundraising sites.
Select what type of link to create
TubeStart is working on getting whitelisted in the YouTube annotations but the process is lengthy. If you want to link to your TubeStart campaign please use the WordPress method below until we get white listed. (Last update Sep 14 2013)
You can use a free WordPress plugin to redirect traffic through your associated website to your crowdfunding page.
If you are running WordPress on your associated website you can simply download a free plugin called “Short URL” http://wordpress.org/plugins/shorten-url/
Once Short URL is installed on your blog, you can set up redirect URLs that allow you to redirect traffic from annotations to your crowdfunding campaign page.
Don’t have WordPress?
If you do not run WP but know basic HTML, you can also simply upload a HTML file with a meta redirect set to your campaign page URL like this:<html>
<meta http-equiv=”refresh” content=”0; url=http://campaignurl.com/”>
<html> Save this code in a file called campaign.html, upload it to your associated website and then link the annotations to that redirect file.
How to Associate Your Website with Your YouTube Channel:
In order to add your website as an associated website to your YouTube channel, follow the instructions here: https://www.youtube.com/account_channel_advanced
Tip 3: Link From Your Video Descriptions
This tip seems so simple, yet it’s easily forgotten. Link to your campaign page from as many video descriptions as possible, and especially from your pitch video(s). If your campaign URLs are long like most of them are, use a URL shortener (like Google’s at http://goo.gl/). Make sure you link to the campaign right at the beginning of the descriptions, so it can be seen above the fold.
Link format: http://www.mycampaignurl.com.
Make sure to include http:// before the URL so the link becomes clickable in the description.
Tip 4: Post Campaign Updates to Your YouTube Channel Feed
Keeping your subscribers on YouTube involved through your channel feed is another easy and effective way to keep your campaign in your subscriber’s minds. Don’t post more than once a day but also not less, and don’t forget that consistency is one of the main keys to a successful campaign.
Post Daily Campaign Updates to Your Channel Feed
Tip 5: Make Your Pitch Video Your Channel Trailer
For the duration of your crowdfunding campaign, you and your channel have to be in campaign mode. This includes making your pitch video your channel trailer to maximize exposure. YouTube places an increasing emphasis on channels, so having your pitch video right there will get you more exposure and traffic to your campaign. Make sure to use annotations in your pitch video that link directly to your campaign page as described in Step 2.
Make your crowdfunding pitch video your channel trailer during the campaign
Tip 6: Ask Fellow YouTubers for a Shout out
Got any friends with YouTube channels? Don’t be shy to ask them for a shout out, links or annotations to your campaign. You’ll be surprised how much you’ll get simply by asking.