Equity crowdfunding is growing relentlessly in Italy, in terms of both successfully published offers and entrepreneurial capacity and culture, which is now increasingly at ease with this tool. Last year alone, 77 million euros were raised, with a 75% success rate.
But, since we can and must always do better, Scai Comunicazione financed a scientific study to shed light on fundraising strategies. And the result did not surprise us: the key to a successful equity campaign is the scientific application of digital marketing tools.
How the research came about
The study, which is very recent, was conducted by a researcher from the University of Campania on a sample of 33 Italian equity crowdfunding campaigns, supplemented with other information from more than 1,000 operations. Scai Comunicazione, with its hundred or so completed campaigns, provided its know-how, but it was not alone: some important platforms (Mamacrowd, Opstart, BacktoWork and 200crowd) and 23 issuing companies also collaborated in the research.
The study is unique of its kind in Italy, as it is the first attempt at an analytical investigation into equity crowdfunding and the reasons for the success of campaigns: at an experiential level we knew of the existence of a direct relationship between equity crowdfunding and marketing, but empirical confirmation was still lacking. Putting the data together will allow the whole system, both companies and agencies, to further improve the success rate of Italian campaigns and to bring an increasing number of start-ups, SMEs and investors closer to this valuable financing tool.
Crowdfunding as a powerful digital media
The research confirmed that crowdfunding does not only raise funds: through social media and platforms, which stimulate direct interaction with different categories of stakeholders, the company also gains important reputational and social capital.
As many as 90% of those interviewed for the research stressed that the communication plan adopted to solicit investment also led to a strengthening of brand reputation and greater participation by institutional investors. The use of digital marketing tools therefore helps not only to successfully complete the campaign, but also to gain the visibility and legitimacy necessary for the survival of the company in the post-campaign period.
Not how much but focus on how
We tend to think that spending a lot on communication will automatically lead to excellent results. However, research has confirmed it’s not so: the important thing is not how much you spend but how you spend it! The number of investors is closely related to the number of users reached through targeted advertising. The better the marketing, the more positively the campaign’s target audience responds.
So, it’s all about choosing the most suitable levers; and research finally helps us to objectively identify the most effective tools and strategies to enhance budget and results. We don’t want to spoil the results too much, but here are a few tips for getting the most out of your budget, however large or small:
- views of published digital content are most effective in the early stages of the campaign: it is therefore useless to bombard the target audience on a daily basis, the main investment in communicating the offer should be concentrated mainly in the first month;
- interactions are important: the Facebook campaign, the social media that most enhances the exchange, gives a better chance of success and a higher average investment;
- the number of investors and the sums invested are positively influenced by the number of times a piece of web content is viewed by potential investors: the activation of targeted advertisements is therefore strongly recommended;
- The creation and dissemination of video content related to the offer is essential; for this reason, we also provide a dedicated web TV in our Equity Boost Full Crowd plan.