Social Media

How to run a successful crowdfunding campaign

Crowdfunding is hard. This case study shows how a small business in Scotland tackled it.

👋 Introduction

Welcome, all!

As I sit down to write this edition of Hi Social, it is Week 9 of lockdown.

I have decided to make this edition of Hi Social non-Coronavirus based.

It features an epic small business based in Scotland and the campaign they followed to launch their business with £10,000.

I hope you are all happy and trying to stay sane.

🌾 It All Starts With Wheat

Before Coronavirus, plastic bottles were public enemy number one.

16 million plastic bottles end up in landfill every day in the UK alone and as a result, more people are moving towards using reusable bottles.

There are some problems with the current bottles on the market.

Steel Bottles are hard to clean and can sometimes give off disgusting smells.

Glass bottles have durability issues.

Enter S'Wheat. (Pronouced Sweet)

They are a reusable bottle company made entirely from wheat straw, and they have built their business over the internet. The Edinburgh based company started with a Crowdfunder last October and raised over £10,000 in orders.

Now, running a Crowdfunder campaign is difficult. So how did they do it?

They did it through running a fully-fledged marketing campaign, instead of just hoping for the best. For a small local company run by just two people, they have done pretty well.

Some things that worked for them are press, influencers, giveaways and a straight to the point website.

I will break down each section, what they did, and how you could use each campaign element for your clients.


📰 Step 1: Get Press Attention

When they launched their Crowdfunder, they relied heavily on press. They had a range of press coverage from local Scottish publications to TV shows.

Their news stories focused on educating people on the problem with glass and steel bottles and then presented their solution.

The press release also showed off the benefits of the product without screaming BUY ME.


🕸 Step 2: The Website

Once they have generated people's interest from news articles, they followed it up by having their website focused all about their vision.

Their website reiterates their brand message and reconfirms the problem and solution.

They also have a blog all about sustainable living, which ties in very nicely with their overall brand image.

A recent post features tips on how the public can travel more responsibly. By producing content like this, it gives them a voice and personality on social media.

It also gives them something else to talk about instead of bottles all day long.

The last thing I love about their website is that it is hosted on Shopify. It is simple, does the job and is not over the job. They only sell a handful of products so why overcompensate?


📸 Step 3: Social Media

S'Wheat focuses on different types of content and has amassed over 13k followers on Instagram. A great feat for a small and infant company. Some of the things they do on social media are:

  • They run "tag a friend" giveaways.
  • They work with influencers and send them gifts to promote the bottle. The latest was not a Love Island contestant or wannabe model, it was Prue Leith.
  • Pre-Corona, they ran several Instagram Ads.
  • They post personal content. They are a small business. They show off their founders being human.
  • They post user-submitted content and testimonials.

📬 Takeaways:

S'Wheat did not just rely on one marketing activity. They had a fully-fledged and thought out marketing campaign.

Press > Website > Social > Purchase

They are building up a bank of loyal fans on their social media who in turn become brand ambassadors, and will most likely tell their friends about it.

Next time you propose a campaign to a current or prospective client, could it include other elements like press to generate initial interest?


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