How to Launch a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign on Kickstarter
All of us had that awesome idea that is buried at the back of our mind, putting aside until one day, we saw an ad or article of the same product and saw someone else did it and you go
" The audacity! it should have been mine! I thought of it! “
It is painful seeing someone else living your dream and making the product of their dream turned into reality. The first few steps of getting out of your comfort zone, taking the time, and gathering your team to create the product of your dream are not easy. The great news is you’re nowhere taking the initiative to create and launch your product! And That is what matters.
Regardless if you are still thinking about it or already doing it, This article will go through the steps that you need to prepare and polish your Kickstarter campaign so it has the best chance to get funded
Before we jump straight into it, what is Kickstarter, to begin with?
Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform based in New York. It is a platform that helps creators like you bring creative projects to life. Kickstarter hosts a wide range of projects from creative categories like art, comics, design, food, games to high-tech categories and many more others.
How Does It Work?
If you are someone with an innovative idea, that can share more about it and most importantly, create it to become a reality, Kickstarter will welcome you with an open arm.
However, your task as the creator of the project is to be as clear and transparent as possible to potential backers or supporters of your project. Before your campaign goes live or in another work start gathering support, it will be reviewed by Kickstarter staff to ensure that it met their proper guidelines of acceptable projects.
Once your project gets the go-ahead from Kickstarter, it’s your responsibility as a creator to promote your idea and share it with your network to attract as many backers as possible. Your campaign can run from anywhere from a few short days to 60 days, it is entirely your choice. Backers that support your campaign will be rewarded by you in a form of early release of that product.
Take note that every crowdfunding platform is different and on Kickstarter, they use an all in or nothing model. That means if you didn’t hit your set goal within a pre-selected timeframe, you wouldn’t be able to receive the funds at the end of the campaign.
If you do meet your goal, though, Kickstarter will take 5% of the funds raised as a fee for using the platform; they also charge 3%-5% for a payment processing fee.
Key Component of Successful Campaign
However great your idea is, it takes hard work to ensure your campaign becomes a success. Here are some things that affect greatly on the result of your campaign
You could have the most revolutionary product ever. But if you don’t have a designer or any paid digital artist to polish up your campaign, it will likely fail.
Backers are not going to take their sweet time to read your wordy campaign from top to bottom. They scroll through some pictures and if they don't get what you’re selling then that’s the end for you.
Reward tiers are the icing on your cake. It is the thing that entices people to buy now or forget about it for next week. Always price your reward in such a way that it can cover your cost enough at the same time not too expensive to deter backers away.
Remember Kickstarter is just a platform and a business by itself, they want to make money. If you recall, they make money by charging a final fee after your campaign gets funded.
Logically thinking, would they send precious traffic to your campaign if your project isn’t performing well? Unlikely.
They’ll only send as much traffic if your project itself has outside traffic coming in. So marketing your campaign is the most crucial element that dictates the success of your project.
10 Tips for a Successful Kickstarter Campaign
Launching a campaign is not an easy task. There is no magic formula that makes it go from zero to hero. It is an accumulation of multiple efforts and hard work combined. However, applying these tips listed below will drastically improve your chances of getting successfully funded.
1. Understand your project placement
If anything, check if your idea is allowed under Kickstarter. Certain product types are not allowed in Kickstarter, namely charitable, alcohol-related, or general business in Kickstarter. Next, ask yourself, which category does your project belong to on Kickstarter.
Some categories have a higher success rate and traffic but it does not mean that you should place your project under those categories just for that sole reason alone. If you are a tech project, you do not want to place your campaign in the art or comic category. It's better to reach 1000 tech enthusiasts than 10,000 art enthusiasts in this case. Knowing your customer well enough is the key.
As a new creator or innovator, it is exciting to list down as many things and get carried away on Kickstarter of the thought that you can get all the funding you want. However, it might be confusing for backers and reduce confidence level, so only request for one project at a time.
2. Establish your project’s timeline
It is important to establish the basics of a campaign such as how long the project should run. Again, it might be tempting to run your campaign as long as possible for the thought that you can get more funding if you run it longer.
It is often not the case. If there is no traffic in your project, that’s a death sentence to your campaign. You’ll have to think from the backer's point of view. Would like prefer to support a project that's 14 days from getting funded or a project that's still 60 days away. I think the answer is pretty obvious.
One way to determine how long you should run your campaign is by doing case studies on similar projects to yours. Check out how long they ran their campaign and ask yourself if you can emulate the same standard.
One of the things that you will have to consider is the amount of content that you can put out throughout the campaign. The longer your campaign, the more contents, and updates you have to put out to keep your backers engaged throughout the journey.
3. Decide on your funding goal
Kickstarter uses an all-or-nothing funding model. That means you will only receive the money if the project reaches its goal within the specified period; otherwise, you will receive no money. So avoid setting your funding goal unreasonably high.
Set your goal at the minimum amount you need to create your product. This will help you attract more backers and reach your goals faster.
When setting your funding goal, make sure to account for production and manufacturing costs, employee salaries, company overheads such as rent, and packaging and shipping costs.
4. Write down your project in details
The way you layout content on your campaign page is crucial; it’s your one shot at selling your idea to your audience, and you will lose their money if you don't capture their attention. Your project page needs to be informative with a clear project name and descriptions of your product or service so that any potential backers visiting the page can understand it at a glance. Let your backers know about your big idea, how and why it is beneficial to them, and how you plan to use their money to achieve it.
Tell the story behind what you’re doing and create a sense of urgency by telling your backers why they need to support your project right now. Avoid using excessive technical jargon in your descriptions; use clear, concise language that will appeal to everyone; use headings and bullet points to break complex paragraphs into easily digestible chunks that direct your visitors' eyes to the most critical points; don't forget to use a variety of media such as product photos, videos, design drawings, and infographics to convey unusual or complex ideas.
5. Awesome visual contents
It’s a proven fact that we all have a short attention span, around 3-5 seconds. That’s the amount of time you have to make an impression on your project. Creating a banger campaign video and pictures takes time, but it is crucial in determining the success of your campaign.
Kickstarter statistics showed that a project with video is more likely to grab attention and succeed while a project without has only a 30% success rate.
Ensure that all your graphic contents are of high quality, if not done professionally by a digital artist. The most important of all would be your thumbnail picture. It’s the first thing that backers see the moment they click on your project. Make sure your thumbnail is clear, and product-focused. As a rule of thumb, your graphic contents should occupy 30-40% of your campaign story
6. Diversify reward tiers
Backer rewards are incentives aimed at encouraging backers to support your idea. Your rewards should be related to your project. The rewards should vary depending on the amount a backer gives, with a more expensive tier rewarding better perks or products for backers.
Make sure the rewards aren’t out of your backer’s reach. Of course to give you a price point is not a fair justification as every project has a different value. In general, tech projects usually range between $100-$300 and non-tech such art crafts between $25-$100.
Don’t forget to create a sense of urgency in your reward tiers, this can be done by having a limited reward as well as early bird pricing which encourages backers to support your project as soon as possible.
7. Prepare for the pre-launch
At this stage, before your campaign goes live, you should already have gathered some people who are ready to back your project. They can be your friends, family, or even connections you made in the communities while you started your project journey some time ago.
By doing those, it will ensure that your project has some momentum upon launching and doesn’t seem like a dead town. When you’re ready to go live, make sure you launch when your potential backers are awake and on Kickstarter and able to spread out the good news about your project.
8. Promote your project
Promoting your project is the core of your crowdfunding campaign. Remember Kickstarter will only send traffic to your campaign if your Kickstarter rank is good enough. In another word, you are only getting free traffic from Kickstarter if you have traffic to bring in by yourself.
Social media is a great way to promote your project and ensure its success. Reach out to important communities and influencers related to your project on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Be organized in ensuring you have enough hype built up around your campaign before launching.
Make sure that your marketing efforts are consistent and do not go to waste by keeping your influencers and promotion in check each time. If needed, hire a professional to do the work for you. Most of the time, they can generate better ROI for you than handling all the hassle by yourself.
9. Be a human and post update on your project
To have a successful campaign and retain backers' interest, you have to keep sharing updates on your campaign page and networks after you hit a substantial milestone. Certain updates such as initial thank you, 25%, 50% hit and 100% funded are the basics of updates, you can include personalized updates such as short stories about your project and personal takes on it.
These will keep backers enthusiastic and feel more invested in your project if you keep them updated with important milestones, videos, and photos of your progress.
10. Fulfill your obligations
At this point, it is easy to get carried away by the success of getting funded. Your team is super excited about the thought of seeing your project becoming a reality.
But remember to thank your backers and ensure that they received their rewards for supporting your business. Keep yourself accountable according to the delivery timeline that you have set in the early stage of the campaign.
PurelyMarket with Kickstarter
If you want to run a successful campaign on Kickstarter, it’s crucial to have a marketing effort in place. If you don't, your campaign may not receive enough traffic to generate backers and push your project rank down which will cause the Kickstarter algorithm to stop sending traffic to your campaign which could spell failure for your project.
We work with creators just like you get the enormous traffic into your Kickstarter via Influencers Marketing. You can use your campaign checker to receive a free report of your campaign and see how your campaign can benefit from influencers endorsement
PurelyMarket is a specialized crowdfunding agency that works with awesome projects and connects influencers to your campaign. We have successfully connected over 1000+ influencers and got projects the endorsement they needed.
You get to have professionals by your side that handle your top to bottom influencers channel and now you can be laser-focus on making your business a true crowdfunding success.
Good luck with your Kickstarter campaign! And remember, PurelyMarket is here to help if you need us.