Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform that enables individuals and groups to raise funds for creative projects, innovative products, and several ventures through backers. Established in 2009, Kickstarter stands as a pioneering crowdfunding platform, supporting the dreams of innovators and creators worldwide. With the right PR strategy, innovators and creators have also managed to boost several campaigns on Kickstarter.
By embracing a rewards-based approach, Kickstarter empowers individuals and businesses to secure financial backing for their imaginative projects and groundbreaking products. Through Kickstarter, inventive minds have manifested technological marvels, captivating art installations, cinematic masterpieces, musical symphonies, and an array of endeavors. When a project achieves its funding target within a set timeframe, backers’ contributions are collected, propelling the idea into reality.
Potential benefits of a Kickstarter campaign
There are many potential benefits of Kickstarter campaigns for creators and backers. They include:
Benefits for Kickstarter backers:
- Early access and exclusive rewards
- Support for innovative projects
- Influence on product development
- Community engagement
- Satisfaction of helping creators
Benefits for Kickstarter creators:
- Funding for creative projects
- Market validation
- Building a community
- Creative freedom
- Pre-selling products
Examples of successful Kickstarter campaigns
Here are some specific examples of how entrepreneurs and creators have used Kickstarter to achieve their goals:
The Oculus Rift
The Oculus Rift is a virtual reality headset that was funded on Kickstarter in 2012. The campaign raised over $2.4 million, which was the highest amount ever raised for a video game project on Kickstarter at the time. The Oculus Rift was released in 2016 and has become one of the most popular virtual reality headsets on the market.
The Pebble smartwatch
The Pebble smartwatch was funded on Kickstarter in 2012. The campaign raised over $10 million, which was the highest amount ever raised for a wearable technology product on Kickstarter at the time. The Pebble smartwatch was released in 2013 and was a huge success.
Exploding Kittens card game
Exploding Kittens is a card game funded on Kickstarter in 2015. The campaign raised over $8.7 million, which was the highest amount ever raised for a card game on Kickstarter at the time. Exploding Kittens has since become one of the best-selling card games of all time.
The reality of Kickstarter failures
According to Kickstarter, about 40% of projects on the platform are successfully funded meaning that the remaining 60% of projects fail to reach their funding goal.
However, the failure rate varies depending on the category of the project. For example, projects in the Film & Video and Music categories have a higher success rate, while projects in the Technology and Design categories have a lower success rate.
According to a study by Professor Ethan Mollick of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, 9% of Kickstarter projects fail to deliver rewards to backers. This means that although the project may have been successfully funded, the creators failed to produce or deliver the rewards as promised to backers.
Common Kickstarter pitfalls and how to avoid them
Here are some of the most common Kickstarter pitfalls to avoid:
- Poor budgeting
- Underestimating the importance of social media
- Expecting high conversions
- Not having a clear plan for fulfillment
- Not being transparent with your backers
Tips To Help You Avoid Kickstarter Pitfalls:
Do your research
Before launching your Kickstarter campaign, research other successful campaigns in your category. This will help you to understand what has worked for others and to avoid making the same mistakes.
Create a strong campaign page
Your Kickstarter campaign page is your most important marketing tool. Ensure it is well-written, informative, and visually appealing. Moreover, include clear and concise information about your project, your goals, and your rewards.
Build a community
Start building a community around your project before you launch your Kickstarter campaign. This will help you to generate interest and support for your project, and give you a pool of potential backers to reach out to when you launch.
Promote your campaign
Once your Kickstarter campaign is launched, promote it through social media, email marketing, and other channels. You should also reach out to relevant blogs and websites to see if they would be interested in covering your project.
Keep your backers informed
Once your Kickstarter campaign is funded, ensure you keep your backers up to date on the progress of your project. This includes sending them regular updates and letting them know about any delays or challenges that you are facing.
By avoiding these common Kickstarter pitfalls, you can increase your chances of success.
Case studies of failed campaigns
Here are some case studies of failed Kickstarter campaigns:
The Coolest Cooler was a Kickstarter campaign that raised over $13 million in 2014, making it the most funded Kickstarter project to date at the time. The cooler promised a number of impressive features, including a built-in blender, ice crusher, and Bluetooth speaker. However, the project was plagued by delays and production problems and ultimately failed to deliver on many of its promises. In the end, many backers never received their coolers, and the company was sued by the Federal Trade Commission for deceptive marketing.
The iBackPack 2.0 was a Kickstarter campaign for a smart backpack that promised a number of features, including a built-in solar charger, GPS tracker, and anti-theft system. However, the project was a scam, and the creator, Doug Monahan, used the money from backers to fund his personal lifestyle. Monahan was eventually arrested and charged with fraud, but many backers never got their money back.
The Zano was a Kickstarter campaign for a mini drone that promised to be easy to fly and take high-quality photos and videos. However, the drone was poorly designed and manufactured, and many backers received drones that were defective or didn’t work at all. The company eventually went bankrupt, and backers were left with nothing.
The Pebble Time was a Kickstarter campaign for a smartwatch that promised to be more affordable and feature-rich than other smartwatches on the market. The campaign raised over $20 million, and the Pebble Time became the most successful smartwatch ever launched. However, the company faced a number of challenges after the launch, including competition from Apple and Samsung. Pebble eventually went bankrupt in 2016, and backers were left without support for their watches.
The C64 Mini was a Kickstarter campaign for a miniature version of the classic Commodore 64 computer. The campaign raised over $2 million, and the C64 Mini was released in 2016. However, the device was poorly received by critics and consumers, who complained about its limited game selection and buggy software. The company behind the C64 Mini eventually went bankrupt, and backers were left without support for their devices.
These are a few examples of failed Kickstarter campaigns. There are many other factors that can contribute to the failure of a Kickstarter campaign, such as poor planning, unrealistic goals, and communication problems. If you are considering launching a Kickstarter campaign, it is important to do your research and plan carefully.
Lessons learned from failed Kickstarter campaigns
If you consider launching a Kickstarter campaign, the following are some of the lessons you can learn from failed Kickstarter campaigns:
- Set a realistic funding goal. Do your research to determine how much money you need to raise in order to complete your project.
- Market your campaign effectively. Use social media, email marketing, and other channels to reach potential backers.
- Build a strong community. Engage with potential backers and build excitement for your project.
- Communicate regularly. Keep backers updated on your progress and communicate any changes or delays to your project.
- Offer fulfilling rewards. Offer rewards that are both appealing and valuable to your target audience.
- Have a clear and concise value proposition. What makes your project unique and worth supporting? Make sure you articulate this in a clear and concise way.
- Be transparent and honest. Don’t overpromise and underdeliver. Be upfront about the risks and challenges associated with your project.
- Build a strong team. If you have a team of people with the skills and experience necessary to complete your project, backers are more likely to be confident in your ability to succeed.
- Test your product or service before launching your campaign. This will help you to identify and address any potential problems before you start asking people for money.
- Be prepared for the possibility of failure. Even if you do everything right, there is still a chance that your campaign will not succeed. Have a backup plan in place in case this happens.
If you follow these tips, you will be well on your way to launching a successful Kickstarter campaign.
The bottom line
If you’re planning to launch a campaign on Kickstarter, examining previous Kickstarter campaigns can offer valuable insights. Analyzing the missteps and pitfalls of unsuccessful ventures provides a roadmap for aspiring creators. These cautionary tales underscore the importance of meticulous planning, realistic goal-setting, transparent communication, and robust marketing strategies. By internalizing these lessons, prospective project initiators can enhance their chances of success, ensuring that their Kickstarter endeavors flourish and deliver on promises while steering clear of the common pitfalls that have derailed many before them. Ultimately, knowledge is the key to avoiding the pitfalls and achieving crowdfunding triumphs.
How Pressfarm can boost your Kickstarter campaign
Creating newsworthy content to promote your Kickstarter project can be stressful, especially with so many other responsibilities that you’re likely to have when launching your business, product, or service. This is exactly why PR agencies like Pressfarm exist… To help brands to create newsworthy content that will help them gain media coverage for their project.
Pressfarm’s PR experts and writers create everything from press releases to personalized pitches and guest posts. This is in addition to other content that can gain traction for your crowdfunding campaign. The Pressfarm team also designs creative press kits that can create a memorable impression for your company, both in the media and among your target audiences. All of Pressfarm’s PR packages include access to their PR database of over 1 million journalists and media professionals across different industries
The PR professionals at Pressfarm also develop curated media lists, personalized to fit the niche and stage of growth of each startup. Combined with the comprehensive PR database, these lists help companies connect with the right media contacts to help them reach their target audiences. Finally, the experts at Pressfarm help increase online visibility by helping companies feature in relevant search results on various search engines through their knowledge of the digital PR landscape and SEO.