How to Relaunch a Failed Kickstarter Campaign in 2018
As you know, launching a successful project on Kickstarter is no walk in the park. In fact, whether you know the best practices and procedures or not, this is arguably one of the most challenging prospects in the online world. Now that you are here, we can assume that you have failed to raise enough funds with a previous project and this article will attempt to guide you in the right direction in terms of relaunching your Kickstarter Campaign.
With this in mind, let us first take a quick look at some statistics relating to failed Kickstarter campaigns.
Failed Kickstarter Campaigns and Learning from Mistakes
Did you know that less than 35% of /kickstarter projects achieve their objective? Moreover, more than 12% of such projects fail to receive even a single pledge. Needless to say, even the. Prospect of getting noticed is daunting for creators and failure is always a realistic possibility.
At the same time, this is also a time to learn, for failed Kickstarter projects can prove highly useful when it comes to understanding what does or does not work. In this sense, you can identify what went wrong and resolve to avoid this happening in future, and this alone can prove invaluable to the success of a relaunched campaign.
In fact, countless creators have used the lessons learnt from their failed Kickstarter campaigns to achieve success the second time around. Now you can learn to do the very same.
6 Steps to Relaunching a Successful Kickstarter Campaign
1) Lowering the Targets
Setting a funding target is a tricky process and often the reason as to why many campaigns are doomed to fail. That is to say, when creators set out to create a campaign for the first time, they often fail to realize that even if the project falls just a tiny fraction short of the target, the funds raised to that point are never realized. With this in mind, targets should be high enough to make a decent return but not so high as to make it impossible to reach.
For example, when a popular nature photographer set out to raise funds for the National Parks Poster Project, Rob Decker had initially set the target to $27,000. Unfortunately, the project raised less than $5,000 and the campaign was deemed a failure. Having realized the exagerration of his first target, Decker decided to reduce this amount to $4990 and go about relaunching his Kickstarter Campaign.
Indeed, the campaign quite easily reached the targets this time around and Decker went on to say that his main mistake was setting a target which was highly unrealistic given that his only real audience at the time consisted of family and friends.
Takeaway – Don’t be greedy, set realistic targets.
2) Reshaping the Pledge System
You must already know about the pledge system on Kickstarter. Unfortunately, many creators do not realize how this is crucial to attracting the interest of backers. After all, the product might be amazing but every backer wants to know what they might receive in return.
We also assume that you offered a number of pledge rewards on the initial campaign but now is the time to reshape this system. For example, try to utilize or offer the use of your product as part of every reward. Needless to say, backers will not expect a free backpack for $1 but if you create posters like Rob Decker, you could offer these as part of every $20 pledge. Naturally, the minor details will depend on your project but as a rule, you should seek to make these rewards so enticing that potential backers cannot resists getting involved.
With this in mind, you can use the reward system as a sales funnel, in a sense that every last pledge is rewarded nicely but the more they contribute, the more enticing the reward will be.
Takeaway – Make the rewards irresistible and genuinely valuable.
3) Consulting the Professionals
As mentioned above, family and friends are sometimes enough to get you started with a Kickstarter Campaign but the truth is, to reach a significant target, you will need to take a much more focused and alternative approach.
In this sense, consulting a PR firm is often the best way to ensure the best possible chances of success for your campaign. Although Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are always central to this process, there are many more outlets and mediums which should be utilized along the way.
As you might expect, professional PR firms will know all the tricks and the best methods or strategies which should be used for each project. Now, this will cost and professional guidance is never free but at the same time, you must understand that marketing and PR is the real reason behind success on Kickstarter so this cost will be minimal next to the return. Furthemore, the time you will save in the process will be invaluable as this will allow you to focus on the product or service itself.
In case you might be asking yourself, a PR firm can take responsibility for all aspects of promoting your campaign and Facebook Ads or manual outreach are always part of this process. While the ads are straightforward, you may not be familiar with manual outreach which is a tactic used to source influential backers for the project. For example, Backer Directory is a database which can be used to find the most prominent and consistent backers for corwdfunding projects. When a PR firm has identified these backers, they reach out to them for assistance.
Takeaway – PR Firms give you the best shot when relaunching a failed Kickstarter campaign.
4) Re-Defining your Strategy
It may come across as common knowledge but many Kickstarter Campaigns fail due to the fact that there is no actual strategy. On the other hand, they can also fall short when the strategy is too flimsy or lacking in direction. Here are the main aspects you should consider redefining when relaunching a campaign on Kickstarter.
Writing a Press Release – Yes, the press release is fast becoming a thing of the past but for now, they are still effective. In fact, press releases are often mandatory for campaigns who wish to gain exposure in the media or with major organisations. At the same time, this press release should be professional and extremely well crafted which is another reason why PR firms are so invaluable.
Creating a Media List – You absolutely need a media list and this should be compiled with precision. In case you are unaware, a media list consists of the names, emails, and phone numbers of prominent individuals whom can be contacted about the project. Simply put, without this list, you are confined to a much smaller audience.
Expert Assessment – Even if you decide to take on the PR and marketing, availing of an expert assessment can be money well spent. That is to say, crowdfunding experts can identify precisely what has gone wrong with a project and what you need to do in future to avoid the same happening again. Furthermore, this can save you an incredible amount of time when relaunching a failed Kickstarter campaign.
Interestingly, when Zach Supalla launched Spark Socket on Kickstarter a few years ago, the project fell drastically short of the target. However, through defining his strategy, Supalla came up with an alternative approach and raised more than $48,000 in just the first week of his relaunch. Although the product was now called Spark Core, the reason for this success the second time of asking was due to a more specific strategy and improved marketing techniques.
Takeaway – Strategy is everything and there should be no holes in this blueprint.
5) Researching Successful Projects
While you may not know what you did wrong, there is always an opportunity to know what you can do right next time. After all, the online world provides instant access to every successful project and creator from Kickstarter. For example, “the Coolest” is the most successful Kickstarter campaign in recent years but the project failed miserably on this same platform just one year previous. In hindsight, the creator of the product said that he made very few changes to his approach but used the same tactics as successful projects in order to take his campaign to the next level. Here are just a few examples of how you can learn from this success and use it to harness your own relaunch:
Learning from Successful Campaigns – One of the most effective ways to relaunch a campaign on Kickstarter is to research successful projects and figure out what they did right. In many cases, you can simply search for blog articles or content relating to these campaigns and find the source of interest in this content. In other words, you can identfiy exactly what these blogs found interesting in the projects and then seek to make this information relevant to your own campaign. Keep in mind, an easy way to find these articles is to use a back link tool and insert the domain for a particular Kickstarter campaign. Having done this, you will now have a link to every website or blog which helped to promote the project.
Researching Creators – Successful creators are always happy to share their knowledge and you should find that the tactics or methods are also readily available online. Whether you find this on platforms such as Medium or Reddit, this information is invaluable as the creators are giving you a step by step guide as to what worked for their campaign. In most cases, you can identify what these projects have done, that you have not and this can save you a lot of time in terms of learning how to have more impact.
Pay Attention to Marketing Tactics – Many of the most successful campaigns on Kickstarter will initiate a free giveaway in order to gain more interest or traction. You should pay attention to this particular strategy and try to incorporate this in your own. Similarly, you should analyze the social media strategy of these campaigns and check out how they encouraged potential backers to interact with their posts. In most cases, successful campaigns have created a powerful community around their project and this is incredibly useful for gaining even more publicity.
Takeaway – Research takes time but it can save you from pitfalls and give you more guidance toward success.
6) Embracing Social Media and Influencers
If you know of Tim Ferriss, Seth Godin or Neil Patel, you should also know that content marketing is the backbone of every business. More specifically, bloggers and influencers are currently the most potent lethal weapon you can have in your promotion arsenal. In other words, if you have influencers writing or talking about your project, this is the best way to gain traction online. Sure, exposure in mainstream media can take you viral but the truth is, influencers are so much more easy to work with.
With this in mind, you should have a list of bloggers and influencers. Similar to your media list, this should contain contact information for every individual and a little bit of background so that you can create a personal connection when you make contact. Either way, establishing a relationship with multiple bloggers will be ten times more effective than your friends list and give you immediate access to a much greater audience.
At the same time, you must also learn from these masters and figure out the best way to connect with your own followers or connections through social media. Conventional emails are also effective but the truth is, social media is the most powerful and affordable way to reach your target market. If you have a PR firm, this will certainly help guide you in the right direction in terms of advertisements and content campaigns. Alternatively, this is something you should seek to know and many online resources can teach you to get this important aspect of your Kickstarter campaign, right the second time around. As already mentioned, the latter is certainly the most time consuming approach and PR firms are not only highly experienced in this field but they also have access to a network of bloggers who can get to work on promoting your project with immediate effect.
Takeaway – Influiencers can relaunch your campaign to a much wider audience.
As you know, Kickstarter is no walk in the park and requires an immense effort on all fronts. That being said, PR and marketing is the real secret to gaining traction and turning a failed campaign into a major success. As already mentioned, you can certainly navigate this process using the steps above but for the best possible chance in a crowded market, consulting the professionals is always going to give your Kickstarter Campaign the edge it needs to succeed.