Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform designed to help you get your app, tech project, or service off the ground. For this reason, Kickstarter success can offer the momentum you need to build a sustainable business. At first, it may seem difficult and a bit challenging as initially you can’t be sure if you will get enough backers to hit your crowdfunding goal. However, proper preparation can not only boost your confidence levels but also maximize your success on Kickstarter.
What you need to know about launching a Kickstarter campaign
Here’s what you should consider before launching your Kickstarter campaign:
What Kickstarter is all about
Before launching your campaign, you should first take time to understand Kickstarter’s funding model. Unlike Indiegogo, where there’s an option to get partial funding if you don’t reach your funding goal, on Kickstarter, you can only access your funding if you meet your goal. This might sound like a cruel approach, but it’s designed to reduce the level of risk for backers and help them feel more confident about investing their hard-earned money into your campaign.
To avoid running and marketing your Kickstarter campaign in vain, you need to set an achievable goal. Additionally, keep in mind that, even if you meet your funding goal, Kickstarter will not give you all the funds raised. The platform charges a 5% commission and a processing fee of 3 to 5%. You should also understand that there are restrictions on the kind of campaigns allowed on the platform. The platform doesn’t run charitable or general business fundraising.
How to set up your Kickstarter campaign
Your Kickstarter campaign page should give backers important information such as what product or service the crowdfunding campaign is based on, what value they can get from it, and your project timeline. You should also consider the scale of your project timeline. If it is long or complex, it is good to consider dividing it into various separate funding stages. Each phase should have its own fundraising goal and target. This helps you build backers’ confidence as well as enabling you to split the funding target into manageable chunks.
Before you set up a Kickstarter campaign, you should also look at some Kickstarter success stories to identify what successful campaign creators have done well in the past. Study the Kickstarter pages of these projects to get an idea of what worked best to attract backers to the project.
Optimize your Kickstarter project description
While choosing the title of your project, make sure you apply SEO best practices to boost its online visibility. Include the name of the project as well, and describe your project in a few words. This helps the visitors get a good understanding of your mission right from the get-go.
When developing a project description, you should always aim to be concise and clear. Avoid too much tech jargon, remember you are appealing to people and not specialists in your field. Get someone to go through the project description and ensure that it is easy to understand before you submit it to Kickstarter. Use bullet points to break the paragraph down into more digestible components.
Create a video for your Kickstarter project
The most effective Kickstarter campaigns include a video to engage backers and introduce them to the project. A Kickstarter video offers your project a lot of value by allowing you to demonstrate how the service or product works and offering backers insight into your mission.
Remember, your video doesn’t need to be produced by a professional videographer to be effective. In fact, the more authentic your video looks, the higher your chances of gaining trust from your backers. Most effective Kickstarter videos are shot using a phone camera in someone’s kitchen or living room. Make sure the video is short it should not exceed 2 to 3 minutes. You should also address the viewer directly, as this is more engaging than an anonymous voiceover.
Decide on your funding goal
The key to a successful campaign is setting the correct funding goal. Take your time to think about what your project needs for it to kick off and what people would reasonably be willing to spend on your rewards. Look at recent successful Kickstarter campaigns for guidance on what is a reasonable funding goal. As you evaluate what contributed to the success of each of these campaigns, focus on the number of backers and the total amount of funds raised.
Reviewing successful Kickstarter campaigns will give you a ballpark figure to target, in addition to offering inspiration for the kind of rewards you should offer. If your company is already well-known, has an established customer base, and has a great reputation, you will have no problem attracting backers. If it is your first project, most of your backers will probably come from your personal contacts, at least initially. You might then have to be strategic about your next steps to attract even more backers. For example, displaying a low number of rewards creates an impression of scarcity, which could ultimately encourage backers who are on the fence to take the plunge and support your project. Additionally, the way you structure the rewards themselves can attract more backers to your Kickstarter project.
Decide on your Kickstarter rewards
Kickstarter rewards function as incentives to attract the same backers who you’re hoping will support your project. Rewards are usually related to the project. For example, many Kickstarter project creators offer an advance copy of a product or early-access version of the product. Some choose to offer merchandise as rewards.
It’s important to develop different Kickstarter rewards for different price points. You can give backers who put less money into your project smaller rewards that don’t cost much on your part. Digital rewards work really well and can include an early download of your product or digital art. If you have to deliver or ship these rewards to your backers, make sure you account for the cost of delivery or shipping when you’re setting your funding goal. Failure to do that will leave a big hole in the budget after the campaign.
Most creators distribute their rewards after the campaign, but nothing should stop you from distributing digital rewards during the campaign if they’re ready. This could actually help in creating buzz and solidifying backer confidence.
Launch your Kickstarter campaign
Before going live, it is a great idea to have a group of backers primed so that they can create momentum and encourage other backers to join them. These backers may include loyal customers, board members, or even friends. They usually pledge immediately after the campaign kicks off. Notify these early backers when you are going to launch the campaign.
Additionally, this is the perfect time to start marketing your Kickstarter campaign. Remember that timing is key – pick a time when your targeted audience is likely to be online to ‘click through,’ read, and watch the campaign video.
Create a PR strategy to promote your Kickstarter campaign
Potential backers might not be ready to support the campaign immediately after it kicks off. However, repeated exposure to information about your Kickstarter project may win them over. For this reason, it’s important to leverage PR to promote your Kickstarter project. You can also ask early backers to share the campaign project on their social media accounts. This helps you keep the campaign ball rolling as it’ll go beyond your immediate circle.
You can also create a dedicated Facebook group for the project, post videos and images, and thank the backers publicly. Additionally, you can invite those willing to back you up to the group. Encourage your team members to share news and updates on their personal social media accounts as well. Remember that support may sometimes come from unpredictable places. Many Kickstarter campaign creators have been surprised to get advice and support through online forums.
Keep your campaign page up to date
Genuine enthusiasm and timely communication is the key to project promotion. Post regular updates on your Kickstarter campaign page, with individual posts to appreciate your backers. This not only keeps the Kickstarter community up to date but also generates excitement among potential backers. Any time you update your campaign page, Kickstarter will automatically send your update as an email to available backers. To raise backers’ confidence in your project, make an announcement every time you hit milestones like 50% or 75% of your funding goal.
You can use Kickstarter’s creator dashboard to see a daily breakdown of the funding process as well as pinpoint where your web traffic is coming from. This helps you analyze the effectiveness of each email, Facebook post, and Tweet to the campaign. Kicktraq also allows you to share your daily goals with friends and customers. You can embed the mini widget Kicktraq to your forum or website to make sure all your website visitors see how well you are doing on Kickstarter.
What to do after you’ve hit your funding goal
If you reach your funding goal before the campaign ends, you don’t have to stop your campaign. At this point, it’s crucial to keep updating backers and letting them know about your plans for the extra funds raised. To keep your backers engaged until the end of the campaign, you need to keep communicating with them.
Remember that you need to keep in touch even after you’ve officially ended the campaign so that backers know how and when you plan to deliver their rewards to them. You can keep posting updates Kickstarter page so that backers stay updated on the development of your project, and the delivery of outstanding rewards if there are any. If there is a delay in production, make sure you inform your backers early to avoid generating bad publicity. In addition to informing them about the delay, you need to explain why there is a delay in production and what your plans are.
The bottom line
Crowdfunding has become one of the most popular methods of funding products or services that are still under development. However, there are several factors you need to consider before launching your Kickstarter campaign. These factors will contribute significantly to the success of your campaign.
How Pressfarm can help to promote your Kickstarter campaign
Do you need help generating publicity for your Kickstarter campaign? With a team of PR specialists, expert writers, and certified designers from Pressfarm, you can do just that!
With a professional press release, some winning guest posts, and an eye-catching media kit from Pressfarm, you can make a splash and stand out from other Kickstarter projects. Beyond creating quality content for you, Pressfarm can also help you put it in front of the right eyes.
By submitting your content to the right media outlets and startup directories, Pressfarm can help your startup rank in relevant search results across different search engines. Additionally, with custom media lists and access to a database of 1 million+ journalists, you can connect with the best journalists in your niche.