Crowdfunding is a great way to start a business. It provides market research while increasing capital. It allows you to maintain equity in your business since it does not require Angel investors or venture capital. Crowdfunding is online marketing at its best, connecting individuals with shared interests, needs, and beliefs.
However, most Kickstarter campaigns (about 66%) fail to meet the “all or nothing” standard required to raise funds from pledges. Sometimes, it may be that the product does not generate interest. But often, it is because the entrepreneurs in charge lack the marketing strategy to drive their campaign.
Running a Kickstarter project will take a lot of your time and energy. From developing a prototype to running a full marketing campaign. Below 7 Kickstarter marketing tips that will help your Kickstarter to become a success.
Kickstarter Marketing Tip # 1: Product Analysis
Not every product is a good fit for crowdfunding. Therefore, the first task is to determine if your product is appropriate for Crowdfunding. Start by exploring the categories and history of other campaigns on Kickstarter. Here you can see the types of products and concepts that have been successful. Evaluate your product for innovation and interest.
Campaigns on Kickstarter work well with products that are a mix of standard everyday products with unique and innovative features.
Innovative products that identify a problem that requires solution always have an opportunity on Kickstarter. The Fidget Cube took a fresh and positive look at the benefits of “fidgeting” at work and took advantage of the need that had no solution.
Is there a story behind your product? Is it related to a sustainable society – with a reservoir of revenue you can tap into? Do you have a new approach to a problem? Will people be eager to tell their friends about it?
Be unique. If people can buy something similar at Walmart, you will not perform well with crowdfunding.
Kickstarter is a place to develop innovative and unique products. At the same time, your product must be useful for a viable target audience. It should meet a glaring need for a specific community. Kickstarter is an excellent way to introduce a new product concept and get feedback on responses. However, if your idea is too unusual or has no practical use, it will be difficult to gather support.
Kickstarter Marketing Tip # 2: Target Innovative Buyers
Consider the type of client you will target on Kickstarter. To be successful, you must reach innovators and early adopters. These connect to the product adoption, the bell curve familiar for anyone who participated in a marketing class at college; it shows the cycle most products go through as consumers receive them.
Profits are more significant when they jump to majority adoptions. But while drafting messages for your Kickstarter campaign, you must appeal to early innovators and adopters.
In other words, this is not an “everyone is doing it,” “get the world most popular” message in marketing. The mass market wants something successful. That’s proven and safe. Innovators want the fresh, new, interesting and exciting. They love to be the first to use a new hot product.
Kickstarter, by its very nature, targets early adoption. Create a message for your video and your campaign page to raise the interest of innovative consumers. The ultimate goal is to make the jump to majority adoptions.
Kickstarter Marketing Tip # 3: Use your network
So you have a product you trust. What is the first step in getting the word out? Put yourself out there. Start talking to your family, friends, and neighbors. Access social media and share what you do.
Do not forget that your passion is the driving force behind your campaign. You are not just selling everyday products. You took a bold step in doing something creative and gutsy. You’ll find that people you know who will be supportive, even if they do not need your product. Start reaching out to your network as you develop your prototype. You want to have a large network by the time you’re ready to start your campaign. The earlier you start spreading the word, the more contacts you’ll have in place when you need them.
Kickstarter Marketing Tip # 4: Meet with Influencers and Reporters
Let’s say you designed a new kind of snowboard binding you want to fund at Kickstarter. You will want people in the snowboard industry to know about it. This does not happen by accident or chance. It happens only if you make an active effort and reach out to influencers and press in the industry you are targeting.
Lots of footwork is required here. Research social media, blogs, and forums to find the right connections that can help you create awareness. You can try to connect to some big names in that field (our Snowboard binding project would like to get Shaun White’s support), but it’s often smaller, more dedicated groups that provide the best offer.
Using Twitter is an excellent way to reach out to bloggers and journalists. Email owners of industrial sites to pitch a guest blog. Try targeting bloggers or reporters with experience in crowdfunding projects, or who have written topics related to your product. Make a compelling presentation that describes why your campaign will make a great story for them.
Start this process well before you launch your Kickstarter campaign. Ideally, you will get intense press coverage on the day of your launch. As you reach out, personalize your messages on both social media and emails. Avoid spamming. Some of your efforts will come out here; others will not. Remember that a strong influencer with the desired reach can make a big difference.
Kickstarter Marketing Tip # 5: Create Your Marketing Assets
Your marketing assets need to be on the ground before you begin, including:
1. Social networking profiles: Create social media accounts for your business, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat. You want these to be created to start developing and maintaining contacts not only for financing but your company once you start shipping.
2. Website: Creating your website or landing page before or during your campaign has lots of benefits. This allows you to use all the traffic, links, and connection you make during the campaign as an asset after funding (Facebook pixels + e-mail signups). At least, get a domain and fundamental designs ready. It will give you a great start when you are ready to move to production and shipping.
3. Create a video: It’s the most effective way to tell your story. Look at other videos of Kickstarters and make sure you create your videos the right way (Peak Designs is a great example). You do not need a professional production, but quality scripts that motivate people to commit is a critical factor in achieving your goal.
During video planning, get product images and create the message you want to include on your site. Keep your benefits focused and connected to the lifestyle of your audience. With social media and website design, you are already gearing up for how to proceed after being funded. This positive approach tends to have a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Kickstarter Marketing Tip # 6: Host an Event
A launch event is a great way to kick off your campaign with a bang.
If you have an adequate local network, host an (informal) event in your area.
You can also increase your audience by hosting a virtual event on Facebook. This is where your business starts to pay off, by reaching out influencers and growing your network. You can host the event for a few days and provide a special offer for early pledges. Create a hashtag for your product and event, and respond to people’s posts about your event on all social media channels, including Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.
Work on your social media presence. Start adding content, telling stories, and interact with individuals and organizations that are relevant to your product idea.
Kickstarter Marketing Tip # 7: Using Paid Ads
One of the weaknesses of many Kickstarter campaigns is the use of paid media to scale their reach. It can become complicated and expensive if you are not experienced in running Facebook ads. Consider working with a professional Kickstarter marketing company. Paid Media is the best way to expand your campaign opportunities based on demographics and interests. You can use retargeting ads as timely reminders for individuals who visited your content.
Facebook Ads is a powerful tool to expand your audience using targeted demographic and psychographic data. For instance, if you are to sell a new type of cooking utensils, then market research suggests that your primary demographic target are women between age 35-50.
You can set your campaign to appear on:
- Women aged 35-50 years in the Northeast United States.
- People whose interest and purchasing habits show they love cooking.
- People who previously pledged to a Kickstarter campaign.
Take note of the third item on the above list. When targeting people who are already pledged on Kickstarter, it reaches that all-important consumer cohort of early adopters. Now, there is a substantial purchase demographics from these consumers, and those who have already supported Kickstarter are more likely to do it again.
At the same time, be careful about getting so granular that your target audience is too small. If you do not get enough people, lack of interaction will hurt your relevancy score, thus, increasing the cost of your ads. Be prepared to test and tweak your targets to find a nice spot.
You can use Facebook and Google AdWords retargeting campaign to remind people about your project launch date on Kickstarter. As you approach certain timeframes before the campaign ends, your retargeting ads reminds users who checked your products before that they can come back and pledge.
Retargeting and reminder emails to people who have pledged and 48 hours before the end of your campaign, a quick reminder (automatically sent to people who clicked the “signup” button on your landing page) can give you a good final push.