The Keys to Crowdfunding
How we went from knowing nothing about Kickstarter to doubling our pledge goal in less than a week.
One of my pet peeves when trying to solve a problem is googling the issue, finding a blog that says it can help, and then digging through the 10 paragraph intro before getting to the good stuff. So, if you're debating launching a Kickstarter campaign here's what worked for our brand:
Have a cool product. (This seems like a no brainer but you would be surprised at how many lame products are launched on these sites). People are only going to pledge $$ on something that excites them or they believe in.
Build hype pre-launch. -There are currently 3,294 live projects on Kickstarter and with a success rate of 37.91%, you can't afford to set up a project and hope people magically find it. Here's what we did to build hype before the campaign launched:
Create a pre-launch timeline. We suggest a bare minimum of two weeks before the campaign goes live and no more than a month (people tend to forget if your Kickstarter is set to launch six months from now).
Create a simple landing page that talks about the upcoming Kickstarter and allow consumers to submit their email to get early access and special deals before anyone else.
This creates a sense of FOMO. If people think they will miss out on a great deal they will be much more likely to sign up.
Advertise!!!- Create ads on Facebook, Instagram, Google, etc. that hype up your product and link back to your landing page so you can continue to build a lead list. We had success specifically targeting consumers who were interested in or like crowdfunding, as well as our typical customer profile.
Create a countdown on your website. This builds excitement and gives potential pledgers a solid time when your campaign will go live.
Work with a solid influencer (or more depending on your budget). We had an influencer post a video using our product who had a large and relevant following that drove a ton of traffic to our landing page. Our lead list doubled after the video went live.
Once you have a significant amount of leads, create lookalike audiences to target in your existing ads.
Craft a social media strategy around your campaign. Talk about the upcoming campaign. Post photos of behind the scenes photoshoots of the product etc.
Campaign set up
Important note: Have your campaign fully complete and ready to go before the launch date. There are too many details that you do not want to be rushing through the day of the launch.
The Story- Craft a clear message about why you created this product, show how it works, why it's cool, and why you decided to crowdfund. In the story section, include images and videos that show the product in action and how it's set up. Be as detailed as possible, and don't be afraid to have a little personality, consumers like it when brands are authentic!
The Next Steps- create a visual timeline of your project so that potential pledgers know exactly what your plan is once you have received the funds and when they can expect to get their rewards.
Reward set up
Look at similar Kickstarters that have been funded for ideas on how to create a reward strategy. There are many different reward tiers that are effective but one trick that worked best for our brand was to create a killer reward with a very limited number of pledges allowed. Once our Kickstarter went live, we sent out an email only to our early access customer list from the pre-launch. In the email, we announced the launch and explained that there was one special reward with a limited number of pledges allowed. This created the FOMO effect where our potential customers felt like they needed to pledge before the deal was gone or they would miss out. The reward was filled within the first 24hrs and helped continue to drive additional pledges to our other rewards.
After you send out an announcement of the campaign launch to your early access list, tell everyone! Change the ads that you have running for the pre-launch to advertisements announcing the launch and linking to your Kickstarter.
Post about it online! Tell your followers and friends about the Kickstarter! Publish updates throughout the entire campaign so that people can stay up to date with your progress.
This is not a 100% foolproof plan, but these were the main steps our company took to see immediate success. If you or your company are seriously considering crowdfunding feel free to reach out and we can walk through a fully customized plan with you to help you achieve your goals!