What a Kickstarter Strategy Looks Like

Crowdfunding is moving at warp speed. In 2012, there were 1 million campaigns that raised $2.7 billion dollars (an 81% increase over 2011). 2013 is on course to nearly double those numbers with funds expected to hit $5.1 billion. (source)

Kickstarter alone has generated $579 million in pledges since its launch in 2009.

In that time, 3.9 million people have pledged to fund nearly 40,000 projects.

So how do you launch a successful campaign on Kickstarter especially knowing the majority of projects don’t ever get funded?

There are many success stories (and candid tales of failure) that we can learn from.

Here are the highlights.

Looking at Kickstarter specifically, in order for a project to receive funding, a fundraising goal must be set and achieved. Approximately 44% of all Kickstarter projects achieve their goals. Funds raised may exceed the initial goal, but the goal is the baseline that must be accomplished. Therefore, it may be strategic to lower the goal amount (but not too low!). For example, if your project requires 150k and you set the funding goal accordingly, but only 120k is raised, you will receive nothing. Indiegogo, on the other hand, offers users the ability to accept funding even when their goals are not met. This comes at a higher percentage (9% underfunded versus 4% for fully-funded projects).

A few important notes:

  • Kickstarter takes 5% of all successfully funded projects.
  • All projects are required to have US bank accounts and a US mailing address (Kickstarter is working to remove these restrictions to enable Canadians to use the platform more easily).
  • There is a limited window in which to raise your funds (approx. 5 weeks). Choose your timing carefully.
  • Your project is never removed from the Kickstarter site. It cannot be deleted.

Differences between IndieGoGo and Kickstarter

After funding goals and the reward structure have been determined, and slick multi-media assets have been produced (to post on the Kickstarter project page), it’s time to get down to strategy.

  1. Create a compelling and engaging story about your project – connect and establish an emotional connection with Backers.
  2. Raise awareness – identify Key Influencers and establish multiple channels to drive traffic to the Kickstarter project page.
  3. Pay attention to metrics and adjust accordingly.
  4. Pay for a PR blitz.
  5. Empower your fans – consider incorporating fan feedback into the development of your project.
  6. Consider offering Stretch Goals – it helps keep excitement levels high even after the original funding goal is reached.
  7. Attract a celebrity popular with the target audience – the celebrity’s endorsement and network goes a long way.
  8. Be prepared to live & breathe the campaign.

Do you have tips or lessons learned that you can share? Leave a comment.