When Ryan Grepper first launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund his multifunctional cooler idea in 2013, it failed to meet the $125,000 funding target. A few months later, he relaunched the campaign, and it became the most successful Kickstarter campaign in history. To date, it has raised over 13 million dollars. When you look at the two campaigns side by side, they don’t look that different. So, what changed? Let’s look at what Grepper did differently the second time around.
Create a prototype that has all of the features you want the final product to have.
When Grepper launched his first Kickstarter campaign, his prototype didn’t have all of the features that the marketing copy promised the final product would have. For example, the USB charger that he planned to put in the final product was available as a stretch goal. A few design improvements were also missing from the device he used in the promotional photos and videos.
The second time around, he created a fully featured product to show users. If you’re launching a crowdfunding campaign of your own, make sure you have a product that has all of the features you are going to put into the final version. Don’t leave the potential of your product to your backers’ imagination. Show them exactly what they are paying for.
Keep your promotional video short and to the point.
Grepper analyzed several product videos on Kickstarter and other crowdfunding websites to find the sweet spot for video length – 2.5 to 3.5 minutes. Keeping your videos brief is key to ensuring you don’t lose your backers.
Additionally, you have to make the video about the benefits of having your product, instead of how you came up with this cool idea. It doesn’t matter how your eureka moment came to be – just tell your buyers how your product helps them.
If your product has a seasonal use, take that into account while you plan your launch.
Grepper launched his first campaign during the month of November. Since he was selling a cooler, the winter wasn’t the right time to be advertising it. Even if people shop more during the holiday season, they won’t buy something that doesn’t become relevant until much later in the year.
Generate some buzz around your campaign before it goes online.
The first week of a product launch is extremely crucial. You must get people excited about your campaign before launch day. Use word-of-mouth promotion and social media outlets to let people know about your product. If you’re new to crowdfunding, it’s likely that you don’t have too much of time or money to invest into social media. If this is the case, stick to the platform that you have the most success with. For example, if your posts and photos are doing well on Facebook instead of Twitter, stick to Facebook for now. You can target the other social media channels once your product gets some traction.
You’ll have to keep marketing your campaign throughout its lifetime.
Grepper says that one of the mistakes most Kickstarter creators make is relying too much on the strength of the product. Even if your product is innovative and satisfies a crucial need in the market, you will have to promote it constantly. You shouldn’t just rely on online promotions to get your product funded. Attend expos, networking events and other gatherings that are relevant to your idea. If people like your idea, encourage them to tell other people about it.
A failed campaign isn’t the end of the world.
As Grepper has so spectacularly demonstrated, failing to reach a crowdfunding target during a campaign doesn’t mean you should abandon the idea. If your research shows that the product will help customers tremendously, you should focus your attention on marketing your product better. The Kickstarter community is full of helpful individuals who will continue to back you if they believe in your idea. Go back to the drawing board, look at the results of your first campaign, and come back stronger than ever.
In summation, this is an exciting time to be a product creator. You don’t have to rely on large organizations or expensive media outlets to promote your products. You can talk directly to the people who matter – the buyers. If the community believes in your idea, you will succeed.
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