Getting started on Kickstarter has not gotten any easier after its launch 10 years ago. You need to have the right idea, resources and plan to make your next project a success. Remember you’re selling an idea as much as your product. So, how do you launch your next Kickstarter?

Getting your product ready to launch on Kickstarter is more work than some might think. I’ve spent a fair bit of time just lurking around the site looking for things to fund and looking at what’s new over the last month. One thing I keep seeing are bad funding pages and what looks like a distinct lack of their pre-launch preparation. Today’s post is going to be all about the pre-launch work it takes to run a successful Kickstarter campaign. 

Successful Kickstarter campaigns don’t just happen on launch day or out of thin air. The pre-launch work you do helps you build a list of  potential customers who want to sign up and support your campaign. That is the secret of a successful Kickstarter campaign – it’s the weeks (if not months) of going out and getting emails to market to on launch day. Having those emails means you don’t have a launch that falls flat. 

Having helped a recent client launch a new brand, we know what it takes to make your launch day a success. There are 4 areas you need to cover during your pre-launch work to capture emails:

  1. Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
  2. Customer Segments
  3. Advertising Channels
  4. Marketing Collateral

Let’s go into why each area is important because getting each one right is the difference between making or losing money come launch day.

Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Unless you are reinventing the wheel and building a whole new category of a product, you need to know what makes your product unique. What makes it standout from the competitors? I look at a lot of ads and even Kickstarter pages and don’t see a reason to fund the campaign.

No one needs another jacket or pair of shoes. No one is going to fund another natural peanut butter brand that is like the 4 other campaigns currently running on Kickstarter. Making sure you understand what aspects of your product are unique, and being able to communicate that goes a long way to ensure success.

Customer Segments

Who are you targeting? Are you launching a product that is part of an existing brand? You might be targeting more than one segment of people. That is ok, you just need to be able to write them down and understand who those different segments are. A few good examples could be:

Segment 1

Teachers and educational professionals in the USA. Maybe you want to go after those who teach elementary to high school. 

Segment 2

People who travel 3x times a year and are based in Europe. You want non-professionals and those who don’t mind a bit of adventure in their life.

These are not fully fleshed out segments but they give you a starting point. They show you what information you want to know about the different group of people you want to target with your campaign. Having this information helps you figure out which advertising channels you can use.

Advertising Channels

Taking your customer segments from above will help you pick which advertising channels you should use. There are a lot of options out there regarding how you are going to market your Kickstarter campaign. You can go with the obvious one’s like Google, Facebook and Instagram, however, you could also look at options like LinkedIn, Reddit and Quroa. All the aforementioned platforms offer great targeting options. What platforms might I pick for each above segment?

Segment 1

Facebook and LinkedIn would be my top two. I might also look at Quora or even Bing’s Linkedin Profile Targeting as an option.

Segment 2

Instagram and Facebook makes a lot of sense for people who are into travel. You can also look at Quora, Pinterest and maybe even Twitter if you have a lot of visuals for your campaign.

Try not to limit your campaign to one channel when you launch. You want to test out your advertising channels as much as your marketing message. You are not always going to know what works on day one.

Marketing Collateral

The last piece is your marketing collateral. Having a solid understanding of your product, customer segments and what advertising channels you are going to test means you can build the right marketing assets. Will you just need banner ads or is video and GIFs going to play a role in your campaign?

This article was inspired by seeing an ad for the travel blanket below:

Having slept in a few airports from Tokyo to Vancouver, I know the pain of not finding a comfortable place to sleep at 2am before your flight. Building out your initial set of assets for each advertising channel is great. However, be prepared to build a second and third set as you start to see what works.

You want to be able to build on the success of your ads and hopefully lower your cost to acquire a lead by building better ads that resonate with your customer segment above.

Too many Kickstarter campaigns fall flat due to a lack of pre-launch preparation. Yours doesn’t have to though. Follow the steps above and make sure you have ducks in a row before launching to help guarantee success. I hope today’s information was help, and gave you some food for thought. I’ll catch you next time.