Everyone knows launching with and succeeding on Kickstarter comes down to three things: marketing, product quality and campaign strength. Nothing else matters.
Let’s assume for sake of argument your product is pretty well set and you have already launched your campaign. You are stuck in the perennial hole of hoping your project funds and doing everything in your power to try and will your Kickstarter to success. But what if that isn’t enough?
Your pre-launch marketing was soft and you are struggling to make headway despite blogger outreach and PR pushes. I guess it is time to try the radical. Here are some tactics I have seen work well that seem underutilized.
The 6 Kickstarter Campaign Promotion Strategies No One is Doing That ACTUALLY Work
1. Get Real
No seriously, local marketing was the major player in trade and commerce throughout the ages before the internet pushed us online. Our hardwired obsessions with tangible, exciting products are by no means mitigated in this age of social media and online everything. So get out there.
I would be criminal to share this killer strategy without giving a nod to past podcast guest Eddy Zhong, who opened my eyes to this unlikely avenue. In Eddy’s case, our high school aged entrepreneur proved himself fearless by walking into the local mall and setting up shop. In atriums where many would-be buyers are perusing for this, that and the other, it can be extremely effective to get your goods out in front of them.
This method of marketing is most prolific for the products which lend themselves to interaction. Unofficially setup in large public areas most relevant to your niche and try to get people to demo your product. Most are so excited at seeing new and innovative ideas they will check out your product or pass the idea along. Having tablet handy helps to let backers buy right then and there.
The only issue, of course, is that you may be asked to leave. Technically, tactics such as these are legal as long as the transaction isn’t immediate, I believe, but either way you will in all likelihood be asked to leave. But really who cares? This is your Kickstarter campaign. A little embarrassment and a ton of free attention can often accelerate a stagnated campaign.
2. Local News
Ask any reporter…they are dying for a story. They have quotas and are compelled to fill pages upon page of print.
Well, when locals look to start their own businesses, isn’t that worthy of a little local news buzz? Go to editors or writers in your network and pitch your story. The local boy building a bad ass business or the hometown girl heroically trying to change the world are stories others in the area love to hear about.
The traffic and backers built by methods such as these won’t likely radically revolutionize your world but may well work to accelerate success and support so desperately needed.
As a big plus, mentions in these and any other reputable media sources strengthen your campaign by showing credibility in the company and your mission.
3. Meetup Groups
Meetup.com is an awesome resource for just about anything. Almost regardless of where you live there are loads of individuals into in all sorts of craziness.
What better place to go and pitch your product than a certifiably interested audience? Hobbyists love getting together with others, and if you demonstrate your idea, it will build a bond with the early adopters of your brand.
Meetups also allow an excellent insight into the nature and success of a product. Putting it in the hands of experts will quickly crush your dreams or prove your invention worthy of the mass markets. Be sure to bring a notebook for all the feedback you will inevitably get as these tidbits will transform the face of your business and be amazingly helpful in future iterations.
4. Old School Ads
I can’t recall a single Kickstarter creator who admits to venturing into the arena of paid advertising. Probably the risk of failure and forcibly losing the money makes many entrepreneurs afraid of this time-tested medium of marketing. But why?
Consider this: campaigns that fail to fund die. You need to get over the hump in order to succeed. Paid advertising in the proper hands is an unbelievably powerful tool to transform your campaign and business. That said I would recommend only employing PPC ads at the beginning of your campaign to fan the flames or at the very end to finish strong. These points prime success by minimizing risk of failure and force smart decisions on the future of your company.
5. Gameify Engagement
Backers are your biggest fans at this point. Of course treating them right, offering epic updates and really interacting with these trusted customers is important, but everyone knows that.
In addition to the obvious try to truly get backers involved. These are the brand ambassadors that can spell defeat or unexpected success for your project.
And as people, we love competition, games, and glory. Try to find a way to add this to your campaign. Build engagement in a fun way by rewarding backers with engagement-based gifts and recognition. From tweets to shares and everything in between, backers are building your campaign and you can compensate them for that.
Create challenges and random (or results-based) rewards for your most supportive backers. The best and brightest backers could receive shout-outs, exclusive items or extra love from campaign creators. All of this builds an environment of support and should strengthen the virality of your beloved Kickstarter campaign.
6. Art of the Kickstart
Guys, I built this podcast for a reason. I want to help inventors and entrepreneurs share their stories, succeed with business and motivate other inventive individuals. But we aren’t the only game in town.
Tons of prolific podcasts are constantly creating content and putting out high-quality interviews with inspiring guests. If you have an awesome story pitch me or any number of other entrepreneurial podcasts. These pre-built audiences work just like blogs but give listeners a more in-depth look into you, your business and your amazingly awesome invention.
Reach out to others interested in your industry and you may well find fellow fans willing to share your story.
If you need help finding the proper podcasts to pitch, hit me up. I would love to help and hope your campaign is an epic success.
Other Awesome Ideas
What other methods of marketing have been truly effective for your campaigns? With our amazing community of creative, future-focused individuals, there are experts in every conceivable field and I would love other entrepreneurs to shed light on the enigma that is Kickstarter.
I look forward to some seriously helpful hints in the comments to push designing dreams into reality.