Is Marketing Your Product on Kickstarter Worth It?
Absolutely! The Kickstarter platform alone has over 20 million users and potential backers who visit your campaign and the cost to publish your campaign on this platform costs nothing. Not only is this a great way to market your product with some of the best SEO in the world it is in fact free exposure for your idea and place where even big guys come to market their products or startups but there are plenty of steps before a campaign goes live. The crowdfunding market value is predicted to hit $28B by 2025 which means your product, even if published on a major platform will get exposure, feedback and maybe a higher level of interest.
You should definitely consider using this very low cost marketing tool to launch your product idea...
If you are a startup or small business - you want free exposure!
So you've gathered a group of very smart people and with available connectivity and sensors technology, there is a new IoT device you think the market will be hungry for. This is how most successful consumer product stories start, but how do you pay for your engineers, for the testing, licences, FDA approvals and other obstacles until you can even get your product in production, this is where an investor would jump in. With crowdfunding, you are owning this step and besides the whole funding part there is an audience and if you are lucky, a viral product video on everyone’s social media feed. You can boost your company and your first product to the stars by only publishing the campaign on Kickstarter.
The backers nowadays will like to see a product that is realistic in its features and something they see themselves using on a daily basis, this is why technology products like smart pet devices, security cameras and smart door locks will fund with ease. If this idea of yours is more a niche market, your backers need to be interested in these categories as well, and there are plenty of people happy to preorder a niche but well thought through or artistic piece, no issues there!
All you need is your product to work
The major platforms will ask you for photo and video proof that you have a functioning prototype with obvious technology that is operational. Some campaigners will try to fake this (which is wrong) but in general, why wouldn't you want to have a sample of your product knowing how much it will weigh, cost to ship, can it be done in a specific material on a specific printed circuit board, this requirement in fact is something creators should embrace anyways. The prototype indeed should work great and even in a state to be sent to a reviewer to check it out and share their thoughts with the community, these are all additional potential backers when you launch. In some cases, the NY based Kickstarter office required for a sample to be presented on-site. With prototype on hands, your sensor IoT is well on its way to becoming a star, the next - make some cool shots! Your prototype can look very realistic and you should aim for that when agreeing with your manufacturer, why not use it directly in videos, photos and all media you will need for your campaign, if sleek looking, you will win more people over.
Your fancy images and a cool video are ready, start sharing it like crazy. Video up to 2 minutes and a pack of sharp lifestyle images can be sent to blog editors, social media groups, to friends and family, shared on your landing page, wherever you can think your audience can be - you should reach it! At some point Kickstarter campaigns were promoted on park benches and busses, you and your team are your campaign’s best chance to succeed. With about two months of sharing and bringing people to your landing page to sign up for the live campaign, you will have a nice cross-section of who your audience is, which market is interested, you will know even before you launch the campaign what to expect. Many well funded campaigns gain $100k in the first minutes, this is the power of a proper pre-campaign.
Test different markets
With paid advertisement budget, you are likely to hit different markets around the world or if you are hoping to reach them by cold emailing - it is still an option. This way you will get the feeling (also solid stats) of where your audience is - are they in Tokyo and like to have a neat sensor device that will be connected with their phone or in San Francisco where tech freaks will buy and try anything new and life changing, you will control the message and who your product user/buyer should be. Test your markets along with getting exposure. In pre-campaign and during the live campaign.
The Kickstarter audience will surely see your product, play the video, check the pricing and share about it, you can even ask them to! On the main page ask them politely: Will you please share about our campaign? Provide them with a link and a couple of images and your new marketing army is maybe created, it worked many times in the past.
Social Media exposure
As mentioned above, you will need to make some nice product and lifestyle shots for sharing, it is a make it or break it kind of asset you have to have! Create the proper social media accounts, your product’s landing page and announce the upcoming campaign for it. Social media will be a powerful tool to promote your startup and other services it may offer but focus on the product in question will project a focus your team has and reflect positivity regarding the technology and the features you offer. Generally, the backers will do some research, they will not blindly back your live campaign, which means they will visit your already populated and amazing social media and like what they see, besides marketing the idea, you need to really sell it!
Your campaign funded means more things can be done
Your audience is ready for your campaign to launch, why not make it a really profitable campaign? Do not enter the whole process with the aim to just push the idea to become viral, getting pre-orders can really push your startup and the cost of making the idea reality, go for the money instead of only exposure. With the right product development and manufacturing estimates, you can markup the product on Kickstarter so it is worth the funding, not only to barely cover the cost of making it and shipping to backers, you need to count on side costs and unpredicted issues - they will happen. Why not use the extra profit (if you are left with any) and start thinking about generation 2 of your idea or going more green with packaging, this smart way you allocated the funds will allow all of this from just one successful campaign.
The backers will be your supporters and they will demand updates and features upgrades (if any) to help you make a better product for them, so, this really is your core audience if you think of it - they bought your product and the whole idea before you even made it! Treat them right and you can keep selling them products for life!