Kickstarter: The Leading Crowdfunding Apps Marketing Strategy

Mahenoor Mansuri Mahenoor Mansuri
Jan 4, 2022 7 min read
Kickstarter: The Leading Crowdfunding Apps Marketing Strategy

Being an entrepreneur, you will have to have a business plan that stands out but is also realistic at the same time. You need to check your business plan and have a marketing plan that is flexible. It should give a reason, be convincing enough, generate curiosity for people to believe in you, and the idea to invest in your startup.

Remember Shark Tank?

It is becoming so popular now that India has its own show based on the American series. The show is based on ideas from entrepreneurs who are competing against each other to come up with ideas that get the sharks (investors) to bite the bait. One interesting fact remains that the sharks, though paid to be judges, would be investing in the ideas, if any, from their own pockets.

So as a startup, where do you get your money from? Kickstarter solves that problem for you. So, Here's a look at marketing strategies employed by Kickstarter.

What is Kickstarter?
How does Kickstarter work?
Marketing Strategy of Kickstarter
FAQ

What is Kickstarter?

Kickstarter was founded in 2009, is located in Brooklyn (United States), with investors that include Thrive Capital, Lowercase Capital, Business Angels, and 11 other Investors.

Now Kickstarter is a reward-based crowdfunding app. With a rating of 4.1 stars on the Play Store. Where you can support creative projects that you like, bringing ideas to life. These projects may belong to different sectors like art, dance, fashion, films, music, technology. Gaming and Tech niches are popular on this app and have raised the most money via the platform.

The app lets users:

  • Stay updated with the projects that you have backed up.
  • Add the projects that you like to your favourites, and it notifies you if a project is ending.
  • Share projects with your friends through email, messaging, and more.

For example, If you, as a backer or investor, have given a certain amount of money to the campaign. You will receive rewards based on the amount that you have donated.

If you have funded a project which involves selling books at affordable rates, and you may have chipped in $50, the organization could give you some books based on your favourite genre, discount coupons, or even a set of best-selling novels based on the amount donated.

How does Kickstarter work?

For starters, when you launch your campaign on Kickstarter, there are four possibilities of what will happen:

  • You can have your campaign fully funded. Your idea worked, people liked it and invested in it. The app will charge you a fee of around 5% of the amount of money that you have raised in your campaign. β€Œβ€Œ
  • Your campaign is funded but not fully. Again, the app will charge you a fee of around 5% of the amount of money that you have raised in your partially funded campaign that you decide to cash out.β€Œβ€Œ
  • Your campaign idea does not work out and you have not raised any capital. The app will charge you no fees for it.β€Œβ€Œ
  • Your campaign is partially funded, but you decide not to cash out and let go of it. In that case, again, no amount of fees would be charged by the app.

The payment gateway charges a fee ranging from 3-5% on the funded amount.

So now it is clear that Kickstarter falls under Rewards-based crowdfunding.

Marketing Strategy of Kickstarter

Taking up space on digital media, starting with its website to having a mobile app that is available on Play Store and iOS.

Even though Kickstarter uses collaboration, having a positive impact and other strategies mainly, its marketing strategy thrives on using the digital platforms to its advantage rather than using traditional media.

Social media marketing

Kickstarter is all in for having its presence on social media. Kickstarter is there on the following platforms to communicate with its audience.

Instagram

Kickstarter Instagram
Kickstarter Instagram

Kickstarter has a count of 299k followers. Where the company uses Instagram to share moments from the events they have done, sharing the backstories of the contributors, announcing any new features it has added, and even most of its campaigns.

Twitter

With one million followers. Kickstarter shares its creators' projects, pinning tweets to make people aware of its campaigns and sharing information that urgently needs disposal to the ones that can get help by funding.

Digital Marketing

YouTube

Kickstarter on YouTube has 23.9 k subscribers. Where they have divided their playlists into two groups: Created playlist and Kickstarter creators basics.

Apart from these platforms, Kickstarter also has its presence on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Website

Kickstarter Homepage
Kickstarter Homepage

β€Œβ€ŒThough the website appears a little cramped and confusing. The websites main menu has projects about:

  • Comics & Illustration
  • Design & Tech
  • Film
  • Food & Craft
  • Games
  • Music
  • Publishing

The left sidebar navigation menu offers more content like collections, things on the radar of Kickstarter, categories, and sections.β€Œβ€Œβ€Œβ€Œ

Mobile

The mobile app saves the users from the hassle of going through the website for the backers to support their favourite ideas, explore new creative ideas, and access the projects that they might have backed. Get to know your creators by turning them into their stories and vision. The app is available on the Play Store and Apple Store. Though the app is good, it does not have any ratings yet.

Email marketing

Delivering newsletters basically on what is going on, the best projects, while having specific niches like Kickstarter Art, Kickstarter Invent, Kickstarter Music, and more. Kickstarter definitely uses email marketing. It has defined mainly two types of newsletters: the daily that is sent to subscribers every morning, and the other one which is still under construction and will be a more creator-focused newsletter.

Content marketing

Sharing content that is valuable

Content is the king

The golden rule of marketing is providing your audience with content that is valuable. Kickstarters' website is loaded with content, be it providing tips or advice or the creative independent. β€Œβ€Œ

The creative independent

Another part of the website of Β Kickstarter is the growing resource that serves as an emotional and practical guide from creative people in which it has a whole section reserved for exploring creative independence.

You can find articles/blogs here written in the interview style or search anything by the tags. It also has a list of people listed from A-Z providing you with any information you may need about the associated person. The creative independent celebrates 5 years of Kickstarter. Keeping the tone informal but at the same time engaging the users.β€Œβ€Œ

Making a positive impact:β€Œβ€Œ Building a sense of communityβ€Œβ€Œ

This is done by Kickstarter by sharing the achievements of the organization, celebrating, and talking about the events that bring people together. For instance, or even making people aware of the new features that it's adding. Even of a particular niche. For instance, out of the many reels shared by Kickstarter on Instagram one celebrates the spirit of journalism and independent publishing on its platform. β€Œβ€Œ

Inclusionβ€Œβ€Œ

Something as simple as making a video about how to say Kickstarter in sign language has a great positive impact. Making other communities out there feel seen and heard is a good way of showing that you care and remember those who are often not represented in the media space. Sharing messages from American Sign Language (ASL) to stand up with the Deaf community.β€Œβ€Œβ€Œβ€Œ

Film festival - Year: 2015β€Œβ€Œ

Kickstarter had its own film festival with two feature films and three short films held across 31 cities nationwide for like-minded people to get together and enjoy the two-part program. β€Œβ€Œ

Partnerships

For Kickstarter partnering with the people who have their projects that make an impact, bringing attention to urgent concerns is a way of showing what Kickstarter believes in. It has partnered with:

EcoVadis

Kickstarter EcoVadis
Kickstarter EcoVadis

The first collaborative platform providing Supplier Sustainability Ratings for global supply chains. This was done with the main aim of running more environmentally conscious campaigns. They also shared the message from social entrepreneur Devishi.

UN Refugees

Kickstarter UN Refugee
Kickstarter UN Refugee

At the call of the White House, on Kickstarter, had started another project raising funds working with the UN to aid refugees. This cause-driven campaign shows that Kickstarter cares for the people by giving. β€Œβ€Œβ€Œβ€Œ

For The Radical Film festival with The Eye Slicer

Kickstarter The Eyeslicer
Kickstarter The Eyeslicer

In 2019, they collaborated with the Eye Slicer to host and celebrate the independent film community which featured signings by iconic filmmakers and booths for indie film artists, distributors, publishers, zine-makers, and more.

Partnerships are a good way to create more exposure by sharing resources when organizing group events and such. Kickstarter uses these strategies to increase community awareness by joining hands with others.

Event Marketing

Before the pandemic hit. There were block parties, dance parties and celebrating other fun moments, turning them into events to celebrate and bring the spirit of community.

Launching campaigns

Kickstarters make/ 100 campaign

Kickstarter Make 100 Campaign
Kickstarter Make 100 Campaign

The make/ 100 Campaign that offers 100 rewards promotes creativity among the community to create anything for the next 100 days with a low-pressure way to start the new year. This campaign has been up and running since the year 2018; the call to join this campaign is open to everyone gearing up for the new year in January.

Conclusion

Kickstarter majorly uses various digital mediums/platforms to launch many of its projects and campaigns. Though it may be successful in many other regions. It needs to tailor and adapt its strategies for other demographic segments too, especially if it wants to be successful in India.

FAQ

Where does Kickstarter get traffic?

Kickstarter gains traffic from various blogs and online communities.

What are the marketing strategies employed by Kickstarter?

The marketing strategies employed by Kickstarter are Social media marketing, content marketing, event marketing and email marketing.

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