Welcome back to Version 22's Kickstarter How-To Series. Since the last lesson, we took a break from writing to work solely on bringing our Nimble campaign from idea to life, and so time for creating content like this had been put on hold for a while. Since we last saw each other on these lessons, Nimble has finally been manufactured and delivered to customers from both Kickstarter AND Indiegogo all over the world (to 75 different countries in fact). It was a super busy time for the team at Version 22 and we're excited to continue this adventure beyond.
Picking up where we left off, we were working through the content of a successful Crowdfunding Campaign. Last lesson we covered the following:
1. The Project Title
2. The Project Blurb
3. The Feature Image
4. Your Project Card
5. The Video
6. The Funding Goal
7. The Rewards
Now to continue, we'll cover the remainder of the items that need to be addressed in a campaign. We've already covered a lot and there are a bunch more to cover – no one ever said this was going to be easy! This is the main bulk on work you'll do for the overall campaign.
Image source: Denis Sazhin
Though this is just stated in one line on your project page, there is often a lot of work involved in choosing this crucial date. You have to determine how long you expect manufacture/ creation to take, how long you need to organise logistics, and how long you need to allow for postage to name a few. We will be covering all of this in a future update.
The description loosely covers all text on your Kickstarter page. There are lots of things you could consider including in this section, here are a few key subjects to get you started.
Try and sum up what you project is all about, in one info-packed, fun-to-read paragraph.
What’s the problem that your idea aims to solve. Why does it solve the problem better than other things? Why should people care? This could be worked into your intro paragraph.
What positive outcomes will people experience from – owning your product, attending your event, watching your film, playing you game etc.?
Try and resist writing a list of features here, no one buys products for their features, people buy benefits. There’s a famous saying in marketing:
“People don’t buy a drill, they buy a hole in the wall.”
To illustrate this principle, here is a list of some of Nimble’s features and associated benefits for comparison.
|It is bright yellow||You don’t have to worry about losing it|
|It is one-size-fits-all||You don’t have to worry about which size is right for you|
|It has a zirconia ceramic blade||You can rely on Nimble and won’t have to replace Nimble for a loooong time|
|It is safe to use||You can be confident using it, knowing you can’t injure yourself with it|
Although benefits are the real reason people decide they want/ need a product, features are nice to have as a secondary thing. People like to see the facts & specifications after all!
What is it you’re offering to people who pledge? Why should they support your campaign now and not just come back in a few months’ time and buy it from your website or Amazon?
Strangers shouldn’t have to just take your word for it. What have other people been saying about your idea? Testimonials could include comments from testers and existing customers, respected figures in relevant fields and the media.
Image source: Ryan Rumbolt
The Skimmers and the Combers
There are arguably two kinds of people that will visit your Kickstarter page. Those that will read most of the words you have to offer, and those that will just skim-read the headings and image captions and get the rest of the information they need from images, graphics and the video.
When putting together your page, try and keep both of these types of people in mind. Break sections into headers which themselves add information and make use of image captions* and highlighted text too.
*Interestingly, image captions are one of the most read bits of text after the headline and subtitle!
Image source: Jamie Nicoll
Risks & Challenges
There is a mandatory section at the bottom of every Kickstarter campaign creation page were you have to outline any risks and challenges you expect your project to face between being funded and delivering on your promise. Be transparent here but at the same time ensure you follow up any risk and challenge mentioned with a strong justification as to why people can be confident in your ability to overcome such obstacles.
If it helps, think of this section as less of a boring, mandatory requirement and more of a brilliant opportunity to further communicate with people why backing your campaign is such a great idea.
Image source: James Curran
Like your project thumbnail, any images used on your campaign page should be as high quality and well thought out as possible. Making images clear, appealing, and sufficiently different from one another will also make them highly shareable pieces of content. You might see them popping up on random blogs, websites and social media accounts so make sure they represent your project well!
Also, you might want to ensure you have hi-resolution copies of these images to hand too as many news outlets may request them if they decide to do a feature on you.
Within reason, I think the more images you can include the better! Providing of course that your image is adding more information to your campaign page. For example, 4 different photos of the same product in the same environment from 4 slightly different angles doesn’t tell viewers much more than one image would.
Having lots of images helps to break up your text and make your overall campaign page much more engaging and readable just look at the different they can make below.
Image source: Markus Magnusson
Whether you pronounce it “GIF” or “JIF” GIFs are a brilliant type of content to include on your page.
GIFs are a short, looping set of images than can either act as a slideshow, a short animation, or a short video clip. They auto-load on Kickstarter and can communicate an immense amount of information in a very short time.
This makes GIFs a very powerful tool, but as Spiderman’s uncle once said:
“With great power comes great responsibility”
So don’t abuse this power! Case in point…
Image source: James Curran
Image source: Remington McElhaney
Your Preview Page
The whole time you are building your campaign page, you have the ability to preview what you’ve done so far. Cool hey? But that’s not even the best bit… You can also generate a link that allows you to share this draft page with other people!
Be sure to share your draft campaign page with as many people as possible to get their thoughts and feedback. Wherever possible, invite people you don’t know all too well (or at all) to take a look.
Why strangers? Strangers are the best people to give feedback for two reasons:
- As they don’t know you they’ll be less inclined to sugar-coat things and will give you honest feedback you need to hear, even if it’s not necessarily the feedback you want to hear.
- As they don’t know what your campaign is about and aren’t familiar with your idea then they’ll be seeing it for the first time with fresh eyes. This means that if they don’t understand something then it’s likely your backers won’t either.
One great way to get very honest feedback is to share your preview page in this Facebook group*. This group of over 5,000 project creators, both veteran and newbie alike, are often more than happy to share their thoughts. Just be prepared for what can sometimes be brutally honest feedback!
When requesting feedback, it’s best to start earlier on in the process before you’ve invested heaps of time in re-writing and tweaking sections. This way you’ll be less emotionally attached to your content and more willing to making large changes if need be.
I would urge you not to shy away from getting feedback early on. It can be eye-opening, humbling and very, very useful. Besides, surely it’s better to get this input when you still have time to do something about it?
*NOTE: When using communities like those in the Facebook group above be sure to “pay it forward” wherever possible by providing thoughts and feedback for other creators. It’s only fair! 😉
So that’s it! My top tips for putting together good quality Kickstarter contents.
If I had to sum everything up in three “word bites” as a takeaway it would be these:
1. Well structured
2. Image heavy
3. Based on feedback
Hopefully you found this post a useful read and learnt something new you can use when putting your own page together. Good luck!
I spoke about feedback above, and you know what? I’d love yours! Please share your thoughts in a comment below. It’d be great to hear what you think.