In this article and the upcoming other three, we’ll show you how to launch and run a 7-figure Kickstarter campaign step-by-step.
Because for every amazing success story you hear about a project raising $5M+ and launching a brand acquired by Facebook, hundreds of thousands fail to make a splash.
While 63% of crowdfunders fail, and the remaining 37% raise less than $10,000 on average, we raised over a million dollars more than 10 times.
And the best part?
Are you thinking about launching a Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign? Do you want to know what your target audience wants and needs and how your product may help them in their journey? Crowdfunding research is the answer you were looking for.
While no two crowdfunding campaigns are alike because every project has its own unique situation that requires additional research, the initial crowdfunding research stage is similar for all of them.
During this research stage, you compare your product to other similar products, understand its benefits, and define your target audience and positioning.
Remember that the crowdfunding process is flexible and supposes constant modifications to previous decisions. Therefore, certain research stage decisions, such as the one on your product’s positioning, can often alter due to testing.
From product-market fit to competitor analysis, crowdfunding research can help you understand your customers and their needs through qualitative and quantitative data.
This blog post outlines how research can help you with marketing efforts for your product.
After the research stage, you will be able to answer two simple questions:
Below are a few super-useful steps and tools to make your research maximally effective and lay the foundation for a successful crowdfunding campaign.
You’re not developing your product in a vacuum. Companies innovate daily, and new things are constantly launched on crowdfunding, Amazon, and everywhere else.
Why not use this to your advantage when developing your own product?
Whether a startupper or a serial entrepreneur, your first task should be ensuring you have a good product-market fit.
In other words, your idea of whether your product is good or bad should not be based solely on your or your friends’ biased opinion. To get a more objective idea about its potential, you should opt for prior market validation from its potential backers.
Prelaunch is a tool specially designed for this purpose.
With this reservation funnel, you can understand if there is a demand for your product and what price potential backers are willing to pay:
1. Check market demand
The tool tracks the behavior of your page visitors to find out if your product is of interest to them.
It allows you to compare subscription rates with benchmarks tailored to your product and evaluate the market demand.
2. Check whether they will actually BUY and at what price
Make subscribers pull out their credit cards and commit to buying by putting down $1 for the Super Early bird discount.
You can A/B test different price points and identify the best working one.
Based on certain behavioral patterns and historical data, Prelaunch can forecast the percentage of people that will back your Kickstarter campaign through real market projections.
With this early knowledge about your target audience, product positioning, and pricing strategy, you can make the respective changes in your product’s features or price to make it fitter for the market. You’ll be able to kick-start your campaign more easily and avoid being kicked out of the industry over criticism from your backers.
And if by the end of your testing, you want to have a few 1,000 hot leads waiting on your launch… nice bonus, right?
Try Prelaunch now; it’s free.
Learn from the mistakes of others.
This is one of the most useful methods to analyze your potential performance — by analyzing the performance of your competitors’ funding curves. This can be done using campaign trackers such as Backertracker.
The shape of the curve can also indicate the optimal resource allocation, which we will discuss later.
This analysis will also help you determine which platforms work best for your product. In doing so, you should also consider the relevant traffic your competitor products attracted to their campaign pages.
When researching similar campaigns, keep in mind you should be focusing on recent data from fresh campaigns. Fads come and go. And old campaigns may present products that though popular once, may have since lost their mass market appeal.
And if — during your crowdfunding research — you come across many competitors, don’t worry!
This is a good sign since you now have a wealth of information — from the campaign page to the backer comments — to improve your product and campaign and make it stand out. You can see what works and doesn’t and repurpose their strategies into your marketing and product development later.
Don’t limit yourself to crowdfunding! Increase the chances of your product’s success by examining similar products on Amazon and eBay.
In doing so:
This way, you’ll find tons of precious insights into what your potential customers want or expect from the product and what they don’t like.
Note: Typically, we look for products that are not just slightly better than their competitors on Amazon but significantly — over 10 times better!
Remember, you’re not in a vacuum. People develop similar products daily, and their users are your first step to discovering what the market wants the most.
Read this guide on Amazon product research for more detailed tips (in many cases, the techniques apply to eBay as well).
Crowdfunding Research is not just about using your competitors to develop your products.
They’re also important indicators for what works and what doesn’t in a crowdfunding campaign!
We often see an amazing product that just raised $2,000. Or something that’s not innovative or practical raises $5M+. Why? How?
These are the answers you need to find out…
Do products like yours get covered by major media outlets? Will you get the recognition you think you deserve?
Don’t wait until the launch to find out!
Simply searching your competitor’s name on Google by putting it in double quotes will bring you all the necessary results. And if you want something more, you can use the Determ.com media monitoring tool to find all the mentions of your competitors in the press.
Note: As you discover media mentions, collect them in a spreadsheet. You can later reach out to these blogs and journals during your campaign.
Also, think about what your competitors’ outreach strategy was. Compare articles to one another to reverse engineer their press release — more on that later — and keep that in mind when writing your own.
Good advertiser’s copy. Great advertisers steal!
If your competitors run long-term ads, they’re constantly spending money on getting them to the right audience. So they must be working!
To see your competitor’s Facebook ads, go to your competitors’ page and click on Page Transparency below in the right sidebar.
Hit See more and then click Go to Ad Library in the Ads from this Page box.
If you want your campaign to be successful, you should first study other campaigns’ success stories and case studies.
This will allow you to learn the best practices from the best campaigns and apply them to your own.
Remember that great ad campaign you saw last month?
No? Me neither!
That’s why you should keep a file — Google Doc — where you can swipe all the genius ideas you find online (or offline, for that matter).
Split them up by topics and into relative sections so that you can easily find them in the future:
Then, whenever you find something that strikes a chord with you, something that has received a lot of engagement, a news article headline that you really want to click… swipe it!
Finding the right targeting options is one of the most crucial parts of your crowdfunding campaign.
With all your crowdfunding research done, take a break and change scenery. Let everything sink in, and your unconscious mind form connections that your conscious mind missed.
And then, gather your team and invest some quality time in brainstorming keywords related to your product.
You’ll then use these keywords when creating content for your campaign page on Kickstarter or Indiegogo, on your social media, pitches, and more to attract a relevant audience.
Just look at these tested brainstorming tips we use here at TCF.
We know that you’re excited to start your Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign, but before you do, it’s important to take some time and research the competitive landscape.
With the following “Crowdfunding Research Toolkit” by our side, you have everything from defining your target audience and positioning to understanding what strategies you’ll be implementing.
The bottom line is that crowdfunding research can help you save time and money. It allows you to compare your product with similar products, understand its benefits, and define your target audience and positioning before spending any resources on marketing or manufacturing a prototype of your idea.
If you want to explore crowdfunding strategies further, don’t miss our next blog article, where we will dive into how to start a Kickstarter campaign. Or if you want to launch a campaign on Indiegogo, here is an Indiegogo campaign template you’d like to explore more.