By now, most consumers and businesses know Kickstarter as the crowdfunding site that allows inventors and founders to raise funding for new products. However, the popularity of the site has made it an ideal launching pad for established businesses, as well.
While Kickstarter will deny products with existing funding, even a successful business can use the site to introduce creative products to the world. As brands continue to experiment with the service, they’re finding innovative ways to build an audience through it.
Here are four ways you can use Kickstarter to help build your brand.
1. Test new products. The phenomenal success of Kickstarter-funded projects like Pebble and Ouya shows that the site has the potential to earn companies millions of dollars. Noting this, brands are using the site to showcase new, innovative products that will connect with Kickstarter’s gadget-loving user base.
You can generate excitement for your new product by offering funders the first edition. Best of all, you’ll get the chance to gauge market interest before putting money into creating a product that might get a lukewarm response once it hits stores.
To achieve the best results with this, your product should be innovative and exciting. Simply introducing your next line of smartphone cases isn’t going to catch attention on the site unless your case has something other cases don’t. You’ll need to highlight those features on your Kickstarter page, as well as in all of the marketing materials that take customers to that page, to be successful.
2. Show market validation to investors. The Pebble and Ouya Kickstarter campaigns were actually geared to be first-stage efforts but their early-round success allowed both companies to show market validation to next-stage investors. As you kick off your project, Kickstarter can be a great way to gather public interest to show to potential investors and business partners.
This technique can be especially beneficial to businesses specializing in electronics. Venture capitalists have traditionally been hesitant to back such projects due to the many risk factors involved. Kickstarter gives hardware manufacturers another option, especially if they’ve sought investment dollars and been turned down.
3. Get the word out. A Kickstarter campaign gives your business a new platform for your marketing efforts. It provides your company a reason to post press releases or direct attention to the new product from your social media outlets. Your business will also benefit from the built-in Kickstarter audience. They will check out your new product while browsing through campaigns and might become loyal customers.
To make the most of the opportunity, plan your marketing before your funding campaign starts. Make a big deal about launch day on your company blog, as well as each of your social media sites, reminding your followers in the days leading up to it. Reach out to your colleagues and loyal customers and ask them to spread the word about your campaign to help build awareness of both your business and your new product.
4. Hone your campaign. You only have one chance to wow visitors on your Kickstarter page, so make it count. The most successful projects incorporate eye-catching pictures with text that clearly explains how the product can change a person’s life. Kickstarter’s audience has come to expect the site to be creative and fun, so you can benefit from injecting a little of your own personality into your campaign page.
Videos are another way to add something extra to your campaign. You don’t have to spend a fortune to have a professional production company create a video about your product. A short video of yourself or a company spokesperson demonstrating the product can be just as effective. You can also create an animated explainer video yourself using online resources for very little money.
With a little creativity, you can create a fun, interesting Kickstarter campaign that will focus attention to your brand. Building this package of marketing material overall can be a great way to fine-tune how you present and sell your product for the future.
Kickstarter is a great way for a business to generate interest for a product while also building their brand. With the right blend of marketing and creativity, a company can reach out to consumers without spending a fortune.