Marketing Your Small Business’ Kickstarter Campaign

The idea of Kickstarter came to Perry Chen when he wanted to throw a Kruder & Dorfmeister concert during JazzFest, but didn’t have the financial means to do it himself. Instead, he came up with an idea to allow the public to put funds towards the idea. If enough people wanted the concert to happen, it would. This idea of public crowdfunding has now been extended to much more than concerts during JazzFest. Kickstarter now hosts campaigns from indie films to full on businesses. It is these businesses who discarded the traditional methods of venture capital that have changed the way we market a startup.

If you want to market your small business Kickstarter campaign, the main content that will drive investment is the all too notorious Kickstarter video.

But first things first – why do you want to launch Kickstarter campaign?

To Generate Money

Before you start your campaign, you’re going to want to figure out the purpose of your marketing. There are two main routes to take. The first is to create a Kickstarter campaign with the idea that the public funding will go to scaling your startup into a fully operational business.

A great example of a product that exceeded its expectations is Nebia. Nebia is a shower head that promises to use one third the water of a traditional shower head. The company’s Kickstarter campaign aimed for a goal of $100,000. For businesses, this is actually a pretty average sized Kickstarter goal. Just nine days after starting their Kickstarter campaign, they had reached $2.1 million.

They are the perfect example of a Kickstarter whose purpose was to gain the money through the public as well as generate great publicity for the product.

To Generate Buzz

The other, less traditional route for Kickstarter campaigns is to use them as a marketing tool to reach more developed investors. One example of this is MotorMood.

MotorMood creates little light up emojis that position on the back of your car. They claim the purpose is “a better way to say thanks on the road”. They started a Kickstarter in early summer of 2015, but closed the Kickstarter campaign once they received funding from an external source.

Essentially, the buzz of their Kickstarter campaign gave the idea proven market feasibility. Investors love knowing that hundreds of people already want the product. This is why Kickstarter campaigns have begun to be used more as a market research and publicity tool than actually fundraising.

Making the Video

Once you know the purpose of your Kickstarter campaign, the most vital element to create is the video. The most important aspects to cover are your story, the product’s story, and how the public can help. Seems pretty simple but the hardest part is ensuring that you come across as genuine. As much as you will want to plan every bit of the video, down to the last sentence, don’t – planned humility never seems genuine, and the audience can tell you’re reading a script, rather than speaking with passion on what you hope to do.

Video shooting for Kickstarter campaign
photo credit: Bill Rice / Flickr

It also helps if your company is trying to solve a larger problem at hand. The shower head, Nebia, talked in their video about the California drought and how their product will help with water consumption. These types of points are customary in any campaign video.

The best advice is to watch the top performing campaigns before filming. Their outline and look are very uniform, but extremely effective in generating public interest and investments.

Kickstarter campaigns are the newest and most democratic way to raise funds for your startup. It takes a forward thinking team to accept this non-traditional method. It also takes a company who is willing and ready to hand out products in return for investment. This is why so many Kickstarter campaign funds go towards the manufacturing of the products. They are a scaling machine. With the right video and rewards, Kickstarter campaigns can be an awesome way for your startup to launch itself as a developed company.