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A Kickstarter campaign page is a potent tool in your marketing arsenal — it’s an important sales pitch for your crowdfunding campaign. Yet many don’t live up to their full potential: they’re disorganized, distracting, or fail to grab readers’ attention. Check out the six tips below, and find out how to make a strong impression with your Kickstarter page.
Get to the point
Project pages should deliver key points quickly and simply, rather than befuddle backers with unnecessary information. The best ones craft a compelling narrative. Your campaign page is an opportunity to highlight your project’s unique selling proposition. The title and subheading should instantly give a clear picture of what your project is about.
In the Story section of your page, explain your product and what makes it unique in the first two sentences.
To avoid the TL;DR trap, keep things short, simple, and scannable. Also, consider breaking up lengthy text with subheads, bullet points, images, infographics, and animated GIFs (such as the two examples above from Peak Design’s Mobile Kickstarter campaign.)
Nobody wants to read a gigantic wall of text. When you edit your text for the first time, force yourself to remove 50% of the words. You’ll be amazed by how quickly you can find adjectives or entire sentences to delete when you give yourself a word count limit.
Editing and re-editing the elements of your campaign page can take time, so make sure you’re not leaving it all until the last minute. On Kickstarter’s Campus forums, project creators say the entire planning process — figuring out what copy to write and which images to include, writing a script and filming the video — can last anywhere between a day and several months. Jean Wu, project creator of the Que Bottle says it took about a week for herself and her partner to put the page together. “It took a little more than a week to get all the graphics, video, and write all the words.”
Similarly, Redshift Sports’ Erik de Brun took a hands-on approach to the Shockstop Kickstarter campaign page design. “We wear all the hats. We’re lucky enough to have an interest in graphic design, writing copy, and producing video. We feel there’s an authenticity in us putting those pages together ourselves. We spend a lot of time trying to get it right. ” He says project creators can successfully outsource these duties to marketing agencies or freelancers, but the team “felt strongly about creating all the campaign material so that they were speaking with their own voice.”
Lights, camera, action
Kickstarter strongly encourages its project creators to upload a video as part of their campaign page. It’s an integral marketing asset for any crowdfunding campaign, but making a video can seem scary for the camera-shy. Keep in mind that your campaign video doesn’t need to be a work of art, but it should convey the purpose and intent of your project and what value it can bring to backers. It should be short: a running time of 1.5 to four minutes will satisfy those with the shortest of attention spans. For more guidance, check out Kickstarter’s guide to video best practices for tips, tricks, and advice.
Project creators don’t necessarily need to invest in expensive, high-tech equipment to make a video. Here’s a checklist of items you’ll need:
- A smartphone or webcam: Obviously. If you’d like slicker production values, a camcorder is a safe bet.
- Someone to hold the camera: Rope in a friend with video skills or someone with steady hands, or consider hiring a videographer.
- A film-ready space: Present your product (and yourself) in the best possible light, literally and figuratively. An ideal film space should be clutter-free and visually appealing, and have plenty of natural light.
- Your product: Make sure it’s functioning and ready to go.
- A script: This is your chance to sell your product and promote its appeal to backers. A script will help you consolidate your talking points. Write it out, edit it, memorize it.
- You: It’s nice to see the human behind the project! Be genuine and boost your emotional connection with your backers.
“The importance of having a good Kickstarter video is that you can use the video as the asset for your page in terms of photos and GIFs,” Podo Labs’ Eddie Lee says. “That way, you don’t have to do extra photography and you also have a unified look across the assets.” It’s as easy as grabbing a screencap of the relevant images and uploading them to your campaign page.
Once you have your video, you’ll want to select an attention-grabbing thumbnail image. This is an image that potential backers will immediately see on your page and anytime you share your video on social media, on your landing page, on Facebook Ads, in the press, through email, and so on. Pick a clear image of your product and if you use text make sure it’s legible.
As your campaign progresses, you’ll be able to update your thumbnail to call out any project milestones like hitting your funding goal or let people know that your campaign is ending soon. The thumbnail for the OYO NOVA Gym was updated with the exciting news that the project had become the “number one most-funded fitness product in Kickstarter history.”
Say it with images
Selecting high-quality, high-resolution images will make a campaign page shine. The more striking the image, the better. If you’re sharing your campaign page on social media, the image will often be the first thing your networks will see. If you’re not sure about sizes and accepted file types, Kickstarter offers its project creators some technical specs. It recommends that project images are 1024×576 pixels (an aspect ratio of 16:9), and that the file type is a JPEG, PNG, GIF, or BMP. Images may be no larger than 50 MB.
Use images as a way to convey information simply and more memorably. Identify areas where you can replace text with images. Pictures are more interesting and keep readers engaged.
Remember to have a few images on your page that show the product in context. This photo from the Tiny Treehouse’s Kickstarter campaign page shows the DIY model in a planter to demonstrate how the product can be used.
GIFs bring your Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign page to life
Creators can level up by using animated GIFs to demonstrate product features. Moving images keep readers interested and are great at showing people what your product can do.
These GIFs from the Gravgrip Kickstarter campaign page clearly and simply show the benefits of the camera stabilizer.
If you’re handy with Photoshop, making an animated GIF from a collection of images is a simple process; if not, there are plenty of online tools like GIFMaker or Makeagif that can make animations for you.
Keep in mind that having great images may also help you earn press coverage. Blogs need high-quality images to accompany their write-ups. Having high-resolution product shots will make it easier for the press to put together stories.
Highlight press coverage on your Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign page
Speaking of press, make sure to highlight any press coverage that you’ve earned on the campaign page. If you’re doing a tech project product launch, then your audience will instantly recognize the Gizmodo, Mashable, and CNET logos, and having those press mentions will add credibility to your project.
Having the funding amount, and backer count metrics on display turns the campaign into a movement that gains speed as you add more backers and external validation from the press.
Take a look at how the Evie Blender’s Indiegogo campaign collates its press coverage on its site.
For tabletop Kickstarter projects, you can use reviews or previews of your game in the same way.
The Kickstarter campaign page for Return to Dark Tower includes review excerpts from trusted names in the games industry.
Consumers trust word-of-mouth marketing more than they trust brands, so it’s important to include that element of social proof on your Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign page to demonstrate the benefits of your product.
Be creative with your content
Yichuan Wang, one of the project creators behind tabletop horror game Deep Madness, believes an editorial calendar helps to maintain regular communications with backers.
Wang says his marketing strategy focused on ensuring each post (whether on social media, the campaign page, or on the project creator’s website) had a clearly defined purpose and was published in a timely fashion.
“Each of our posts is carefully prepared. Attractive content is more likely to seize the attention of users,” Wang says. Rather than flood backers with promotional material, Wang advocates a more considered approach. “We regularly released a little bit of content each time — like a few photos of models or an illustration.”
In addition, Wang says that an injection of creativity or personality can make traditional updates more compelling for backers. “A highlight of our campaign was our team of professional writers,” he says. “In our updates, we abandoned the traditional informational messages, and instead wrote a lot of exciting content about the world in each post. Each update was a bit like a short story or a small slice from a novel. That was a lot of fun for us, and our backers seemed to really enjoy that, too.”
You don’t need to be a professional content creator to be creative
Lynn Johnson, the creator of the Turtle Hat, adopted a quirky, idiosyncratic approach to storytelling on his campaign page. Johnson’s lack of fancy graphics is more than made up for with his sense of humor. The simplicity of Johnson’s story allows backers to see the person behind the project, and his project’s tagline — “You cannot take yourself too seriously with a turtle on your head” — neatly encapsulates what makes his project so unique. It’s authentic, creative — and it paid off.
Keep your Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign page fresh
A crowdfunding campaign page is often a work in progress. Podo Labs’ Eddie Lee says campaign pages can always be improved throughout the campaign. Sometimes more copy or different information would be added, or a total refresh of the page’s elements would be in order. “We tended to keep revising it,” he says. “In the first two weeks, there’s not much press about the product, people don’t know what it is,” Lee says. Potential backers are in “complete exploration mode”, so the page is tailored to that experience.
In the final two weeks of the campaign, he says, visitors are more likely to be acquainted with your product. “Maybe they’ve come to the page before and they haven’t decided whether to back the campaign, or they’ve read everything about it in the press article,” Lee says. “So you can do different things in the final two weeks, such as move the rewards higher up on the page above the description, so they start seeing prices and options faster.”
In the final week of Podo Labs’ campaign for the Jack, its Kickstarter campaign page underwent a total redesign. “When you see the comments and questions on the page, you get a sense of what people didn’t understand, as well as what mattered to them the most,” Lee says. Initially, there was confusion over how the product worked. “We had some diagrams that we thought explained exactly what it did, but people would still ask: ‘How does this work’?” In response, the team went back to the drawing board, redesigning the diagrams and experimenting with how instructions were displayed. As a result, Lee says, “we re-prioritized and made things more clear.” And even if things look pretty good, Lee warns against complacency. “The color or font selection could always be more perfect”.
Are you preparing your campaign page? Join us for a live presentation on October 14th where we will be reviewing Kickstarter pages. You can submit your project for a chance to have your page reviewed during the presentation or tune in for design tips.
Editor’s Note: This blog post was originally published in 2017. It has been updated for relevance and accuracy.