Long rumored that Kickstarter and Indiegogo both have a “secret” algorithm in place. An algorithm that probably knows whether or not your crowdfunding campaign will be a success or a failure.
As previously reported by Mr. Stickler of Kickstarter that the algorithm scans and reviews keyword in each campaign. The algorithm also reviews the creator’s previous track record on the platform and if similar campaigns have been approved, rejected, flagged or removed.
No mention of whether or not the algorithm actually decides which campaign to promote? Become a staff pick? Or even make the newsletter or front page of each platform. However, time and time again we’ve seen campaigns that receive major funding or plenty of backers on day 1 not only make the newsletters but also the popular projects and everything mentioned above.
Why is that?
Because Kickstarter & Indiegogo are both businesses! Both platforms take or earn a percentage of what you bring in. The majority of crowdfunding campaigns fail. 90% to be exact. Out of those failed campaigns, a large percentage fail to even bring in one backer. So if you fail to raise any significant amount of money or backers on the first day, what incentive does Kickstarter or Indiegogo (both are businesses and are required to make money) have to promote you? If they have to choose between your campaign of 20 backers and my campaign of 100 backers. Who do you think they would choose for the newsletter?
So if you’re campaign fails to attract backers or contributors on the first day. Kickstarter and Indiegogo will most likely group you into that 90% fail rate and let your campaign slide off into the abyss!
According to a study done by “backer hacker” in December 2015. If a campaign can raise 62% of its goal within the first day you will be placed into top 1/3 of campaigns. Furthermore, the averaged funds raised by these top-tier campaigns on the first day are around $12,500. So we know that hitting your funding goal on the first day or raising a large amount from a lot of backers plays into the “secret” algorithm. But what are some other factors?
TRAFFIC! Traffic coming from multiple outlets from multiple links is another ranking factor. If you’re sharing on Facebook, Instagram, and all the social media channels and people are actually clicking on your links. Then this should help in your ranking. This is why it’s very important to have good copy or compelling headlines to those links you’re sharing. Again, sharing is not the most important, clicking on the links is what plays a role.
The traffic has to convert! Obviously, we want everyone that clicks on our links to become a backer but that’s not the case. So your campaign page will have to be top notch and maintain an easy flow to the page. That way backers or future backers who click on your links will convert into backers. Conversion is another major factor in the “secret” Kickstarter and Indiegogo algorithm.
Press and PR can fall into traffic as well. I don’t think that the algorithm knows whether or not that your traffic is coming from a popular news outlet as much as it knows how much traffic is coming from that write-up. Everyone want’s to be featured in TechCrunch and the Verge or Engadget. But sometimes your niche will have specific blogs that nobody outside of that niche has heard of. Try to get your write ups there first, and always remember to check the traffic to the site you’re receiving a write up from. Especially if you’re going to have to jump through hoops or give up a prototype in order to get that write-up.
Comments. If you plan ahead give 50 family members 1$ and have them back for 1$ on the first day. Also, have them comment! Not you’re doing great little Johnny. But actually, have them ask questions. Hell, give them a list of questions to choose from or give them each a very specific question to ask. Just like traffic, engagement and commenting are very important as well. Keep the comments coming, when you answer questions and reply to comments, end your response with a question to further the conversation.
Campaign updates, make sure you’re updating your campaign frequently. I always recommend 3 times a week. Treat your updates like blog posts, more content for your backers or future backers to check out. Updates are always a great opportunity to sell more product but we will save that for a later blog post.
Plan out your updates strategy in advance. Know what you’re going to post and when you’re going to post it. Unfortunately, Kickstarter and Indiegogo are not blogs or won’t allow you to pre-load all your updates. But you can have 1 update ready to go in the que. So you will have to do this on your own in Evernote or somewhere else. But either way, build your updates and save them somewhere and have them ready to go. That way you don’t have to waste time trying to come up with content on the go when you should be focused elsewhere running your busy campaign.
Gaming the algorithm is not cheating. It’s ensuring you have a successful campaign. So make sure you have crossed your T’s and dotted your i’s because it’s going to be a fun ride when you hit that launch button!