So you just launched and you want Kickstarter to feature your project. Jump in line and don’t hold your breath. While it may be difficult to gain Kickstarter’s attention it is not impossible. Regardless if your project gets featured, your crowdfunding strategy, video, story and page design should always be structured and built to appeal to the Kickstarter audience.
Why is it important Kickstrarter features your project on the front page or in the Kickstarter picks of the week email? On average, projects that get featured raise 450% of their goal. In other words, they raised almost FIVE times as much as their goal amount. Now lets take a look at what criteria (if any) that the Kickstarter staff uses when selecting each project.
The way Ian from Kickstarter explains the process it seems fairly straightforward.
“At Kickstarter headquarters we spend a big part of our day keeping up with projects. Every morning our editorial team opens hundreds of tabs in their browsers and watches all of the project videos that launched in the last 24 hours. They also look over every project live on the site and follow the progress that creators make. When something sticks out as particularly compelling, whether it’s a really fun video, creative rewards, a great story, or an exciting idea (hopefully all of the above!), we feature it.” – Ian from Kickstarter
So how can I get my project featured?
Well, all you have to do is be so ridiculously awesome that your project stands out from the hundreds of other projects that day (and thousands that week) and then you will get featured. Let’s take a look at several best practices to adhere to when creating your Kickstarter campaign page.
The easy answer: Build a wonderful, exceptional project!
Most of this is about having a great idea, a great talent, or something really unique to show people. But no matter what you’re working on, there are loads of things you can do to make sure your project page is polished, attractive, well-built, and shareable. Here are the major points.
Choose a great project image. Keep it crisp, clear, bright, and simple. We made a whole guide to help you do just that, and it’s well worth checking out.
Don’t cover your images with badges, banners, or stamps. No “STRETCH GOAL!” badges. No Final Day banners. These things just obstruct your project image, and using them makes you much, much less likely to be featured. The Kickstarter staff won’t be able to share your images in new places, and neither will your backers.
Write a great blurb. Keep that clear and simple, too. You don’t need a lot of hype (“BEST PROJECT!!!1!!”) — just let people know what you’re making. Check that it’s free of typos, too.
Respect people’s time. Make sure your project page starts with a quick, clear statement of what you’re doing — don’t make people hunt for it. Save the introductions and backstory for further down the page. If someone were just skimming the first two paragraphs, what would you want them to see?
Use lots of high-quality creative media. Compelling photos, videos, GIFs, audio, and screenshots are all great. More media is almost always a terrific thing. Just try to get each piece as polished and high-resolution as you can — something that would really catch your eye if you scrolled past it on Facebook or Twitter. (Free tip: animated GIFs tend to be a huge hit on social media.)
Show your rewards. If you have finished or near-finished examples of what you’re making — or even previous, similar works — get great photos of them, and feature them prominently! It’s the most striking and motivating thing you can have online: a picture that says “we make these amazing things, and you could get one.”
Remember your audience. Kickstarter’s an all-ages website, so it helps if your main images and text aren’t too vulgar or risque. And our community is largely English-speaking — so if you’re using other languages, it helps to include translations. Subtitles and captions for video help, too. That way, you can make sure everything you’re saying is available to the broadest possible audience.
Don’t spam. Whether you’re doing it via email or on social networks, it’s against Kickstarter’s community guidelines and just plain annoying. Don’t send unsolicited messages to people you don’t know. It should go without saying, but that includes Kickstarter employees.
If you’ve ever wondered how to be a Kickstarter Staff Pick, now you know. With thousands of projects live at a given time, they can’t feature every project. But if you follow the steps outlined above, you’ll have the best possible chance of catching their eye, and creating a project that your audience will love.