A lot of indie game developers and online creatives consistently wonder what strategies there are for succeeding with crowdfunding campaigns.

This (hopefully) series will be focused on what game developers, digital creatives, and maybe even non-digital campaigns can do to help increase the chances of their success. Our team has been in DEEP research for the last month and we’re now starting to act on cough and document cough our own strategy.

T-minus 7-8 weeks!

This article was inspired by this talk from Indie Game Business featuring Jay Powell, from Indie Game Business, and Anya Combs, Director of Games at Kickstarter. We watched the video and realized that since we are prepping for a Kickstarter we could expand upon some of what was mentioned in the video and highlight our specific strategies.

Need the Short and Sweet of it?

No worries! Each installment in this series will end in a “Too Long; Didn’t Read” (tl;dr) bulleted summary. If you don’t have time to get into the nitty gritty–or just want to refresh yourself on the finer points–feel free to scroll to the spoilers!

About our team!

The Monochrome Workshop is an online game development community managed by DVNC Tech LLC working on the Monochrome RPG, a berry punny narrative adventure game, with a focus on DVNC's DICE principles (diversity, inclusivity, community, empathy) and transparency.

Table of Contents

  1. Intro
  2. Goal Setting
    1. Know your goal
    2. Know how to achieve your goal
  3. Marketing
    1. Content
    2. Social
    3. Inbound
    4. Unique
    5. Viral
  4. Kickstarter Strategy Overview
  5. Pre, Mid, Post
  6. Our Past Week
  7. Resources

Intro

The workshop has been dreaming of planning a Kickstarter for nearly a year, and is now in a position to head towards launching a campaign at the end of September 2020. To prepare for Kickstarter we have focused on:

Social Media
5,000+ followers across Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Pinterest

Community Development
1,000+ amazing community members helping with development and providing feedback on the game

Email List
3,000+ people interested in the RPG

Research, Research, Research
To say we’ve read more than 1,000 blog posts focused on Kickstarter or related topics is probably a legit understatement

Please know that we STRONGLY believe in order to run a successful kickstarter, you need to have at least a small following beforehand. We’ve seen indie games with Discord Servers of around 250-500 and Twitter followings of 2,000+ succeed on Kickstarter with some PR/Influencer marketing, but having a bigger following would mean even higher chances of success.

Give us the strategy!

We will 🙂 but first it’s important to understand what your goals are and what exactly you would like from your Kickstarter.

Goal Setting

We discovered several blogs online that said lower Kickstarter goals have an exponential chance of getting funded (makes sense). For us we would like to use our campaign to show our game is viable in the market. This will allow us to begin approaching publishers and investors. Thus for us, we would like to see our Kickstarter succeed (lol) so we can pursue more funding opportunities, though it’d be great if the campaign could fund the rest of the development.

With all of the above in mind, we’ve set our goal to $15,000. This would allow us to fund more development while also showing to future interested parties people want the title!

With this $15,000 goal in mind we calculated how many social followers, community members, website visitors, and Kickstarter preview page followers (more on this later) we’d need in order to succeed, based on conversion maths:

  1. Get as many Kickstarter page followers as possible before the launch (7,500+)
  2. Get as many Social Media Followers as possible before the Kickstarter (25,000+)
  3. Get as many Email and Discord members as possible (10,000+)
  4. Get as many web visitors as possible (150,000+)

At DVNC and in the Workshop we believe in setting high goals so that we can brainstorm different ways to reach them. “If you aim for the stars you can land on the moon!” Even Google employs a strategy where they attempt to at least 70% their goals.

Know How to Achieve your Goals!

During the past year as we’ve been dreaming of Kickstarter, we worked hard to learn various skills we hadn’t already known, such as marketing, how to automate systems (email, tools, etc), and community development.

Before going into Community Development and Marketing, it’s important to note that automated systems aren’t necessary, however they can make it so that a small team has the capacity of a 100+ person team. Over the last year we’ve spent at least 2-4 months focused on optimization. This means that our smaller team (floats between 10-15) is able to manage a community, multiple marketing pipelines, client work, and still have time for game development.

Build a Community

It’s our strongest belief that unless what you’re doing is super secret then you should consistently be building a community. It does take time and resources to manage a community, however the benefits sooooooooooooooo outweigh any potential negatives. With a community you can:

  • Get consistent motivation from a group of real people interested in what you’re doing
  • Start conversations around the development and progress of the project
  • Understand the weaknesses and strengths of your project
  • Brainstorm unique ideas not just for the project but how to share it

How do you build a community? The same way you learn about new projects…marketing!

Marketing

Many, many indie developers and creatives as a whole don’t feel comfortable marketing. This is a completely normal feeling as most people don’t want to seem sales-y. It’s critical to remember when marketing there are multiple types. Some of our favorites are:

  • Content – Blogs, Videos, Art, etc
  • Social – Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, etc
  • Inbound – Email, Community, etc
  • Viral – Giveaways, Competitions, etc
  • Unique – Depends on your project

Before going into how we go about marketing in the different categories above, we recommend reading this article, which will explain more about why our pipeline is structured the way it is:

Monochrome Workshop Marketing Pipeline:

Content → Social → Inbound → Unique/Viral

Content Marketing

  • Build a foundation
  • Choose a content type (Image, Video, Sound, Text)
  • Create, Create, Create
  • Simplify and Link
  • Read Example

Build a Strong Foundation

Before you start on marketing you have to make sure you have a place to "capture" potential supporters, followers, and partners. This is why so many blog posts, books, and videos mention the importance of having your own website. A website allows you to incorporate various methodologies to essentially barter for visitors emails or have them perform certain actions (purchases, downloads, etc).

At the start you don’t need a huge fancy website. Instead focus on a simple landing page that incorporates your Logo, Name, Slogan, 5 word pitch, 15 word pitch, 2 sentence pitch, paragraph pitch, 3 unique selling points with descriptions, 3 value propositions with descriptions, brand colors, emotional/example imagery, and a single call to action repeated 2-3 times. Your call to action should most likely be offering something of value for the visitor’s email address, such as exclusive content or early access. This will allow you to share important information with them in the future so they can understand more about what your offering.

For games, your unique selling points can be almost any element of the game. The value propositions are probably a little more related to the outcomes of the game’s elements. For example, a unique art style could help highlight the fact the game has exploration based gameplay.

Choose a Content Type

Everybody is better at creating one form of content versus another. For example at DVNC we’re good at creating long form text documents (like this one!). This leads to us creating blog posts or documentation we’re able to share. When first starting, you can try creating multiple forms of content to get a feel for each; however try creating at least 3 pieces of every type to see which other methods you’re good at. This will help to inform future or hybrid strategies.

Content types include (but are not limited to):

Video

  • Tutorials
  • Animations
  • Explanations
  • Reactions
  • Vlog
  • Etc.

Image

  • Memes
  • GIFs
  • Screenshots
  • Portraits
  • Concept Art
  • Etc.

Text

  • How-To’s
  • Development Logs
  • Process Documentation
  • Blog Post
  • Articles
  • Etc.

Create, Create, Create!

Once you know what type of content you'd like to begin creating, you must start creating! Starting can be simple and doesn't have to have a sense of pressure. By picking the content type that you enjoy creating, it should feel fun to make and share information about your project. If you aren't having fun (in a holistic sense) focus on remembering why you're doing what you're doing.

As you begin, you should establish a routine of when you create. This will allow your creation process to become habitual, forming the basis of a consistent marketing pipeline.

Simplify and Link

Before releasing any content that you create you MUST MUST MUST add links to the landing page you established above. It's great to release content and share information, however if you don't help visitors follow your brand they may not be able to find you again. Another way to help more visitors find your landing page and content is to establish a Search Engine Optimization (SEO ← definitely google this) strategy.

For Example…

Our game, the Monochrome RPG, is set in the world of Monochrome: a black and white rubberhose toon world. The core setting is Vaudeville, the city of entertainment. Due to our game’s art style and worldbuilding, many of community members have become engaged with learning more about Monochrome, Vaudeville, and their inhabitants. This has led to us releasing info about:

  • World – Locations, Politics, Theology, Factions, VIPs, etc
  • Story – Narrative, Characters, Themes, Quests, etc

The Monochrome RPG itself is a narrative adventure game , so we have content to share that wouldn’t spoil the core narrative. However, we also make sure to share the game’s unique selling points to showcase our value proposition:

  • Systems – Battles (On Stage), Party (Stage Troupe), Progression (Troupe Building), Bartering
  • Art – Background Art, Character Art, Item Art

Finally, when leading anything it’s important to make sure members at every level understand:

  • What’s happening
  • Why it’s happening
  • When it’s happening
  • Where it’s happening (and heading)
  • How they can help

This is true for a team of any size, be it: a devteam, a community, or even an empty room (work ethic!).

By releasing content that informs members about what they could be doing to help, it will increase community and team participation, communication, and morale!

Social Marketing

  • Understand Social Media
  • Learn the Platforms
  • Post good content (Art, Music, Visual Text, Text)
  • CLMMPFS
  • Example

This article is from our advisor, Carl Potak at StartupDevKit. We strongly suggest reading it before continuing:

(You’ll notice that a majority of social media strategies focus on developing engaging content. )

Understand Social Media

When approaching social media always remember that it's called SOCIAL MEDIA:

Social Media = websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.

Social = needing companionship and therefore best suited to living in communities. (can’t tell you how excited this definition made us!)

Media = plural form of medium, a person claiming to be in contact with the spirits of the dead and to communicate between the dead and the living… just kidding, making sure you’re still with me!

Medium = the material or form used by an artist, composer, or writer.

Based on the definition of social, media, and social media we know that:

By using these websites/apps we can find companionship and communities through creating and sharing art, music, or writings.

With the above in mind, you can begin approaching a social media marketing pipeline.

Learn the Platforms

We’ve ranked the more common social media platforms based on what we’ve seen in relation to Kickstarter activities:

Awesome

Good

Maybe

Maybe NOT

There are plenty of articles available on how to setup social profiles and understand the basics of the above platform. Using these applications for your brand for fun will be the best way to get started with learning how to use them.

Post Good Content

After learning the basics of the platform you’ll want to shift your focus on posting good content. Content will be the basis for why people will follow you, however it will not be how you get initial followers. Make sure to understand what good content is for your platform (Instagram vs Quora). Get a few good posts going and then setup a simple posting routine. You don’t need to try to post 5+ times but instead a few solid posts in a day (or even one depending on the platform) with an appropriate amount of hashtags (#) will be enough of a foundation.

“CLMMPFS”

Each social media platform you join you will most likely have to do a base setup, but after that, the platform usually let’s you out into the wild. Once you’re set free on the platform, you’ll want to be engaging with other people.

Many of the most successful people in the world started out by doing low-level engagement: interacting openly and honestly with as many people as possible while being ready for failure or rejection. It can be scary to talk to people you don’t know in a public format (think about public speaking), but it can also be fun!

While engaging, remember to stay yourself. For posting, focus your aesthetic within your brand’s target audience and industry. If you’re a game studio, you could be commenting on programmers/artists/musicians/etc posts, sharing other game developers’ content, or showcasing what you’re working on to your following.

As the article from StartupDevKit said, you’ll want to pick a content ratio and then CLMMPFS.

A content ratio might look like:

60% – other’s content ; 30% – memes ; 10% – promotional posts

CLMMPFS means:

  • Comment – Reply to someone else’s post
  • Like – Heart, thumbs up, or emoji someone else’s post
  • Mention – Tag someone in a post (via image or @)
  • Messaging – Send a direct message
  • Posting – Sharing your own content (add #’s for more discoverability)
  • Following – Receiving updates on someone else
  • Sharing – Posting someone else’s content

Example

For our Kickstarter, we plan to utilize a very social approach to our content ratio:

  • 60% – user generated content
  • 35% – other’s content
  • 5% – promotional posts

What we’ve found is that shouting into the void of a social platform will lead you almost nowhere. You need to have specific recurring strategies for growing your followers count. These strategies almost always involve interacting with other people’s content. It’s our belief that the priority below holds true for social engagements (across most platforms):

Comment > Mention > Share > Follow > Like > Post

We don’t employ messaging in our strategy yet, however we would love to do so. Commenting is a great way to connect!

Questions will usually get another person to respond and can lead to great conversations!

Sharing another person’s content shows that you care and can be done multiple times over a few days or even weeks. Following shows that person you want to receive updates about them (more caring). Liking is good, but a single like is almost nothing: try to leave a like on 3-5 posts you enjoy from someone. Make sure you’re being sincere in your engagement, and never boost content that goes against your core values.

Quick tip:

There are two ways we’ve found to consistently get followers (10-30 a day, sometimes more than 30 if we really utilize all our methods):

  • Quick Growth (NOT ideal, but sometimes necessary)
  • Slow Growth (Ideal, but not always viable)

Quick Growth

If you'd like to grow quickly and don't care too much about your Following vs Followers, you can continuously follow people. On many platforms this is the BEST strategy; however, on platforms steeped in engagement (like Twitter) it's not good to constantly use this strategy.

To find high quality leads to follow you can:

  • Look at an account Following vs Followers. If they have a high number of people they’re following but a low number of followers, they’re highly likely to follow back
  • Utilize a tool that analyzes accounts for likelihood to follow back (example: Tweepi).

You can also do a similar strategy with Likes or short Comments (ie “Wow!”, “Looks great!”, etc); however, this won’t lead to high levels of engagement on your account and WON’T HELP with building a true following.

Slow Growth

The better option is to dedicate 1-2 hours of your day EVERYDAY FOR A YEAR. Not only will this strategy teach you how to best use the platforms you've chosen and how to talk about your brand to strangers, but you'll be building a foundation of good work ethic and a skill for the future of your personal growth.

Everyday for a year, hop on to 1-2 social platforms and do the following:

  • Make a post with the appropriate amount of hashtags at a high traffic time
  • Find 30-50 accounts via search and comment on each account, then like 2-3 posts
  • Follow any accounts with good content or add them to Lists (like on Twitter)

If you use good hashtags, truly figure out the search bar, and engage with 30-50 accounts sincerely with positive comments you should see a growth in followers (nothing in life is guaranteed but hard work pays off over time).

Inbound Marketing

This style of marketing is focused on the contacts you currently have (such as an email list or community). We don’t have the best inbound marketing pipeline as of right now, so we’ll be discussing more on this in a future post in this series.

Unique Marketing

Each and every brand is unique, which them to have unique ways that they can grab attention. It’s hard to talk about this, as each brand’s decision making processes can only be assumed from the outside. Thus our team’s unique marketing strategy is focused on the fact that for our game, the Monochrome RPG, two of our unique advantages are:

  • Our Creative Community
  • Our Toon World

This naturally led to us focusing on User Generated Content and Content Sharing in the form of creative competitions. In these competitions, participants create submissions based on our game’s world. We are then able to share these submissions online and engage with our community on various social platforms outside of our Discord server.

User Generated Content

To begin a user generated content pipeline, you can look up articles on the basis of user generated content and how major companies have done it in the past on various social platforms. Gamers are creative individuals and many create fan art, music, etc. for their favorite games!

Content Sharing

After understanding how to begin a user generated content pipeline, you can focus on sharing the content. For content sharing we use Airtable, Zapier, and Buffer to schedule posts!

Viral Marketing

We have employed basic Viral strategies into our pipeline but haven’t seen enough results to mention…yet!

Note: There’s also Paid, PR, and Influencer marketing; however, we are not familiar with those at this time!

Nice info! But where's the strategy?

Drumroll, please! Now that you know your goals and understand how to start building a community, it’s time to start thinking about a Kickstarter strategy!

One the biggest mistakes many creatives make with crowdfunding is that they don’t build a community or following before launching or announcing the campaign. This leads to many Kickstarters with good projects failing due to lack of exposure.

By creating a strategy as to how you’ll achieve your Kickstarter and community goals, you’ll be magnifying your chances of success! Below is the strategy we laid down almost a year ago which has been repeatedly updated.

  • Pre-Pre-Kickstarter – Building following and demo
  • Pre-Kickstarter – Finalizing campaign and demo
  • Mid-Kickstarter – Campaign
  • Post-Kickstarter – Responding to how campaign went

Note: This is the first article in a series. As we delve deeper into future articles, we’ll be expanding upon this strategy so that Kickstarters in the future can learn from what we’ve done and will do. For now, this strategy is mostly theoretical (other than Pre-Pre-Kickstarter) as we’re still in the midst of our Pre-Kickstarter.

Pre-Pre-Kickstarter (4-12 months before launch)

  • Engage with already running Kickstarter campaigns! Help them reach their goals by sharing, supporting (financially), and interacting with their content
  • Build the basis of your brand by finishing a shareable version of your product and figuring out your visuals and language
  • Read books/blogs, research via google/youtube, and learn everything that you can about how to run a Kickstarter
  • Grow a following by consistently using 1-3 platforms that your target audiences uses

Pre-Kickstarter (0-4 months before launch)

  • Get Kickstarter Page approved to setup your preview page and then finalize Kickstarter page design
  • Engage with current and past campaigns on at least 2-3 social medias (you can also ask for cross-promotions for your Kickstarter preview page)
  • Prepare brand related materials geared specifically towards Kickstarter
  • Validating ideas on Kickstarter
  • Finalize Kickstarter-ready demo
  • Send press kits to journalists and influencers
  • List potential backers in a private Twitter List

Mid-Kickstarter (30-40 days)

We are still in the midst of planning our Mid-Kickstarter strategies; however, we currently intend to do the following:

  • Post at least 15 blog articles related to various audiences
  • Post at least 15 updates throughout the campaign
  • Announce pre-concieved stretch goals if funded
  • Hold Ask Me Anything (AMA) and Question & Answer livestreams
  • Find running and future campaigns to cross promote
  • Release Add-ons for pledges
  • Transfer private Twitter backer list to public please back us list

We’ll be determining more about the Mid-Kickstarter strategy as head into the final month prior to the intended Kickstarter launch.

Post-Kickstarter (15-30 days after ending)

We honestly have no clue about Post-Kickstarter! We’ll be backing a few awesome indie game campaigns to learn about Post-Kickstarter strategies over the next month-ish.

Got it! Example Please!!!

Alright! Without further ado here’s the current Monochrome Workshop Kickstarter Strategy as in depth as we currently know (can write down) for this first release in the “hopeful” series.

Pre-Pre-Kickstarter

Before doing more than dreaming…

It’s ok to dream, but turning those dreams into reality is easier said than done. While we were still dreaming of our Kickstarter we did the following to position the Monochrome RPG as a “viable” game:

  • Developed at least a Prototype (we developed 1 Prototype and 2 demos)
  • Started building social followings
  • Began a community
  • Analyzed the game from a business perspective
  • Developed a confident pitch

Developed a Prototype

We began development on the Monochrome RPG in January 2019, but didn’t begin promoting an online demo until Fall 2019. Below you can see a chart of our itch.io demo page metrics. Each of the spikes in the chart are when we released major updates for the demo and promoted it on various social platforms.

Built Social Followings

Over the last almost year we’ve been focused on engaging with various game development, indie game, and cartoon related communities. We’ve utilized more than 25 different platforms to reach out to target audiences and spread the word about the Monochrome RPG in a non-spammy strategy.

Starting in February 2020, we found Sprout Social: a holistic analytics solution for the primary social media websites. Below is our data from our Sprout account showcasing our audience growth from February to early August:

This is an image of our Sprout Social analytics (we started using Sprout in February 2020 which is why it starts so low there)

One thing you’ll see is that July is much lower than prior months. We paused a lot of external facing work to focus on internal processes in anticipation of the Kickstarter. This meant “losing” a month of marketing; however, we have now established better pipelines and grown our team, which allows for more higher quality work to be done faster.

Began a Community

From the very beginning of development, we’ve been growing a community of creatives interested in the Monochrome RPG. With our community, we make sure to continuously update them on what’s happening with development, when new releases are posted, and opportunities to help in the development of the game.

Analyzed the game from a business perspective

We love to watch GDC talks on YouTube, and one thing especially stressed is the importance of making a game that can survive in the market. We’ve pivoted our design to make the game unique while making sure it can stand out from other similar titles. We’ve also learned how to talk about the title from creating several documents that talk about different aspects of the game’s design.

Understand your Pitch, Unique Selling Points, and Value Propositions

By knowing how to talk about your game and what truly makes your game interesting, you’ll be able to grow your audience faster. Learning how to talk about your game is a trial and error process where you’ll need to explain your game and then see how well someone is able to understand what you’ve explained.

The Workshop has a focus on SoCo

Before announcing to anyone…

  • Market Validation
  • Past, Current, Future Kickstarters
  • Update branding
  • Document Pipelines/Strategy & Budget/Goal
  • Obtain Preview Link

Past, Current, Future Kickstarters

Going onto Kickstarter itself to review past and current campaigns will give you the opportunity to see what works. The best way to do this is find a successful campaign (especially ones around your target goal) then type the name into google and explore the first 3-5 pages of links. You’ll be able to find what type of promotion was used and how they were able to build momentum for their campaign.

Update Branding

Before

After

You’ll want to continuously update your branding with any information you learn while building your community or doing market validation. These updates may cover color, language, or imagery. While doing these updates, you should also consider how you’ll update your branding when it comes time for the Kickstarter.

Marketing Strategies, Budgeting, Goals

Documenting any goals, budgets, or strategies will be important for informing your team on how the campaign will work. Try to have no more than 5 major goals and be as honest with your budget as possible (you don’t want to lose your company or go broke over the Kickstarter).

While implementing strategies, you'll want to document strategies that you are considering doing as well as strategies that you've done and know are successful. This list will help you know what has/hasn't worked and what still needs to be tested. Once a strategy begins working, you'll want to carry the momentum by figuring out how to grow and magnify that specific strategy.

Obtain Preview Link

After you complete a basic pass at setting up your Kickstarter page, you can submit it to Kickstarter for review to obtain a preview link. You’ll be able to update a lot of your components after your page is approved. Make sure to read the Kickstarter documentation before submitting your page for review.

Once you have a preview link you can begin promoting your planned Kickstarter!

ALL OF THE PRE-PRE-KICKSTARTER SHOULD BE DONE BEFORE CONTINUING PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE <3

Pre-Kickstarter

3 Months Out (Start of Pre-Kickstarter)

  • Train team in responsibilities
  • Reach out to PR firms
  • Test social media tricks and tips

Train Team in Responsibilities

Before starting the Kickstarter, you need to make sure that anyone who is helping knows how to perform their role. Reviewing marketing platforms and strategies will help not only teammates but yourself to understand how to improve your growth strategies.

Reach Out to PR Firms

We found validation of our brand and game idea by reaching out to PR agencies, even if they were out of our budget. If a high level PR agency wants to work with you but you’re out of their budget, this means your project is headed in a good direction. As they said in Silicon Valley, “The best marketers want something that’s easy to sell”. Everybody loves a challenge, but why make things hard?

The below video has a wealth of info on simplifying a product so that it is easier for a buyer to understand. You game may use a neural net to generate procedural shaders, but what does that mean for the player (without any jargon).

Test Social Media Tips & Tricks

By this time, you should have 1-3 social media platforms you’ve been using to grow your following. You’ll want to begin expanding upon the strategies used on these platforms to optimize your growth. Testing paid, viral, and unique marketing strategies can come in handy for seeing boosts in growth along with maintaining consistency.

2 Months Out (Pre-Kickstarter Cont.) ← We're Here

We’ve currently been focusing on expanding our social media strategy to have a wider reach (testing out new social channels). We’ve also been developing content pipelines to help prepare the finalized Kickstarter pages. We’re only at the start of this month and are being flexible in our approach using metrics to guide our decision making.

1 Month Out (Pre-Kickstarter Cont.)

We are still defining what our strategy will be in the last 4 weeks leading up to the campaign but we’re currently planning contests, giveaways, cross-promotions, PR/influencer outreach, and more!

Our Metrics for this Past Week

Over the last week we began employing a lot of the strategies mentioned above such as:

  • Social Marketing (CLMMPFS)
  • Paid Marketing (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram)
  • Onboarding team members into roles

Below, you can see that at the beginning of the week we had major Twitter growth. We decided to start posting and engaging on Instagram during the middle of the week so we could increase our total growth potential (2 platforms vs 1). Towards the end of the week, on the 8th, we tested new Twitter strategies which worked well, and on the 9th, we started on paid advertising.

During this week, we realized the importance of posting high-quality posts to get impressions. Earlier in the week, we posted consistently; however, we were beginning to refocus our Instagram strategy so stopped posting towards the end of the week. As you can see, this greatly lowered our impressions until we started paid advertising on the 9th. The paid advertising aided in the grow of impressions across all platforms we advertised on.

We haven’t been able to determine a “guaranteed” way of seeing engagement. On Twitter we’ve been interacting  with other accounts to see engagement and grow our audience, but on Instagram, we haven’t determined yet the best way to see engagement growth. Going forward, based on the fact that our engagement went down correlating with a minor drop-off in our own posting, we plan to change our posting schedule.

We start the week with about 15 Kickstarter followers and end it with around 22. This means we were able to grow by at least one follower a day, which feels good for just starting to focus on the preview page. We’ll want to get at least 100 before the launch at the end of September. Since we’ve seen progressive growth without actively promoting the page, we think hitting 100 feels possible.

This past week felt like we made good progress. We've determined going forward we'd like to have the following goals:

  • Change our paid advertising to follower campaigns instead of impression and engagement campaigns
  • Post more high quality content consistently (starting on a meme and visual content strategy)
  • Try to grow our audience by at least 50 a day (350 a week)
  • For now, get at least 1 follower on our preview page

TL;DR

  • Validate the idea or use of language through forms, social media, etc.
  • Build a community (at least 250, preferably 500+) through marketing
  • Start engaging with Kickstarter campaigns on social media 2+ months ahead of your campaign
  • Create a demo/prototype product (MVP or Vertical Slice would be great)
  • Make sure your page is designed like a million dollar campaign (best foot forward)

Quick List of Tips/Tricks (better than TL;DR for closer to campaign or Kickstarter emergencies)

This list of quick tips and tricks will be updated with the distilled strategies that work prior to our campaign in late September.

  1. Go on Kickstarter and find relevant projects. Highlight the full campaign title (to get specific search results) then go through the first 5 pages of google and learn: what social medias they used and how they used them, what their website looks like, what news/blog websites they were features in, and who helped promote their campaign (streamers, journalists, developers, employees, etc)
  2. On Twitter (or any other social media of choice with Kickstarter projects), search “kickstarter” and then your type of project such as “videogame” or “indiegame”. Once you find relevant Kickstarters, you should:
    • Add them to a list
    • Engage and comment on their profile (3-5 times)
    • Find their latest posts mentioning the Kickstarter and start engaging with people who engaged with their posts (comment/like on profile’s that retweeted the Kickstarter’s tweet)
  3. If you have a budget (even a small budget) we’d recommend starting to test paid advertising as early as possible. Use follower campaigns to build an audience while also learning what messaging and visuals resonate with that audience.