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Crowdfunding Tip Sheet

Indiegogo vs Kickstarter: You Make the Call

KickstarterCrowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising monetary contributions from a large number of people, typically via the Internet. This practice gives people the opportunity to raise money for creative projects. By submitting an online donation, contributors are not allowed to become investors or shareholders, rather the project creators retain all control over products and services.

By the end of 2013, a cumulative $1.17 billion dollars had been raised using crowdfunding, and is projected to reach $4.35 billion by the end of 2015.

Indiegogo and Kickstarter are two of the most popular crowdfunding websites.

 

KICKSTARTER VS. INDIEGOGO

Indiegogo and Kickstarter are both successful funding platforms. When using either, the user posts a project, sets a financial goal, creates a timeframe to reach that goal, and the community pledges money to support the project. While very similar, both Indiegogo and Kickstarter have their own strengths.

Project Categories: Kickstarter only accepts projects in the specific categories of:

  • Art
  • Comics
  • Dance
  • Design
  • Fashion
  • Film
  • Food
  • Games
  • Music
  • Photography
  • Publishing
  • Technology
  • Theater

IndiegogoIn comparison, Indiegogo is more relaxed in terms of its project categories. Indiegogo will accept anything from trip fundraising to personal wishes.

Monetary Policy: Another difference between these two crowdfunding sites is their monetary policy.

Kickstarter enacts an “all-or-nothing” policy, meaning if a project does not reach its financial goal, the project doesn’t get any of the money pledged. Therefore, when using Kickstarter, it is important to set the goal at the bare minimum to increase your likelihood of reaching it. Kickstarter also charges a 5% fee if the project is successful.

In comparison, if a project does not reach its financial goal on Indiegogo, the user can still keep the money raised. In addition, Indiegogo only charges a 4% fee if the project reaches its goal. However, if the goal is not reached, Indiegogo will charge 9% of the funds raised.

Stats: Overall, Kickstarter attracts more traffic, accumulates more pledges, and has more dollars pledged than Indiegogo. When looking at success rates,

  • Kickstarter projects achieve success 43.4% of the time;
  • Indiegogo projects achieve success 9.8% of the time. But keep in mind even failed projects on Indiegogo get to keep the money raised.

The average crowdfunding campaign is $5,000 on Kickstarter and $3,700 on Indiegogo. The average visits per month on Kickstarter are 23 million and 13.4 on Indiegogo.

Website Design: Indiegogo seems easier to use but with a slightly more cluttered format. Indiegogo also links to Facebook and Twitter easily. Kickstarter has a simpler look, and has more options regarding individual formatting.

 

CHARACTERISTICS OF SUCCESSFUL CAMPAIGNS

9 average no. of levels of reward offers

35 average length of campaign (days)

8 average no. of updates from successful founders

17 average no. of comments

$87 average pledge

$10- $25 most popular contribution reward level

3:04 average length of video (minutes)

609 average no. of words on campaign description

Content and Social Media Marketing Webinar

By Suzanne McDonald

If content “is the only marketing left,” as a quote from entrepreneur Seth Godin goes, than businesses better make sure their content is attracting customers.

 

In a webinar by Smart Insights and Bright TALK, “Content and Social Media Marketing,” businesses can learn how to use content for marketing – and what to avoid so content doesn’t harm the brand’s image.

 

What exactly is content marketing? It’s “a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire and engage a clearly defined target audience,” content marketing authors Joe Pulizzi and Newt Barrett said in their 2009 book, “Get Content, Get Customers.”

 

Content marketing “barely registered as a concept” until a few years ago, according to Google search trends for the topic, as cited in the webinar. Not until early 2011 did searches for “content marketing” finally start to rise – and then they soared.

 

Common content formats:

  •  Facebook
  • Twitter
  • emails to subscriber base
  • A Wiki page
  • blog post
  • LinkedIn
  • press release
  • banner ads

 

Those are the most common formats, and they fall into four “quandrants,” or general styles:

  1. Entertain (example: quizzes or branded videos)
  2. Inspire (celebrity endorsements or community forums)
  3. Convince (case studies or interactive demonstrations)
  4. Educate (infographics or press relases)

 

A few formats fall in between, such as articles, which are on the line between entertain and educate, and ratings, which are between inspire and convince. Ideally, a business would find the right balance between the four quandrants, something that could be struck by having customer reviews or questionnaires.

 

The old saying “quality over quantity” applies to content marketing. If a business overloads its Twitter followers or Facebook fans with too many posts, they would, at minimum, lose effectiveness. At most, those followers and fans would unfollow or post negative remarks.

 

Interesting content is a top-three reason why people follow certain brands on social media, and there are trends to give hints on the best ways companies can utilize their content:

  •  3 in 4 marketers say compelling content is a factor in closing sales.
  •  70% prefer getting to know a company by reading articles rather than advertisements.
  • 60% feel more positive about a company after reading content on its website.

 

A tip to remember, as the webinar puts it: “If you talked to people the way advertising talked to people, they’d punch you in the face.” In other words, engage with customers instead of simply talking to them, and think like a publisher instead of an advertiser.

 

Travel review websites are a great example in the amount of influence they have, especially among younger people. Word-of-mouth marketing is the primary factor behind 20% to 50% of all purchasing decisions.

 

Other tips to consider:

  • Think of what your content will look like on mobile devices – or whether it will even work at all.
  • Most Facebook fans (83% in one study) do not see your posts because they don’t stay visible on newsfeeds for very long.
  • A high number of “likes” and comments on even a plain-text post will drive more reach, or influence, than another post that might seem more likely to attract buzz simply because it has a photo.

 

Facebook has an internal algorithm called EdgeRank that it uses to gauge a user’s influence. It is based on four factors:

  • Affinity, or your relationship with a brand; you are more likely to see a post if your friends engage with it.
  • Type of post. Simple status updates trump other content.
  • Time. The older a post is, the less likely it will be viewed.
  • Level of negative feedback a post and brand receives.

 

Finally, some social media networks are more effective than others, depending on whether your communication is business-to-business or business-to-customer:

  • LinkedIn – the most effective for B2B, but far less so for B2C.
  • Blogs and Twitter have the best balance between both B2B and B2C.
  • Facebook is far more effective for B2C than B2B.
  • Others are far less effective for both methods, including Slideshare, Delicious, Scribd and Flickr.

If  you’d like to listen to the Webinar yourself, check out the BrightTalk Website!