Karl Steinmeyer Founder of Kickstartyourjourney.com dicusses gamification strategies and tactics for crowdfunding.
Crowdfunding has seen some impressive growth numbers in the last few years and has opened some doors not previously available to small business and individual project creators. With new doors opening and gatekeepers disappearing, there has never been a better time to launch a crowdfunding project of your own.
In the wild wild west days of the great land grab those that took action are the ones that seized the opportunity. They did not “wait until the time was right,” or analyze the market. They loaded up their six shooters and got on theirs horses and headed West.
Simple, determined, and effective.
Today is a little different. The internet is different. Juggernauts like Kickstarter and Indiegogo are hard to stand out in and niche market competitor platform are forming and entering the market daily to fix that pain. This noise, or crowded crowdfunding market has it’s benefits and its drawbacks and depending on your own perspective one can seem to outweigh the other. If you are in the tech space, you no longer need to educate your market on what “crowdfunding is” before pitching your project. But if you are in the agricultural or manufacturing sector, that is where you are required to start.
Getting your message in front of who it was designed to connect with is goal numero-uno in the crowdfunding world. How do you do it? Hire a PR firm or use your own in-house marketing team? Run the campaign by yourself? (Keep in mind you still get all the credit if it does not succeed). I like to craft rewards that are meant to be shared with other people.
How to get your supporters to market your campaign for you.
Gabe Zichermann of gamification.co has essentially layed out a great framework of what game users truly want; the core benefits of what makes a great game. Listed in order of importance;
Lucky for us project creators and crowd-funders, these are the benefits that supporters truly want as well.
Let’s take a closer look at each.
Backing a project on kickstarter (or any crowdfunding platform) carries with it an early-adopter status symbol. “I helped that project come to life,” or “I supported that before it was available to anyone,” are common phrases with those that perceive crowdfunding as a status. Creating badges and medals provide a symbol of one’s Status.
Early Beta access to a web-app, online community, or product development are some of the common rewards that project creators use to create access. Plays, music albums, and concerts also grant special vip access or early access to the project as a way to entice supporters wanting additional access. Dinner with the creators or a night on the town with the founders are some higher-end special access rewards. Add in pics of projects “listed on support webpage”
Moderators, final-edit voting, and even creation of new reward tiers of projects create the feeling of power that backers can find appealing. The power to persuade the direction of the project can also coupled with status symbols.
Last on the list is stuff. Not all crowdfunded projects are successful in their funding. Even the successful ones can ship late or never ship at all. T-shirts, hats, mugs, and other swag are poor persuaders of backers rewards. Unless the brand has a significant culture that it brings along to a crowdfunded project, don’t expect to sway people outside of your own network with a T-shirt.
“If I wanted stuff, I would go to amazon. I visit crowdfunding sites to support causes and people’s stories.” –
When crafting your rewards for your own crowdfunding projects, keep in mind these 4 human psychological factors. In order for the status, access, and power to be of any perceived value, there must be people to perceive it. The more people there are to perceive it, the higher it’s perceived value.
How are you planning on seizing the opportunity?