As a creator, once you decide that you’ll be crowdfunding, here are 5 key differences you should consider before deciding between Kickstarter or Indiegogo.
1. Product type focus
Question for you: what type of product are you launching?
Indiegogo focuses primarily on electronic products and smart hardware, at least more so than Kickstarter. That’s been their main positioning and it’s not slowing down.
Their entire ecosystem is set up to make it easier for companies to set up their SKUs, shipping, etc.
For example, they’ve built up and launched the Arrow Certification program to help entrepreneurs source suppliers and manufacturers for their project.
It’s become a one-stop shop for anyone who wants to build and deliver a product.
On the other hand, Kickstarter is a global crowdfunding platform focused on creativity and merchandising. They’ve always stayed true to its roots in serving those in publishing, film, design, music, craft and games.
You can even see the difference on their homepage. The projects usually featured on Kickstarter are usually from these categories.
Also be sure to see if the product you’re launching matches with the type of audience that comes to surf the platform.
Question for you: do you have the technical skills to set up a roundabout way to track ad-driven conversions?
Kickstarter does not allow tracking pixels on their campaign pages.
Of course, there are ways around this by using subdomains and Google Analytics. But this is not as simple or clear-cut as using a tracking pixel and tracking pre-orders directly from the advertising platform.
On the other hand, Indiegogo allows you to use tracking pixels and see on the advertising platform which ads are driving pre-orders.
Don’t let tracking pixels be the main reason that you decide on one platform over the other, especially since there are ways around having no integrated pixels.
Question for you: are your rewards/perks going to be released in discrete levels or have multiple add-ons along the way?
Indiegogo and Kickstarter deal with these perks differently.
For one, Indiegogo refers to them as “perks” while Kickstarter calls them “rewards”.
Indiegogo has added more functionality on their website to make it more like an eCommerce platform. Creators have the option to create add-on perks (like an upsell) and backers have the option to check out multiple times on each campaign (like buying multiple products on an eCommerce site).
Example: Pretend your campaign has a base product (camera) and an add-on product (additional battery). A backer can pre-order the camera perk and then be presented with a battery as an upsell.
On Kickstarter, a backer-only pick one reward per account per campaign. Backers will choose a reward and pick a shipping location. They’ll also have the option to add any additional contribution to the campaign before checking out.
What can you do when you have a product and additional add-ons?
Leveraging the “additional contribution” of course!
To go back to the camera example: the backer will pre-order the camera and then before checking out, they’ll add the amount for an additional battery as an extra donation to the campaign.
The differences here are quite impactful for how the campaign runs and how you introduce new rewards/perks to your backers.
4. Promotional channels
Question for you: what types of promotional channels have you pre-planned for your campaign?
The main promotional channel on Kickstarter and Indiegogo are quite similar: newsletters, special badges on the page, features on the homepage and features on social media channels of the respective platforms.
The difference between the two is the way projects are curated for these promotional channels.
For Indiegogo, it’s mostly projected that are already doing incredibly well on crowdfunding that will get featured as the top spot in a newsletter. The newsletter for Indiegogo is a very lucrative offer since it can sometimes be the main driver of pre-orders for a campaign.
On the other hand, Kickstarter maintains a very low-key discussion process between Platform Managers as to which campaigns should be featured and why. This discussion usually disregards the amount the campaign has already raised.
5. Project support
Question for you: do you already have a team of people ready to help you with tips and strategies?
Indiegogo prides itself as being a platform where Campaign Strategists are assigned to help you succeed. You’ll have direct access to Campaign Strategists who will offer pointers and campaign-specific strategies. They’re also available to review your campaign page and provide any feedback to you before launch.
Although Kickstarter does not necessarily assign Campaign Strategists, they’ve built up an incredibly comprehensive library of resources. The Kickstarter community is also large and very active. Any comments and questions from a new creator are always quickly answered by another more seasoned entrepreneur or a Kickstarter representative.
I did have the opportunity to speak directly to one of the Platform Managers at Kickstarter and discovered that every year there are various types of campaigns that Kickstarter will provide extra support too.
For example in 2018, they provided support for projects “designed with unique materials”. What does this mean you ask? The example provided was a lamp that was created using different types of fungus. Another category they’re providing additional support to are projects under the category of “underwater exploration”. This includes products such as underwater drones designed to survey the health of coral reefs.
Furthermore, in 2019 they provided additional support to sustainable projects.
With these differences, there’s no “one-size-fits-all” platform.
In the end, it really depends on your project which platform you should use. The platform you choose should work well for what YOU are launching.
Know that no matter the platform, you as a creator have the ability to get fully funded and achieve success if you are prepared and dedicated to your launch.
Go out and CRUSH IT!
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