The other day I was on my phone waiting for my food to heat up and decided to pop onto Indiegogo to see what campaigns are currently funded.
To my amazement, I saw big changes to the platform and immediately thought, “WOW, this is a game changer!”
In this post, I’ll run through the updates and tell you why you should use Indiegogo.
Update #1: The Production Stage of a project is now very prominent in a campaign
Crowdfunding has gotten a bad reputation in recent years since more and more backers are being vocal about campaigns that end up not shipping products. Indiegogo is trying to combat this by showing more prominently the stage of production an item is on.
Someone who is more risk-averse might only want to contribute to a project in the production or shipping stage. On the other hand, others who are less risk-averse might be completely fine contributing to a campaign in the concept or prototype stage.
When you’re getting ready to launch your project, be sure to leave a few days before launch to get your project’s Production Stage vetted by the crowdfunding team. You’ll need to be sure that you have images, videos or other content on your page to essentially “prove” what stage of production you’re on before that is officially okayed by the Indiegogo team.
What this means for YOU: The Production Stage is even more important than you think
Before you launch your campaign, you need to be sure that your backers will be comfortable with the stage of production you’re currently at.
If it’s a complicated hardware product, there’s for sure going to be a tradeoff in the number of backers and stage of production. Therefore, be sure to think through the potential tradeoffs between having a product that is closer to shipping and the funds you need to get to that.
Update #2: The Project Overview section isn’t really that important anymore
The Overview section serves the same function as the back cover of a book; it gives a concise summation of the book.
Typically users coming to an Indiegogo page will see the Project Name, Video and Overview before anything else. This gives people enough information to decide whether to keep reading about the project or not. However, the Overview section has been moved down in importance, placing it just above the main Story of the campaign.
This is also the same structure on the Mobile page.
This update on the Indiegogo has decreased the importance of the Overview section, leading me to believe that this section will soon be phased out.
What this means for YOU: Instead of an Overview, hook the reader with what they’ve always been looking for
Now that the Overview section is not one of the first things people see when they come to your campaign, the main point of the Overview section needs to transform from a campaign summary.
One of the best uses of this Overview section is to now tackle the user problem straight on.
Trying to sell a product that seamlessly controls all of your smart home devices?
Ask the reader directly: Have you ever dreamed of controlling everything in your home with a single device?
Reader: why yes I do! What do I have to do to get this?
This tugs at the problem that has irked the potential backer and makes them want to keep reading.
Update #3: People can scroll through Perks before learning more about the project (Mobile only)
The new layout of the mobile page is a complete win for people running campaigns. Now, potential backers can easily flip through all the Perks that you have to offer in a more natural way.
The Perks now also flows seamlessly from the top of the page to the Story of the page as people scroll down.
This creates a seamless experience for potential backers, which didn’t happen in the previous layout of Indiegogo. In the previous version, a user had to click to move from Perk to Story, which caused a lot of dropped potential pledges.
What this means for YOU: More people reading through your project Story
Before this, people have to click on “Story” to actually read more about your campaign. By making this change, there is a more seamless transition from learning about your Perks to actually understand more about the project and reading more deeply into it.
There’s less friction for people to navigate through your page, which is an absolute WIN for you as an entrepreneur.
Update #4: Perks don’t show detailed information until you click on it
This one is pretty self-explanatory: the additional information that you include about the perk does not appear for backers until they click on the perk itself.
What this does on the desktop and mobile page on Indiegogo is that it saves vertical space. Another thing this does is increase the load speed of the page so that the content you have will appear faster to potential backers.
What this means for YOU: Be clear and concise with your Perk names
You won’t be able to convey as much information to backers in your Perks as you were able to before.
If there’s vital information, be sure to include that in the title of your Perk. In the example above, we see that the critical information about device capacity was included in the title of the perk, along with the Early Bird status of the product.
Update #5: Funding numbers now show crowdfunding and InDemand totals
Indiegogo previously only showed ONE number at the end of a campaign: the combined total amount the campaign raised in the initial crowdfunding period and InDemand period.
Now, the Indiegogo team has decided that it is more fruitful to separate those numbers.
The bottom number shows the total amount raised on the platform during the initial crowdfunding run. This is the amount raised and the number of backers in the first 30-60 days the campaign launches to the public.
The top number is the total between that 30-60 time period and whatever else the project has raised during its InDemand phase on Indiegogo.
This is also true for campaigns that transitioned from a different platform (like Kickstarter) and decides to run an InDemand campaign on Indiegogo.
What this means for YOU: It is even more critical to reach your goal during the initial 30-60 days of your campaign
Before this change, it was difficult for potential backers, VCs, Angel Investors and other people who have a stake in crowdfunding campaigns to distinguish truly successful campaigns.
Campaigns that raise $2 million might have done so within 3 years (this includes initial 30-60 day period and a long InDemand phase). Or it might have genuinely been so well-prepared that they raised their $2 million within that first 30-60 day period.
There was no way to tell the difference between these two scenarios.
By splitting out the numbers, there is now a new metric to gauge the success of a campaign. Now campaigns and their success can be measured by the initial 30-60 initial launch time period.
As an entrepreneur, you might be using crowdfunding to gauge market acceptance of the project to prove to VCs or other outside investors of the validity of the idea. In this case, it would be wise to get the highest number of funding possible within the 30-60 time period.
You can then use this number to compare your project to others within the same 30-60 time period. If you raise $500k within the 30-60 day time period and a close competitor managed to raise $257k within the same time, there are some good arguments you can make about your product compared to that of the competitor’s.
Although Indiegogo appeared on the crowdfunding scene after Kickstarter, the team has been working hard to make the creation process as simple as possible for entrepreneurs around the world.
This is clearly evident in the changes they’ve made here that makes the shopping experience easier for potential backers and make it easier for you as the creator to showcase your project.
If you’re still deciding between Indiegogo and Kickstarter, be sure to understand the pros and cons of each platform before you jump in.
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