Secrets to a Successful Kickstarter, part II: social media and calendar

Social Media, Calendar

Last month we instroduced you to the wonderful participants in our (no longer) secret meeting, along with the most common tips and tricks they shared on how to prepare for a good Kickstarter run. You can read the full article HERE.

Today it’s time to delve into the specifics. We’ll begin with a few words about social media activity, after which we’ll proceed with an overview of the most important events in the calendar of your upcoming campaign.

  • Twitter is an invaluable tool in promoting your Kickstarter:
    The social platform Twitter is not really popular in Bulgaria, this is abundantly clear. However, this does not mean that Twitter is not valued in the West. A strong presence in this site ensures an additional, particular group of people will hear your voice!
  • Focus your efforts on Facebook, reddit and Twitter:
    Statistics show that social networks beyond Facebook, reddit and Twitter generate "less than half percent" of overall Kickstarter traffic. Direct your efforts in active support of your Facebook page and Twitter account, and make sure not to underestimate reddit, either.
  • reddit is an essential part of your Kickstarter campaign:
    The so-called “Front page of the Internet” offers the perfect conditions for you to connect to your audience and intricately present your thoughts and ideas as the creator and developer.
  • For board games developers, BoardGameGeek is a mandatory step:
    It’s essential for each and every aspiring board game to have a page in BoardGameGeek, where hardened fans of the genre gather to discuss current obsessions and to seek new titles. The site will also help you by making more people learn of your campaign while it’s in full swing.
  • Chaos Reborn was officially announced through Mr. Gollop’s personal Twitter account, which had no more than 20 followers at the time. Chaos Reborn is, as its name suggests, the revival of the classic "Chaos" from 1985, so its fans immediately started retweeting the news and sharing it among their friends. Two months after the announcement, Julian’s number of followers had expanded a hundredfold.
  • Battalia creators also stress on the importance of Twitter and admit that initially they were not "ready for the platform". Now they skillfully take advantage of its capabilities for the upcoming expansion of the game, “Battalia: The Stormgates”.
  • The guys from Strength of the Sword: Ultimate say that reddit is the perfect place for developers, because the audience can offer extremely insightful feedback.

Before we wrap it up with social networks, we’d like to remind you that every product needs a proper strategy. What kinds of audience are you looking for? Which people would be interested in your game? It’s important for you to target the right groups and show your fans (present and future ones) what to expect once your precious idea has come to life - give them a taste through your posts and activities. We encourage you to check which are the most popular and prolific strategies throughout the networks where you intend to dwell - algorithms change often, so it's not a bad idea to refreshen up on your knowledge of the site in question.

And remember - social networks should be an essential companion before, during and after your campaign. It’s vital to keep your fans informed, regardless of what’s happening.

Time to proceed to the second part of today’s instalment of “Secrets to a Successful Kickstarter”, namely - your campaign calendar. As you already know, the preparation for starting a Kickstarter campaign takes several months. When you press the faithful “Start" button and the countdown timer activated, there are several events you should be looking out for.

  • Preparing your Kickstarter campaign can take between 2 and 7 months:
    This includes the legal part of the campaign (creating a company, finding representatives abroad, etc. – we’ll discuss this topic in more detail in the future), the preparation of a Kickstarter page and video (which we’ll also delve into soon), creation of social networking channels and, of course, concocting a prototype. How long all of this will take depends mainly on two factors: 1) how many people will be working on the campaign and 2) how much time per day they’ll be able to dedicate.
  • Tell the world to be on the lookout:
    Begin your social media activity several months in advance. The more people in the loop on your upcoming campaign - the better. Getting in touch with bloggers, streamers, YouTubers, journalists and sites is also a grand move. Spread the word!
  • Winter is BAD time for your Kickstarter:
    People’s wallets are way too light due to the usual holiday hustle and bustle.
  • Give yourself a window of one or two weeks to decide whether to continue the campaign, or stop it:
    If during the first week of the campaign at least 30% of the targeted funding has not been reached, and in the second - at least 50%, it’s probably a good idea to stop and revise your Kickstarter.
  • Measure twice, cut once:
    It’s a much better option to postpone the release date of your game a bit, instead of releasing a bad product.
  • Your fans don’t mind waiting for a quality experience:
    Never underestimate your followers. As stated previously, it’s a better idea to delay the game than to disappoint all your fans - no doubt they’ll think twice before trusting you again. But the good, valuable games are remembered and appreciated.
  • Chaos Reborn: The campaign development has taken nearly five months, and this period includes the collection of information about similar crowdfunding campaigns, talks with journalists and searching for people to develop the game, which had a prototype at the time. Julian deliberately delayed the campaign launch, so that more people would know about it in advance. The supporters gained access to the game before everyone else and an update was released at least once per month, as promise.
  • Battalia: Circumstances pushed them to initiate theyr campain in little over a month. The game itself was 97% ready at the opening of the Kickstarter, but after its successful funding the creators had to put in some more hours of work in order to add everything promised in the newly emerged stretch goals.
  • Bright Future: The campaign was developed in about three months. Just the Kickstarter page took nearly two months out of its founders. Vermin Games claim that, without a doubt, a properly prepared page with a substantial amount of pictures and perky text (which must be dynamic enough to grab the eye, but not so much that it becomes irritating) is paramount. It’s important for board games to have pre-built pages on portals like BoardGameGeek, too.
  • Strength of the Sword: ULTIMATE: Preparations took about six months. This time includes extensive research on past and current campaigns, careful shaping of the project’s page, three months of handling legal issues and prepping up a prototype (which required less time than usual, as the aim of the campaign was to port an already-existing game to PC). According to Ivent Games, and not just them, it’s necessary to look into campaigns similar to yours in order to get a better understanding of what appeals to your audience best.
  • Wolfed: Starting with the card’s design, the campaign was ready within seven months. Their attempts to get in touch with nearly 500 bloggers beforehand proved unsuccessful. The first campaign was cancelled it became clear that the games price and shipping fee were too high. People didn’t seem too happy with the stretch goals, either. However, the creators took note of this feedback and their second campaign achieved its new goal in the very first week.

Remember - you're turning to your fans for support, so it’s important to listen to them. This, of course, does not mean you should completely customize your game to fit a different audience, but your followers’ feedback often contains loads of good ideas.

Next week in “Secrets to a Successful Kickstarter” we’ll discuss building your campaigns page and preparing its ambassador - the almighty introduction video.