The Secret to Getting Kickstarter Backers: Understand Their Needs

Know Your Audience Is the First Thing You Should Do When You Start The Campaign

Miya Wu

August 27, 2021

What is your crowdfunding project’s target audience like? That'll be fine if you don’t know before you launch. So how to find out your target? 

Do audience research. It isn’t just a quality that big companies can do — you can also do it in your Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign, no matter how big or small your survey is, you will make sense of your ideal backers and their needs. 

Actually, finding and knowing about your target buyer is the first thing you should do when preparing for your campaign.

How important is it to find the target audience?

Maybe the product you put on Kickstarter or Indiegogo has a very cool concept, but your ultimate goal is to hope that as many people as possible choose and enjoy using your product.Here’s the tough but shallow reality: Not everyone on Kickstarter or Indiegogo is going to be interested in your product. I didn't mean to hit you — but this is the consequence that everyone who makes a product has to shoulder.

Obviously, if you can have an audience with a huge amount of investment, it will be something to be happy about. However, this does not apply to all situations, because it will ultimately reduce the impact of your product and may not provide exactly what they are looking for to anyone. On the contrary, when you find your own niche market and your product can well meet the specific needs of your target group, you are more likely to carry out successful activities with less effort and reach your funding goals.

Every creator needs loyal fans——those who really appreciate the products you make, they will continue to support many of your projects. The best way to find true fans is to connect with people who have already expressed interest in the type of work you make.

Shrinking your focus range makes it easier to attract Kickstarter backers

Your target audience is simply the group of people who are most likely to back your project. They share similar features, like purchasing power level and age stage. They’ll also have similar needs and pain points.

If you recollect some of 2020’s most-funded Kickstarter projects, just check their campaign page and you might get some information about who the creator is targeting.

For example, the Smart Belt Universal, a belt with 32 micro adjustments, is clearly designed for people whose weight changes a lot in a short time, but let’s narrow that down a little more.

The compatibility ​of this smart belt is much higher than that of ordinary belts. You can imagine that it is very suitable for those extremely thin or extremely fat people who often can't buy a suitable belt. It offers a variety of styles and colors, so it also meets people's needs for fashion matching and individualization.

You can believe that most of the projects that eventually get successfully funded, especially those that break the crowdfunding record —— are based on a deep understanding of the customers they want to reach. So the basis of your Kickstarter or Indiegogo plan should be to understand your target supporters. Here are some ways to complete this work before launch will help your event progress:

  • Develop your project and find your "unique sales highlights": When you follow a group of users with similar characteristics, you need to create new features that excite this group of people to solve their pain points and needs, and think about what are the challenges you face with such a product.
  • Build your email list: How can I get more Kickstarter and Indiegogo supporters? The starting point will be set in your email list, and you need to collect a copy of the emails of people interested in your project. If you know the characteristics of the people you want to reach, you can focus on them to create some list-building activities, then build a close-knit community for these people who may fund your project.
  • Messaging and marketing: When you have identified the groups you want to attract and where you will meet (events, communities, etc.), publicity is more effective. Reaching more people is much more complicated and costly. Identifying the people most likely to become loyal fans of the project can also help you generate content that resonates with potential backers for emails, campaign pages, and Facebook ads.
  • Building brand loyalty and turning backers into promoters: Your backers will recognize that you understand them and their needs. This is the key point to building long-term customer relationships.

Know your ideal Kickstarter supporter: What do you need to know?

The ideal supporter profile (also called customer profile) is a description of the target audience. Creating this profile allows you to intuitively understand the types of people who will support (and benefit from) your project. Think of this profile as your guide, guiding you through each stage of the event, and helping you decide how to develop, promote, and talk about your project.

Your ideal supporter profile is composed of two parts: physiological information (physical characteristics such as age and location) and psychological information (qualitative characteristics such as personal values and hobbies). Of course, the more comprehensive the information is not the better, you only need to collect the important parts according to your project, but the following questions should be a good springboard.

  • Who are they? Start with location and age and then add any other demographic information that may be relevant to your project. 
  • What is their habit? Find out what their hobbies and interests are and what they usually do in their spare time. This will help you gain insight into their personalities
  • What are their online habits? Determine which websites they visit and which social media platforms they use. This will give you a deeper understanding on what they value and let you know where to contact them.
  • What are their buying styles? think about which type of Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaigns they would pledge to and products they would buy in their daily lives.
  • How to solve their existing problems? Your project should help your backers solve a problem. By detecting their needs, you’ll be able to make sure you’re addressing a real problem — this is a good way to validate ideas.
  • How come their needs have not been met before? Your project should provide unique solutions to the problems they face, so find out why the existing solutions disappoint them.

How to get the information you need: collecting from your ideal Kickstarter backers

You may have speculations about your potential Kickstarter or Indiegogo backers. But, the ideal backer profile you need should be based on facts. Here are a few ways to collect the required data.

  1. Try surveys and polls

If you already have a lot of people on your email list, please contact them to gather feedback. Ask them what features they value in a product like yours. Find out what they currently think of your project. If you have a Google account, you can try using Google Forms to investigate. You can also use social platforms such as Facebook to ask people or vote, or just send emails with a few questions—— try to simplify your questions and get to the point, otherwise people will lose patience when they see a lot of questions.

  1. See what Kickstarter backers comment on other projects

Look through similar crowdfunding projects in your category. Can you infer who the target backers are by observing the campaign pages of these creators (as we did with Smart Belt)? What did Kickstarter supporters comment on the creators? Ideally, some people who are willing to share their ideas will usually leave constructive feedback for creators in the comments section to give you insight into what they want.

  1. Make time for social listening

This is a very low-cost method. On social platforms, you can join an online community on topics related to your project and view the content of the conversation. What are people more likely to like? Write down your analysis.

  1.  Participate in meetings and courses

Face-to-face meetings may not be suitable for the current situation, but there are many online conferences and courses. For example, BGDL(Board Game Design Lab) will be fun for boardgame creators and game designers. If there are Facebook groups associated with your promotion, please take the time to interact with other attendees. Network and learn current trends.

  1.  Take advantage of playtesting

If you’re a game creator, playtesting is a crucial part of the game development process. It’s where you learn your game is functioning normally or abnormally.  If you want to learn more about your future Kickstarter or Indiegogo backers, be sure to seize the opportunity to ask questions that will help you fill in the profile of your ideal supporter.With permission, get some background information about your game testers. How do they define a good game? Which online communities do they visit frequently? You might even want to include some profile questions in your game test feedback form.

Start filling in your ideal supporter profile

The more you know about potential supporters, the more likely they are to support you. Don’t rush to start a Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign right away. Most importantly, please spend more time getting to know your ideal supporter. If you still have questions during this preparation stage of the crowdfunding journey, please contact us to help you.