Tips to Build a Successful Kickstarter Campaign Part 3: Getting Covered with Publicity Strategy

Tips to Build a Successful Kickstarter Campaign

Running a successful Kickstarter campaign is an involved process with many different sides to work on. Kickstarter and similar micro loan websites provide an incredible opportunity to build the funds needed to make great ideas come to life, but it takes a lot of effort to present your idea and get the word out about it. A carefully planned out Kickstarter campaign strategy with strong materials, social media buzz, and good publicity will have a much better chance of reaching its monetary goal.

In part 1 of this Kickstarter Series, we took a look at organizing the materials for a Kickstarter Page, and in part 2 we looked at running a social media campaign around a Kickstarter project to find more backers through networks. In this third and final part, we’ll look at some more ideas for spreading the word about a project, how to generate publicity for a project, and how to get outside sources to help spread the word.

Creating a Press Kit

Some publications, if they are willing to publicize your Kickstarter project, will simply copy and paste information directly from your press release, so it’s important that the release is professional, polished, and totally ready to publish. PRWeb.com and the PRWeb blog can provide some format guidelines for press releases. This post from Publicity Insider also has some good ideas for the framework and content of a press release. You might need a physical press kit for newspapers, radio, and TV, but most sources now are fine with a Digital Press Kit. Here are some helpful tips for deciding on content for a digital press kit. This how to article shows many different pieces you might want to include in a digital media kit.

Press Kit Materials

Press Release – A well-written press release is the backbone of a press kit; it’s the main written section that should be succinct and interesting so it will make publications eager to cover your project. It should be in the proper format and contain content that is ready to publish.

Images – Images to include with your press should include a logo, publicity shots of your product or project, and possibly press shots of the team behind the Kickstarter Project. These images should be ready for the web, and you might want to offer a few different sizes, especially for the logo, so that writers have all the media they need ready to go.

Contact information – How can publications and blogs get in touch with your team to let you know if they decide to cover your project, or ask any questions they might have? Your press kit is incomplete without some clear contact details.

Links (Digital) – Make sure to provide links and resources where people can find out more about your project, follow it on social media, and back it on Kickstarter.

Other Media (Digital) – Many online publications like to include a lot of media, so it can be good to include links to your websites and any videos about your project. Some sites might include buttons that link to your Kickstarter and social media pages, so you could provide embed codes for “Like,” “Add,” and other buttons you use around your social media sites.

Evaluate the Target Market

It’s a good idea to figure out the target market that would be interested in a project. On the social media side, this will help you plan where to focus your energies, to target likely backers. On the publicity side, you will want to think about what other forms of media this target audience is likely to follow. Is the target group based more on a specific region, or around a set of interests?

There are a lot of resources to help find blogs and potential publications to cover your material. Here is a list of 100 advertising blogs that might be good resources for your project. Yahoo’s blog directory can also be helpful for finding niche blogs.

Who Might Cover Your Project?

Keep in mind what kind of publications would consider sharing your Kickstarter project. Is the project (and its message and tone) consistent with the tone and the materials found in that publication? Is the scale of the project consistent with what the publication usually covers?

Read up on blogs and other online media sources in fields related to your project. Some things to consider are the subject matter, the types of articles that are published, the tone, and the publication’s target audience. Remember that publications need material that will bring in readers and keep them coming back, so you want them to understand why your project fits in with their publication, and why it’s worthwhile for them to cover.

It’s also useful to consider the traffic and readership of blogs you are sending your materials to. If you have plenty of time on your hands, I’d say send your materials to everyone you think might cover your Kickstarter project. But with all the other work that goes into overseeing a Kickstarter campaign, it will probably be a pretty busy month. Smaller blogs might be more likely to cover something because they receive less press materials, but if only a handful of readers will see it, will it really be worth the time you put in?

It might be – especially at the beginning of your campaign, and particularly if you get some original blog material written for your project. This is because you can use quotes from outside sources and share this press on Kickstarter and social media pages. Obviously a quote from a well-known source has a lot more clout, but if publications see that you are generating press, this could encourage them to cover you as well.

Talk to Writers

If you find a particular writer on a blog that you think would do a great job covering your project, try getting in touch with them directly. Comment and share on their blog (you will probably be busy blogging as well with the social media side of your campaign). You’ll be helping them by sharing their work, which might make them more inclined to help share your project.

Many online writers write for multiple publications, so making a good contact with a writer could help you get publicity on a few different sources.

Think Local, Too!

Whether your project is location oriented (a shop or physical business, for example) or not (a product that can be shipped anywhere), it’s always a good idea to look into local publications. Many people like to read and hear about what other members of their community are working on, and many local periodicals like to cover this stuff.

Also consider local TV and radio stations, and shows that like to cover community activity. This can be a great way to show off the project, share the personalities behind it, and get the community involved.

Provide Your Press Kit Materials, But Offer More

Let publications know that you are available for interviews or to answer additional questions about your project, by providing publicity contact information. If you can land an interview, this is a great way to get engaging material out to the public. When it comes to Kickstarter projects, people often want to get to know who’s behind them, and interviews are a great way to get your team out there.

Interviews

If you do manage to land an interview, make sure to remain focused on the project, and keep your tone and message in the interview consistent with the tone of your Kickstarter page. It will in part be up to the interviewer, of course, but since you have such a short window to build all the backers to reach your goal, make sure to share all the information you need to get potential backers interested during the interview.

Keep Track of Everything!

It’s so important to keep track of everything you send out. Keep a list of all the potential press contacts you put together, and keep track of who you’ve already sent your press release out to. It’s ok to follow up after sending out your press release, just try not to do this to the point of annoyance if you want to see some coverage.

If you do hear back from someone willing to cover your project, you want to be prepared; you want to know who that person is and which publication they represent. If a writer is willing to cover your material, try to build a good relationship with them, because they might be willing to cover you again down the road as your project continues to develop.

Timeframe and Planning

Different types of publications have different turnaround times, so you definitely want to get a head start on publicity before your Kickstarter project is officially up and running. You should try to get as much coverage near the start of your campaign as possible, and you may even be able to get follow-up articles with a second press release as the campaign draws to a close.

For newspapers and magazines, and other physical periodicals, it could be as long as 10-14 weeks, so you’ve really got to get a good head start if you hope to get covered with these. For blogs and online sources, it’s usually much shorter, but it can vary depending on the site and the number of writers they have. Make sure to include the timeframe of your project in your press release so that publications will know when to cover it.

Plan a schedule for yourself for getting press releases out and following up with publications to avoid missing anyone who might provide publicity for your project.

Get Your Project Off the Ground!

I hope the series has been a helpful resource for planning your Kickstarter Project. There’s a lot of work to do, but a well planned and executed Kickstarter project will have a much better chance of meeting its goal requirements. Even if your goal is not met and you don’t receive your funding, all of the social media and publicity efforts you’ve put in have already spread the word about your project to so many more ears, and you’ll have a great head start if you decide to fine tune your project and try again on Kickstarter, or seek funding from other sources.

Good luck with your project, and be sure to let us know in the comments below how it’s going, and any other tips you might want to share with other Kickstarter hopefuls!

If you haven’t yet, make sure to check out parts one and two of my series of Tips to Build a Successful Kickstarter Campaign here on the CEM blog.

 

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Ross Wilson is a writer, musician, and technology guru. He has worked in many facets of technology and IT since 2005. He also plays in, records, and runs social media for several bands and projects around Portland, Oregon, where he lives with his cat, Lewis.

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