You have decided to do a Kickstarter campaign for your amazing idea. Congrats and good luck! To help you achieve your goal, you might also want to consider creating a community as early as possible in your Kickstarter campaign. We are lucky to work some amazingly successful Kickstarter alumni, including Pebble and Ouya, so we know a strong community can be an important part of your success. Sometimes, though, a community is a last minute thought near the end of a crowdfunding campaign. Below are just some of our thoughts on why you should create your community early on and how it can be used in each stage of your Kickstarter campaign.
Make a better product: A community can be your mini pre-Kickstarter focus group. If you choose, you can make it private and centralize the feedback from friends and family. It can help you address or fix issues you might not forsee before you launch, reduce repeated questions, and most importantly identify things you may wish to perfect in your product pre-launch.
Making a better pitch: A community can also help you make a better pitch on Kickstarter. Think about how it can be used as a focus group to test ideas for your copy, the video you create or graphics you use. Before you "kick" things off, you can use your community to refine your message, your offering and tweak the ideas that resonate best with your target audience.
Rewards: One key element with a Kickstarter campaign is rewards. A community can set you up to offer users badges or special access to areas of your community. This can include such things as direct access to developer boards or discussions on the direction of new features. You can even give them special perks such as badges or titles as a reward for being with you from the beginning.
SEO & Building buzz: Once you launch and you open your community up, there are massive SEO benefits. Your fans, friends and early adopters have helped to create content about your product before you even launched. This keyword rich content, will make it easier for people to find you and your product in search engines. Most importantly, the content will probably use the words real people use when doing research about your product and not the marketing/techno-speak some might be prone to in marketing materials.
After Kickstarter: Even after you are funded, a community still remains powerful. A community is a great way to reduce your support costs. A community can help by crowd-sourcing your customer service and make continued development more fruitful with an easy avenue for feedback from your fans.
As you can see a community can be a very integral, before, during and after your Kickstarter campaign. Now it's your turn. What is your view about crowd-sourcing and community? Have you seen a Kickstarter campaign effectively use community?
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