How do you set out to solve long-standing problems around fit, function, and simplicity, using the human body as a guide?
If you are Ministry of Supply, you start a Kickstarter campaign and set the record for most-funded fashion project at the time, raising $429,276.
Back when news was trending about the risks of crowdfunding promotion and the high proportion of new businesses failures, Ministry of Supply was making waves with early adopters and successfully telling the story of their design-driven products.
So, how did they do it?
With crowdfunding volumes still soaring, we thought we’d circle back and ask them.
(Research from Massolution®)
That way, you can use them as a formula for success when optimizing your future or potential crowdfunding campaigns.
Crowdfunding Promotion 101: Kickstarter VS. Indiegogo
There are two popular websites that allow you to host crowdfunding promotions:
– Lose your funding if project doesn’t meet its goal by the deadline
– Keep money pledged if your project fails to meet its goal
Both sites are rewards-based, meaning in return for a donation from backers of a project, they are typically given some type of incentive for participating.
Some stats to keep in mind, provided by Shopify…
Optimizing Your Crowdfunding Project with The Right Info, Images, Videos, and Stories
You can’t expect to gain backers and collect their donations if you haven’t taken the time to craft a story or idea they can believe in. Kickstarter and Indiegogo both give you a lot of opportunities to get your message across, in a variety of different ways.
Here’s a breakdown of how Ministry of Supply was able to concisely showcase their Apollo dress shirt:
Use of strong visual representation
Every opportunity made available by Kickstarter for branding and storytelling, Ministry of Supply took advantage of.
From their strong headlines, descriptive text and engaging images / videos, you get a real feel for what the mission of the project is.
More importantly, it’s helped them communicate a strong message about why their innovative approach to everyday clothing is better suited for modern life.
A movement that people can get behind, and the key to any successful campaign.
Their ability to effectively package video content made it easy for them to connect with their target audience in an engaging way about the distinguishing elements of their product offering and services.
One of which encompasses:
Product modeling – what could this product look like on me?
Real world scenarios – where could I see myself in this product?
A look into design – how was the product designed?
Key features – what about the product makes it so special?
Brand story – do I want to represent the people behind this product?
Because the crowdfunding community is passionate about the projects they fund, Ministry of Supply addressed that very personal experience.
Just by introducing themselves.
Creating Unique CTAs
One of the main reasons the Ministry of Supply Kickstarter page was so successful was the effectiveness of Kickstarter’s strong CTAs.
“As soon as readers get the story, they’re given the opportunity to buy, which is something you just don’t get from other articles.” – Dan Weisman, Director of Marketing
But they didn’t just focus on the macro “pledge” conversion.
Recognizing that not everyone would be ready to open their wallet, they created their own CTA for prospects who wanted to do a little more research on the brand before deciding to donate.
The clear and transparent CTA was a great piece of added value to the project.
Tackling the FAQ
In addition to including key features of the Apollo dress shirt, and a size chart, Ministry of Supply knew people would have more questions about their product and services.
The quickest solution?
Keep them on page, and provide support via FAQ.
While this feature is built into the campaign creation process, it often goes unused, tasking the reader with having to contact the project creator directly.
Not the most efficient user experience.
Creating Content as part of Your Crowdfunding Promotion Plan
While it’s easy enough to add your Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign to services like Outbrain that can amplify your content, Ministry of Supply also used blog posts to increase performance.
“Behind The Apollo Dress Shirt” was created to better engage with readers in content discovery mode. Not every audience member is necessarily ready to immediately assess a crowdfunding campaign landing page or move to pledge.
With more article-based content surrounding the campaign, Ministry of Supply was able to consider the historical performance factors of that content to determine what to promote.
By looking at traffic and conversion data for referring articles using Google Analytics, articles that performed well would be selected for promotion on Outbrain.
*Side note – You can also enter your Google Analytics tracking ID to enable Google Analytics for your project on Kickstarter.*
Amplifying Kickstarter Press
Ministry of Supply also used Outbrain Amplify to drive more engaged readers to all of the earned media they began receiving from major publishers across the industry; extending the shelf-life of this hard earned coverage beyond the typical news cycle.
Some pretty impressive publishers in there.
A bit of advice from the Ministry of Supply team on how to gain earned media for your Kickstarter campaign::
Do your PR work before launching your campaign
Make a list of media targets
Hit the phones/email
Make personal connections with reporters
Tap into supplier/manufacturer PR networks
“People love to show off innovative new approaches and products – take advantage of that excitement!”
Ministry of Supply has been an amazing guide for success in the crowdfunding community.
They have not only told a story that resonates with their own supporters but also how content is the connecting force that has allowed them to do so.
Have you ever been involved in a crowdfunding campaign, either as the entrepreneur or someone who has helped fund a project?
Let us know what you think of the process and tell us your experiences in the comment section below.