Crowdfunding Guide: When to Launch - The Tools
We all know that seasonal trends can affect buying habits. Those habits are borne out too through crowdfunding campaigns on platforms such as KickStarter and Indiegogo, so in this post we'll take a quick look at how you can make some smart choices when deciding when to launch. Here's a few important tips that you won't see many others tell you:
- Launch at the end of a month or mid-way through a month, think about when people are getting paid.
- Try to cover as many pay periods as possible.
- Try to cover, national & international days of interested (or even national holidays).
- Work your campaign length around these factors, not campaign statistics from other campaigns you've read about.
- Use your own statistics and knowledge to guide you.
- Ask other crowdfunders about their experience - they tend to be happy to help.
- Use the free tools available online to guide you to certainty.
The Tools: When to Launch a Campaign
There are two main tools I use when deciding when a campaign should launch. The first is a simple spreadsheet and requires some manual work. The seconds is a free tool from Google, its a 'god send' for decidding when to launch your crowdfunding campaign.
Spreadsheet & KickTraq Research
Type in a search term or project name into the search of KickTraq and you'll see a list of results (then select the project) or the project itself. It will look like this.
You can see all the VITAL STATS you need for the project and how the funding of the project happened, almost none are an overnight success you will note. Here we can see the stats on kicktraq for the Oomph Coffee Maker.
So take note of these in your spreadsheet, campaign dates, target, total funding and title.
Now this is ONLY FOR KICKSTARTER, for Indiegogo it's a little more hardwork, there is no kicktraq type site we are aware of. So just head over to indiegogo.com and search for a project and you'll find this data on there.
The reason I wanted to introduce KickTraq rather than send you to KickStarter is simply that this is a tool you will end up using a lot during your campaign. Plus you can also see trending of live campaigns and much more, its an amazing research tool.
Crowdfunding folks love it too, many frequent it so it's worth considering using it to post news too for your campaign when you are live - its free!
Once you've got about 50 campaigns on your spreadsheet - you can go for as many as you want, but be really targeted to products in your specific niche - you should start to see trends emerge about what months people are launching their campaign & whether its a success (and by how much).
The more data you have the better, the less you rely on gut instinct which can often be wrong.
Google Trends & Campaign Launch Dates
If you take nothing else from this article, it's thatGoogle Trends is your best friend in deciding when to launch your crowdfunding campaign - and it's FREE!
The tool is simple to use.
Enter a search term, in this case "coffee maker" (I advise for this research one-by-one, not comparing directly in Google Trends).
Hopefully it will show a nice clear trend just like the one above, which indicates a clear seasonal increase in searches (which is what Google Trends shows) starting in around October and peaking in mid to late November. To launch a crowdfunding campaign at another time for this niché may be madness ... but it may not.
The above trend is for a type of coffee maker in the niche. Whilst it clearly spikes around the same period, it also has other spikes and they are less pronounced.
The message here is to check various searches within a niché - from brand names to types of products to ensure you get the full picture.
Make a note of everything you find, otherwise YOU WILL forget it.
Top Tip: ensure you've selected "worldwide" from the top-left drop down (just below your search). Crowdfunding happens across the globe, you need to ensure you are looking at all trends not just what you know about in your local industry.
Deciding a Launch Date
Now that you've got the tools at your disposal, the rest is up to you. But here are a few tips for you.
- Look at between 50 and 100 similar projects in your niché.
- Look at when they launched and their progress to success.
- In Google Trends look at Generic Terms, Brand Terms & Product Types.
- You can never do enough research.
Once you've got all this data, it should point you in a fairly clear direction as to a month or period in the year for the best success in a given niche or industry. Then its back to the top of this page to ensure you have all the bullet points at the top of this page covered - and don't forget to take a read of our Tips for Planning Your KickStarter Campaign post.
If you've a question, get in touch or leave a comment below...