Kickstarter used to stand out more with more brand awareness and thus credibility. They’re on a more equal playing field now since Indiegogo’s brand recognition has improved. With more than 2000 other crowdfunding platforms out there, competition is rife.
However, the well-developed brand awareness of both Kickstarter and Indiegogo makes these the best platforms to use. Kickstarter gets about four times the amount of traffic Indiegogo gets. But despite it’s better brand awareness, Indiegogo might be your preferred platform based on your goals.
Keep your goal in mind
What is your fundraising goal and what are the odds that you will meet it? This matters when it comes to campaign rates charged by both Indiegogo and Kickstarter, as well as payout. With Kickstarter, you pay a total 8% fee that includes the campaign rate (5%) and payment processing rates (3%). If you don’t reach your goal, backers get refunded and you get no money.
With Indiegogo, you have more flexibility when setting up your campaign. You can do so on a Flexible or Fixed Funding basis. Flexible funding allows you to keep any money you raised. Fixed funding requires you to reach your goal or return money to backers.
The difference is in the rates. They charge a 4% overall campaign rate. However, if you don’t meet your goal, you will be charged 9%. With Indiegogo’s InDemand feature you can continue raising money even after your campaign has ended.
Your goals and the repercussions of not reaching it are big factors in the decision-making process. What is the likelihood of you reaching your goal, and what is your campaign about? If you need $100,000 to make a film, but only raise $20,000 with your campaign, ask yourself if you can still deliver on the product you promised to provide. If you can’t, don’t take the money.
Who is your audience?
Kickstarter is mainly for creative projects. Known to lean towards geeky and innovative, they specialize in games, gadgets, and books. The campaign that raked in the most in December 2016 was a tabletop game called Kingdom Death that raised $12 million. Kickstarter allows no personal projects, so your project must be something tangible. It also doesn’t allow charity or products that have no working prototype.
Indiegogo, on the other hand, allows for more flexible crowdfunding campaigns. Here you can raise money for NGO’s, music, film, art, small businesses and more. Find your target market by looking at other projects on the two platforms. Is there a similar crowdfunding project? Then that is the right one for you.
What do they offer?
Before you can decide, you have to be informed on what each platform offers. Where will you be launching your product? For Kickstarter, you need to be over 18 and a resident of the USA, Canada, the UK or 20 other countries. Indiegogo prides themselves on being entirely international, supporting 224 countries in total.
While Kickstarter only uses Stripe as a payment partner, Indiegogo gives you the option to use Stripe or Paypal. Many people prefer Paypal since it’s more user-friendly.
If it meets all the requirements, a Kickstarter campaign is approved in three to four days before going live. Your proposal should focus on the completion of the product. However, be aware that about 30% of all campaign proposals are denied by Kickstarter, whereas with Indiegogo your campaign goes live immediately. Create a free account and start your campaign immediately, with no approval process required.
Kickstarter is still the bigger platform with more brand recognition. To date, it has raised $2.8 billion. On average Indiegogo has about 7000 live campaigns, as opposed to Kickstarter’s 4000. Even though there are fewer campaigns on Kickstarter, the return is far greater. More has been raised with fewer campaigns than Indiegogo. According to Kickstarter, 36% of campaigners are successful in reaching their goals. Indiegogo’s success rate is at about 17 – 18% (but with more flexibility if you don’t reach your goal and the payout you can get).
Love what you do
The key to a successful crowdfunding campaign is to love what you do. That way, you’ll gain a thorough understanding of your audience and know where your campaign will have the most traction. If you believe in your product, there is no reason for you to not reach your goals with all the software tools out there, and the platforms available to you. Do the research and identify what will work for your campaign. Good luck!