Kickstarter Live allows Kickstarter project creators to livestream video directly on their Kickstarter campaign page to better engage with their backer community. This functionality was released in November 2016 and since then, we’ve had many clients take advantage of Kickstarter Live for their campaign.
Should I use Kickstarter Live for my Kickstarter Campaign?
Our experience with Kickstarter Live has been overwhelmingly positive. For example, Monkey Lights, an Enventys Partners’ client, hit their $220,000 funding goal in the last 24 hours of the campaign by raising $60,000 from 500+ backers in under 48 hours. This is an exception rather than the rule, but it’s helpful to look at what we can learn from this experience. The combination of Kickstarter Live and driving huge amounts of traffic with Facebook advertising were two major factors in the incredible spike at the end of the campaign.
Here are few more reasons we recommend Kickstarter Live:
- Kickstarter promotes livestreaming events on Kickstarter Live Explore, which lists upcoming live events. Essentially, it is free promotion for your campaign.
- Kickstarter built the livestreaming functionality with the hopes that it will make stronger connections between backers and creators, ultimately enhancing the strength of the crowdfunding community. Kickstarter wants campaigns to use it, and we feel like the increased engagement from Kickstarter Live helps your campaign rank better on Kickstarter.com.
- Livestreaming builds stronger relationships with your community, which makes it more likely that they will share your project.
- The livestream allows for live Q&A, chats and comments from viewers, plus all the viewers get notified as people back the campaign while it’s happening.
We’ve learned quite a bit from our clients’ livestreaming events and wanted to share some Kickstarter Live best practices.
Tips for Livestreaming with Kickstarter Live:
Below you’ll find our best tips for preparing for a Kickstarter Live and making the most of your livestream.
Before You Go Live on Kickstarter
Before launching your Kickstarter campaign, we’d recommend including Kickstarter Live as part of your overall content plan. Think carefully about what this will look like. For example, you may want to do a weekly campaign update, Q&A and product demo every Friday. Or, you may want to do only two Kickstarter Live events during your campaign, one to demonstrate the product and discuss features and benefits, and another when the project fully funds so you can introduce stretch goals. You may also want to plan one towards the end of your campaign if you want to try and hit another stretch goal or milestone. The options are nearly endless, but it is best to have a plan before you launch your campaign.
Let your backers know your Kickstarter Live plan. Monkey Lights did a great job of including their Kickstarter Live plans in their updates to backers. They sent out an update to their backers 48 – 72 hours prior to livestreaming, like the example below. The blue link, ‘Friday at 12:30 PST’ linked to their Kickstarter Live event where their backers could register for the livestream.
Several days in advance of your livestream, you’ll also want to announce the event via Facebook, Twitter, email, and any other marketing channels. Get as many friends and family to sign up and tune in as well. The more people you have signed up and watching the livestream, the better it will look to those new to your campaign. You may also want to consider setting up a Facebook event and advertising it on Facebook.
Check your internet connection upload speed. During the livestream, it is important that you have a good connection. Kickstarter recommends at least a 2Mbps upload speed – the faster the better. Test your speed here.
Think about upgrading your webcam and microphone. Your built-in mic and webcam on your laptop will work, but upgrading to a higher-quality USB webcam and microphone will make for a better experience.
Proper lighting is important. Make sure the brightest light in the room is facing you. DO NOT have a bright light behind you, or your viewers won’t be able to see you! If you are doing a product demo, be sure that your product is well lit, too.
Watch a couple of Kickstarter Lives. This is the best way to learn! Go to Kickstarter Explore and subscribe to a couple of livestreams after you read this blog post, so you can see the whole process for yourself. You’ll come away with great inspiration for your own Kickstarter Live(s).
Get set up well in advance. About 30 minutes to an hour before your Kickstarter Live is scheduled to begin, start preparing for the livestream. Double check that everything is working as it should – your computer, your mic and camera, your lighting, your internet connection, any products you are demoing and anything else you’ll be using. You’ll also want to have a script or schedule in front of you to guide your livestream and keep you on task. It’s important to be prepared ahead of time so that your Kickstarter Live goes smoothly and doesn’t raise any doubts for your viewers.
During Your Kickstarter Live
Remember that it is supposed to be interactive. Although the video of the livestream will be available on your campaign page for the remainder of the campaign, the main purpose is to connect with those watching live. You do that by making the experience interactive.
If you are only planning one Kickstarter Live for your campaign, this is the format we recommend:
- Introduce the creators. Be personable, share interesting facts and help your viewers get to know you. This is where the potential backers start to gain trust in the creators.
- Address and offer answers to common questions asked so far from backers on the campaign page, in private messages and on Facebook.
- Demo your product – try to show multiple use cases and features of the product.
- Ask for questions from the viewers. You’ll find that after you answer a viewer’s question, they’ll back the product right then if they haven’t already. It can be helpful to have someone on your team tuned in to the live stream and ready to ask a few questions in case no other viewers do. This also can open the door to other questions from the audience.
- Announce a stretch goal or ask for ideas for stretch goals.
- Ask for questions again, or ask if anyone new has joined who would like to see the demo. New people join in the middle and end, so demoing the product again and answering common questions a second time is a good idea.
- Thank everyone for watching, backing the campaign and sharing with their friends.
The biggest mistake we’ve seen with Kickstarter Live is creators rushing through their livestream. We have this notion that people have short attention spans and are only willing to watch a 1-2 minute video. But livestreaming is different; people interested in your project will tune in for 15-20 minutes if you keep it engaging.
Once you go live, you want to let people join before getting to the most important part: the product demo. So, take time introducing yourselves. Let the viewers know that you are going to introduce yourself while you let more people join. Ask the viewers if they can see and hear you well. Then tell them you are going to answer some common questions before doing the product demo. Give them an idea of what to expect during the Kickstarter Live.
Involve the team. You should try to have three or four people assisting you with the Livestream.
- Main moderator – One of the project creators or someone else on the team who will do a majority of the talking.
- Demonstrator – One person to demo the product – they can come into the video just for the demo.
- Communications – This person will make sure to put out a Tweet and Facebook post immediately when you go live. This person will also be watching the livestream for questions. People may ask questions in the live chat and they may also use the Q&A function to ask a question. This person will be on the video with the moderator.
- At-home QA – A person at home who watches the livestream and can contact the communications person if there are issues with sound or video.
The communications person can also be the demonstrator who does the product demo. While they are doing the demo, the moderator can be looking for live questions.
The purpose of this post is not to make livestreaming seem complicated – it is not. We’ve seen successful livestreams with just one creator. But, if you plan ahead and have others assisting you, it will make your Kickstarter Live much more successful.
Other Ideas for Engaging Livestreams
- Do a giveaway. Give away one of your products or a free add-on to someone who comments, asks a question or uploads a selfie.
- Ask for viewers to give their ideas for stretch goals in the comments. After the product demo say, “Now that you have seen our product in action, do you have any ideas for stretch goals? Comment, we’d love to hear your ideas.”
- Ask backers to comment how or where they plan on using your product.
- Make it an evening wine Q&A…tell the viewers to join you in a glass of wine while you do the Q&A.
Try to make the experience engaging and fun. Your goal with the livestream is to overcome any questions or concerns that have kept viewers from backing, and to make a strong connection with backers to get them to continue sharing the campaign.
We find that Kickstarter Lives are most powerful as you are getting close to hitting your funding goal or a popular stretch goal because backers who watch the livestream will share the project a lot more right after the livestream if a goal is within reach.
We hope this helps. Happy streaming!