Do you know why millions of business ideas fail during their initial stages? Lack of funds is the leading cause of that. So, what can you do to generate funds and secure your campaign? Think about crowdfunding.
Choosing the best crowdfunding platform as the launchpad for your campaign is extremely crucial. Currently, the web is littered with crowdfunding platforms, and some of them are specialized. For example, artists, schools, or non-profit organizations have their own platforms! Check this link to discover all of them!
Nonetheless, two crowdfunding platforms stand out among others: IndieGoGo and Kickstarter!
These two platforms are so popular that many tools and apps have been created to make sure your campaign is successful. Tools like JustEarlyBird manage your crowdfunding rewards and create a situation of emergency, which increases your number of bakers and boosts your crowdfunding campaign!
However, the question still stands: Indiegogo or Kickstarter? Which one should you choose, and why?
While some may say that Kickstarter is the sole ruler of the crowdfunding industry, others sing praises of Indiegogo for its user-friendly working model.
Let’s discuss both platforms in detail to decide which one takes the win.
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Indiegogo Vs Kickstarter: which one is better for you?
While deciding between Indiegogo and Kickstarter for your crowdfunding campaign, you should also consider a few points, like the type of campaigns you want, the country you’re targeting.. Here is a list of the 10 points you should take into account:
I- Types of Campaigns
First off, let’s discuss the types of campaigns that can be run on both platforms. Both sites have a qualifying criterion that you have to meet to start your campaign. Your request can be declined if your idea is not in line with the platform’s requirements.
Generally, Kickstarter is suitable for creative projects. The platform allows campaigns that have a creative or innovative background, such as tech and media projects.
You must present your campaign without misleading the backers. Kickstarter does not allow charity or fundraising campaigns, nor does it support equity or other financial investment projects. Basically, the platform has three rules:
- No charity or fundraising
- Your project must be shareable, nothing personal
- For a tangible project, you must have a prototype.
Moreover, the platform prohibits projects that claim to cure or treat an illness or give alcohol in rewards. Plus, projects that promote violence or are politically affiliated are not allowed on Kickstarter.
As for Indiegogo, the platform says that if a campaign sounds phony or makes baseless claims, it will be turned down. Again, a campaign should not offer illegal rewards or promote violence of any sort.
Unlike Kickstarter, Indiegogo allows you to raise funds for charity or nonprofits. If the campaign is for a legit organization, it will be approved on Indiegogo, provided that you follow the platform’s guidelines for a nonprofit campaign.
When launching your crowdfunding campaign, you must determine if it falls under one of the platform’s categories. By posting your campaign in the right category, you can easily target the relevant audience. That’s why it’s so important.
For instance, design and fashion might seem like similar categories, but they aren’t. Design is quite broad and can be applied to interior design, jewelry, architecture, etc.
In contrast, fashion is limited to clothes, shoes, and accessories. Thus, if you post your fashion-related campaign in the design category, you may not be able to reach your target audience.
Kickstarter’s categories include photography, theatre, technology, art, crafts, comics, publishing, music, journalism, fashion, design, dance, food, games, film, and video.
Indiegogo introduced new categories in 2017 and arranged them into three broader sections:
- Creative works
- Community Projects
- Tech and Innovation
The tech and innovation section ranges from fashion to health, while the creative works category is for artists. In the community projects section, you can raise money for culture, animal rights, human rights, local businesses, education, and the environment.
III- Eligible Countries
Before starting a campaign, you must know if the platform is supported in your region. Although victorious in most other aspects, this is where Kickstarter has to take the backseat.
Kickstarter was initially available in the US only, but then expanded to Canada, Australia, and the UK. Today, people in 22 countries around the world can use Kickstarter.
On the contrary, Indiegogo is available worldwide, in 224 countries. Regardless of your nationality, you can use the platform to raise funds if you’re a legal adult.
IV- Funding Scheme
One of the most significant differences between Kickstarter and Indiegogo is the funding scheme. Both platforms have a different approach to money:
On Kickstarter, you only receive the funds when you’ve reached your target. On the contrary, Indiegogo also offers a flexible funding model. You get as much money as you have raised even without meeting your funding goal.
Now, there are two ways to look at this:
- You can opt for Indiegogo and get the funds you’ve raised because something is better than nothing. At least, you’ll be able to start somewhere.
- You can go for Kickstarter and receive the funds only when the target has been met. Keep in mind that you’re obliged to fulfill your promises to the backers even if you haven’t reached the target on Indiegogo.
So, you’ll have to do with whatever you have. Kickstarter relieves you of this worry. If you haven’t met the target, you owe nothing to the backers. Depending on your standpoint on the matter, you can select the platform that suits your needs.
V- Media Outreach
Kickstarter surely takes the upper hand when it comes to media outreach. The media and blogs seem to be fascinated with Kickstarter and for all the right reasons.
The platform has a sleek and simple interface. Plus, it only accepts quality content. From pictures and videos to the text, everything you put on Kickstarter must be of high quality. Thus, when journalists search for a story, they find it effortlessly – and almost pre-curated – on Kickstarter. The professionally-taken campaign images only add to the cause.
Additionally, Kickstarter has a ‘Projects We Love’ page where the staff members hand-pick campaigns they liked. Since these campaigns appear on the home page, they get a higher reach and credibility.
As a result, campaigns on Kickstarter garner more press coverage than those on Indiegogo. However, this does not mean that Indiegogo campaigns never get the limelight. In fact, the platform’s video hosting brings a lot of attention to the projects.
VI- Video Hosting
Kickstarter has an on-platform video hosting, while Indiegogo’s campaign videos are posted on Youtube. Now, both options have their pros and cons. But we have to admit that presenting your campaign on Youtube is a major attention-grabber.
Being the second biggest search engine globally, Youtube is an excellent platform to attract backers and media attention. If your crowdfunding video ranks high on Youtube, that’s beneficial in terms of publicity. Another added advantage is that Indiegogo shows off your Youtube interaction on the campaign page. When visitors see that you’re getting tons of Youtube comments, they’re likely to pledge to your cause.
VII- Reward Levels
Crowdfunding isn’t like raising donations; instead, it’s a give-and-take working model. The backers pledge for your cause, and you give them rewards. Indiegogo has a 20 reward levels limit while Kickstarter hasn’t imposed such a limit.
For most campaigns, 20 reward levels are sufficient to satisfy your backers. However, for bigger projects, you may have an intricate and creative reward scheme. If that’s the case, Kickstarter is your best bet.
Regardless of the platform you choose, the major issue is managing the rewards as it’s a manual process. Luckily JustEarlyBird takes care of reward management, giving you ample time to work on the campaign’s marketing. Moreover, it creates emergency by making your potential bakers believe that your campaign has only a few rewards left, which boosts your campaign!
Let’s break it down for you. Crowdfunding platforms have two types of fees: platform fees and payment processing fees. The platform fee is the amount you pay for using the site to run your campaign.
Meanwhile, the payment processing fee is the share or commission the platform takes on the money you raise.
● Platform Fees
Both platforms have a 5% fee, so there’s no competition in this regard. However, if you’re running a fundraising project on IndieGoGo, there’s no fee for that.
● Payment Processing Fees
The payment processing fee for Kickstarter and Indiegogo is the same at 3%. Kickstarter charges an extra 20 cents per pledge while for Indiegogo, it’s 30 cents.
● Payment Partners
Kickstarter uses Stripe for payments as it’s relatively more backer-friendly than PayPal.
Previously, Indiegogo was supporting Paypal for payment processing. However, Paypal’s business model wasn’t too compatible with Indiegogo’s flexible funding policy. Since Stripe is more accomodating for this model, Indiegogo shifted to Stripe in 2016. Now, both platforms use Stripe for payment processing.
Admittedly, it’s the backers that make or break any crowdfunding campaign. To get maximum pledges, you have to connect with the backers and give them incentives to support you.
However, the crowdfunding platform must facilitate this interaction. Therefore, you need to consider how both platforms deal with backers.
● Backer Information
As a campaign manager, you’ll need the backers’ information to get feedback or offer rewards. Indiegogo instantly gives you the backers’ details. As soon as someone pledges to your cause, you get their contact information. You can use this information to tailor rewards for backers or share the campaign’s progress with them.
On the other hand, Kickstarter only makes this information available once you’ve reached your target. So, if you need your backers’ feedback or suggestions during the campaign, you have to conduct a survey.
● Backer Pledges
Secondly, the way both platforms handle pledges made by backers is a bit different. On Kickstarter, you only get the funds when you reach the target. Thus, your backers are charged at the end of the campaign.
During the campaign’s length, they can choose to withdraw their pledge if they change their minds. On average, most campaigns lose up to 10% backers for different reasons.
On Indiegogo, as soon as a backer pledges to your project, they are charged. So, even if a backer does change their mind in the future, you get the money. In this regard, Indiegogo gets the winning point.
● Backer Reach
On both platforms, your main source of reaching the backers is through the crowdfunding video. However, Indiegogo immediately gives you backers’ contact information, so you can connect with them directly.
Plus, the platform has a Secret Perk feature that allows you to create personalized rewards for special backers.
Again, you can use JustEarlyBird to manage your rewards and take the hard work out of manual reward management.
But Kickstarter doesn’t fall behind either. The platform introduced Kickstarter Live in 2016. It’s a video streaming feature that allows you to connect and interact with your backers in real-time.
● Customer Support
Lastly, let’s discuss customer support as you’re likely to find yourself stuck, especially in your first crowdfunding campaign. Kickstarter has a reputation for poor customer support.
On the contrary, Indiegogo’s customer support team is readily available 24/7 to help creators and backers.
An efficient way to attract backers is remarketing, which is only allowed on Indiegogo. On the platform, you can insert a pixel code into your campaign’s webpage. The code will target your Facebook or other social media ads to people who have visited your website.
Here’s how it works. You can specify a website for the pixel code, and it will detect the audience that has already visited the page. Then, it shows your campaign ads to these people who are your potential targets.
Kickstarter does not allow anything of the sort. However, you can use third-party services to retarget or remarket your campaign.
X- Campaign Duration
The campaign duration for Kickstarter and Indiegogo is up to 60 days. Two winners here.
After comparing the two platforms alongside, we’ve concluded that both are incredible in different ways. However, we’re a bit more inclined towards Indiegogo, considering it’s more flexible than Kickstarter.
More importantly, Indiegogo’s flexible payment model makes it great for nonprofits and startups to work with smaller sums. Plus, there’s no possibility of the backers backing out of your project because they’re charged as soon as they pledge.
It’s your campaign’s scope and type that will determine the best platform for the job. Kickstarter is a hub of tech geeks, filmmakers, and artists. In contrast, Indiegogo is a thriving space for NGOs and small businesses.
Consider all the factors mentioned in this guide when choosing a platform to run a successful crowdfunding campaign.