It’s really hard to predict exactly what great new social media sites are going to take the internet by storm. Even companies like Google need three tries to break in and even now it’s still not a guaranteed shot. Every site has a social media expert who has said it’s the next big thing. I was a big fan of Formspring for a long time and it hasn’t taken off like I thought it would, the same goes for Justin.TV. Although with original sponsored programming coming it could be in for a boost but that’s not this article. This time I want to highlight a site that is already starting to pop in a big way, Kickstarter.
Kickstarter has been around for years as a fundraising tool for creative projects. It developed a cult following among the hipster set for people wanting to find an audience. In a medium that is already about as unsubtle with advertising and marketing as one can get, Kickstarter makes everything else look like a whisper. Basically it gives you the opportunity to talk directly with your audience about exactly what you want them to do and it gives them the opportunity to be a part of it.
Even though it started out as a fundraising tool Kickstarter has become something so much more. You can use it to have your customers get involved in the business and feel like they are a part of things. They call it a donation on the website but a lot of businesses are actively giving things to each person who donates at different levels. So basically you are getting new customers and getting them involved in net products and new services. Kickstarter is great for niche marketing and hobby shops.
With Kickstarter you can turn new products and services into a game that gets your audience interested and spreading the word for you. Tell them if they donate a certain amount you’ll release prizes and then keep going for a few levels. Soon they’ll be getting their friends involved and you have a well hyped product or service that people are excited about before it even comes out.
Entrepreneurs like Jeff Katz have recently used it to great success hyping his new business venture. Wrestling Revolution is an attempt to create a wrestling show from the ground up and he’s getting ready to launch his first show thanks to Kickstarter. He’s had big success hyping things and has already built up some good buzz without spending anything on digital ads. He basically set up a Kickstarter and a Twitter page and then let word of mouth spread as he seeded things a little along the way. It would be easy to take the model he used and have it work for your small business. Try something soon because once other people see how successful Katz is Kickstarter could very well explode in a big way and start to get crowded with junk business and spambots (RE: Myspace).
Ultimately if you have a new product or service you want to try and aren’t really sure it’s going to succeed Kickstarter is a great way to gage public opinion. Katz’s company got massive funding from real backers based on the initial response he got from Kickstarter. You never really know what kind of an audience you have until you try something like this.
Last 5 posts by joshuasinason
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