Hacking Indiegogo’s GogoFactor
In the process of CCO (Crowdfunding Campaign Optimization), you might have come across the term “gogofactor” in the Indiegogo help center or on the Indiegogo blog. If you haven’t, “gogofactor” refers to the algorithm that Indiegogo uses to determine “Search rankings, placement on the site, featured spots in our newsletter or blog, and inclusion in our press outreach.” – Source.
The algorithm is merit-based, meaning that you, as a creator, have the ability to control whether or not you optimize your crowdfunding campaign and improve its pagerank on the website. Before I get into how to optimize for this algorithm, I’ve further expanded on what “gogofactor” is below. Feel free to skip the section if you think you have a good grasp of how Indiegogo defines the algorithm.
What is Indiegogo’s GoGoFactor?
“Your GoGoFactor is automatically measured by the number of times you share your campaign, update your contributors, update your campaign, or refer people using your custom URL. It also measures the overall level of contributor activity, including funding, comments, and pageviews. Campaigns with a high GoGoFactor are featured on our home page, in our social media outreach, and at conferences or in the press.” – WatchThisIsArt Blog Quoting Indiegogo. This team raised over $6k on Indiegogo.
“Your gogofactor is a combination of many factors that measure the overall activity of your campaign along with the completeness of your pitch and media.
Your gogofactor is a rolling average, so it’s important to continually keep your campaign active. Your campaign is ranked relative to all of the other campaigns on the site. By staying active, your gogofactor will continue to go up.
We use gogofactor as our key measure because we find that there is a direct correlation between campaign activity and fundraising success.” – Indiegogo Help Center.
Indiegogo wants you to use their software and tools to keep people coming back to their website, which in turn will help you raise more funds and grow their revenue.
Optimizing Campaign Backend Management
1. If you’re going to share the campaign on social media or other means, always use your custom URL. You could store the url and any relevant links in Evernote or Google Docs so that you always have access to the information, even on the go with the accompanying iphone/android apps.
2. Do a campaign update once every 5 days (minimum). Even though this will factor into GoGoFactor, it’s also a good idea to keep your backers informed about your progress and answer any major questions that have come up.
3. Log into your Indiegogo account every day and perform an action. That could be sharing it via the specific social media sharing buttons Indiegogo provides, replying to comments, or doing a photo update.
4. Make sure that you pay attention to the “completeness of your pitch.” This means your campaign should:
– Have compelling reward tiers and more than 2-3. How many perks do other campaigns in your category offer?
– Have a video and images in the campaign text. Make sure your campaign’s pitch word count that is comparable to other campaigns in your category.
5. Update your campaign (not necessarily your contributors directly) with new images, facts, FAQ, etc. at least once a week.
Optimizing Campaign Front End Management
1. Plan to have your social network, friends, and family pledge 20-30% of your fundraising goal within the first week. Although you may not have as large of a social network as other campaigns in your category, gogofactor is a rolling average and your overall score may be better than other recently launched campaigns or campaigns that have stagnated and are no longer merit-worthy of having a high page rank.
2. Plan to drive your own traffic through PR outreach, forums, social media groups, emails, and more. There are two types of traffic: sustainable and temporary.
Temporary traffic might be when someone reads your email or tweet and clicks through to check out the campaign. This source of traffic is not repeatable. You must keep working to keep it flowing. Some types of news articles where you are featured will have a ripple effect and last upwards of a week, but eventually you must re-produce the effect.
The ripple effect might look like: A larger publication features your campaign. Other bloggers interested in that niche re-blog and link to the article with comments. All of those articles are tossed around social media. If there is something especially newsworthy, it may be picked up by another larger publication (ever notice how large publications tend to write about the same things?).
Sustainable traffic can come from blog or website articles that continue to deliver clicks if the article is “sticky” or continues to be relevant. For example, this article I did on Six Figure Crowdfunders continues to deliver my website traffic and likely did throughout the duration of the Oliver’s Kickstarter campaign.
Another article I did on a $12,000 campaign continues to receive comments like “Good work and I think the ripple may be on the christmas list for the family next year :).”
Sustainable traffic can also come from being extremely helpful by publishing your own blog article, providing awesome content on Reddit that continues to be upvoted, or by being helpful on a forum. We’ve recently started doing AMAs on the KickstarterForum (unofficial) and may consider starting them on IndiegogoForum (unofficial) to help drive traffic to campaigns.
Strive to engage in both types (temporary and sustainable) in your campaign outreach to optimize the amount of traffic you are driving to your page. Yes, you should be doing this every day of your campaign.
3. Ask your core team of supporters to clear their browser cache each day and visit your campaign page throughout the day (ideally from a different IP address like a coffee shop). This is sort of a gray-hat cheating technique to boost your page-view factor. I don’t endorse it, but I figured I’d throw it out there.
4. Encourage your initial supporters to leave comments regularly on your campaign. I’ve already talked about the importance of comments, but in short: They will boost your gogofactor, can be used as testimonials, increase the likelihood that strangers will comment, and will keep you in direct touch with your audience. The basis of all small communities initially are the discussion section, whether it’s a blog, forum, or youtube video. You want a small community to form around your campaign.
5. Ask your core group of supporters to use the social media sharing widgets on your campaign page. I would always default to using the sharing tools that Indiegogo provides, as these are the metrics they can easily track and therefore will be more likely to include them in the gogofactor algorithm.
Does this really work?
Again, your gogofactor score is a rolling average and is compared against other campaigns in your section. Depending on the frequency and quality of campaigns Indiegogo is receiving, you may rank higher or lower at different types of the year, despite taking the same actions.
However, it definitely does work and keeping the pointers above in mind will improve your results. For example, Brett Scott who ran the The London School of Financial Activism Indiegogo campaign, shares in a blog post that “An important element was getting those contacts to share the campaign on social media so that strangers could see it…I managed to get a fair amount of gogofactor, reaching the front page of their London section and their Education section, and I also managed to get on their weekly roundup blog.”
A Secret About GoGoFactor.
I wrote about this in my “Why Comments Matter” post, which caused a good amount of surprise from the community. To reiterate, Tara Reed, who ran an Indiegogo campaign for Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda: A Novel Approach to Dating, explained in a blog post that: “They didn’t mention that no matter how highly gogofactor ranks you, and no matter how high or low your funding goal, until you hit 20%, you won’t appear in Most Popular or be eligible for all that great promotion and featured placement that drives thousands of unique views to your page, hopefully converting into funding.”
“My brother figured it out and funded my campaign to 20%. I instantly became the 15th campaign in Most Popular, 1st when filtered by Canada. I moved up 76 places from my rankings in All Campaigns. My gogofactor was so high, I was outranking a campaign that had thousands more social media shares and had already funded 500% of their $10,000 goal.” – source.
Key Takeaway: Although this fact isn’t verified, I would recommend counting on needing to get to 20% funded before any actions you take will affect your gogofactor.
Maintaing momentum is arguably one of the hardest aspects of crowdfunding. I’ve already written about some techniques to get over the Kickstarter Slump which are also applicable to Indiegogo. The only other bit of advice I’d like to impart is that selecting an appropriate goal and duration for your campaign factors into your momentum more than most think.
The gut reaction for most creator’s I’ve spoken with is to choose a high goal (because they need a lot of money for an office, marketing materials, product, human resources) and a long duration (they want the maximum amount of time to collect donations or pledges).
Ironically, I find the opposite to be most effective. Having the lowest goal possible that will still allow you to create the project and deliver your rewards on time makes it easier to:
1. Maintain morale with your team as you progress
2. Reach the 20-30% mark that’s required to jumpstart funding and be recognized by the gogofactor algorithm
3. Further incentivize backers and maintain momentum with stretch goals.
In addition, having a shorter campaign duration (~30 days) makes it easier to focus all of your energy during a concentrated time period and ensures that your efforts are spent productively.
Running a campaign is a lot of work and coordination. It’s better to ramp up and be laser focused for a shorter time period, than be lax and less driven over a longer timespan.
My Question For You
What is your experience with Indiegogo’s gogofactor algorithm? Have you had any success with these techniques and getting on the front page or in Indiegogo’s newsletter? Let me know in a comment below.