How Reddit can Ignite your Kickstarter campaign
This is an incredible story. I first met Kimiko on the Kickstarter Forum (unofficial) when they decided to do an AMA (ask me anything) for the community, which generated over 35 replies.
Since then, their project, “Tabletop Simulator by Berserk Games” has raised over $37,000 from more than 1,800 backers. Here’s the kicker: They only had a $3,000 goal!
I think the best way to share their story is to divide up their responses on the AMA and their blog post into various sections of the Kickstarter campaign. Check it out below and if you find it to be helpful, leave a comment on this article!
Leading up to $37,403 in pledges
The first week
“The first day we had 18 backers at 14%. We really weren’t sure how the reception would be for a game like ours. The first 6 days, we reached 68% of our goal with 93 backers which was super exciting. For those first 6 days, most of our backers came from either our Reddit threads or Hardocp.com, which Jason is a member of.”
“Then on the 7th day, something amazing happened. Our game finally got noticed by one of the big guys, namely Rock, Paper, Shotgun. We went from 93 backers and 68% to 188 backers and 136% funded! And we still had 3 weeks to go! The next couple of days, we rode on that article, and then it started to slow down again.”
“We were trying to come up with new ways to promote the Kickstarter. So we began sending keys out to YouTubers and I re-emailed all the press with a new message and a reminder about the keys we sent in the previous email. But it wasn’t until someone posted about us on /r/Steam on Reddit that we got another big boost.
It’s amazing that up to this point, our two biggest referrers were from Rock, Paper, Shotgun and Reddit. We were now at an amazing 352 backers, 259% funded and surpassed FOUR stretch goals!
We also added PayPal to the mix for those who couldn’t use Amazon Payments. As the next few days went on, the amount of backers slowed down once again. So we were really racking our brains trying to come up with some other ideas to get the word out.”
“March 1, we’re back on Reddit! At this point, Reddit is our second highest amount of supporters.
We posted an AMA, Screenshot Saturday and the /r/gamephysics sub-reddit is where we got the most support. So the next two weeks was just about posting everywhere.
We really over stretched on Reddit. Overall, we posted probably over 30+ times on there (new threads). I’m pretty sure people got sick of our “spam”! I’d research various places that we could post at; like what sites were the best for us.
We were lucky because we had a variety of genres we could go under: pc gaming, game physics, board games, tabletop gaming, etc. I also did a third round of mailing out all the press people. This time around, I tried to make it more personal, including their names when possible. We never got another big bite like Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but that’s okay! We did get a couple of very small sites write some articles about us and it’s good for us both, because it’s helping the small guys get the word around. Someone out there is reading it.
So from March 1 to March 9 we averaged about $477 per day and things were going really well and very steady for us. At this point, we already reached our first 6 stretch goals and was about $500 away from the Oculus Rift stretch goal and the next day it just exploded. We woke up to find hundreds of emails. It turns out we ended up on the front page of Reddit from a gif that someone had made.
We were over 500% funded and down to the last few days. But the day never ended. It just kept going and going. We participated on the Reddit thread, kept posting about it on other threads and then boom, we got on the front page AGAIN.
We made our 8th stretch goal and put in a final one just for fun – a space theme pack. And decided that if we made that goal, anything after that would go into improving the game and the stretch goals over all. And in 3 hours we made that space theme goal. Like I said, that day never ended! We now had over $25,000 and finally got into the top 100 on Steam, so we could see how we were ranked. The last couple of days, the days were very steady.”
The Final Days
“Once we got on the front page of Reddit (twice), it just kept going. People were talking about us and were searching for us. March 10th and 11th were our two highest days at $8633 and $9433. The final two days ended up at $3474 and $2355. These amounts were just on Kickstarter and don’t include PayPal.
Our total at the very end including PayPal and Crypto Payments was over $39,200 and we were 1246% funded. We were amazed at 400%.. but 1200%… Unbelievable. Our goal was a modest $3,000. What an experience this was. Everyone was extremely supportive and overall we didn’t have too many cancellations. Definitely a wonderful experience.
It’s funny about the referrers. You see other games whose biggest supporters come from articles or reviews. For us, it came from Reddit. In the end, 36% of our pledges came from Reddit, with a total of 716 users. Our next closest was Direct Traffic (wish I knew where they came from!) with 17% and 291 users. Rock, Paper, Shotgun, which was our biggest one for awhile is down in 5th place at 4.68% and 80 users. Kickstarter account for 15% of our pledges.”
What’s been the strategy behind your campaign?
Our strategy has just to been proactive every single day. We had no idea when we got started, that this would turn into a full time job. You have to be on top of your Kickstarter every day. You can’t just sit and hope the pledges will come in.
Every day was all about finding new places to post, getting the word out, etc. I woke up today and saw a boom of pledges. Then found out we got on the front page of Reddit. In fact, our largest amount of supporters (and now total pledges) have come from Reddit.
Once we saw how we did early on in the campaign on Reddit, we focused a lot on there. It’s tough to get that one bump though and thankfully we had a couple, but today was the biggest one! The other thing is to make sure to write everything down. Keep track of your popular sites, be organized, make a press/media list, etc.
What advice do you have for marketing to Reddit?
We tried a LOT on Reddit.. and I mean a LOT. And it didn’t always work out, but when a gif would be made and someone ELSE posted it, for some reason, it’d go crazy. Reddit is hit or miss and it really depends on the community. It definitely has a great gaming community overall. Sometimes you have to change it up a bit too. We changed our wording multiple times til’ we found the right one. Added images and most importantly, never giving up. We posted our game to ALL the press. I sent out hundreds and hundreds of emails and finally one wrote an article on us, which really gave us a huge boost. That was a week after we started.
Our last 24 hours have been insane. We got on the front page of Reddit TWICE in one day, so our Kickstarter has exploded. We’re now almost 1000% funded with 48 hours to go. This is amazing.
We’ve posted in about 30 sub-reddits or so. At least that’s how many I have written. Then there are the ones other people have posted about us that I’d randomly find or they’d go viral. Like I said previously, it was more when other people posted that they’d be successful. We had a few somewhat successful ones if I remember correctly. Here are the ones that were most popular (you listed them).
Lesson learned: We did all our promoting after the Kickstarter was up and running. But I really recommend to do pre-promoting beforehand, it’d make a huge difference.
What was your marketing strategy?
It’s more about getting the word out into the public. You want to look up places that fit your theme or what you’re doing. So for us, we looked up all different gaming review sites and forums. Then we’d go to specific sites like board games, tabletops, rpgs, pc gaming, etc. You have to go to ALL outlets. And then Reddit has been our #1 place. Just be sure to read the rules on each sub-reddit before posting. It’s all about being pro-active and keep at it!
It’s just perseverance. Every single day we made sure to get the word out somewhere. Even if it was negative (as in people were just like “oh these people again and rolling their eyes”), at least people were seeing it. We didn’t want to be annoying, but it probably got that way on Reddit at times. We had some days that were super slow and then we had some awesome days and then in between. It just depends on who has an open mind and who is interested in something that you’re doing.
Be sure to check out the Tabletop Simulator Kickstarter Postmortem post for more detail. Leave a comment below if you have any questions.
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