Last Updated on June 8, 2021
Kickstarter is a crowdfunding website that allows people to share their creative projects with the world and get them funded. Nonetheless, any project’s success is determined by how much traction it gets- and you can only gain traction if your project ranks.
So how does the Kickstarter ranking algorithm work? It isn’t easy to pinpoint all the aspects that make one project outrank another. However, several factors such as pledges, the number of backers, first-day momentum, and conversion rate contribute significantly to the ranking.
In this article, we’ll look at how you can rank your project in order to have more visitors clicking on it and pledging for it.
How Does The Kickstarter Ranking Algorithm Work
The Kickstarter ranking algorithm is a complicated equation that considers the number of backers per day, their pledges, and the conversion rate. It also looks at whether you have surpassed one or more funding milestones. This rank will change depending on how the above factors fluctuate over time. This is why most projects fail to remain at the top page for an extended period of time.
First Day Backers and Backers per Day
You might have noticed that some projects are fully funded within the first few hours. Also, after the first day, backing rates for projects gradually drop. This makes the first day critical towards the success of your project.
When you get a lot of ‘buzz’ early enough, it will help build and sustain momentum. Additionally, it will also entice organic backers to view your project. For instance, according to KickstarterForum.org, to earn a place in the top third most popular projects, you have to raise at least 62% of your funding goal by the end of the first day. The study also found such projects only averaged 5.9 days to achieve the total campaign goal.
However, even for those who create a pre-launch strategy, build email lists or alert their friends or family, it is still difficult for them to raise such amounts. Let’s face it, Kickstarter’s platform is an uneven playing field. Unless you are a big player (e.g., an established artist or having a large, passionate fan base) or you are extremely lucky, it will be challenging for you to meet the 62% goal within the first day. Most successful campaigners can only get 15% of their final funding on the first two days.
Therefore, you have to rely on the number of backers you get per day. According to most experts, this is actually the most critical factor when it comes to ranking. If your project is able to attract a constant number of pledges each day, you will be pushed higher in ranking. This is regardless of the amount that those backers will pledge. So even if you get several $1 pledges, it will still push your rank upwards.
Nonetheless, the amount your backers pledge will play a significant role in the long run. As you all know, funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing. If your project is not successful at meeting its funding goal within the specified deadline, it will not receive any funds.
The pledge values
I know I have just stated above that even $1 pledges are okay. This might momentarily incentivize the algorithm to rank your project since you will be helping Kickstarter acquire new users. However, $1 will not contribute a lot to you reaching your funding goal. Therefore, the pledge values of your backers are a crucial ranking metric.
The donations that make the most significant impact on the total funds raised are usually $100. However, they make up less than 10% of pledges. The most common pledges are $25, followed by $50. The main reason you would want to receive more valuable pledges is to help you reach your funding milestones. The faster you surpass these milestones, the higher your ranking will be.
The conversion rate
This simply means the ratio of those who visit your campaign compared to those who invest in your project. If you have 100 visits in a day and only one person pledges to invest in your project, your conversion rate is 1%. This conversion rate will be compared with other projects in your category, and those with higher rates will rank first.
To have a higher conversation rate, ensure that your video completion rates are over 45%. The only way someone will invest in your idea is if they understand it. Do not put up any amateur cut video; instead, get a professional to put your video together. A professional will be able to capture the emotion needed to motivate people into pledging.
Depending on the amount of traffic you receive, the conversion rate might vary significantly. For instance, if you are getting a lot of press traffic, your conversion rate will reduce. However, if your project has a conversion rate of below 1% you need it would be best to rethink your proposition. On average, you should have a conversion of 1% to 6%. Most of this will come from direct traffic.
How can you run a successful Kickstarter Project?
Now that you know some of the fundamental metrics that govern the Kickstarter Ranking Algorithm, how can you ensure your project will succeed?
Your Idea must be innovative:
The most crucial determinant is your project/idea- How good is it? It would help if you came up with a catchy, unique, and inspiring idea before you even think about ranking. This is because Kickstarter normally dismisses as much as 50% of the projects they receive. Therefore, your idea needs to meet the initial vetting process, which will look at several things, including the valuation and how you present your concept.
Get backing from friends and family:
Friends and family will also play a crucial role in your campaign. Try to convince as many people as you can to invest in your project before you can get any organic traffic. Remember, we stated that first-day traffic could make or break your project. Your friends, family, or even social media followers should donate right away to help ‘hype up’ your campaign.
Do not spam:
Another essential thing to remember is that spamming can ruin your campaign. Even if you want to attract more traffic to your project, do not send unsolicited messages or emails to people you don’t know. This goes against Kickstarter’s Community Guidelines and could even get you expelled from their platform.
Have realistic goals:
Several people have gone to raise a lot of money through the platform. Nonetheless, the most successful campaigns have raised less than $10,000. Ideally, it would be best to go for a project that falls within the price range of $4000 to $8000. To do this, establish the project’s minimum scope and figure out how much it would cost to achieve it.
Whether your Kickstarter project fails or succeeds will be determined by how you position your campaign. While there are different metrics that the algorithm looks at, we have looked at the most fundamental ones that will help increase your ranking.