chapter 10

Indiegogo: Benefits & Drawbacks

There are two important differences between Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

First, Indiegogo claims it does not curate the projects that it hosts. CEO, Danae Ringelmann, has positioned Indiegogo as an inclusive community that doesn’t decide which projects merit funding. Indiegogo allows for many more categories than Kickstarter does, and whether a project gets funded is up to potential supporters. Furthermore, Indiegogo doesn’t pick which projects to promote on its site. It has developed its own algorithm called the “Gogofactor” to determine that.

That’s not to say that absolutely anything goes in terms of launching projects. In order to launch a campaign, you need to only conform to its Terms of Use. These include things like being over the age of 18, not offering alcohol or weapons as perks, and not using Indiegogo to disparage other people. We do recommend you give it a read-through to be very sure that your project qualities.

The other significant difference between Kickstarter and Indiegogo is that Indiegogo allows for two types of funding. Kickstarter allows for payment to be delivered only if the goal of your campaign. In addition to the all-or-nothing model, Indiegogo allows you to keep the all the funds you raise, even if you don’t hit your goal. This has to be a decision you make before you launch your campaign. You can’t decide that you’d rather keep all the money you raise after all once you find that you can’t get to your goal. Indiegogo refers to “keep it all” as Flexible Funding, and “all-or-nothing” as Fixed Funding.

Note: Don’t assume that it’s always better to ask to keep every pledge. In fact we recommend that you go with the all-or-nothing model, for two reasons. First, if you don’t hit your goal, you won’t have enough to make the initial capital investments to properly launch your product, and the funds may not end up being very helpful at all. Second, supporters are more likely to fund all-or-nothing projects because they know they get the money back if the goal isn’t reached. The thought that nothing may come out of this money would make any of us more hesitant. All-or-nothing makes it more likely that you’ll get it all.

The other differences are less significant compared to these two important differences.

Projects that have been successfully funded on Indiegogo include Canary, which raised $1.9 million; Scanadu Scout, which raised $1.7 million; and the Tesla Museum, which raised $1.4 million.

Project funding on Indiegogo

Indiegogo allows for many more possibilities for funding, including for causes. You can raise funds for: Animals, Art, Comics, Community, Dance, Design, Education, Environment, Fashion, Film, Food, Gaming, Health, Music, Photography, Politics, Religion, Small Business, Sports, Technology, Theater, Transmedia, Video & Web, and Writing.

Indiegogo’s most funded page suggests optimism for entrepreneurs who want to launch products. Out of the top 20 most funded projects, 13 are in the categories of Technology or Design. In fact, the top 10 are all either technology or design.

Fees

Indiegogo charges two kinds of fees in addition to a credit card or PayPal processing fee.

If you go with Flexible or Fixed Funding, Indiegogo charges 5% of your total sum raised along with payment processing in the 3-5% range depending no location. If you fail to reach the goal, you get charged nothing because you don’t receive anything at all.

Indiegogo Statistics

Indiegogo does not publicly disclose the number of campaigns it hosts nor the success rate of campaigns. But we provide some carefully-compiled estimates of what that number is like.

In a detailed study based on scraping over hundreds of thousands of campaigns, Hivewire estimates that 28.4% of campaigns reach their funding goal, of both keep-it-all (Flexible) and all-or-nothing (Fixed) campaigns. The number is significantly higher, and in the ballpark of Kickstarter’s overall success rate, if the analysis is confined to all-or-nothing campaigns.

Keep in mind that you should not decide where to list based simply on the the success rate of the overall platform. The range of projects on both platforms is vast, and so is the level of preparedness and execution of the campaign.

How to Get Featured on Indiegogo

A much higher volume of projects are launched on Indiegogo. (Note that a higher volume of pledges are made to projects on Kickstarter.) So Indiegogo uses its own algorithm called the Gogofactor to feature projects. The Gogofactor affects search rankings, placement on the site, featured spots in the newsletter and blog, and inclusion in press outreach.

It should be noted here that while Kickstarter offers its own similar algorithm, it also includes a human element to curation, preventing unprepared projects from moving forward to quickly to focusing on creative projects that are truly unique. With Indiegogo, you're less likely to run into these barriers, for better or for worse - that part is up to you.

When you optimize your campaign based on our recommendations and when you have frequent updates, your Gogofactor should do well.

The Anatomy of an Indiegogo Page

Here are the assets you need to create in order to post a campaign on Indiegogo.

1. Make a video

Your video is your most important asset. Make it compelling.

2. A thumbnail image

This is the image that everybody sees before they click through to your whole campaign page.

3. A short description

You have 160 characters to describe your campaign below your thumbnail.

4. A custom URL

You have the option to customize your link, which helps with SEO. So you might call your page igg.me/at/super-cool-project.

5. Set a funding goal and a deadline

Choose keep-it-all or all-or-nothing, and figure out how much you want to raise. Then choose how long your campaign will run. Your campaign can run no longer than 60 days.

6. A longer pitch

Give people a short summary of your product, what you’re looking for, and the impact your product will have.

7. Perks

These are the equivalent of Kickstarter’s “Rewards.” Figure out your perks, determine whether you want to limit their number, and figure out a delivery date.

Indiegogo is also very SEO-friendly. In addition to allowing you to customize your link, it also allows you to hook up outside sites, like your Twitter, Youtube, or personal website.

Comparison of 5 Different Crowdfunding Platforms

In addition to the deep dive in Kickstarter and Indiegogo, we've built a handy table comparing the features of five different crowdfunding platforms side by side.

View on Google Docs
 

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11. Optimizing Your Video

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