The Power of Publicity

As this blog gains momentum, and the date of our Kickstarter project launch grows ever closer, I find myself spending more and more time conducting research relevant to both. It’s amazing how a person can be, not just lacking in knowledge on a new subject, but completely ignorant to the subject’s existence. Concepts like search engine optimization, calls to action, and carefully selected ad-words are not something that would have made it into my bed time reading until very recently. As with all business ventures, your project’s success hinges on whether or not it gets the attention of your fans – whether it can differentiate itself from the pack and rise above as the week’s viral phenomenon. I’ve discussed the factors that I think are important, often and at length. I’ve given data to support my conclusions in several posts. Today, I would like to offer you a couple of pictures that point to publicity as the smoking gun. Intrigued? Read on.

There are so many variables in the crowd funding process, that even with perfect knowledge (aka, the data that Kickstarter gives to the project owner), there is little chance of drawing definitive conclusions in most cases. Today I am going to cover two exceptions to that rule:

  1. Leaving Megaopolis
  2. Steam Bandits.

Both are successful projects, and one would have been successful, even without the one time bump that publicity provided, but in both cases you can see how the brush with stardom changed the projects trajectory for the better. In this first case, Megaopolis was the featured project of the day. The results speak for themselves. As you can see, this project was costing to success from almost the very beginning, but the spike is absolutely unmistakable. You could almost expect this level of performance from two veterans of the industry, but I doubt even they were expecting the burst of nitro Kickstarter gave their campaign. If you take a look at more charts from you will see that the second spike was actually more powerful than the first one. So how do we follow-up such an interesting example of how publicity can shape the trend of a project? With an even more startling one. Where as the project in my first example could have easily made it without the boost, the second one, based on the observable trend, would have languished in obscurity without the boost, see for yourself: So do we once again have Kickstarter to thank for this act of benevolence? Did they put another project on the front page with their Midas touch? No, actually. It took a little digging to find this well-timed article on Kotaku. In my opinion, it single handedly connected a project with its intended audience and allowed it the opportunity to be successful. Just look at that spike in backers! In a single day, they tripled their previous fan base. It’s incredible, really. One could say that this is the ultimate case of ‘right place, right time’, but I am sure there was a lot of effort put in to finding just the right blogger to write a story. Hard work and persistence tend to pay off in my experience; it’s like the silver lining of the old phrase, “he who lives by the sword, dies by the sword,” though I don’t think swords need much in the way of silver linings. They already have that metallic edge thing covered.

This entry was posted by David Winchester.

3 thoughts on “The Power of Publicity

  1. How do you feel about projects which use kickstarter as publicity, instead of as a funding device? For example Scrumbleship. They are asking for a very modest amount, with the state goal of generating publicity, not funding the development of the game.

    • The way I read their pitch, they are looking for resources to continue full time development, rather than advertising. Though I wouldn’t get bent out of shape over someone using KS for advertising, it’s not what it’s for, and a little irksome.

      I would say the biggest thing I have against this project, is that It doesn’t look very good. There have been significantly better/more polished/more ambitious voxel projects on KS. I wish the creator luck, but there are some things he could be doing better; if nothing else, he is ernest and overflowing with passion.

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