How To Create Facebook Ads For Your Kickstarter That Actually Work

December 22, 2020

crowdfundingnerds.com

Facebook ads for kickstarter

When we work with a board game designer, they usually have tried their hand at Facebook ads and were shooting in the dark. Many throw a lot of money at the horse and don’t get much mileage. No one likes to waste money and it is a horrible feeling when you believe your Facebook ads have not worked. 

If this is you, we want you to know that Crowdfunding Nerds is rooting for you. We understand that not everyone has the budget to bring in a digital marketing agency to help blow up their Kickstarter. I hope this article can give you some insights and help you get a better return on your ad spend no matter how small of a budget you have. 

At Crowdfunding Nerds, we leverage Facebook ads in our pre-marketing for board games going to Kickstarter. We suggest you do too.  

Goal Of Facebook Ads

The goal of your marketing is to turn prospects into fans of your products or services. The purpose of your Facebook ads is to win the right to communicate with followers on multiple platforms.

There are three elements to a successful ad campaign:

  1. The hook – The ad itself and its ability to target the right people and get their attention. The goal of your ad is only to get someone to click.
  2. The landing page – The destination of your ad which will build intrigue. Your landing page has one goal too: to capture an email. We will do articles on landing pages in the future.
  3. The community – The soil in which your newly acquired prospect will grow into a bigger and bigger fan who will not only buy your product but then tell all their friends about you when the time comes. Your community has one purpose: to build hype around and direct people to your Kickstarter landing page.

Before you start seeing your ads work and your email list expanding, you need to think about where you can interact with your growing community. Is it going to be a Facebook group? Subreddit? Discord server? I suggest using the platform you are most familiar with and where your target audience resides. 

We will be creating resources to help you craft a magnificent Facebook community in the future so keep an eye on this space. 

Finally, notice how none of these elements above pushes a hard sell. Through your ads, you are not trying to sell but serve and thrill a prospect, so when the time to sell arrives, they will buy with enthusiasm.

Use Email To Build A Community 

You must nurture and grow your email list always delivering value in your emails. We suggest never sending out more than one email a month. You can ramp up your emails to once a week as you draw closer to your Kickstarter launch date. Follow this email, schedule guideline as a good rule of thumb:

  • 1st email: Share your excitement + give a behind the scenes look at your game
  • 2nd email: More interesting game updates + call to join your Facebook group community
  • 3nd email: Remind followers of your Kickstarter launch date + send them to the KS landing page
  • 4th email: reminder – Remind followers of your Kickstarter launch date + send them to the KS landing page
  • 5th email: On launch day – let them know you are live

You should send emails out on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday at 5 am. This ensures that your target audience will see your email first thing in the morning when they check their email. 

You Need An Ads Business Account

A Facebook Ads Business account gives you full access to all the tools available that personal ad accounts lack. To create your Facebook Ads Business account:

  1. Go to business.facebook.com/create and select Create Account.
  2. Enter your name and confirm your identity with your Facebook login credentials.
  3. Follow the prompts to create your business account.

Facebook Pixel

Next, you will need to create, install and test your Facebook pixel. A Facebook pixel is a small piece of JaveScript code that you insert into your website that tracts the interactions and events a Facebook user does on your landing page. 

Your Pixel helps Facebook learn the types of people who are most likely going to take action on your landing page by comparing your acquired leads with other Facebook accounts. 

Before you proceed, make sure there are no extensions or settings that disable tracking in your browser. This will interfere with your ability to set up your Pixel.  

Setting Up Your Pixel

  1. Navigate to https://www.facebook.com/events_manager/
  2. Tap the green icon on the left (Connect Data Sources) > Web
  3. Use an integration or manually copy/paste the Jave Script information in your website’s header HTML code. 
  4. Test your Pixel by pasting your website’s URL in the prompt and interact with your page to make sure it is registering activity
  5. Now in the Events Manager select your new Pixel and tap Add Events – From Pixel – add your landing page URL – navigate to your email sign up button and select – mark as lead. 

For more help with installing the your Pixel see the Facebook official documentation here

Optimising Board Game Ads Campaigns

Now you will want to create an Ad campaign that incorporates your new shiny Pixel! 

  1. Navigate to the Ads Manager page and tap the green “create” button on the Campaigns tab. 
  2. Select the Conversions campaign objective & name your campaign

Optimising Board Game Ad Set

Name Your Ad Set

Name your Adset based on the topic, ages you are targeting and country. This is how we label them at Crowdfunding Nerds: KS+RPG (18-65+, US)

This ad set is targeting people who have an interest in Kickstarter and Role Playing Games who are between the ages of 18-65+ and living in the USA. We recommend creating an ad set per geological location, so you know which countries or regions are performing better. 

Conversion & Budget

Under Conversion, select the lead event you created. Select your daily budget. We recommend starting at 10 USD a day and ramping up once you do some A/B testing and have found a combination of text and images that yield the best results. 

Audience 

Under locations select the country that you think will produce the most outstanding results for your budget. We recommend starting with the USA and adding other countries in new ad sets later. 

Edit Detailed Targeting Expansion and type Kickstarter. Select this interest, then tap “Narrow Audience.” Here you would want to add products similar to yours or games that influenced yours. For example, if you are promoting a tabletop RPG, you could type “Dungeons & Dragons” and select all the products that are listed with that title. We recommend always including “Dice Tower” and “Board Game Geek” when targeting board gamers. 

Tap Narrow further to add additional themes that surround your game. For example, if your tabletop RPG had an end of days / post-apocalyptic theme, you could add “The Book of Eli”, “Mad Max”, “The Hunger Games” etc. 

Uncheck Detailed targeting expansion. This is only useful if you are broadly targeting audiences. For example Detailed targeting could remove the Kickstarter condition from our audience ad set in order to reach more people. This would work for something like tee shirts but not for board games on Kickstarter. 

$10 a day can exhaust an audience of 300,000 in two weeks. Keep this in mind as you want your adset to be specific but also large enough to meet your budget. Create multiple Ad Sets to see which ones work best before tweaking ads.

Placements

We recommend leaving automatic placements on. Facebook is rather good at knowing where to put your ads to get the best results.

Optimising Board Game Ads

Images do notoriously better than videos on Facebook, so we suggest using strong imagery instead of video. 

We always ask our clients for two images 

  1. An image of the box with eye-catching game components on display
  2. The best game art/lifestyle images they have of their game.  

Your image should be square (1200×1200) with little to no text and attention-grabbing.

Primary text

We have found that this formula results in the best return on ad spend:

“Introducing [Name of Your Board Game] a [Name Theme + Unique Value]”

As a way of example: 

Introducing Fallen Land 2nd Edition: A massive sandbox post-apocalyptic board game!

Try to communicate in your primary text why the player would want to buy and play this game. Do not use capital letters in the primary text.

Headline

Your headline text should be no more than 40 characters (including spaces). Try to come up with something that is both accurate and engaging. Answer the question: “Why does the audience want this game?” in your headline. Use capitals here:

“A Massive Wasteland World Awaits You”

Look at some ads on the Facebook Ads Library and Moat to get some inspiration.. 

Display link

Include the simplified version of your link for example if your URL is domain.com/landing-page only display domain.com

Call to action

We only ever use the “Learn More” or “Shop Now” buttons.

Tracking

Set up your URL parameters. This will help you see what people are doing on your Kickstarter page.

  • Campaign source = fb-ads 
  • Campaign Medium = {adset.name}
  • Campaign Name = [Name of your campaign]
  • Campaign Content = {ad.name}

Some Tips & Tricks

Constant Vs Variable 

You will always want to have two ads running at a time. Before making any tweaks wait for about two days to get some reliable data on how the ad is performing. The Ad that is doing better make your Constant by leaving it alone. 

The other ad that is not performing as well will become your variable. Duplicate this ad and disable the old one. On the newly duplicated ad make your adjustments. Consider only making one change. This could be a change to the header text, image etc. Come back in two days and reevaluate and continue the process. 

Always Duplicate Before Making Changes 

A noobie mistake is to make a change to your ad and then push publish where your ad is temporarily stopped because it is in the review process. 

You want as much uptime as possible so to avoid this pitfall always duplicate and alter the new version of your ad. Once you are happy with your tweaks then publish the new ad, and it will be in review. Once it is live, then turn off your old ad. 

We do not recommend that you use the inbuilt A/B testing but rather follow our above process of duplicating ads. 

What Did You Expect?

Ad’s won’t blow up right away and require some time and money to get them rolling. We often have to tell our clients this as they being to worry when they see the results of their ads in the first few days. It takes Facebook some time to gather all the information necessary to start seeing your ads thriving. 

When you are spending $1 to get $5, your reservations for ad spend will significantly diminish. We have had several partners say to us “max out my credit card”, as in throw as much money into it because it is paying for itself. 

Pre-launch ads work better and should be your focus as you intend to fund on the first day of your Kickstarter launch. 

If you have any more questions, let us know in the comments, and please tell us of your success if you reach any through these tips!

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