December 22, 2020
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.
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:
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. This comes back to a marketing concept we like to call the Virtuous Cycle.
Our article on the Virtuous Cycle will guide you through the process of leveling up your marketing game and growing your community- make sure to give it a read!
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.
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 and schedule guideline as a good rule of thumb:
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.
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:
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.
For more help with installing your pixel, see the Facebook official documentation here.
Now you will want to create an ad campaign that incorporates your new shiny pixel!
Name your ad set 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.
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.
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 t-shirts, but not for board games on Kickstarter.
Ten dollars a day can exhaust an audience of 300,000 in two weeks. Keep this in mind as you want your ad set to be specific but also large enough to meet your budget. Create multiple ad sets to see which ones work best before tweaking ads.
We recommend leaving automatic placements on. Facebook is rather good at knowing where to put your ads to get the best results.
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:
Your image should be square (1200×1200), attention-grabbing, and have little-to-no 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.
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.
Include the simplified version of your link, for example, if your URL is domain.com/landing-page only display domain.com
We only ever use the Learn More or Shop Now buttons.
Set up your URL parameters. This will help you see what people are doing on your Kickstarter page.
You will always want to have two ads running at a time. Before making any tweaks, wait for 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.
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, publish the new ad, and it will be in review. Once it is live, 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.
Ads 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’ve had several partners say to us “max out my credit card”- throw money at it because it’s paying for itself!
Pre-launch ads work better and should be your focus as the goal is to fund on the first day of your Kickstarter launch.
If you have any more questions, let us know in the comments, and share any success you have with these tips!
See our podcast episode on this topic and check out our article on how you can use Windows PowerShell script to optimize your Facebook ads!
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