Facebook is one of the best platforms to put money into when building a community of like-minded people.
As I’ve mentioned before, Facebook has spent a lot of money and time getting people on their platform and collecting their information and interests. They’ve also spent a great deal of effort creating a robust advertising platform that helps people find an audience for their new product.
It’s worth noting that as a board game creator, you do not have to use the paid tools on Facebook. If you’d like, you can stick with leveraging the free tools at your disposal on the platform to build an audience and get backers for your Kickstarter board game.
If you’re interested in investing some money to shortcut the process of finding an audience, then it’s time you use Facebook advertising for your Kickstarter board game. In this article, I’ll cover the following 5 topics:
- Kickstarter Backers Are A Special Breed
- The 3 Facebook Hacks For Board Game Success
- How To Implement The Facebook Hacks In Your Advertising
- New vs Retargeting Audiences On Facebook
- 4 Ways To Use Facebook Advertising For Your Board Game
- The Facebook Ad Trap To Avoid
Kickstarter Backers Are A Special Breed
People who back board games on Kickstarter are different from those who buy them from a retail store.
Think about it this way – backers on Kickstarter are shelling out money for a game that isn’t even on the market yet and they’re willing to wait for months to receive a game at their doorstep. With this in mind, they’re not anything like the average Joe who walks to the nearest game store to purchase a game. They’re also not the online shopper who spends money on Amazon and expects a game to show up within 2 days.
The way I see it, there are two hurdles that all board game creators must overcome when it comes to crowdfunding:
- Selling the idea of crowdfunding (pay now, get it much later)
- Selling the idea of the new board game (it’s fun and worth your money)
If you target people who are already familiar with crowdfunding, you’ve already overcome one of your two hurdles. All that’s left to do is convince them to believe in your game, its mechanics and that you will be able to deliver it as promised.
The 3 Facebook Hacks For Board Game Success
Ok, let’s get into the actual Facebook ad hacks for success!
Always Filter For Crowdfunding Audiences
Since we already know the Kickstarter backers are a special breed, to ensure that your ad dollars are being spent in the most optimal way, always filter for the words “crowdfunding”, “Kickstarter”, and “Indiegogo”.
Filtering for these audiences already lifts a huge burden off your chest. You’re already limiting the type of people who see your ads to those who are willing to pay for a game that doesn’t exist yet and then wait for months (maybe even years) to get it.
As I mentioned earlier, you won’t have to first convince them about crowdfunding (since they already know). Now you just have to convince them that your new game is something that they really do want. It’ll simplify your life and marketing.
Narrow To Board Game Enthusiasts
Beyond the crowdfunding-related audiences, be sure that you’re honing in on the next level of people who are most likely to spend money on your board game.
Remember that crowdfunding is a huge niche, you want people who actually like crowdfunding AND board games to find you.
Target The Niche For Your Board Game
Now that you have those two things narrowing down your reach to the people most likely to like your game, let’s get into the nitty-gritty for your particular game. Here, it’s where you as the game designer can get creative in finding your audience.
For example, if you’re launching a game with a zombie theme, it’s worth layering in related products or brands that are also zombie-themed. If you’re launching something that’s similar to Apples to Apples (like what Cards Against Humanity did), be sure to layer in simple games like this too within your audience targeting. In another example, if you’re releasing a new game that is knight-themed, start targeting those interested in medieval movies, jousting, iron forging, and more.
Since Facebook has amassed a huge number of people who have expressed their interests to the platform, your targeting is only limited by your creativity. This is the exact same strategy Andrew Lowen from Next Level Web discusses in his quest to advertise Protectors of the Rainbow:
Then, I found the “Unicorn” interest. I don’t know why I didn’t think of that earlier. It’s probably because it has nothing to do with what I normally think about, despite me having 5 young daughters that draw and act like Princess Unicorns every day.
There are 58 million people interested in Unicorns on Facebook in the US… and when I applied Board Games/Family Games/LARP + Kickstarter interests, we hit a new high on all our audiences.
Don’t be afraid to get weird with your audiences. The right interests and ad text combo will allow you to really go far, even with a small budget!
How To Implement The Facebook Hacks In Your Advertising
We won’t go into how to create a Business Manager or Advertising Account, but you can easily do it yourself by following the steps on Facebook. If you’re still not sure how to get it done though, be sure to reach out to me!
Here is what these two tactics looks like in the dashboard:
1. Find the Audiences page within the Assets section of your Facebook Business Manager.
2. Click Create Audience and choose Saved Audience.
3. Choose locations, age, gender, languages, depending on your game.
4. In Detailed Targeting, include “crowdfunding”, “Kickstarter”, and “Indiegogo”
5. Click Narrow Audience for board game enthusiasts
The image here is just an example of how to narrow down to just people within crowdfunding who are game enthusiasts. At this stage, the “suggestions” button can be tremendously helpful for you to add additional game-related interests to hone your audience.
6. Click Narrow Further to target the niche for your board game
To continue the example from above, if you’re launching a game that is zombie themed, try out a zombie-related audience!
As you can see, within this audience alone, there are still a lot of people that you are able to target for launch!
New vs Retargeting Audiences On Facebook
There are two types of audiences that you need to be concerned about when it comes to your advertising: new audiences and retargeting audiences.
This is what I talked about just now when we went through the setup for an audience.
It’s about discovering completely new people who might potentially like your game. Since Facebook has done such a great job categorizing people into buckets according to their likes and dislikes, it makes it that much easier for you as the game designer-turned-marketer to find people most likely to enjoy your game. All you need to do is get into the psyche of your potential audience, and create them with the Facebook Advertising platform.
The average person needs to be introduced to a product about 7 times before they end up making a purchase.
When was the last time you followed up with someone 7 times about your game? Let’s be honest here, when was the last time you followed up with anyone 7 times about anything at all? Although I know this marketing rule by heart, I’m still the same way and have not followed up with people as much as I should be.
This is why retargeting audiences are so important. This type of audience setup pushes your ads out to the same people again and again so that they see your game again and again, driving them closer to the purchase point.
For example, you can send out new ads to people who have visited your website in the past 30 days and subscribed. They’re clearly interested in your game, and now they just need some nudging to get them to spend money on it.
When you do launch your game, retargeting audiences will be your bread and butter. They’re the ones who just need those extra few nudges to buy your game. This differs from the completely new audiences who need the full introduction to the game before they will even begin to consider buying. I go into the stages of the customer journey in How To Market A Board Game For Kickstarter.
As some of you may know, I’m a huge bookworm and you can always find me with a book (or ebook on my Kindle app) in hand. If you’re a reader like me and want to learn more about the science behind virality and making sure people love what you’ve created, I’d recommend checking out the book called Hit Makers by Derek Thompson.
4 Ways To Use Facebook Advertising For Your Board Game
Now that we’ve covered the how, let’s talk about ways you can effectively use this for your Kickstarter board game launch and beyond.
Use Ads To Get Likes For Your Facebook Page
We’ve already talked about the importance of Facebook Pages. One of the ways to get more likes for your Facebook Page is to target audiences specifically to get likes. Remember that FOMO (fear of missing out) happens online just as much as it does offline so people will be clamoring to like your page the more people actually do like it.
This is a great tactic to populate your initial profile and begin building out audiences that are relevant to your board game. Facebook currently allows you to create audiences that “look like” people who interact with your Facebook Page. The idea behind this is that the Facebook algorithm will automatically find and target other people who are similar to those who interact with your page, decreasing your ad costs.
Use Ads To Build Your Email List For Launch
It’s clear that an email list is important for your Kickstarter launch. The fastest way to grow your own dedicated email list is through Facebook advertising. Here are the steps:
- Set up an email collection system (I recommend Mailchimp)
- Create a landing page
- Run advertising to the landing page
If not sure how to proceed, check out How To Create A Landing Page For Your Kickstarter Board Game.
Use Ads To Get Backers For Your Kickstarter Campaign
Kickstarter doesn’t allow for pixel tracking, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t use Facebook ads to get backers for your Kickstarter campaign.
For those new to advertising, pixels are little lines of codes that track what people do after they click on your ad. The privacy laws on Kickstarter prevents creators from using pixels to track what people do on the campaign page.
However, I’ve found that directing people to your Kickstarter page (and finding the lowest cost per click in doing so!) has a positive correlation on the number of backers and amount of funding you actually receive.
The more advanced way to get this to work for you is to direct your ad to a page you own, let the pixel work its magic, then automatically redirecting people to your Kickstarter page. This allows the pixel to track who clicks on your ad (for further optimization) and still gets people to your game page.
Use Ads To Sell Your Board Game After Kickstarter
There are multiple ways to monetize your board game after a successful Kickstarter launch. One such way is to directly sell your board game with your own online store. To do this, you will need to run advertising campaigns to target new audiences and retarget those who have seen the game before.
The Facebook Ad Trap To Avoid
Facebook makes money by cashing in on our interests (and addiction) to the platform.
As a board game creator, it’s important to remember that Facebook will do anything it can in order to get you to spend money to market your board game. If you do choose to take this route and spend money on Facebook, then it’s very important that you continuously monitor every advertising campaign that you run.
If your advertising campaigns are not delivering the types of results that you’re looking for, it’s imperative that you reduce that budget and move to try something else that might work better.
As a benchmark, look to pay $0.50 or less per Page Like and $2 or less per email lead. Cost per acquisition, the metric used to measure cost per purchase, varies wildly according to the game that you’re advertising so it’s difficult to put a true measure on it. Instead of a standard CPA, I like to recommend sticking with a return on ad spend (ROAS) of 5x or more so your game actually doesn’t bleed money. If you’re getting lower than 3% clickthrough rates on your ads, either change up your audience (wrong audience) or spice up your messaging (doesn’t draw enough attention).
For more marketing tips like this, join the Kickstarter Board Game Marketing Facebook Group where I roll out daily tips!
Nalin is a tabletop gamer and marketer. She’s here to give you the tools, training, and resources to market your game. In her free time, you can find her playing games, reading books or running around the soccer field.