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Paid Marketing, how to get the best bang for your buck?

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by julianh2o » Wed Jan 27, 2016 6:29 pm

There are dozens of marketing shops that cater directly to crowdfunding campaigns. Some of them offer very low budget solutions to getting your product in front of eyes, others offer premium service that seems to involve taking on parts of your crowdfunding page and other public-facing elements.

But with so many options, how do you choose which company/service for your particular project?

What steps should you take BEFORE engaging with one of these companies to ensure that you maximize the results you get?

The metric that many of these companies use is impressions or views.. how do you ensure that these views are the ones that matter? Depending on how narrow your audience is, it may be very likely that thousands of views are completely worthless if they are uninterested in your product.
Flickerstrip is the first consumer light strip that lets you control each pixel individually to create beautiful decorations with light.
Coming soon to Kickstarter, learn more at: http://flickerstrip.com
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by Backertree » Wed Jan 27, 2016 8:30 pm

Hey Julian, Welcome to the KickstarterForum!


There are definitely alot of crowdfunding marketing agencies/business/consultants in the industry now and I find new ones popping up every day. The problem is that alot of the crowdfunding marketing businesses are scams, and are either selling a useless service (such as fake/bot traffic, fake shares, email and social media blasts to fake followers) or they appear to be selling a good service, then when you pay them, your money disappears and you are no longer able to communicate with them.


Before engaging with a crowdfunding marketing agency, make sure you ask the right questions. If they raised $1M for there clients, ask for a list of campaigns they've worked with (and for larger projects, consider contacting previous clients for references). Don't just ask what they are going to be doing, but ask how they are going to be doing it. If they are offering press release distribution, find out whether they are just submitting it to a wire service or if they are sending it out to their mailing list (and if so, find out whether these users freely opted in or whether they were scraped from other websites, etc.). It may be worthwhile asking what experience this person has in the crowdfunding industry as well; how long have they been working with creators? Have they run their own crowdfunding campaign? Do they work with an in house team, or is it one person outsourcing the work to other freelancers?


When working with an agency who is helping with media coverage, find out if they have previously worked with campaigns in the same niche. If they already have relationships with contacts who can get you featured on other websites then that is great, but if not, I would consider finding an agency with more experience with similar campaigns. If you are paying for press outreach to a set number of people, make sure to find out who these people are and if the outreach is an automatic 'blast' or a manual process.


For larger projects, it will be a good idea to have both parties physically sign a contract of some sort that details all of the pricing, services, and expectations involved in the partnership (so there are no surprises later on).


Please let me know if you have any questions for me by either commenting on this thread, sending me a pm, or contacting me through my website. All the best with Flickerstrip :)


Best Regards,

Jake
Team Backertree!
Submit Your Crowdfunding Press Release And Promote Your Project: http://backerpress.com/submit/
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by justalead » Thu Jan 28, 2016 1:30 am

Very good tips! We always share the campaigns we worked with and give direct contact referrals along with testimonials. We love to actually help crowdfunding campaigns and local businesses. Good luck with the campaign!
Digital marketing & crowdfunding agency ~ http://justalead.com
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by Ihugteam » Sun Feb 07, 2016 4:12 pm

There was really no link to a page where they offer this service. Here's our iHug link for Kickstarter:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ih ... r-ready-se

Anyone know of any good marketing that can help us boost visibility?
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by FiredUpX » Thu Feb 11, 2016 9:38 pm

Typically if you are to use a PR firm for your crowd funding campaign what is an acceptable percentage of total raised they should charge. I have heard that Funded Today charges 35%??? That's insane. There goes any margin or profit. Is this true? We are considering Brainiacs from Mars and they charge 7%. Our project will be live next month. We are launching Far Infrared heated liners (Vest, Glove and Socks)
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by TGNate » Wed Feb 17, 2016 4:59 pm

@OP: I recently launched a Kickstarter campaign and was trying to do a grass roots marketing approach which inevitably failed. The marketing efforts were primarily consisting of Facebook advertisements and trying to reach out to the press all by myself. I learned the hard way that this method was flawed and quickly cancelled the campaign. I was naive as to how much marketing muscle is required to make these campaign successful so I would highly suggest finding a PR firm that fits your needs, without charging you an absurd amount of money.

I don't have suggestions as to who to contact, but just from my personal experience I believe it is a good route to go. Just make sure the firm itself has connections with an audience that resonates with your specific project.
Video game project from Canadian start-up now live on Kickstarter: http://kck.st/1omOwaE
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by asum » Sun Feb 21, 2016 12:24 am

@TGNate: Congrats! Looks like you got fully funded quite fast your second try around (although the first time wasn't long ago and you just cancelled). What worked for you--since you were saying 'grass roots marketing failed'?

--Canadian here too ;) Also from beloved Toronto :)

thx, angela
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by rorabaughdesigns » Sun Feb 21, 2016 9:29 pm

There are so many options out there when it comes to paying for marketing. A lot of this you can do yourself if you have the time. For most every one of our projects we have used BackerCamp and The Gadget Flow. Fiverr has a couple of gigs if you can find a good one that promotes you.

Started using FaceBook ads and we do get a lot of interest. Worth the $$ dollars because you can spend as much or as little as you want. If you know your target audience, you're ahead of the curve.

Don't forget about reaching out on Kickstarter Campus. They have a lot of info.

New on the scene is BackerHacker. They have gigs that give advice, promote, etc.

Last thing, don't fall for the scams, do your homework. It doesn't happen over night.
Cheers!

Lorraine
Kickstarter: http://kck.st/2ndmnSc
Twitter http://twitter.com/coolinventllc
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by smokoinc » Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:24 am

There a hundreds of scam services out there, the best ones we've worked with are Backersclub, Gadget Flow and Backershub, all of them have great websites and communities that worth your time and money.


julianh2o wrote:There are dozens of marketing shops that cater directly to crowdfunding campaigns. Some of them offer very low budget solutions to getting your product in front of eyes, others offer premium service that seems to involve taking on parts of your crowdfunding page and other public-facing elements.

But with so many options, how do you choose which company/service for your particular project?

What steps should you take BEFORE engaging with one of these companies to ensure that you maximize the results you get?

The metric that many of these companies use is impressions or views.. how do you ensure that these views are the ones that matter? Depending on how narrow your audience is, it may be very likely that thousands of views are completely worthless if they are uninterested in your product.
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by DaveGarber1975 » Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:45 pm

FiredUpX wrote:Typically if you are to use a PR firm for your crowd funding campaign what is an acceptable percentage of total raised they should charge. I have heard that Funded Today charges 35%??? That's insane.


Funded Today usually charges 35%, yes, for marketing---which includes PR, affiliate-marketing, cross-promotions, and especially social-media advertisements. Even at a 35% cut, though, most attempts at social-media advertisements fail to prove profitable. At that percentage, if you're good enough, then you might fail to find any profitable ads whatsoever for about half your clients, and find at least a few (or perhaps even many) profitable ad sets for the rest. The lower the percentage, the harder it gets to avoid losing money on advertising---at 10-15%, you're practically dooming yourself to failure. Or, at least, that's been the experience of my co-workers.

As a hypothetical example (which I've already shared elsewhere on this forum) using some relatively-realistic rates, let's say that you spend $100 to show a Facebook ad to 10,000 people, that 5% (500) of those ad-viewers (which is a bit above-average) visit your client's campaign page, and that 1% (5) of those page-visitors (which is a bit below-average) back your client's project by pledging an average of $60 each, for which which your client pays you a 35% cut. This means that you've lost $100 in order to gain $105. And this example assumes that you've collected enough data to be able to rely upon the accuracy of those rates, which isn't necessarily true, especially with only 5 backers---and, even if those rates are trustworthy, then they will invariably slowly decline over time until you can't earn anything anymore or, worse yet, even start to suffer a loss. So, Facebook ads are tricky, and it's not unusual to spend hundreds of dollars (in addition to the cost of skilled labor) finding a few ad sets that will work, if any can be found at all.

On the bright side, though, when ads work well, they work VERY well. They're one of the best forms of marketing to bring people to your campaign---far better than PR. PR is very powerful, but its fruits tend to be less immediate and direct, so it's not nearly as effective for short-term crowdfunding campaigns as for established companies. But ads can (potentially) bring a nice steady flow of pledges to your campaign page, which can be gradually scaled-up to the end, ideally losing their profitability on your final day. And that can be very helpful when your first-day pledge-spike tapers off. It tends to increase "organic" traffic/pledges also, sometimes a LOT. And many creators would prefer having those extra backers to having profit margins. And many can afford to lose 35%. So, spending 35% to turn profits into backers can sometimes be a great deal. If ads work at all.

And I mention that last part again because it's always a gamble. Ads might work for a campaign or they might not, and that requires testing to determine for sure. Usually, when campaigns are doing well on their own, they do even better with ads, but I've seen exceptions on both ends of that spectrum---so, you never know for sure until you try. I've seen some campaigns languish in relative obscurity until advertisements not only helped them to revive their campaign but far surpass their goal. I've seen other campaigns making six figures that (amazingly) didn't respond well to ads at all. But, again, those are the exceptions more than the rule.

In my experience, marketing isn't as important to the success of a campaign as presentation. And neither marketing nor presentation are as important as the product/service itself. If you've got a figurative Edsel, then you can build the finest well-staffed showroom for it that money can buy, and hire the best marketing gurus in the business to invite the right demographics to come visit it---but it's still ultimately going to fail. If you've got a figurative Mustang, then it's going to sell on its own, but a good presentation coupled with good promotion are only going to help.

In any case, just a few thoughts about crowdfunding marketing, for whatever they may be worth.
I work for Funded Today, which has helped hundreds of crowdfunding projects on Kickstarter and/or Indiegogo to raise over $175,000,000 altogether. How may we help you? Please learn more at www.funded.today and/or www.fundedtodayreviews.com
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