Marketing as a new company on Kickstarter
Our first attempt at building an audience for OOMM Games was an eye opener to be sure. The biggest lesson is how to get your audience to convert to backers when you launch your kickstarter campaign.
OOMM Games is a new company. We officially launched Out Of My Mind Games in October of 2017. We had a very small audience with our No Escape Facebook page and we started OOMM Games Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pintrest and YouTube from scratch.
We currently have the following numbers:
noescapegame Facebook 94 likes
oommgames Facebook 1 280 likes
oommgames Twitter 229 followers
oommgames Instagram 91 followers
oommgames Pintrest 837 monthly viewers
Mailing List 169 signups
Total Audience ~2700 (we realize there will be some duplication)
At first glance the numbers, especially OOMM Facebook look pretty good. We needed ~400 pledgers at $49 canadian to reach our Kickstarter goal. This works out to about 14% of our total audience.
Wins in audience building
@oommgames Facebook was a huge win for us and relatively easy. We simply paid to promote our page and we are also very active in several board game development and kickstarter Facebook groups. Twitter and Instagram were both difficult to grow, we noticed real growth once the Kickstarter campaign started.
There is a caveat with our audience building; OOMM Games is a subsidiary of Rocketsnail Games. We piggybacked off this audience to build our own.
Contacts and Advertising.
We were lucky to have a contact with a larger audience. Look through your contact list, who can help you promote your product. Once you have the list simply ask them. Asking can be hard. That said, the worst that can happen is that they say no and you are in the same place you started. Many of our contacts agreed to help us out when the time came. We also arranged for the Kickstarter staff to be able to preview the game, with the hope that they would feature the game.
Once we enlisted the help of our contacts and friends We boosted our Facebook pages and advertised on Facebook and AdWords. Email however was a different story.
We started with a giveaway on Facebook and a corresponding AdWords campaign based around joining our mailing list. There was a sweet prize pack that we practically shoved down people’s throats before the campaign launch. The end result however was only about 30 more email sign-ups.
We decided to launch the Kickstarter and with the audience we had, and a couple hundred other people we had spoken to personally, we expected to succeed. we also continued our advertising.
We launched a campaign on Facebook giving away a free signed prototype for all subscribers over the $49 level. We also arranged Board Game Geek advertising, and were preparing other advertising. These however only brought in about 20 more backers to the campaign.
By the end of the First week we stopped and analyzed. This is a really important step. We knew by this point that we were not going to fund, but we needed to know where to go next, and what we could learn.
Our biggest mailing list boost came from our booth at NorthernFanCon. Here is where we started to get smart. We had a give away catering to the audience and in order to be in the draw people had to sign up and confirm their emails. We made the process easier for people by having a tablet set up so sign up was easy for everyone, plus the motivation. In 3 days at NorthernFanCon we were able to get 110 additional emails and/or backers, for a campaign that was by this point obviously failing.
Engagement and feedback from the Kickstarter audience was very positive, with a lot of support for the Kickstarter relaunch once we announced it mid campaign.
The majority of backers during the first 3 days were from our mailing list, and people we had spoken to.
We did not follow up with everyone we had personally spoken to immediately before the campaign. Quite simply they forgot. This was a major error on our part.
Facebook turned off all it's ads the day we launched, and did not turn them back on for 3 days. This may not seem as bad at first, but the reality of Facebook is that only about 4% of your audience will see a post you make onto a business or group page. To get to the rest, you must use advertising. for the key first 3 days, we could not do this for Facebook or Instagram.
We did not ask enough questions of other creators regarding the launch dates of major campaigns. The result was that we were sandwiched between some fairly big hitting campaigns.
We did become a "project we love" from Kickstarter. This had little effect on the campaign overall.
So what did we learn?
If you see a notification saying there will be a change to something, and that falls in line with your campaign time period, get a hold of the company and ask what that actually means. Make sure it won't impact your planned launch.
Getting face to face with people, giving them an incentive and asking them to sign up was key for us. We have to get out to the public, showcase our game and get them to want more information.
Find out where the local conventions and meetups are and don't be afraid to travel a bit. Once you're there make the barrier to entry low, we used a tablet that was set up with our mailing list form.
Right before you launch, remind all your friends and relatives that you have spoken to previously about the campaign. Don't expect them to remember, even if you spoke to them only a week before.
The final tip is start early and have patience. It takes time to build a solid list of followers who will back your game when it comes to launch.
Good luck on your next campaign!