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Promotion For People Who Don’t Know Anything About Promotion

Advertising is hard. As much as some people like to mock the idea of being an ad man, getting back what you paid on advertising via conversions is extremely tough. My position on paid advertising for a small independent producer is this, don’t. It’s a job for experts and if you’re not one (and since you’re reading a blog called ‘for people who don’t know anything about advertising' I think its fair to assume that you’re not) it’s a good way to lose money fast. Its also insidious because advertising comes with unseen and non-monetary benefits such as exposure and brand awareness, which are great and valuable, but they can lead people who don’t really understand the process to self-justify a failed advert. That probably needs a little explanation, it is true that advertising can bring benefits other than direct sales and conversions. However, actually analyzing such benefits and ensuring that they match up to advertising as bought is its own skill. Also, if you’re a small independent on your first or almost first Kickstarter you probably don’t have enough of a company yet to really benefit from people having their awareness of it raised. Essentially, until you can hire somebody to do it right, you should probably hold off on the paid side of things, particularly when what you’re doing is an unknown quantity, which brings me to my first point.

What advertising can’t do.

Advertising can’t sell your product. More to the point, it’s not really trying to, it’s not it’s primary purpose. Advertising is for driving traffic to your Kickstarter page and raising awareness of your product. Your job is to have a page capable of converting that traffic into backers. If your conversion rate is too low therefore, money spent on advertising is going pretty much down the drain, worse, if your page isn’t up to scratch all you’re doing is paying money to draw attention to how rinky dink an outfit you actually are. So before considering advertising there’s an equation to do, look at your conversion rate of page visitors provided by Kickstarter, find out what the traffic levels of any page you’re thinking of advertising on and their typical click through rates for adverts is. Multiply their click through rate by your conversion rate and multiply that by your profit margin on the average pledge to your campaign. If that number is greater than the price of the advert then its clearly a good idea, if not, you should probably hold off on it.

Again, there are other benefits from advertising, but not if your Kickstarter fails and you can’t afford to print your game, which means that you don’t have a game publishing company. If your advert can’t pay for itself then it will be a drag on you ach