05 Jan

Should You Kickstart Your Kickstarter Project with Paid Ads Service?

Rating a service provider like Kickstart My Ads (KMA) isn’t as black and white as I wish. On the one hand, if we spend hundreds of dollars on their services, we want to see “bottom line” results: Kickstarter pledges! On the other hand, if they drive traffic to our project pages, should we hold them accountable if said traffic ultimately doesn’t fund it? This is a question that each of us has to answer for ourselves, since they guarantee traffic, not pledges.

About the Services

I worked with KMA once before, and the results fell short. However, the folks there were kind enough to provide a second chance, so I attempted to fund a children’s book, The Stranger Safety Squad. (It’s worth noting that KMA has more success with big projects and larger goals, often in categories like tech, design, and fashion.)

The service level I used was their best and most expensive: “Drive Supporters,” currently a one-time fee of $450. Since I wanted to gauge them and their worth, I did almost no promoting of the project. They did ask me to generate $100 in pledges at the start, since visitors are reluctant to contribute to a project sitting at zero. Aside from that, I only mentioned The Stranger Safety Squad a couple of times on social media.

Rocky Beginnings

There was a red flag at the start. The advertisement sent for my approval was somewhat poorly written and included an obvious typo. I fixed it for them, and away we went.

For whatever reason, my project got almost no traction for the first two and a half weeks. With just over 10 days to go, I stood at $140 in pledges out of $1,200 needed. But that’s when things got interesting. Kickstart My Ads must have found its groove because I started getting two, three and four pledges per day—a dramatic improvement!

Falling Short

Unfortunately, when all was said and done, we fell short. I stood at 21 backers and $655, just over 50% of my goal. However, according to the final Facebook report sent to me, my advertisements reached (were seen by) 20,892 people, which resulted in 340 post engagements (likes, comments, shares, and clicks).

Bottom Line

Nick of KMA had this to say: “While our service is not a magic wand, if there is a campaign that is appealing to its target market, then we can make the support pour in, if the market is available on Facebook. The amount of support varies by campaign and by a target market’s availability on Facebook, but if those two factors are in our favor, then we are confident we can get a positive ROI for our clients virtually every time.”

As for me, I’ll probably skip the paid promotional services next time. But if you have a project that’s irresistible to your target market, maybe you’ll have better luck. Maybe.

DISCLAIMER: The services discussed in this post were provided free of charge in exchange for a fair and honest review.