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Getting the Best Return on Ad Spending for Crowdfunding Campaigns

Crowdfunding succeeds when a good campaign attracts attention. The greater the number of patrons on board right at the beginning, the better the odds that the campaign will be fully funded by the end. (Raising even as little as 5% of the goal at the beginning increases the success rate to 80%.)

One good way to generate attention for your campaign is through pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, although you need to plan carefully to get the greatest return for the expense. Use these tips below to make your campaign more effective.

Time Your Campaign Right

Your PPC advertising efforts will be most effective early on. Plan backwards from your launch date, allowing time for editing, feedback and/or A/B testing and possibly video production so your ads begin to appear at the start of your campaign. If a visitor to your site sees a low amount of support for your campaign with only a few days left to go, they will get the impression that your momentum has fizzled out and may turn their attention elsewhere.

Find the Right Platform for Your Ads

In most cases, Google is the champion of the online advertising world. While it will probably be your best platform for regular ads going forward, there are some challenges with crowdfunding advertising that you should know.

The first is that Google only permits “solicitation of funds or donations” on behalf of a politician, political party, or tax-exempt charity. If your campaign is not part of a non-profit organization, you may risk having it removed from Google due to the nature of crowdfunding.

The second challenge strategists warn about is the instant-gratification culture of much online commerce. Without careful wording, you may waste clicks when visitors arrive at your site wanting to have your product shipped to them immediately, only to leave right away when they learn the product is still in development.

Facebook and Instagram (which are part of the same ad platform) both have immense engagement with their users, and each has a community that is already familiar with and receptive to seeing crowdfunding campaigns on their respective platforms.

Target Your Audience

The more accurately you can narrow down the audience for your PPC ads, the more likely you will have a good return on investment (ROI). Facebook in particular offers opportunities for highly-targeted advertising, identifying their users by demographics, interests and behavior.

Use as much information as the platform offers, and then create a set of quality keywords to further help the search engines match you to the right viewers. If the platform tracks users’ participation with other crowdfunding projects, definitely incorporate that into your outreach.

Some of the more obvious keywords may cost a lot, but with the help of free keyword research tools you can generate a list of affordable and specific options.

Create Quality and Engage Your Market

Putting the effort into creating well-planned and interesting ads boost your ROI in two ways. Targeting your message saves money by reducing wasted clicks. In fact, Facebook rewards relevant ads with lower rates. (“Relevance,” as defined by Facebook, means that the ad has a well-defined audience, is fresh and has a focused message, succeeds at generating feedback, and has a clear objective.)

The second way engagement boosts your ROI is that when a viewer has been moved, excited or amused by your ad, they are more likely to share it with their friends. Not only is this free exposure, but people respond strongly to personal recommendations from people they know.

Dollars and Cents

In general, you will want to keep expenses low, but paying more for a receptive audience may be the right choice in certain situations. For example, ads on Instagram cost more than ads on Facebook, but Instagram users have ten times the interaction with brands as Facebook users. To maximize your dollars, follow these tips.

  • Do your research. The free keyword tools mentioned above will help you track not only the cost of word combinations, but even the best times of the day or the year to run ads. Compare the costs on Google, Facebook and Instagram to strike the right balance for your budget.
  • Take inspiration and compare metrics with your competitors. You can try to reach the same market as them, while also finding ways to offer something different to your potential backers.
  • Once you have an ad running, install a conversion tracking code to record which keywords are most effective, allowing you to fine-tune the campaign in real time.

With research and careful planning, you can boost the response you get from your PPC crowdfunding advertisements.