How to Advertise Your Kickstarter

posted in: kickstarter, kickstarter lesson | 3

My recent Kickstarter broke $150K (1000% over my goal) and I attribute a lot of my success to marketing and advertising (Did I mention that I launched an hour before Gloomhaven’s 2nd printing?  Oops!). A few things to note before I delve into where to advertise a tabletop Kickstarter, there are no shortcuts to Kickstarter success.  Advertising is a way to amplify your project but can be a huge waste  money if your project or game isn’t ready. This article assumes that you have gone through the process of prototyping a game, building a crowd by attending conventions, etc. and have a well designed game and product page. If this post proves popular, I can always delve into those topics in separate posts but that’s not what this blog is about.  This blog is an in-depth analysis of which websites to buy advertising on and the ROI received from these different services. Hopefully it also demonstrates the expense of running a successful Kickstarter as well.

Kickstarter Advertising
Spend Clicks CPC Revenue Net ROI
Facebook  $ 1,023.71            7,868 $0.13  $ 3,906.00  $  2,882.29 282%
BGG Ads  $ 1,480.00            7,718 $0.19  $ 6,915.00  $  5,435.00 367%
Reddit  $      39.90            1,198 $0.03  $    689.00  $     649.10 1627%
Kicktraq  $    140.00               231 $0.61  $    145.00  $          5.00 4%
BGG Contest*  $ 1,200.00           3,119 $0.38  $ 2,906.00  $  1,706.00 142%

* BGG Contests don’t let you use a referral link so these stats are a best case scenario guess


The data above was compiled using Kickstarter’s referral tags, Google Analytics and the metrics from the advertising platforms metrics dashboard. Unfortunately, BGG contests do not allow you to use referral tags – only the raw link to your kickstarter.  Hopefully they will address this in the future.  For the table above, I attributed all the remaining referrals clicks to the contest, but more on all of that below when I delve into each platform a bit.

Advertising a Kickstarter Works!

Assuming you’ve done your homework and are advertising to the right demographics, advertising a Kickstarter can certainly amplify your campaign and all your efforts before.  As you can see, I received on average about a 275% return on my advertising spend.  Meaning that for every $1 spent, I got $3.75 pledged and profited $2.75.  Remember that in Board Gaming, there is the massive cost of manufacturing the game.  These statistics do not take into account profit margin of manufacturing the game and all the sunk costs of getting the game to Kickstarter in the first place.
Advertise Kickstarter Net Profits

While a bulk of the total revenue came from BGG, Reddit’s ROI is insane! Their new ad platform is impressive for sure.

Advertise Kickstarter ROI

Hopefully the data above will give any potential board game designer or Kickstarter creator a great start with some proven metrics on advertising.  If you’re interested into diving into the nitty gritty of it all, I will be diving into each ad platform in subsequent posts. Here are those links:

3 Responses

  1. Gustavo G. Forster

    Thanks for that awesome post. This definitely helps us beginners to understand the costs and ROIs. I’m curious of why you didn’t include the costs of getting the game to Kickstarter, though. It seems to me that there costs should be payed by the product’s return?

    • mike

      The scope of the article was focused on advertising specifically and not my overall profit margins based on the production of the game etc. The cost of getting a game to Kickstarter is going to vary for everyone reading this post.

Leave a Reply