PR: What moved the needle, what didn't, what did it cost?
Not all projects can be driven entirely with friends & family or even the general public on Kickstarter - sometimes you need to hunt for fresh outsiders via paid PR. What agencies or resources gave your project noticeable lift? Which did nothing at all? ...and what did it cost you?
Name names!... this will be a big help for everyone who is inundated with PR pitch spam once their project goes live!
This is an aspect of crowd funding I didn't consider and found to be a bit unnerving. The amount of spam in my inbox here and through my website was overwhelming. I have not felt the need to risk the cost against what i see as unrealistic promises and predatory business practices. When a company makes claims to get you funded that include things like product placement, top billing on popular blogs or getting you on national news, for a free or tiered fees, I say, walk away.
The commercial industry is definitely shifting and while this forum is a fantastic way to network and grow, it is important to remember those things happen whether or not you roll the dice on a PR/Marketing firm, use cheap apps to spam your own contacts, or actually reach your goal.
there. my two cents. it's been an interesting learning experience so far ;)
I admit to having been caught out by one sneaky outfit yesterday, so i'd like to warn others of it. I've ignored all of the PR spam that floods my inbox daily, but yesterday morning i received this...
"Louis Anderson says: Hello Paula I'm a journalist for the NY Times writing about new Kickstarter projects that have just recently launched. Would you be able to do a quick interview to promote your project? I'm available later this week so if you can do that it would be great! Just let me know more about your project here and we'll be in touch: http://tinyurl.com/hgcvbtv…"
The link takes you to a "Blog Submission" page, into which you enter what appears to be genuine info for a blog, plus your contact email and number. That didn't worry me especially. A few hours later, I wasn't contacted by a journalist, or anyone from the NY Times, but a PR company offering me the Earth with nothing to pay until the end of the campaign. I asked where they got my number from, as i don't advertise it, and the girl mumbled something i could barely hear. It was obvious to me that this "Louis" was misrepresenting himself. Don't fall for it. I feel pretty dumb for doing so but it's exciting running your campaign and your guard can drop easily!
The other irritation is that I did really well at the start of this campaign, i'm 46% funded in three days, and yet these PR scammers don't even look at your campaign and send you messages commiserating at your efforts to raise pledges, or saying "are you worried about reaching your target" within hours of launch. Insulting to say the least!
Update: we just completed a 12 day test with Crowdreach - a UK-based firm, one of the countless Facebook 'promoters' that will hit you up once your project is running. We run one of these every once in a while in hopes of finding one that has an acceptable (cost per acquisition). So far, none have worked, the Crowdreach experiment was no different.
The campaign: Ledr Workbook
How they work: Facebook ad buys with lookalike audiences using 'creative' they pull from your campaign page (text + photos + video)
What do they cost?: Facebook advertising cost + 15% fee for actual PLEDGES (not impressions or clicks)
What make them different?: We were intrigued by the fee structure based on pledges - most want to be paid up front.
Results?: It cost $711.46 to bring in $793.00 of pledges. We ended up losing money:
Kickstarter - 5%
Payment gateway - 3.5%
Facebook ads - 74.4%
Crowdreach fee - 15%
Total cost for 10 pledges - 97.9%
Our assessment: The product has broad appeal, there should be an above average pledge response to it. They reached 38K people, 3% clicked (typical for Facebook), .8% pledged. To reverse that out, to get 100 pledges we would have needed 380K impressions, for 1000 we would have needed 3.8M impressions. Many on Campus have had luck with Facbook promotions - it hasn't worked for us yet!
Unfortunately I do not remember the name of the Company that contacted my husband when he had a Project. They had different levels of promotion including tweets, Facebook etc. We signed up for the least expensive package. They did their job but we only got 1 backer. I Believe it was because of the Project, not the Companys fault.
Now I have my own Project, Baaggi, hopefully it will go well. Thinking of contacting a social media Company, I´ve recieved a couple of mails...
Update: We just completed our latest project and tested out Crowdfundclicks.com. Big pitch on the multiple $100K projects they'd run, had a low up-front fee +15% of pledges driven tracks by Kickstarter.
Result: $695 fee + 15% lead to only 4 pledges for a total of $161. That's about $4.30 spent for each $1 raised. For the CPA to be in the the more realistic 20% range, there needed to be 300 backers from this effort.
We also tried out the freelancers on Fiverr.com. Pretty simple, they offer to drive traffic, increase exposure or even drive 'backers'.
Result: We ran 8 $5 - $26 tests, 2 delivered, the winner was re-hired for a $100 package. 17 pledges for $763 total at the cost of $184. Not a lot, but one of the only profitable tests we've run so far.
As someone who runs an agency, I'd really look at whether your product is PR friendly. Is it really a product that is revolutionary in what it does and worth some PR?
A number of companies get sucked into the PR hype, they believe PR is going to be the answer to everything. This is a big myth and will not be the silver bullet many people look for. PR tends to flame the fire created by your hard work.
If your project is over $50 PR tends to bring very little without any backend work, if below $60 and a good product that does something useful you may find you'll get a huge bunch of sales from a big publication.
Another word, if your project has not raised enough money in the 1st week from your efforts I wouldn't spend any money on companies emailing you or messaging you. At this point it is very hard to turn things around unless if you're only a few thousand away from your goal. Project creators get into a chasing the money problem at this stage and end up spending lot more.
Does anyone have any information on the validity of this type of request? I received it today and replied back asking where the blog would be featured.
Ryan HoffmanJun 5 2017
Hey would you be open to being included on an article I'm writing? I'd feature you on my blog along with a link for people to support you. It could give you a nice kick too! Let's collab and I'll send you the article when its done. Here is my form I made that asks you a couple questions for the writeup: http://myquestionform.us/?=storify
We're new to this and would appreciate any type of advice.
Thanks, Pam and Bob
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