16: Crowdfunding Promotion: Paid Media (Ads)
In this episode, we’re going to walk you through the single-most-effective way to consistently raise money and even extrapolate how much money you’re going to raise. This approach has raised more money than all of our other methods and that’s why we saved this one for last. Let’s get started!
Subscribe to The Funded Today Podcast
1. Crowdfunding advertising, compared with other forms of marketing, is unusually steady in raising pledges, and typically raises higher pledge totals than any other method.
2. Start advertising on Facebook through desktop news-feed ads (optimized for clicks but billed for impressions) and then possibly expand to other social-media platforms.
3. In choosing audiences to test, consider lookalike audiences of people who have backed similar crowdfunding campaigns, which tend to perform best.
4. For each audience targeted, try to maximize click-through rates by testing a variety of different image-and-text combinations (excluding images that look too obviously like ads while possibly including creator images) that will both attract viewers’ attention and arouse their curiosity, not to sell your project on their own but to draw traffic to your campaign page.
5. Start advertising by testing your most highly-targeted audiences to determine their profitability, then expand your ads targeting as long as it remains profitable, and continue running ads (while slowly scaling-up spending on them) as long as they remain profitable, realizing that their ROI will diminish over time on Facebook.
6. Use custom links plus analytics (like CTRs and EPVs) to calculate profitability accurately, rather than speculating, while considering the fact that ads typically yield more pledges than those that are directly trackable to them.
7. It can help to outsource your campaign marketing to a crowdfunding agency, since agencies typically enjoy skilled labor plus a variety of backer lookalike audiences—but you should verify their claims to have worked on various campaigns, and hire only one agency at a time to avoid them hurting each other’s success.
[01:04] Zach introduces Thomas Alvord, who was Funded Today’s original director of paid media.
[01:54] Thomas recounts his personal story of graduating from law school and then transitioning into paid media (especially social-media ads on both Google and Facebook), initially by generating leads for political campaigns.
[10:48] Thomas explains the importance of skilled labor in advertising.
[12:19] Thomas stresses that it’s good practice to start with your most targeted ads to determine if they’re profitable, expand your ads targeting as long as it remains profitable, and also keep running ads as long as they remain profitable.
[16:37] Thomas overviews his transition into crowdfunding advertising at Zach’s invitation, along with the importance of objective data rather than subjective speculation.
[18:52] Thomas comments about the use of custom links in accurately calculating profitability.
[21:09] Thomas notes that, for most crowdfunding campaigns, Facebook ads currently enjoy the highest ROI in crowdfunding advertising, although it’s gradually diminishing.
[25:02] Thomas recommends starting with Facebook desktop news-feed ads optimized for clicks, while testing a variety of images and text for each ad set.
[30:16] Thomas teaches that the most important element of a Facebook ad is its image, which needs to both attract attention and arouse curiosity, not to sell your crowdfunding project on its own but to draw traffic to your campaign page.
[35:03] Thomas elaborates that creator images often work well in ads, but not highly-polished images that look too obviously like they’re attempting to advertise something, although professional images are good for campaign pages.
[37:12] Thomas notes that Funded Today strives to achieve a 2%-4% click-through rate (CTR).
[38:40] Thomas advises getting billed for impressions, while noting that CPM (cost per mil) is determined by the market, and suggests slowly scaling-up your spending until your audience is exhausted.
[42:19] Thomas discusses how different audiences enjoy different click-through rates, and that audiences can become exhausted relatively quickly.
[45:01] Zach and Thomas reveal that many highly-funded Kickstarter campaigns spent millions of dollars in order to raise millions of dollars, and didn’t necessarily enjoy a positive ROI, but that Funded Today strives to spend as much money as possible on ads without operating at a loss.
[48:01] Zach emphasizes that crowdfunding advertising typically produces far more pledges than those that are directly trackable to ads.
[51:03] Zach and Thomas correct the fallacy that it’s good to hire multiple crowdfunding marketing agencies, which either target badly or else hurt each other’s success by targeting similarly.
[53:14] Zach warns listeners about other agencies falsely claiming to have helped certain campaigns.
[54:31] Thomas adds that, due to differences in prices, conversion rates are a less useful metric than earnings per visitor (EPV) in comparing campaigns.
[61:57] Zach notes that Thomas has spent millions of dollars to help raise over $220,000,000 altogether for Funded Today’s clients.
[62:21] Thomas overviews how Facebook creates lookalike audiences of e-mailing lists, which are very useful in crowdfunding advertising, and which Zach notes are a notable benefit of hiring a professional crowdfunding marketing agency.
[63:48] Thomas asserts that everything in life is easy if you know how to do it, and Zach observes that businesses need to spend money in order to earn money (profitably).
[65:18] Thomas and Zach present this episode’s Projects of the Week.
Zach Smith: (00:00) Funded Today Nation welcome back to the Funded Today Podcast. Last time we talked about how to convince the media, journalist, bloggers and YouTube Influencers to get excited and actually promote your new business. Today we’re going to walk you through the single most effective way to consistently raise money and even extrapolate how much money you’re going to raise. This approach has raised more money than all of our other methods combined and that’s why we say this one for the very last of this series on Marketing. Let’s get started.
Announcer: (00:32) The Funded Today Podcast is hosted by World-Renowned Entrepreneurs and Business Experts Thomas Alvord and Zach Smith. To get a help of your next big business idea or to take your business to the next level go to fundedtoday.com.
Zach Smith: (00:48) Welcome back to the Funded Today Podcast. I am Zach Smith.
Thomas Alvord: (00:51) And my name is Thomas Alvord.
Zach Smith: (00:53) And in our last episode we had the Director of Earned Media Funded Today Mrs. Samantha Adams on, she talked about how to get the Press excited about writing and promoting your campaign give that one a listen if you’ve ever wanted to learn about how to get in the news. Today got a special one for you we have my Co-Host Thomas Alvord, and he’s going to be playing the role of the Expert Special Guest, he was originally our Director of Paid Media.
Thomas Alvord: (01:15) And not just the role I will be the Expert Guest not just pretending.
Zach Smith: (01:20) Very true. He was originally our Director of Paid Media and his strategies and approach to generating pledges using the power of Paid Media on Facebook and other channels is what made Funded Today originally world famous. If you’ve ever wondered how to spend money to make money this podcast masterclass is for you. Thomas this should be a really interesting episode rather than have you co-hosting with me, I’m going to put you on the hot seat, you’re ready for this?
Thomas Alvord: (01:44) I think so.
Zach Smith: (01:44) All right. Well let’s dive right into it.
Thomas Alvord: (01:47) Sounds good.
Zach Smith: (01:48) Story time. How did you get started doing Paid Media? Tell us how it all happened.
Thomas Alvord: (01:52) So, I got started actually about 10 let’s see 10 years ago or so, and I was in law school. And I was planning on being an Attorney I actually didn’t know what I wanted to be. I did a JD/MPA, so that’s a Law Degree with Masters in Public Administration and MPA is kind of like a MBA but for Nonprofit Government Management.
Zach Smith: (02:16) So you’re saying you have more education than you know what to do with?
Thomas Alvord: (02:18) Yes, yes pretty much exactly, and so I was never really committed to Law but I was never really committed to like the government or the nonprofit because I was in both programs and was kind of trying to figure my way and at the time I had some family who had an online business and they were selling a product online and it amazed me how they were basically making money in their sleep with Google AdWords and so I thought man I want to figure this stuff out, so that’s when I first started learning about “Paid Media” bought a book by guy named “Perry Marshall” “The Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords” I believe is the book and went through that and he was kind of my mentor who helped me start learning about “Paid Media”.
Zach Smith: (03:05) And Thomas let’s maybe even take it back a little bit further what does Paid Media mean to those who may be listening to this, we’ve talked about Earned Media, we’ve talked about Cross Collaboration and we’ve talked about Cashback, Email Lead Generation, let’s go ahead and define Paid Media as it relates to what you do and what you did?
Thomas Alvord: (03:22) Yes, so Paid Media is what it sounds like it’s getting exposure on media but you’re paying for it, right? So it’s predictable, if I go to Facebook and I pay $10 to do $10 in Facebook Ads that’s Paid Media, and technically I suppose if you look at TV buying right, if you were to buy a commercial on TV, that would also be Paid Media. My experience is with the primarily on the digital side of things I have done TV commercials and have experience with some political campaigns in that arena, but basically the Paid Media I got involved with initially was Google AdWords and Facebook, and Perry Marshall he actually had a course it was $1,000 and at the time I was dirt, poor, completely broke, didn’t have the money but I thought man if I get this this looks like it could be really powerful, really useful and Perry Marshall actually had a book on the I believe it was “The Ultimate Guide to Facebook Ads” right? And learning different strategies how you could get likes on your Facebook page for a penny and working on some campaigns and so that’s where I dove in and learned Facebook and that was kind of the beginning of my Paid Media journey.
Zach Smith: (04:39) Okay very cool so Google AdWords, Perry Marshall way back in the day in terms of Internet times how did that translate to Crowdfunding Paid Media, where did the synergy happen there, what was the connection? What bridge those two avenues together such that you were able to create such a successful enterprise as it relates to Paid Media in Rewards Based Crowdfunding Kickstarter, Indiegogo that sort of thing?
Thomas Alvord: (05:07) After I bought the courses and started going through the content it was probably six to 12 months until I got some traction and I had a few different of my own business ventures and there just wasn’t quite a product to market fit and I -- for example I had created an Online Immigration Self-Help where basically you have step-by-step here’s how to file a government immigration form, but if you needed help you’d have access to an attorney and I turned Google AdWords on, and I was getting five to ten leads a day right, for $1 or $2 per day, or excuse me a $1 to $2 per lead and that probably would have worked out tremendously except there’s a lot of fraud in immigration and people wanted to meet in person. Well-being in Utah if somebody is calling from Chicago or New York or LA where I had people calling from we were unable to write and so we never got those clients I say we it was, it was me and so that stopped. But I got involved in the political arena and was working with some Governor Races, Senate Races and that was actually my plan. I was planning on just doing political Email Lead Generation and it was, it was going well I was making $10,000 to $20,000 a month and I thought hey I got things figured out this is working and that’s when you reached out to me and asked me about some Paid Media and that.
Zach Smith: (06:44) That was an embarrassing story but why don’t we go ahead and recap what question I asked you and how that relates to what you were doing with Paid Media and before you answer that so you spent six months, 12 months of basically studying everything there was about Paid Media before you got traction, meaning you were testing things every day and things went working and eventually you kind of found the formula is that fair to say?
Thomas Alvord: (07:08) Not every day…
Zach Smith: (07:09) Okay.
Thomas Alvord: (07:09) But I would have a new campaign here, a new campaign there and I would set it up for my family who has this other online business. I actually went and was doing some work for them probably for two months maybe and at that time I was optimizing their Google Ads, I was reading some content on copywriting so this whole time I’m learning right because it’s not coming, it’s not something you just know and.
Zach Smith: (07:38) And that’s what I want to do, I kind of just want to map out this road map to somebody who’s maybe like I’m going to do Paid Media, what does that journey look like for somebody you know so.
Thomas Alvord: (07:47) So I was doing Google AdWords with my family and it was a little campaign here, a little campaign there learning along the way. So it wasn’t like every single day I was in the thick of it right, but it took a while right, because it’s not like I went and I started working at some agency and they were teaching me from the ground up. I was learning this 100% myself in going and testing, any budget I was testing for the most part was my own campaign.
Zach Smith: (08:20) And I think that’s takeaway number two, takeaway number one being this isn’t some kind of overnight success story even though it kind of feels that way with what Funded Today has become, but takeaway number two that I think is the most important. You didn’t follow a road map, you didn’t go to an agency and an agency didn’t say hey do this, do this, do this, you invented the formula, nobody was doing what was being what you created like literally in the entire world nobody was doing this strategy.
Thomas Alvord: (0:08:46) Yes and what’s interesting is I got a political client and they wanted me to generate leads and I think it was $2.50 a lead, and in the political arena the typical way that you generate leads is through petition right, you have an ad hey sign this petition and when people sign it they opt into the email list.
Zach Smith: (09:12) And the petition being like support gun control rights, if you believe in banning guns.
Thomas Alvord: (09:16) Exactly, right, and I had set up a few campaigns and my cost per lead was $5, $6 and it just was not going to work and I remember I got up early one day I think I got up at 5:00 in the morning or so maybe at 6:00 I can’t remember I got up I went to the office and I had an idea for one more campaign and during all this time I learned a little bit of coding and so I put together a web page, I sent some traffic, I was trying a new approach, I turned on the ads, I went home, I had breakfast with my wife and then an hour or two later I went back, I turned things on and I thought holy smokes are you kidding me I was blown away, I kid you not, I was getting leads for $0.10, $0.15 and not only that on some of my ads, my click through rates were 60%, 70% and that ended up being like $100,000 contract.
Zach Smith: (10:20) So meaning for every 100 people that saw it $600 or 60 to 70 people would actually click through on the Ad.
Thomas Alvord: (10:28) That’s right and then the option rate was I think 20% or so.
Zach Smith: (10:30) That’s amazing, and this was before just days earlier you were getting these same leads for $5.
Thomas Alvord: (10:35) Exactly.
Zach Smith: (10:35) Wow
Thomas Alvord: (10:38) And so it’s interesting too right, this interesting dynamic especially as we talk with these start-ups and talk with others or even as we have our due diligence fee and we say hey here’s our, here’s our set up fee for our expertise and people think why am I paying you $4,500 or $5,000 for your marketing due diligence and you’re not spending all that budget on the marketing right? If I wanted to run the marketing I’ll just go run the marketing and I can spend all $5,000 but the thing is that is why people pay somebody like us, that’s why somebody pays an agency is because their expertise, they know who to target, they know how to create the ads, they know what metrics to look for which we can look at and we’ll discuss a little bit down the road here.
Zach Smith: (11:28) Yes it makes a lot of sense.
Thomas Alvord: (11:29) But it’s like if you need somebody on your basketball team to hope you score you could be like well yes I could, I know how to shoot a basketball, I can be the person well obviously Michael Jordan he knows how to shoot a basketball or LeBron James or whoever else is really good right you’re paying them for their expertise, anyone can do anything, anyone can go turn on Facebook Ads, but it’s knowing what to look for, what metrics are good, what metrics are bad and that’s where through this whole process of running marketing you learn that and when you go to a new industry it can be difficult because you don’t know what metrics to look for, you don’t know who to target, you don’t have those audiences and so it is, it really is a learning process.
Zach Smith: (12:15) So Funded Today the Michael Jordan of Crowdfunding.
Thomas Alvord: (12:18) Sure. For Crowdfunding I’ll take that.
Zach Smith: (12:21) I like that. Alright so now another story and that leads us right in looking at the right metrics building what was built at Funded Today what happened I reached out to you I said hey Thomas is this a good idea tell me what that was all about.
Thomas Alvord: (12:38) Yes so you and I had been friends I guess you could call that digitally over Skype for a year or so and you were consulting on the “RooSport Campaign” and you reached out to me and there was I can’t remember now I don’t remember the name of the company or service but it was a company who offered Facebook Ads, and I don’t I mean maybe you are reaching out to see if I want to work on the campaign I think you were reaching out just to get my opinion and you basically said hey here is this service does it look like a good idea or not, and you were testing so many different things and I remember you had a ton of different little tricks and techniques all throughout the campaign you were doing it and this company would basically said pay us $500 we’ll run targeted ads, $750 we’ll run more targeted ads and a $1,000 will run the most targeted ads.
Zach Smith: (13:35) And that was the most you could pay, you couldn’t say well pay me $10,000 it was like these are your choices once you ran out of the $501 they were done.
Thomas Alvord: (13:42) Right. And so you knew at the time that I did a lot of Facebook Marketing and so you reached out to me and you said this is so cool, does this look like a good service, does this look like a good idea and I looked at it and I said absolutely not, it looks like an absolutely horrible idea this is completely stupid and here’s the reason why.
Zach Smith: (14:02) And before you get to the why, literally this was the only way anybody was doing Facebook Advertising as it related to Crowdfunding at that time.
Thomas Alvord: (14:11) That’s right yes.
Zach Smith: (14:12) And it’s crazy as it sounds in hindsight that was the strategy.
Thomas Alvord: (14:15) Right. Yes the idea was and even other agencies which I won’t name here but we know and have some friends in other agencies literally they would say hey you need to market your campaign, you need a $20,000 budget go spend $2,000 on Facebook right, and so Facebook was kind of hey yes you want to promote some stuff on Facebook and go promote it now.
Zach Smith: (14:40) The strategy was mainly Earned Media back then and press releases and different things, it was a much different approach to the way you do marketing.
Thomas Alvord: (14:48) Right.
Zach Smith: (14:48) On Crowdfunding now.
Thomas Alvord: (14:50) And so, and I think this was part of my background and my learning from Perry Marshall and from others in is that Digital Marketing is not branding for a start-up right its Direct Response Marketing and there’s books like “Scientific Advertising” by Claude or “Claude Hopkins” who wrote the book Scientific Advertising that talks about the methodology and the approach to having Direct Response Marketing and this book was written I don’t know how long ago 50 years, 70 years ago and it was more about Direct Response Marketing for pieces in the mill and how they do that, but those same principle is applied, and so then applying that to Crowdfunding it was, well you don’t want to spend $500 I mean technically you need to spend more to even test stuff out right, but the concept is if it’s not working why would you spend $500 and if it works really well why would you not spend more than $1,000 so the whole model was flawed and additionally the model was flawed for that other service because they said look you pay us the most to start with the most focused or narrow audience and whenever you do Paid Media Marketing or any Direct Response Marketing you always want to hone in on that demographic, on that target audience who is most likely to convert and then if that converts well you expand outward and you increase your budget. But if that most targeted audience doesn’t convert yes you can test some other audiences but most likely you’re not going to have a winner.
Zach Smith: (16:32) Fill fast quickest way so I said that sounds amazing let’s have you give it a shot and then you begin your very first test for the “RooSport” as it related to Paid Media and how did that go?
Thomas Alvord: (16:45) Yes so we turned things on and it’s so funny right it seems so actually it seems so archaic thinking about it now that there actually was no way to test the marketing results because you couldn’t place a Facebook pixel which allows you to track conversions and so we literally, I literally just turned on ads and we looked at the campaign overall and said oh the delta right, how much it was raising before was $2,000 a day now raised $5,000 a day and we did that for a few days it’s like hey it’s raising another $3,000 a day I forgot the exact number. Is that from what I’m doing and even you were worried and the company you were working with your like us this -- is this right.
Zach Smith: (17:31) There was no Google Analytics, there was no Tracking, there was nothing other than the Delta to go by and so we just, we proposed another idea what do we say?
Thomas Alvord: (17:41) Yes so basically we said let’s turn off the ads and then see what happens and so we turned the ads off and it’s like oh! things died down it looks like this is actually contributing so then we turn things back on and I think we raise another $50,000 or $60,000, and what’s interesting too is I think I made like $3,000 right not a ton of money it was decent and I was like oh! that was nice for the amount of work and what I did and it was kind of like it sounds good, adieus we’ll see you thanks right and I had no intention whatsoever to do anything in Crowdfunding, and it was simply the “FreeWavz Campaign” who was a friend of the “RooSport Campaign” that we just finished that saw what we did needed to raise another $100,000 in less than 100 hours and basically came and begged that we’d run the marketing and we did and they hit their goal and as they say the rest is history. So that’s basically how I got started in Crowdfunding Marketing.
Zach Smith: (18:41) Very cool. The story is always so exciting no matter how many times it is retold. So now I want to move on to probably what our listeners want to hear the most, how do we do it, how do we do Crowdfunding Paid Media and then I think along the way I want to kind of share some tips and tricks and some ideas of what’s working now, what doesn’t work anymore best ideas best practices maybe as much details we can provide here so that others who are looking to do a Crowdfunding campaign or really any sort of marketing can apply the Paid Media strategies that we do here at Funded Today to help them bring their next big idea to life.
Thomas Alvord: (19:20) Great, so I want to start broad and then try to go narrow okay.
Zach Smith: (19:25) To opposite of the effect of the way we do Paid Media in this alright go on.
Thomas Alvord: (19:31) I want to give a big picture and then the nitty-gritty the details discuss some of those finer points.
Zach Smith: (19:37) Alright.
Thomas Alvord: (19:38) At a very, very, basic level if somebody is running a Crowdfunding Campaign what they can do what they should do if they’re not working with us or somebody like us, within Kickstarter as well as Indiegogo in your dashboard you can create a custom link, and the custom link if somebody clicks on that and goes to your Crowdfunding Page and makes a pledge it will trackback to that custom referral right? So for example you have a dashboard anyone who hasn’t seen it or been logged into the Kickstarter Indiegogo backend you’ll see a dashboard that shows all the pledges and where the pledges have come from, right? Some might come from Facebook, some from Google maybe some from TechCrunch maybe some from Huffington Post etcetera, and using a custom link will allow you to track where different pledges are coming from and you can create multiple custom links we actually have a Link Shortener called FND.to and it’s kind of like Bitly if people are familiar with Bitly but how the redirect works it tracks on the dashboard, and so we have tons of different unique link tracked, link subdomains that track back to all of our different divisions and their marketing efforts, but what’s important is you have to track what you’re doing, you don’t want to spend blindly, you need to know what, what your ROI is. So the easiest way to do it again is to create that link tracking in the Kickstarter Dashboard or Indiegogo Dashboard and from there what I would do is go to Facebook, Facebook is going to be the best platform always to start with.
Zach Smith: (21:21) And why is that, because I think sometimes we have maybe listeners or even clients say you’re just going to Facebook I mean my answer to that and then I’ll let you expand upon it is yes Facebook’s got I don’t know four or five billion people of the Planet’s seven or eight billion people now if you want to have the ability to target anybody and basically the entire developed world Facebook’s the best way to get there. Is that the best answer?
Thomas Alvord: (21:49) Absolutely, and that’s one way to look at it but from a practical or pragmatic I guess I’m not sure the precise word but we’ve tested all of the different channels by which you could market right, and
Zach Smith: (22:06) Should we cross off a few Twitter yes or no?
Thomas Alvord: (22:10) Well I’ll share those right. So whenever we’ve had a campaign that converts really well on Facebook, we’ve tested Twitter, we’ve tested Pinterest, we’ve done things on Google AdWords, do they give you a return? Can you generate pledges? Yes. Can you generate pledges at as good of an ROI as at Facebook? No never.
Zach Smith: (22:37) Hands down definitively.
Thomas Alvord: (22:37) Exactly, and so why are you going to go start or even mess around with those other channels Twitter, Pinterest if they’re not going to give you as good of an ROI as Facebook you shouldn’t. Now again this isn’t to say that Pinterest might not be better than Facebook for some businesses, but for Crowdfunding where you’re only live say for 30 days that is Facebook is your best bet, and like you said you have the most traffic, you have the cheapest clicks, you have the most targeted targeting and so it’s a beautiful platform to run on.
Zach Smith: (23:13) And I want to make one point here as well, I remember the days of Google AdWords, I remember we were able to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars add a pretty good clip and get a pretty good return, just like you described as you were doing some consulting and working with some of the businesses and some of your family businesses that you work with as well, and I want to kind of give a call to action to all of our listeners just like Google AdWords was the king seven to ten years ago and even probably before that a bit in the sense if you had $10 million you probably should have spent $10 million that is what Facebook is now. Will it be the case in two years, three years again I’m speaking in pretty finite terms or because the Internet is just moving so quickly, I don’t know but I don’t want you to miss out on Facebook and I don’t want to be saying I mean this is going to get replayed hundreds of thousands of times I don’t want me to be the “voice of warning” and the “voice of reason that haunts you” because you didn’t take action on what Facebook is now as to what Google AdWords, PPC was seven to ten years ago.
Thomas Alvord: (24:26) Exactly. And I think we also see though that Facebook is maturing like Google AdWords where advertisers are still coming on to the platform but as that happens your cost to advertise on the platform increases until you hit an equilibrium where advertisers don’t continue to spend more and more just because of their ROI and so we have seen over the last few years Facebook maturing in that regard.
Zach Smith: (24:53) Supply and demand.
Thomas Alvord: (24:55) Exactly. Now going back to what I was referencing and talking about have the Link Shortener and then create an Ad and use for the URL that when people click the URL that people go to use that Link Shortener, And you could use that Link Shortener for all of your ads or you could break it down at the ad level or at the ad set level. The ad set level within Facebook how Facebook is structured when you create an ad there’s three levels you have a campaign, an ad set and an ad, A campaign would be your campaign call it your Kickstarter or Indiegogo Campaign okay. Then within that you breakout your marketing based off of your ad set and at the ad set level that’s where you’re specifying your demographics where your ads are going to display and things like that. So for example I might have one ad set where I’m targeting males in the US who are between the age of 18 and 35 who like Kickstarter and I’m advertising to them on Instagram. And again I want to give people the easiest way to get started, right? What we found with the marketing we do is we actually start with the News Feed on desktop that will give you the best return for your money. So you could have an ad that targets that same demographic males in the US 18 to 35 who like Kickstarter and target people who are on the Facebook News Feed on desktop.
Zach Smith: (26:40) Not even Right Column ad?
Thomas Alvord: (26:41) Not right column, not mobile not Instagram, not messages not stories just that and just advertise for because you usually can optimize if you want to optimize for conversions or clicks right. If you’re optimizing for conversions Facebook will run all of their algorithms and analytics to try to generate conversions for you or in this case purchase for the cheapest price possible.
Zach Smith: (27:12) And that special link that you’re using is going to track your pledges?
Thomas Alvord: (27:17) Well technically you’re not going to be able to select, to optimize for conversions because you’re not able to put a Facebook pixel on the Kickstarter landing page. So you’re actually going to need to simply optimize for clicks and so you would optimize for clicks and then within the ad set you can have different ads. Let’s say you have a watch and maybe you have one ad that has a certain title and it’s a picture of a female wearing the watch and then you have that same text but it’s a male wearing that same watch. And then maybe you take both of those same images and then you change the title to something different. So really you have four different ads and each of those ads can have a unique URL that people go to. When we run ads at Funded Today we don’t break things down at the ad level in terms of link tracking and seeing what’s giving us an ROI that’s just a little too narrow but what we do is do it at the ad set level. So for example if I was targeting males between the age of 18 to 35 on the Facebook News Feed on desktop and I’d have four ads all four of those ads I would have maybe be let’s say we have our own nomenclature that that’s kind of broken down but you do want to put something so if a pledge happens you know what demographic that was. And in this case you’d have probably Kickstarter male 18 to 35 you could call that your link within Kickstarter and that way you can track what’s happening that that is so core and perhaps that’s the biggest takeaway because you see this all the time right and sometimes you come to me and you think oh my goodness this client of ours is saying we’re doing a horrible job and they were saying they were getting a literally like 20X on their ads right?
Zach Smith: (29:20) We see it all the time and then what do we do, we go to them and we say show us and 100% of the time literally I have a standing bet if anybody ever wants to take it I will give you money if you beat us with your advertising, it’s just something that we’ve done to kind of breakdown anybody who is lying or isn’t tracking or simply doesn’t understand things just to prove to them that we know what we’re doing and we do it better than anybody in the world.
Thomas Alvord: (29:46) Well that’s a double edged sword too right because on the one hand we want to show yes you’re probably actually tracking things wrong so if you can actually do this go do it and then they’ll see oh we’re mistaken. But on the flipside if for some reason they do something that is generating amazing results that we don’t know about the heck we want to know about it so yes let us see and we’re happy to pay you for it, but again we’ve never had anyone do that.
Zach Smith: (30:10) So, let’s talk about generating amazing results for a sec. I’ve heard of some different strategies recently we’re trying some different things, tell me about I don’t know three or four things that are the key to generating amazing conversions?
Thomas Alvord: (30:25) Great, great question. So the first point that I want to talk about is an ad. The most important element of any ad is the image, it’s not the title, it’s not the little blurb up above all those obviously influence it it’s actually the image, because when somebody is scrolling through Facebook what you’re trying to do is you’re trying to take their attention away or maybe they’re in some low right and you know how it is where you just kind of scrolling and scrolling and scrolling right you’re trying to get people to stop so if you need an image that invokes curiosity, curiosity is what we always go for and now again this is important too. Curiosity is not clickbait and we have even had conversations with people on Facebook and Facebook has said the difference between the two is clickbait is where you hangout a carrot and people click and then when they land on a landing page what they get is not what you hinted at. Curiosity is where you peak their interest and it’s intriguing so they want to know more and then they click through to learn more, that’s not clickbait, that’s just a curiosity based ad okay.
Zach Smith: (31:37) Let me give you an example of one that maybe will paint a vivid picture in your mind if you’re listening to this podcast. I love to tell the story and you might have heard it before. We worked with a company that decided to take over from their grandfather a watchmaking business, and like Thomas said the picture that we used to great effect was the two grandchildren kind of panned out so you couldn’t see them too well they were I mean they were in the frame still and then the grandfather and then on one of the grandkids wrists was a watch that you couldn’t even make out and then there was maybe an arrow or something pointing to it and the text read 73 year old grandfather passes on legacy of watchmaking to grandchildren. Do you see how that image and that text and the idea of the story all combined together to form the perfect ad leveraging the perfect image and literally this image didn’t even show the watch you couldn’t even see the watch until you clicked which is probably another point that Thomas is going to talk about. The ad no matter how many times anybody tells you is not meant to sell the ad is simply to drive curiosity to your sales page, to your Kickstarter page, to your video and the job of your Kickstarter video and your page and your reward structure in the story there is to sell the ad is to get the eyeballs the clicks the curiosity, right?
Thomas Alvord: (33:12) Exactly I don’t know if I shared this with you Zach I recently did an Email Lead Generation Campaign for somebody who had five videos and they were trying to get people to opt in to their email list, right? And the idea was they were going to get an email it was a holiday theme and they were going to get an email a day for five days and I did a few tests and the first test I did was actually the first video live that people could watch inside of Facebook and then if they clicked on it Facebook has what’s called an Email Lead Generation ad so it doesn’t take you to a landing page it just pops up a thing within Facebook with somebodies email pre-filled and they can just click submit to opt in to your email list. So that was my first approach thinking hey show the first video people will like it and then after people like it then they’ll be able to opt in well to get the other four videos. But then I, I did that and it did okay I think maybe 8% opt in rate which is actually pretty low. So then I actually created the same thing but it was a still image ad and people would click on it and then when they would click on it took them to a landing page where they could watch the first video and then opt in. That actually had a slightly higher opt in rate but then I did one more test where people had us it was an ad that was a still image if people clicked on it, it took them to a landing page and it showed the video and it looked like you could click on it but you actually couldn’t click and watch the video you had to opt in to watch the video, and surprisingly that almost had a double opt in rate. So again if you’re trying to get people like Zach said you’re trying to move people along, you do not want to sell people on Facebook that’s going to be very difficult to do you want to get them on to Kickstarter. So you want an ad that invokes curiosity often we found that a founders image where it’s the founder are you the creator with your product and even not being able to see the product a 100% clearly is good or useful because it’s invoking that curiosity, people don’t know exactly what it is or they see it’s a watch but what’s unique about it, what’s different right? And so people click through.
Zach Smith: (35:28) Now Thomas talk about branding really briefly because I know this question’s going to come up because it comes up all the time, but Thomas I can’t put my face out there, I’m old, I’m too young, I’m ugly, I don’t look good on camera that’s embarrassing for my brand.
Thomas Alvord: (35:44) Yes if anything if you are older or a different demographic that you think might not fit that may even work to your advantage because it’s different right, and you want things that look different and to that point never try to create an ad that looks polished and glossy and beautiful because people have their sensors on and when they see an ad they naturally just ignore it you wanted look organic and authentic even you and me were just commenting today how you have these a lot of these business motivational type speakers and they put the stuff out and these short blurbs 30 seconds two minutes whatever they’re not polished at all right, it’s kind of raw organic, it’s genuine, it’s authentic and that’s what you want to show you don’t want to have like a picture perfect type ad. Now that’s different than your Kickstarter video interestingly or ironically enough because on your Kickstarter you actually need to convey professionalism that you’re going to be able to bring this new product or idea to life that you can bring it to fruition.
Zach Smith: (36:56) And it needs to look amazing.
Thomas Alvord: (36:57) And it needs to look amazing. Facebook and most ad networks are social networks and so you want to connect socially and that’s often why a founders image I think performs the best.
Zach Smith: (37:09) Okay yes that makes perfect sense, any other tips?
Thomas Alvord: (37:14) Yes so what you want to do is again see how much you spent for each ad set and then you have that link tracker.
Zach Smith: (37:23) How much did you spend, what’s the idea behind statistical significance here perhaps is there are certain number or amount of clicks or a click through rate or a conversion rate you should be searching for talk some hard metrics?
Thomas Alvord: (37:34) So we’re - a good campaign back in the day at Funded Today when we first started literally was 8% to 12%.
Zach Smith: (37:42) Conversion rate?
Thomas Alvord: (37:43) Click through rate.
Zach Smith: (37:43) Click through rate, okay.
Thomas Alvord: (37:44) Actually when we first started it was between like 10% to 20%.
Zach Smith: (37:48) Okay meaning for every 100 people that saw the ad 10 to 20 would click through?
Thomas Alvord: (37:52) Correct.
Zach Smith: (37:52) Okay.
Thomas Alvord: (37:54) So typically what we’ll see is between a 2% to 4% click through rate if we’re below 2% we’re going to keep working on finding an ad that my work. If we’re about 5% like that’s phenomenal that that’s great we’re really happy about.
Zach Smith: (38:14) And by the way when we’re talking about click through rates here we’re not targeting some random place like Thomas said earlier these are the most targeted people in the entire world for your particular idea, so to have a 5% click through rate is truly phenomenal and a lot of people are like that’s impossible, how can you do that.
Thomas Alvord: (38:33) Exactly.
Zach Smith: (38:33) Okay.
Thomas Alvord: (38:34) Now if you’re under 1% yes absolutely definitely need to go rework that.
Zach Smith: (38:39) Okay.
Thomas Alvord: (38:39) Now the dynamic of how you pay right your Cost Per Click your CPC is a function a combination of both your click through rate and your CPM which is kind of confusing if you’re not familiar to it but basically this is how it works? When you pay for an ad on Facebook the billing terminology that Facebook uses and other ad networks is CPM which stands for Cost Per Mill which basically says for every 1,000 impressions or for every 1,000 times that your ad is shown how much do you pay? For example you might pay $16 for every 1,000 impressions. Now you might only have 100 impressions right maybe, maybe you only spend for 100 impressions and in that case your CPM would be $16 but you would only spend a $1.60 right you’re only spending because you didn’t get a 1,000 impressions you only had 10% of those 1,000 impressions.
Zach Smith: (39:49) Yes that makes sense.
Thomas Alvord: (39:50) So you look at your CPM that’s how Facebook is billing you and that’s where if you change your click through rate, let’s say you have a click through rate that’s 2% and you double your click through rate to 4% whatever you’re paying in your cost per click you literally will have just cut that in half. So if you were previously paying $0.40 per cost per click now you’d be paying $0.20 cost per click.
Zach Smith: (40:15) So then the key takeaway here is how do you drive a higher click through rate.
Thomas Alvord: (40:20) Exactly that’s the one you actually have control over both metrics, but you have well let me explain. Your cost per click you have control over that by creating a better ad that has a better click through rate if you decrease your or rather if you double your click through rate you’re going to decrease your cost per click by 50%. Now the CPM you don’t really have control over because you’re bidding against other people and it’s what the market sets right, what the in the marketplace what the equilibrium is. So the one way you can affect CPM though up or down is by your budget, and by your audience size. If you have an audience size of say 1 million people in your audience and you spend $1 per day your CPM is going to be pretty low because Facebook basically has a million people that it can show your ad to but you’re only going to spend a dollar a day so Facebook can be very picky about who it shows to and if there’s an advertiser or other advertisers who are bidding more Facebook can say oh we’re just going to wait here, we’re just going to wait until there’s an individual where there’s not a lot of other advertisers bidding and we’re able to get a bid in for really low. On the flip side let’s say you have an audience of 50,000 people and you go and you spend $10,000 a day on that audience I’m not quite sure what it would be but you might be spending $50 to $500 per 1,000 impressions right you would be spending a lot of money, so that’s where scaling slowly is also effective because as you start slowly you’re actually going to get your best returns.
Zach Smith: (42:16) So you see a lot of people that are worried, I’ve only got 35 days, I’ve only got 15 days left on my campaign how do you reconcile that fact, that reality with this is working well I need you to spend $50,000 tomorrow.
Thomas Alvord: (42:31) So one of the other factors that is going to influence your conversion and you’ll see at the ad set level you have different demographics that you’re driving traffic to or driving traffic from. They’re all going to convert differently an 18 to 35 year old male will convert differently than an 18 to 35 year old female for different products, and so depending on the audience it will convert differently. We have thousands of audiences at Funded Today that allow us to hone in our marketing, so if you have a widget that is like X we probably have a few past campaigns that were similar to your widget that had a similar audience and so we’re able to market or create lookalike audiences and market to those people. But with that said generally speaking with these lookalike audiences that we create and I’ll share a little bit about how we create those so people can understand if they’re not familiar with it typically the audience size is such that within a two to three week timeframe you can reach all of those people that you’re really going to be reaching, you don’t need to be advertising for 60 days. Actually advertising for 60 days makes it harder usually because the audience gets exhausted. So two to three weeks you’re going to have enough time to reach all of those people without having to increase your budget so much that your costs become so high.
Zach Smith: (44:04) So what do you say to people who are like no that’s not enough time or you got to scale faster and faster and faster I need to get results faster, faster what do you say to that because it comes up a lot still right even though what you’ve just stated is an imperial fact.
Thomas Alvord: (44:19) Yes if people say that if the goal is to have a high raise to be able to raise some VC money or to help with retail placement then absolutely we can scale and.
Zach Smith: (44:31) Even more aggressively.
Thomas Alvord: (44:32) Yes we can but your ROI is not going to be as good right. But if you’re really focused on ROI and don’t have these other objectives outside or primarily those aren’t your objectives after your Crowdfunding Campaigns that is raising funds from investors or getting to retail then yes usually people want to focus on having a better margin on their campaign so they can take that and go fulfill.
Zach Smith: (44:56) And I’m not going to namedrop here but I want to make many of you listeners feel a lot happier with your raises, so one of the most successful Crowdfunding companies of all time is “PopSocket” guess how much they raised Crowdfunding I believe it was $18,000 four or five years ago, guess how much money they did in revenue this last year $160 plus million in revenue so explain that to me? Now in that same vein of thinking and I’m not going to namedrop here but many of the campaigns you see that raise millions of dollars some that we’ve worked with many that we haven’t actually spent millions of dollars to raise millions of dollars. Now like Thomas said if you’re doing that to make a name for yourself and be like I raised $5 million Crowdfunding well how much did you spend that’s the first question I always ask because I don’t know about you, I like to make money. I like to actually get a return on my money and I don’t like to spend a million dollars to make a million dollars and lose money, I like to spend $200,000 and raise a million dollars and net $800,000, that the way I think. Now if you’ve got Venture Capitalist, Angel Investors you’re trying to make a name, you’re trying to pitch some people who knows I mean that could be a strategy, but my advice to you is don’t come to Funded Today, don’t come to us and say hey I want this campaign chances are we know that campaign or we know the numbers behind or maybe we even worked with it and we can tell you the inside nitty-gritty details that make that beautiful million dollar plus raise not nearly as mesmerizing as it seems on paper.
Thomas Alvord: (46:33) Going along with that Zach I often look at it and I call it the “Deception of Crowdfunding” because it is so deceiving that you look at a campaign and how much it has raised and you have no clue the story behind that campaign I remember a few years ago and this is totally against Kickstarter’s term so don’t do this, but there was a campaign they had raised like $600,000 or $700,000 I’m not going to say what the project was, but basically this campaign had prototypes but they actually didn’t have prototypes their whole goal was to raise this money and then go find some investors to be able to create the product. So looked like they were flying high, things were amazing, they had these amazing prototypes why didn’t I think of that type of thing or create that but they hadn’t even created it and there have been campaigns literally that we have been spending a $1 to raise $0.90 typically we don’t in terms of what directly tracks, in terms of the overall campaign it’s more and again it depends on your objective right for some people that maybe have a retail play or already in retail it actually makes sense right because you’re not losing money, you’re still out of breakeven or making a profit but your brand’s getting exposure.
Zach Smith: (47:56) And I want to make another point on that too, we’ve seen different agencies sometimes people creep up and our strategy on Paid Media is to spend as much money as possible on your campaign, on any campaign we work with such that we just aren’t losing money. Now a lot of people that I’ve seen recently they’ll do this strategy. Hey we’re going to charge you $2,500 in set up due-diligence whatever they want to call it and we’re only going to charge you 25% of our links, meaning like Thomas talked about earlier we’re tracking, if we raise you $1,000 then you’ll pay us $250 and we’ll cover the ad spend too, that model is ridiculous, and they’ll also say well we’re so vested in your campaign we love your product, we love your business no they don’t. If they loved your product, if they loved your business they would charge you a reasonable fee like 30% of the total campaign raise so that they can spend the $50,000 $100,000 maybe hundreds of thousands of dollars to raise your campaign millions of dollars. If they’re charging you 25% links and covering your ad spend they’re taking your $2,500 because if you don’t have an exceptional idea where they can spend $250 or less for every $1,000 they raise then they’re not going to raise you any money and you just lost your $2,500. It is so important to recognize Paid Media as the holistic model it is meaning you might spend $100 in Paid Media and it might directly track $200 so $2 to $1 direct ROAS we call it Return On Ad Spend but guess what like Thomas talked about the overall campaign went up $3,000 that day and so there was this positive externality of untracked yet most likely, not even most likely guaranteed because of the results of Paid Media that resulted in this huge surge and that’s because of the Paid Media but guess what if you’re paying somebody on links you are not going to get that effect because they aren’t going to spend the money necessary to create that spike that bump in your campaign, and that’s a huge, huge, huge, fallacy that I see creeping up all over this industry and it really is a shame because that’s, it’s just almost purely dishonest really.
Thomas Alvord: (50:13) Now to clarify you’re talking Zach about people who say you pay me 25% of what my marketing tracks for or what my links tracks for and that includes the ad spend?
Zach Smith: (50:25) Yes that’s right.
Thomas Alvord: (50:26) Yes. I was not even aware of that and that is for that is the biggest scam ever and I not had -- this is the first time I’m hearing about it because there’s no way you can spend and have a profit at that clip, unless perhaps you are this incredibly successful campaign, your conversion is super high and even then that’s probably your breakeven point best case scenario on a very small and narrow audience.
Zach Smith: (50:59) One more fallacy I want to tackle and Thomas can add his $0.02 on this as well, a lot of people think well I need to hire every single agency why is this a bad thought and all and I’ll add in my $0.02 it’s bad because you don’t need to do that if you hire the right agency or if you have the right audiences and the right marketing in place because if you hire five, six, seven even two or three different agencies because you’re like well they have different audiences or they have -- it’s just not true they don’t and most likely they have nothing and they’re just targeting broadly which is completely against everything Thomas talked about today all it’s going to do is make your costs more, make the agency be able to spend less, make their click through rate lower increase audience fatigue increase frequency of all the different paid media is running and ultimately hurt your campaign and we’ve seen this time and time again and yet quite frankly I’d say it’s coming up more often than it ever has over the last year or so where people like well yes let’s hire you and I’m going to hire these are the four two is that cool no it’s not why?
Thomas Alvord: (52:03) Well and what’s interesting and I had never thought of this analogy before but that would be like wanting to put up let’s say you’re in a city and let’s say you’re in LA and you want to get Billboards up and you’re like man I want to really grow this thing, I’m going to go hire all of the billboard agencies that do anything in LA and then anything I’m going to get such good exposure, I’m going to make sure I tap everybody and then all those agencies go to the billboard companies and they all put in a bid and they’re like oh look at this we got all of these people and then you’re paying double for the billboard because you have the same people bidding on that same audience, that’s basically what’s happening.
Zach Smith: (52:41) That’s a great example.
Thomas Alvord: (52:42) When you have multiple agencies all targeting the same audience, so if you’re targeting the same audience you don’t need them and as Zach said the only benefit would be are you targeting audiences that maybe one agency doesn’t have and in terms of the large Crowdfunding agencies they’re all going to have pretty similar audiences, the bigger the agency they’re going to have a wider reach, if it’s smaller, they’re not going to have a wider reach it’s going to be just a subset of what the bigger agencies typically have.
Zach Smith: (53:11) Now the other thing you need to ask if you’re hiring a Paid Media agency and this one I see all the time as well because of this idea that multiple agencies are working on the same campaign you’ll see an agency and again I’m not going to namedrop here but I’d be happy to answer these questions and provide any sort of proof on the backend for anybody who is asking you’ll see a lot of agencies say we worked on this campaign oh did you? prove it to me that needs to be the next question you always ask. At Funded Today every campaign we work on we will tell you exactly how much money we directly tracked for with Paid Media, Cross Collaborations, Press, Earned Media, as far as I have seen nearly every other agency in the world or people or whoever is doing Crowdfunding nowadays are going to piggyback on our success and say they worked on a campaign when quite frankly a lot of times we don’t even see them raise any money or they raise significantly less and by significantly five, six, seven even 10 to 20 times less money and again that goes back to Thomas’s original point you need to track everything because if you track everything you can actually see who’s raising your money and who’s not raising you money and that needs to be the first question you ask of any agency well show it to me, show me 10 campaigns you’ve worked on and how much money you’ve raised and how much did the other agencies raise, and if they don’t have that proof for you shouldn’t hire. Anything else Thomas? What you want to do to wrap up this episode and maybe get some takeaways and feedback paid media summarized.
Thomas Alvord: (54:36) One last metric that I think it’s important for people to understand is earnings per visitor. Conversion rate is another metric and I’ll define and describe both of them but the earnings per visitor is the most important, the conversion rate tells you for every 100 visitors how many of those people become a customer? How many of those people make a purchase? So if you have 100 visitors and you have three people for every 100 visitors that make a purchase then your conversion rate is 3% right three divided by 100 pretty straightforward. Now what if I gave you hypothetically I have two campaigns and I say I’m going to give you ownership in either of these companies just a freebie, I’m just going to throw it out to you and I’m going to tell you two metrics one campaign has a conversion rate of 5% and another campaign has a conversion rate of 10% what campaign, what company do you want if you’re just looking at those numbers you’d say well probably the campaign or the product that has a 10% conversion rate. Well you may be right or you may be wrong we actually have absolutely no clue, we don’t know which one is better because what if the product that has a 10% conversion rate, what if they sell that product for $10 that means for every 100 visitors there is 10 people who are purchasing because it’s a 10% conversion rate and those 10 people are making a purchase for $10.
So every visitor in that case is generating on average $1 per visit because again you have 10 visitors who each make a $10 purchase that’s a $100 in revenue and you had 100 visitors. And I’m going to change the numbers just because I think it’s useful let’s pretend that the product costs $8 okay so you have 10 visitors who make a purchase for $8 each that’s $80 in revenue for every 100 visitors. If you were to look at that and say what is the average amount raised per every visitor in this example it would be $0.80 because if you take 100 visitors times $0.80 you get $80 in revenue that was generated.
Well now let’s go back to this other campaign or product that had a 5% conversion rate. What if that product actually cost a $1,000, well that means there was five customers or purchases for every 100 visitors and they each spent a $1,000, well that would actually be $5,000 in revenue for every 100 visitors. Well would you rather have $80 in revenue or $5,000 in revenue for every 100 visitors well obviously you want the $5,000 the earnings per visitor would be $50, so on the one campaign that has a 5% conversion rate on average the earnings per visitor is $50. Now on the other campaign you have a 10% conversion rate but you only have an $0.80 earnings per visitor. And if the math didn’t make sense I don’t blame your math at least for me I like to see on paper and look at it and as you can tell as I was doing this just on the fly I got kind of mixed up there. The important takeaway is this though.
Zach Smith: (58:23) The important takeaway is 62.5 times better in terms of earnings per view in the latter example.
Thomas Alvord: (58:29) Right. And you have to factor in what the purchased amount is right combined with the conversion rate and that gives you the earnings per visitor. And now you have some basic metrics to look at what’s my cost per click for your ads and specifically for your ads what’s your earnings per visitor different traffic sources will have a different conversion rate and so if you have your Friends Family and Fools backing your conversion rate and earnings per visitor will be way higher than say paid media and if you Land Press it’s going to be different and Cross Collaboration it’s going to be different but basically now you can see for my ads I’m spending this much per click and my earnings per visitor is this much. I’m spending $0.50 say for example per click and my earnings per visitor is $3 and now you have some metrics to look at and to kind of gauge what’s happening what’s not happening and do you scale up by spending more or do you scale down by spending less.
Zach Smith: (59:28) And for those listeners like me who ask a lot of questions, when do you know what your EPV is because it’s just like you said if you have your FFF going in that’s not going to be an accurate EPV until you have other sources of traffic come through. So is it a number of days or is it total number of visitors when can we say okay my campaigns EPV Earnings Per View is $4.80. When do we, when can we make that assessment so that we can figure out how much money we want to spend and make that extrapolation that we talk about.
Thomas Alvord: (60:00) If you go to Google Analytics - Analytics the Google Analytics will show you this information and this is why it’s important to know how much where the heck was I going and that’s why it’s important to have your tracking enabled from day one so you have those metrics but out of the gate you’re going to see those metrics and that’s also why it’s important to have unique links for each of your different traffic sources so you can see what’s happening otherwise you might go spend $5,000 or $10,000 on Facebook and you’re like hey look I raised $50,000 on my campaign in the first week and guess what maybe those Facebook ads, maybe you spent $10,000 and you actually only generated 2,000 in pledges because of that and it was a mess and it was actually press or something else that was generating that money. But again Google Analytics and I believe it’s we have a back end that tracks all of this so we can easily see this for all of the different ad sets and this is why again people might think why hire Funded Today or another agency, it’s because we do this day in day out I can’t remember the client we worked with but he basically looked at everything we did and then made a comment like oh you know what I think I’m just going to stick to design and I see why people hire an agency. No that doesn’t mean you can’t do it and I’m not saying do one or the other you need to look at what your situation is. But with Google Analytics I believe its earnings per view or earnings per visitor is the metric inside of Google Analytics and it would break down every traffic source and you can see that.
Zach Smith: (61:37) You got to break it down granularly, you can’t look at your overall average because your overall average is going to be skewed. You need to look at each source and then based upon each source Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Press, Cross Collaborations, Cashback, Affiliate Marketing, Influencer Marketing and then determine from there what you are willing to spend based upon that key number your EPV. Alright well this episode has been absolutely intense, I mean if you pay attention to this episode you literally have the formula for running Paid Media on your campaign and this is coming from the guy who spent millions eight figure millions of money on Paid Media to the tune of over $220 million raised now. So wow thanks for coming in Thomas and shared some of your knowledge here.
Thomas Alvord: (62:23) And let me -- and I want to wrap it up here I’ll share just one last thing because I realize I failed to address it earlier.
Zach Smith: (62:30) Sure.
Thomas Alvord: (62:30) Because we did share the formula and one of the main things obviously is we know the ins and out, but we also know the audience or have the audiences right which a lot of people don’t have and that’s why they’ll hire us. To create a custom audience basically how it works is you upload a list of emails or other information into Facebook and Facebook matches that to people that they have in their system and that’s called a custom audience, and then once you have a custom audience and you have to have at least 100 people or maybe 500 I can’t remember it changes here and there and different platforms have different numbers like Google, but once you have that custom audience you can then tell Facebook create an audience that looks like the custom audience I just uploaded so they’ll analyze the age, the demographic, the psychographic, the interest, the behaviors everything they have and then they will say here’s 10% of the population that looks like the people that you uploaded. So if you have a customer list and you’re launching a product that’s similar to your existing product lineup and you want to use a custom audience and that’s what I was referring to.
Zach Smith: (63:38) That’s another the reason to hire an agency rather than go it alone because they’re going to have access to these custom audiences that it would take you years and hundreds of thousands of dollars to even millions in the case of Funded Today to build.
Thomas Alvord: (63:50) Exactly. But everything in life is easy if you know how to do it, and what I just shared is really the core and the core principles that you would take whether it’s for Crowdfunding or even E-commerce or anything else right, what’s your EPV, how are you doing the tracking? What’s your cost per click, what’s your click through rate, what’s your CPM? How do you change any of those factors, are you using good images that invoke curiosity, are you having your landing page do the conversion and with those tools you can build a successful campaign.
Zach Smith: (64:28) Powerful, I love it. Man this is up so it’s going to definitely be wondering do you want to bookmark come back to re-listen to get out the notepad, take some notes and then go take some massive action. There’s a saying that I also love that I think wraps this one up beautifully I say it all the time. And tell you can spend money to make money out of profit you don’t have a business. So keep that in mind leverage the power of paid media, take advantage of everything Thomas, I mean he just opened up the whole kimono for you, this is a massive, massive value on today’s podcast we’re having to get you speak and more I like you much more as my expert guest than as my co-host, so thanks again.
Thomas Alvord: (65:06) Also I’m not on anymore.
Zach Smith: (65:06) Oh we’re going to have you every time. Okay it is time for one of the favorite parts of the Funded Today Podcast and that is the Funded Today products of the week Thomas what do you have for us this week?
Thomas Alvord: (65:20) My product for the week is the “Camper Hooded Jacket 2.0” it’s basically a jacket that has outdoor functionality but it has like a really urban style and it’s pretty much completely waterproof, it’s super lightweight, it’s actually really cool I was just showing someone else here at Funded Today. But the jacket itself has like a sleeve within it that folds into itself so it makes it super easy to carry around and it is hyper allergenic, it’s antimicrobial like I mentioned you can pack it on the go it keeps you super dry, it has really good insulation and it’s sustainably made, so and it’s raised let’s see here I think over $250,000 now. So check it out, it’s actually a pretty cool jacket the “Camper Hooded Jacket 2.0”
Zach Smith: (66:13) Alright, thanks Thomas, and my product of the week is none other than longtime Funded Today client Decibels, but this time they have something really special for you they have created from their Decibels Line of products “Black Diamond” this is their new Custom Molded True Wireless Earphones I go to the gym at least a couple of times a week, I probably need to be going more these are the only headphone that I wear, they’re custom molded to fit your ear for some reason my ears are oddly shaped don’t know what that’s about but these headphones fit my ear perfectly, I can shake my head around, I can belt it up and down, I can be running on the treadmill, lifting weights. Absolutely amazing product they’ve already raised $70,000 and they haven’t even been live 24 hours. Check them out this product is amazing and I love these guys they’re going to deliver, they’re going to fulfill, they’ve always been good and I think you’re going to love it, The Black Diamond Custom Molded True Wireless Earphones All day battery digital awareness, award winning sound and extreme comfort probably the best headphones you’re ever going to have. Check them out on Kickstarter Live right now for another 30 days. And remember Funded Today listeners don’t wait until tomorrow get Funded Today.
Announcer: (67:26) Funded Today is the worldwide leader in a Rewards-Based Crowdfunding on Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Combined today have raised over $200 million and counting for thousands of new ideas and inventions worldwide, if you’ve got an idea for a new product or invention visit fundedtoday.com to speak with one of their experts.
References and Resources
- Facebook: Business: Ads
- Funded Today: Blog: “Hiring For Crowdfunding Marketing? Why Fewer is More.”
- Funded Today: Blog: “If You Build It, They Won’t Necessarily Come - The Power of Promotion”
- Funded Today: Blog: “The Crowdfunding Success Matrix”
- Funded Today: Blog: “The 7 P’s For Crowdfunding Success”
- Funded Today: Blog: “The Myth of the Kickstarter ‘Spike At The End’”
- Funded Today: Blog: “Why You Should Raise As Much Money As Possible While Your Kickstarter Campaign Is Live”
- Funded Today: Marketing Services
- Funded Today: Podcast: “The 7 P’s for Crowdfunding Success”
- Funded Today: Podcast: “The Crowdfunding Success Matrix”
- Funded Today: Podcast: “Ultimate Crowdfunding Pre-Launch Checklist”
- Funded Today: Ultimate Crowdfunding Pre-Launch Checklist
- Google: Ads
- Kickstarter: PopSockets
- Kickstarter: RooSport Wallet 2.0
- Perry Marshall: Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords
- Wikipedia: Scientific Advertising
Thanks for Listening!
Thanks so much for joining us this week. Do you have some feedback you’d like to share with us? We'd love to hear it! Please just leave a note in the comment section below.
If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and leave an honest review for The Funded Today Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews keep us going, are super helpful, and helps provide this show to more people who need this information. Most importantly, we read each and every one of them and it helps us to come up with new ideas for new episodes to help you!