And how to exceed your Crowdfunding goal by 960%.
In this post I will show you how we did $109,792 in 60 days…and how we got a 3-to-1 return on ad spend using Facebook Ads to an Indiegogo crowd funding campaign.
The Person / Business
Early in June I received an email from my friend Tim who wanted to introduce me to an inventor who had developed some patented eyewear (sunglass lenses) that supposedly makes one's visual experience that much better.
The investor, was Kirk Kreutzig of Orion4 sight.
Kirk is the guy behind O4S vision technology, which was specifically designed for military and special ops forces who needed high-performing eyewear in various high- and low-light combat situations in order to give them the edge.
It turns out that he had been doing this in the military field for some time, but people had started asking for a consumer spin-off version of the patented technology. So Kirk got to work and created an affordable, consumer version of the O4S technology.
All they needed now, was to get it to the masses.
Now admittedly, whenever I hear about a new invention or something that is supposedly amazing or life-changing, I always take on the role of the “curious critic”. I've learned to always take things with a grain of salt. Kirk knew this from speaking with Tim, and one of the reasons I took on this project was because he sent me a pair of the eyewear to try. In turn, I was totally blown away by them, which gave me assurance that this wasn't just some crap, dime-a-dozen item trying to be peddled to the masses.
Here was the problem…nobody outside of the military space knew Kirk or his eyewear and he wanted to sell as many of these units as possible. Someone advised him that a crowdfunding campaign was the way to go, but he was smart enough to realize that just because you have a great product, doesn't mean people are going to know or care about it, let alone buy it. (This is a mistake we see a lot of people make…)
So he hired Tim Paulson, a brilliant, successful business consultant, former Vice-President of the hugely successful HAIR CLUB FOR MEN and one of the reasons that company had such great success.
Tim, who I knew from Joe Polish's 25K group, reached out to me to take care of the marketing / advertising side of the campaign.
Move $9,000 worth of product.
$109,792 in 60 days with a $26,480.14 ad spend.
In other words, a 3:1 return on Kirk’s ad spend.
HOW I DID IT: KEY PRINCIPLES
Although much could be learned from this campaign, here were the 3 key takeaways:
1. Go After The Lowest Hanging Fruit
There were 2 readily apparent audiences to start targeting for this campaign.
First, because of the military pedigree of the glasses, the inventor decided that he was going to take a portion of the proceeds and donate it to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.
So I immediately checked to see whether they had a Facebook fanpage with a decent amount of fans.
Fortunately for this campaign, they did, with nearly 100,000 fans.
So I targeted one of our first rounds of ads to this audience with the angle of ‘support'.
And this jumpstarted the first round of crowdfunding ‘Backers'…
The second obvious target to go after was the #1 leading performance eyewear brand in the world – Oakley.
I figured, if someone likes Oakley, they like performance sunglasses and they are also used to spending a decent amount of money for them. Thankfully Oakley has a really strong Facebook following…to the tune of 4.3 million people!
So we tested a second set of FB ads out, and almost instantly started to get results with them…
2. Analyze Results and Optimize
Now that I had a feel for what was working, the next logical step was to analyze the results and optimize the FB ad campaigns.
I began by analyzing the results within each target group.
By looking at the reports, it became very clear that the people who were backing this campaign were men, between the ages of 45-65+. In fact, they were providing the only real-world ROI (conversions to crowdfunding campaign ‘backers’) so I turned OFF all other demographics and ran only this gender and age bracket within both target groups.
Secondly, it seemed that the “military” space AND the performance sunglasses space were both responding well. So I expanded each audience to see whether there were related groups of people this campaign might resonate with.
For Military Support-related:
which was quickly proving to be unprofitable in terms of ROI for ad spend.
I then did some research about the current top performance sunglasses to generate an additional list I could target on Facebook.
I went on multiple sites, cross-referenced the brands that came up the most and then checked to see if they had a Facebook fanpage I could target.
As fate would have it, many did.
I took the winning ad from the Oakley tests and ran it to these additional audiences.
Surprisingly, most didn't do well at all, both in terms of clickthroughs, and in terms of real-world ROI (clicks-to-backer conversions).
I then had to return to the drawing board about whom or what else I could begin to target.
So I turned to the trusty Audience Insights tool…
This provided some great insights about other targets I could begin to test.
Again, I wanted to go after the lowest-hanging fruit, so rather than focusing on specific sports or sports brands, I tried to find something that was a little more all-encompassing.
What Audience Insights showed me was that people interested in Oakley were interested in outdoor activities – cars, fishing, boating, trucks, hunting, ATVs, etc. By doing a little more digging, I realized that a company like Bass Pro Shops covers many of the above, and that they also have over 3 million FB fans.
I took the highest performing ads from previous tests, limited the demographic reach to men between the ages of 45-65+, spun up an ad for that audience and BINGO! It struck a vein.
I continued with this process of adding and testing new, similar audiences while monitoring the ROI daily, to ensure that each target was profitable — yielding a return of at least 3:1.
3. Scale Winners (& Drop Losers)
As soon as we found winners (3:1 return on ad spends) I scaled those ad sets up by slowly increasing the budgets (and monitoring daily to ensure they stayed within that range) and duplicating ad sets to reach even more of the total available audience in less time.
Anything that was NOT providing that kind of return, or started to and then fell off, was immediately quashed.
All told, we ended up running 44 ads sets — of which only 9 were very clear winners, providing the majority of the backers for the crowdfunding campaign. 11 produced backers but either broke even, or lost. And the rest yielded nada, zero, zilch.
So obviously we ran with and scaled the 9 winners, and stopped everything else.
- Establish the lowest-hanging fruit and aggressively pursue it first. Sometimes this is determined by research, sometimes by ‘gut feeling', and sometimes by a combination of both. Gain momentum with quick and easy wins.
- Test cheaply and furiously so you can get quick data and results that you can then use to refine and optimize your campaign.
- Read the data. If we weren't watching and continuously analyzing the reports, we would have wasted money targeting demographics that could have prevented this from being a profitable campaign.
- Realize that every ‘winner' comes with a bunch of losers. It's just part of the process (and something you should budget for).
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