tabletop startup

Building a Media Campaign – Part I

So almost two weeks ago, we released a teaser for our Kickstarter that’s going to come out early next week. We made this with no formal training in building a media campaign – only that we needed to launch the campaign with something. Our videographer (the talented Dave Mailey) already had our Kickstarter Pitch Video wrapped and built this out of A and B footage from that video.

So far, it hasn’t seen that many thrilling results from it. There’s zero engagement on the video itself and just over 100 views over the two weeks that it’s been up. I haven’t really had time to assess this, but fortunately, I forced myself to have a blog so that I could assess our successes and lessons learned.

At the time, we had just under 200 Twitter followers, a quarter of that on Facebook, and hadn’t activated our Instagram account yet. Our social media game was weak, basically. We could try to advertise all we want, but it didn’t matter what we said if no one was listening.

This was when I started tracking our social media numbers. I wanted to see progress (or lack of) to either figure out what we were striving, when we were plateauing, or digressing. I just threw together a spreadsheet, tracking the date in one column and social media “snapshots” for each of those dates. Every morning I patrol our social media, write down our numbers, and assess. There are probably services out there that automate this, but I like entering the numbers by hand.

Noticing that our social media numbers had plateaued, we decided to pivot, a common action in start ups when something isn’t working. We launched a contest to get people to like us on Facebook:

We had it so that if people liked us on Facebook and shared this post, or followed us on Twitter and retweeted this tweet, they’d be in the running to pick up a copy of Red Dragon Inn by Slugfest Games. It’s by no means an original approach to garner more followers, but it’s been modestly successful. We’ve definitely seen life injected into our social media numbers and much more interaction on both Facebook and Twitter. Amusingly, the video has barely been watched. The number of reposts on Facebook and Twitter just about outnumber those.

The moral of today’s post is that it doesn’t matter how dynamic and wonderful your media campaign is going to be if you don’t have an audience ready to help you amplify it. Before you launch a big campaign that’s going to need a grassroots effort to grow, make sure you have already built that community first. If you start something, like a blog, and post it regularly and have enough quality, people will take notice. It’ll take time, but it’ll be worth it.

The Screech Dragon kickstarter campaign for Loaded Dice is less than two weeks away, so if you get a chance, head on over to our website and sign up for our mailing list! Thanks, as always, for reading.

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