Monochrome RPG Kickstarter Progress Report

In the last post in the series (wow, we’re doing it!) We went over our assumed strategy for the Monochrome RPG Kickstarter. If you haven’t read that article you can read it here.

T-minus 6-7 weeks!

The general strategy was:

  • Pre-Pre-Kickstarter
  • Pre-Kickstarter
  • Mid-Kickstarter
  • Post-Kickstarter

Since the Monochrome RPG’s Kickstarter campaign is 6-7 weeks out, that means we’re in Pre-Kickstarter phase.

Over the last week, we’ve been focused on increasing our core social media metrics (making our charts point up). Now that we’ve gained a more than basic understanding of Twitter and Instagram, we’re prepared to optimize those channels further; however, we can’t forget that last week’s article talked about more than social media marketing!

Plans for this week! (as written on Monday)

This week, we’ll focus on:

  • Enhancing Twitter and Instagram (growing social audience by 50+ per day)
  • Improving other primary social medias: LinkedIn, Pinterest, Facebook
  • Beginning/Marketing blog, meme, and video content strategies
  • Training team while updating documentation for all marketing pipelines
  • Reviewing status of Kickstarter materials (page, prototype merch, demo, etc)

Bonuses (or, in Kickstarter terms, stretch goals!):

A week can make all the difference! The last week at Monochrome has been especially interesting, as before we worried about our Kickstarter’s outcome, but after implementing the previously documented strategies, our team feels good!

Enhancing Twitter/Instagram

Our team believes strongly in the Pareto Principle (aka 80/20 rule) which states that 80% of your outcomes will come from 20% of your efforts.

Since we’ve been seeing growth on Twitter and Instagram while performing certain techniques, we need to optimize those techniques so we can maximize their potential for growing our audience.

Twitter

Honestly, Twitter has become our favorite platform! It’s really easy to join conversations and have fun interactions with accounts you’ve just met. We’ve been honing in on a few different strategies for Twitter, and as shown in the following chart, we’re learning more about the platform every day!

We noticed large peaks during when a specific team member used Twitter. They responded really well to the platform and will be taking charge of Twitter going forward (utilize teammates’ strengths)!

Last week with Twitter we focused on:

  • Commenting – Replying on others’ posts
  • Liking – Adding a heart to others’ posts

This means we missed out on:

  • Posting – Sharing your content with hashtags
  • Mentioning – Tagging another account
  • Following – Getting notifications on another account
  • Sharing – Reposting others’ content

We noticed that when we didn’t post or share content our impressions went down. We also believe that if we had done more mentions and follows we would’ve seen more audience growth. Thus we’ll be trying to post, mention, follow, and share more!

On platform Tips/Tricks:

  • Lists – a unique Twitter feature that functions in between a follow and share. You can add other accounts to lists and they’ll be notified (add compliments to your list names)
  • Bio & Pinned Tweets – if you have something important you want to share with others make sure to link it in the bio, URL section, and in a pinned Tweet
  • Custom Emojis – having a custom emoji kit for your brand will can help you respond to other accounts in a unique way that helps them to connect with you
  • Memes/GIFs – a stockpile of memes and GIFs can further your communication ability and showcase the personality of your brand through pop culture references

Ads

We are by means no pros at Twitter Ads however we did want to test them out to see if they could be a more passive way of promoting our preview Kickstarter page.

When we ran our first Twitter ad, we messed up and selected for it to be an Impression campaign. In hindsight we should have chosen a follower campaign however even later when we setup a follower campaign we didn't like the result fully (the cost per follower was too high for us even to begin testing on the platform).

Thus later in the week we switched from running Twitter Ads to focusing more on engagement on the platform. As we get closer to the Kickstarter Campaign we may run a few more Twitter ads however for now Facebook Ads is our favorite paid advertising platform.

Tools

As we’ve been defining which platforms we’ll be using we’ve started to find tools to help optimize our input to output on each platform. These tools help us find what sections of Twitter (gamedev Twitter, animation Twitter, enamel pin Twitter, etc) might find out content interesting along with providing analytics on our work.

(Tools with a * are planned to be used in the near future)

  • Twitter Analytics – Native analytics tool for Twitter
  • Twitter Studio – Native suite of tools for Twitter
  • Sprout Social – Excellent analytics and social listening software
  • Loomly* – Sprout Social for the team (cheaper for multiple users)
  • Buffer – Best social scheduling application
  • Tweepi – Excellent software for finding accounts to follow
  • Commun.it – Similar to tweepi with some of Sprout’s features

Instagram

As a social platform Instagram has been more straightforward. It could be because many on our team are used to Twitter but the majority of our Instagram statistics have come from engaging on the platform. The peaks in the chart below are on days when we interacted with more than 50 accounts. Days where we didn’t interact or interacted less can be seen as the valley/slumps between each peak.

We have yet to determine a super solid method for growing a following outside of utilizing social engagement. We have tried a few tools and ads however we haven’t seen the growth that we would like yet. We’ll dive into Instagram more in the future if we’re able to figure out how to grow the following more than 30ish per day.

Tools

  • Upleap – Provides a relatively inexpensive Instagram Manager (though we truly wonder how well this is working)

Improve Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest

Last week Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest didn’t count for nearly any audience growth. This week we wanted to push each of these platforms further to see what they might be able to offer.

Facebook

As a social platform Facebook is lacking in features. We love how open Twitter is as a platform while Facebook seems more limiting (weirder for unknown accounts to reach out). Thus with Facebook it’s important to focus on Facebook Ads and Facebook Groups.

Facebook Ads

Unexpectedly, Facebook Ads has turned into a great strategy for us. For relatively cheap we’ve been able to dramatically grow our audience via Facebook Ads. In the upcoming weeks we’ll be switching from audience growth to email list building as we want to start building a stronger email list closer to the campaign. Ad spend we were planning for Twitter and LinkedIn will most likely be put towards Facebook.

Facebook Groups

If you’re looking for one of the best free features of Facebook then Groups are one of them. Facebook Groups allows like-minded individuals to join communities on the platform focused around an assortment of topics. We’ve been mentioning and engaging in game development Facebook Groups for awhile. Though Facebook Groups don’t compare to Facebook Ads in terms of output their still a vital part for seeking out organic non-paid engagement from the Facebook community.

LinkedIn & Pinterest

At the start of the week we declared we wanted to focus more on Pinterest and LinkedIn; however, as we got further in to the week we realized there was a problem. We needed content for each of these platforms. Our current game content might do ok on LinkedIn and well on Pinterest however those specific images wouldn’t immediately help grow an audience on those platforms.

Documentation Update

We weren't able to get around to updating our documentation. This could be because we're still learning pipelines and processes that work.

Begin Blog, Meme, and Video Content Marketing

In 2020, visual content is doing light-years better than text-based content (though text is still good for an SEO startegy). If you take a look at many of the top Kickstarter campaign accounts (especially for games) you’ll notice that their campaigns and social accounts are very visual.

We’ve determined it’s critical for us to enhance our visual imagery pipelines leading up to the Kickstarter. We want to have an assortment of GIFs, gameplay Video, and promo art to help hype up the campaign!

Website/Blog

We will still be continuing with a text based content to help with our SEO (search engine optimization). Text makes it easy for search engines such as Google to find relevant images. The other day we googled “1920s toons” and actually saw our main character Otto listed!

To make it so that people can easily find info on the Monochrome RPG during the campaign we’ll be updating our website and blog with information about the game, community, and world of Monochrome: https://www.monochromerpg.com/blog/

Meme

Over the last few years there’s been a surge of community platforms dedicated almost exclusively to posting memes! Websites such as Reddit and Imgur have communities where memes are consistently shared and votes upon. We want to begin creating memes and relatable visual imagery to help showcase our game’s personality!

GIF/Video

We’ve learned from analyzing other social and Kickstarter accounts how important it is to showcase what your project does and how it does it. We’ve been focused on engagement, but now with our switch to posting we want to begin highlighting key moments in our game that will excite potential players!

Indie Game Content Marketing

For our marketing pipeline we’ve grouped several different websites with social features into different categories. These categories are a reflection on the potential audience that we could reach as well as what the individual website focuses on as a topic:

  • Primary Social Channels (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn)
  • Non-Primary Social Channels (Reddit, Discord, Amino, TikTok, Youtube)
  • Indie Game Sites (Medium, Itch.io, IndieDB, GameJolt)
  • Art Share Sites (DeviantArt, Imgur)
  • Forums (TIGForums)

Over this week we will have finished setting up the basis for our Primary Social Channels and some of the foundation for our Non-Primary Social Channels. As we get further into the next week and the week after we’re going to start putting more effort into the non-primary social channels as using those will help to generate content for the primary social channels!

We plan to share content on websites in our industry or industries that our game focuses on (like 2D art and traditional animation) to help build a following of not only gamers but other creatives who can relate to or like our work!

We’ll be starting on these websites over this week, so we’ll begin analyzing these sites starting in the next post!

Review Status of Kickstarter Materials

Admittedly it does feel as though we’re a bit behind in sourcing the art that we’ll be needing for the Kickstarter. Luckily we have a community of talented artists that we can rely on to help generate these assets. This week we’ll be:

  • Grouping/Listing assets and their types for the campaign
  • Determining who will be able to create what, when
  • Starting assignment and development of assets

We have already begun planning our finalized Kickstarter page so we have a base amount of assets that we know will be needed however we’ll definitely be going over this list twice or thrice more. Examples of assets that are needed:

Those are a few important assets that we can also use to continue building hype prior to launch. There are plenty more that will be needed prior to us launching the Kickstarter, but for now those above assets are some of the most critical.

Past Week

  • Finding Rivals – connecting with accounts that are similar in target audience but can be partnered with (forming connection instead of segmentation)
  • Metrics – honing in on how we will analyze and communicate metrics
  • Tactics – defining and communicating tactics to team

Preparing for Next Week

  • Text and Visual Content (Blogs, Memes, GIFs)
  • Expand Social Pipeline
  • Start Building Email List
  • PR, Influences, and Partners
  • Kickstarter Google Analytics

Kickstarter Google Analytics

Bonus Note: Motivation

  • Remember your why
  • Watch/Listen to Motivation (anime + music = animusic)
  • Focus on Priorities

Project Quick Tips & Tricks

  1. Twitter and Facebook (Ads) are both proving to be excellent platforms for growing a creative audience. Instagram is good however we haven’t quite figured out a way to push followers per day to above 50.
  2. To begin growing a following for your project make sure to talk about what you’re doing. Not every post needs to be a “direct ask” sales post (we’re doing this, go here to get it) but dropping a cool graphic and the Kickstarter link helps plenty.
  3. Working with another Kickstarter project to help spread the word can be beneficial for both projects. “Cross Promoting” projects is a common practice you can see on plenty of Kickstarter projects and can really help push a project forward.

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