I see this type of question all the time. And almost 100% of the time the question is asked AFTER the Kickstarter has already launched. I rarely respond to these questions because it is usually too late or it is clear that the project owner doesn’t want to do the necessary work to have a decent go at things. But I was in a weird mood tonight and typed out a response to David Fisher in the Tabletop Game Kickstarter Advice group on Facebook. You can click the link to see more of the discussion.
As you can see, the first piece of advice is to cancel the campaign, find someone to help, and relaunch in a few months. This is, absolutely, the best advice in this situation. The campaign in question is Empires of Steam and you can view the campaign page by following the link. I’m attaching a full page screenshot of how the page looked when I viewed it in case any updates are made.
In my opinion, before any marketing is done, the campaign page needs an overhaul. Without this, any marketing efforts will be largely wasted as most people simply won’t pledge when a campaign page looks like this. Below is my reply, which I thought might be beneficial to others.
Don’t lead with a FAQ video. This might not be the worst thing you can do, but it is pretty high up there. People need to know what your game is before you show a FAQ video. Put the hook first. Why does someone want to spend more time on your page? Why should they scroll any further down the page? Why should they pledge? Answer these questions first.
Remove to review video from the top too. Get more reviews and place all of these after your hook and overview section.
Outtakes and bloopers? Why is this on your Kickstarter page at all? Perhaps this can be used for social media engagement, but it isn’t helping someone decide whether or not to back the game. And no, I didn’t watch it, the title was all I needed. Assume most people will be like me. Most people skim and scan; almost no one reads a webpage fully from top to bottom. No one has the time. Ask the question, is this helping me sell the product? If not, it can usually be nixed.
The Interview with the Creator section doesn’t need to come above real content. Most people don’t care about this. It can remain on the page, but should be after the hooks, game overview, component/art details, and other “salesy” type stuff.
Then you have an odd graphic that is trying to do way too many things at once. “The Game” section is very much needed and for a second I thought, “Okay, cool, here it is” . But no, you’ve only given a byline sentence. Not enough. The rest of the graphic might be needed too, but everything is color shifting font and is too abbreviated to really mean anything. And then rewards and stretch goals are also part of the same graphic? Tell me about the damn game already.
Finally, we get to “The Plot”. Hooray! Something about the game, but by now you’ve lost me and I’m looking at another game on Kickstarter.
Then you get into “Definitions”, which might be great, but it jumps right into the meat of things without providing an overview. That’s way too much info to absorb. You were so brief in the “How to Play” section of that huge graphic that why/how/when they need to Maneuver. It is just too much to soon. And, it presents a huge wall of text, which is very off-putting. Hopefully you’ll recall my earlier point about people skimming and scanning webpages. Big blocks of texts are a turnoff because there isn’t an anchor point for the eyes. If you want to get all sciencey, you can look up foveal fixation point. It also presents an obstacle for those wanting to scroll past and get to the next section. In the case of your text wall, I had to scroll down three times to get to the next section on my desktop and seven (7!) times on my phone. That is far too many scrolls on either device.
Then I get to the sections To Win The Game and How to Play. These sections should come before Definitions. With all of these issues, I’m losing faith in your ability to make a decent game. I’m not saying that as a knock to you, but you need to realize that a campaign page is an extension of the game itself. If the page doesn’t convey the feeling/vibe of the game then you have an uphill battle.
If I’m being honest, by the time I got to the How to Play section I didn’t even care. Nothing was presented about the game to make me want to know how to play it. I haven’t seen any real artwork or components yet. There might as well not be a game at this point.
But then, finally, there is a Card Description graphic that shows off some artwork and details the card quite well. This needs to be much higher on the page and you need a lot more of this. I assume your game is made up of more than this single card. If that assumption is correct, for the love of all things holy, show off what you have. What makes your game? Show it off. I want to see what I am getting. Every backer feels this way.
Your pledge levels have cutesy titles and definitions, which is lost on me. This is probably a personal thing, but I’m going to go with my gut and say these can be safely removed. Use the space to better sell the game: Includes the Game + All Unlocked Stretch Goals. You could even go farther and also say “X% Off MSRP”.
So this wasn’t an answer to your solicitation for marketing assistance, but you need to fix your campaign page first. Otherwise you’ll waste a lot of money getting people to the page only for them to bounce.
Hope this helps.