Reach Your Crowdfunding Goal: Building Your Audience

Welcome back! In the first part of this series, we introduced Kickstarter as one of the most effective ways to launch a new product. We also explained the basics of building a community and gave a high-level view of the pre-launch marketing funnel.

In this post, we’ll dive into the details of how to build an audience on Facebook to drive traffic to your site.

Sending traffic

To send traffic, you are going to be using Facebook advertising. When it comes to Facebook advertising, here are the three most important things to get right:

  1. Write great copy
  2. Choose great imagery
  3. Target the right audience

We’ll begin with the most important part: targeting. If you target the wrong audience, you’ll never hit your desired metrics. Or worse: you’ll waste your money and build an unqualified list that doesn’t convert.

Facebook’s user data is mind-blowing. With 1.86 billion monthly active users, their options when it comes to targeting is extensive. It can be overwhelming to start.

Let’s start with a simple exercise: create your “Dream 20”.

Imagine that tomorrow, 20 brands of your choosing will be sending out an email to ALL of their customers promoting your product. If this was true, which 20 brands would you choose to promote your product? Make a list of 20 people, brands, organizations, or communities that you wish would send an email on your behalf.

Here are some quick tips to help you decide:

  • Choosing specific people, brands, organizations, communities, Facebook pages, etc, is okay, but more general interests like “Running” or “Eating Healthy” are not.
  • You want to choose groups that have spent a significant amount of time and energy building their communities — they did all the hard work for you.
  • Be selective. Choose audiences that have a large percentage of people likely to convert. For example, if your cool nerdy product was featured on Oprah, you might get a ton of views, but sales from only a small percentage of that audience. Going after ThinkGeek would be a much better choice.
  • The targets should not be too small. If your targeted audiences are too small (under 25k-50k fans) you will not be able to target them on Facebook.

Build your audiences

Now that your Dream 20 is finished, it’s time to build your audiences on Facebook. There are two basic types of audiences we recommend building:

  1. Shotgun:  Uses Facebook’s suggestion engine and your Dream 20 to generate a large list of targets.
  2. Lookalike :  Uses existing audiences/email lists and have Facebook generate an audience they believe to be similar.

Shotgun audience

In Facebook Ads Manager, open up the “Audiences” tab. Click the “Create Audience” button and then select “Saved Audience.”

First, enter all of your target audience’s basic demographic information (age range, gender, location, language). Only target countries that (1) you know you can ship your product to and (2) speak the language in your ads/on your website.

Next, choose one of the brands you listed on your Dream 20 list and enter it into the “Interests” field. Next, click on “Suggestions.” Facebook will then suggest other interests relevant to that brand. To start building your audience, start choosing suggested interests from Facebook. On the right-hand side of the page, you’ll see your potential audience size. Stop when your audience is between three and five million.

Lastly, you will want to enter any exclusions or narrowing parameters (see “Refine Your Audiences” below).

Lookalike audiences

Facebook is so powerful that it can build audiences for you! All you need to do is give Facebook an audience to base targeting on. If you have a good base audience, lookalikes are typically the best performing audiences.

To create your lookalike audience, go to the “Audiences” section and click “Lookalike Audience” in the drop-down. The best lookalike audiences are built off of your customer lists.

If you don’t have an existing customer list, you can still generate a powerful lookalike audience. Generate at least 100 leads — the more the better — from your shotgun audiences. Create a lookalike audience based on that list and target them. We can logically say that an audience that is based on current leads is the most likely to be qualified.

Refine your audiences

By following the above methodology, you’ll be 90% done with building your audiences. You can then supercharge your audience targeting by using “narrowing” and “exclusion” techniques. With narrowing, we are making the audience more targeted by adding some clever options. With exclusions, we are removing some audience members that we know will not convert.

Here are the basic options that we add to most of our audiences.


  • Custom audiences : Exclude all of your lookalike audiences and current customer lists.
  • Locations :  Exclude geographic locations in which you don’t want your ad to appear. For example, you should not be advertising a snow-related product in Hawaii. If you are considering advertising abroad, group your countries by region and make sure you can ship there. The more expensive the shipping for your customers, the lower the conversion rate.
  • Income : If you have an expensive product, exclude anyone who makes less than $40,000 per year. People who make less than this are less likely to have disposable income.
  • Your page likes : Exclude people that already like your page on Facebook. This will help prevent overspending and audience overlap. You should be targeting your Facebook fans separately.


  • Demographics : Choose an age range and gender that you believe matches your target customer.
  • Language : Always select “English All” unless you plan to run ads in a different language.
  • Technology: If your product requires a certain technology to operate, make sure you narrow by that technology. For example, if you are selling a product that only works with iPhones, narrow by iPhone users.
  • Platform :  Narrow by interest in Kickstarter and Indiegogo . Customers who already know about Kickstarter and Indiegogo are more likely to purchase your product or back your campaign. This is especially important if you are targeting internationally. Most of LaunchBoom’s top performing audiences include this narrowing.

Now that you’ve set up your audiences on Facebook, you’re ready to create your ads! In the next post in this series, we will go through creating successful Facebook ads to drive traffic to your website and capture email addresses.

Learn more

Learn how to get your backer reward shipped out as planned and prevent your campaign from running into common but costly mistakes that other crowdfunders have made. Download “The Complete Crowdfunding Fulfillment Guide.”

Read the full series