I have been advertising on Board Game Geek (out of pocket) and found out which of my banners were doing very well or poorly. This is the information I got for three different banner sizes after advertising there for four or five days.
One difficult question is what banner ads will actually do well. Board Game Geek will allow you to submit several banner ads, and they can tell you which ones are working well (and they make sure the use effective banner ads the most).
One issue with having a Kickstarter project for a tabletop game is that you have to find ways to get people to take a look at it. Advertising is one way to do that, and Board Game Geek could very well be one of the best ways (which costs a minimum of $500).
You can find an informative post about advertising on Board Game Geek here. According to that resource, it is $1 for 1000 impressions, the click through rate tends to be about 0.3%, and the number of people who click and want to support your project will likely be about 1.25%.
I also found out that front page impressions tend to be much more effective than banners put anywhere else.
I tried seven banners with this size. The one that did the best has information about the game and gives them a reason to consider the product. It does not have the name of the product or say that it is on Kickstarter. The click thru rate was 0.47%.
I guess having a really big logo on the banner ad might be a bad idea. People can be drawn by persuasive text, but the informational text on the top banner is pretty small. The click thru rate for these was around 0.22%.
I tried eighteen banners with this size. The banner to the left did the best with a 0.48% click thru rate, but I accidentally used an identical banner that only got a 0.32% click thru rate (but also a lot less impressions). The banner on the right got a 0.38% click thru rate and actually got the most impressions. It must have done the best for a period of time.
I suspect that the box images might be too dark and will try some more banner ads that use a brighter version of the text box.
The banner on the right has similar text to the very simple banner ad that did quite well, but for some reason it didn’t do as well.
The click thru rate for these was around 0.18%.
I tested ten banners of this size. This banner size was the least effective for me in general, and it is what Board Game Geek used on the front page. The banner on the left did the best for random pages on Board Game Geek with a measly 0.24% click thru rate, and certain other banner ads of the size got a pretty much identical click thru rate.
The banner ad shown on the right did the best on the Board Game Geek front page with a 0.85% click thru rate, but I suspect that the ad isn’t that great and something better would have a much better click thru rate. The same ad got a 0% click thru rate on other pages found on Board Game Geek.
The text-based ads of this size didn’t do so well. Not sure if I will figure out how to make more effective ads for this size, but I am going to try some new ones out (which are also mainly text-based).
The click thru rate for these was 0.00% when they didn’t show up on the front page. The first one shown here didn’t do very well on the front page either, and it is a bit hard to read.
I have a quite limited experience with making banner ads, but I have supposedly been more successful than the average advertiser. I hope to continue to make some progress. If you have any ideas, let me know.
Update (9/22/14): I wrote about my experience with Board Game Geek advertising here. I had some issues with the customer service.