Using Google Ads for Kickstarters (Does It Work?)

Using Google Ads for Kickstarters

Kickstarter campaigns are slightly different. Here, you are not selling an actual product. But, you are trying to raise funds so that you can get a product ready to sell.

In other words, there is no immediate exchange value in such campaigns.

What you are up-selling here is an idea! You need people to realize its potential to be of worth in the near future.

Done well, Google Ads is a splendid platform for Kickstarter campaigns. However, advertisers need to account for a few key aspects. Let’s check!

Applicable ad formats for Kickstarter campaigns

First, let’s look up the applicable ad formats in this segment. Google Ads entails several formats.

  • Video ads
  • Search ads
  • Shopping ads
  • App ads
  • Display ads

Advertisers can run promos in multiple formats from a single ad account. In certain situations, one can try different formats for a single campaign as well.

However, not all of these formats are applicable for Kickstarters. For example, shopping ads are irrelevant.

These are only applicable when you have a product image displayed on a merchant’s website. Kickstarters do not come in this category.

As for App ads, there is a separate section called Google AdMob, outlining the specifics. Since a lot of Kickstarter campaigns lead people to digital products, this ad type may be relevant.

Here, you can run something called a pre-registration ad. Such promos encourage people to subscribe to your product even before you launch it.

In other formats, video ads can be a good way to engage potential clientele. All you have to do is to invest in making a professional video describing your product.

However, it can still be difficult to get people to engage in Kickstarter campaigns on YT. Let’s face it! Most people visit YouTube to tune in to music, or see ghost videos.

It will take some cool thinking to make your Kickstarter campaign relevant there. You can, of course, try dishing out your videos prior to influencer channels.

Search ads and display ads are good places to launch Kickstarter programs. However, display ads are probably better because it is rarely that someone would actively search for funding Kickstarters.

It is best done by capitalizing on the passive intent implied in banner ads.   

Creating an appealing ad copy for search ads

As for search ads, you need to develop an appealing ad copy. Everything depends on how effective your text is to generate client interest. Make it snappy. Make it catchy.

Don’t overdo it with flowery talk. Instead, get straight to the point and explain how your product is going to be a rewarding one!

Google rules on soliciting funds

Here’s the most important part. You may not be able to run a crowdfunding campaign depending on the rules for soliciting funds. Google has very strict policies regarding this.

A service can solicit funds only on behalf of a tax-exempt charity, or for political use. Even so, the tax-exempt status must find a clear mention in the destination link.

For instance, ads in the US must mention their tax status vide 501 (c ) (3) or 501 (c )(4).  If your ad is not showing up as it should, you may have to edit and resubmit it.

However, these rules are applicable for search and display ads where there’s a site link. As for pre-registration campaigns in-app ads, you can still ask people to fund your digital product before launching it.

Since a vast majority of Kickstarter projects rely on selling digital products, this is a usual route to take.   

Do not misrepresent your idea

Some marketers follow a roundabout approach to crowdfunding. They do not ask directly for funds. Instead, they would sell a product in its initial stage of development and focus the keywords on the product itself.

As interested users reach the destination link, it offers them the option to be a part of the Kickstarter.

While this can be a feasible method, the usual ad policies still apply. Since you are selling a product plus an idea, make sure that there is no misrepresentation in the latter.

Otherwise, you risk violation of ad policies. The consequences can be manifold, including a complete suspension of your account.

You need to be particular about the keyword strategy. Use negative keywords and match types. For selecting your keywords, you can make use of free third-party tools.

The landing page should be self-explanatory

Advertisers adapting to the aforementioned strategy for Kickstarters should focus on developing good landing pages. You should not have a page that solely emphasizes the need to raise funds.

This may as well serve as a red flag for potential investors. Instead, use the landing page to explain the development phases of your product. Present a clear picture of how the given product is going to add value. 

Present a short window for results from your Kickstarter campaign

A Kickstarter campaign is not a charity. Investors need to be convinced that their money is going to multiply and come back manifold. Also, people don’t want to wait for long to make profits.

So, your priority should be to ensure a brief window of returns. It may not be possible to mention this in the ad copy.

Political campaigns soliciting funds are not Kickstarters. Tax-exempt charities are not Kickstarters either. So, you have no other option but to take the partial product launch route.

The destination link should provide a clear roadmap of your business plan, including details on how you are going to make it a profitable one.  

Using Google Analytics for Kickstarter campaigns   

All things said, Google Analytics can be of great help for running Kickstarters. The analytics feedback will clearly tell you about the preferences of your visitors on your landing page.

It would also show how people are responding to your ad. Also, you can get details on the effectiveness of the campaign. Stats on the ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) and churn rate (for products in the sandbox stage) can provide important guidelines on how to formulate your campaign.


Running Google ads for Kickstarter campaigns is not that easy. This is because Google only allows fund soliciting on a very limited scale. Except for political parties and tax-exempt charities, no one else can ask for funds via Google Ads.

However, you can still try the bypass route of promoting a product in its sandbox stage while leading users to a Kickstarter page.

For any help in Google ads management, you can contact me any time and I would be happy to assist you : )

Share it