Making money on Kickstarter, Indiegogo or other crowdfunding sites isn’t as easy as you might have been led to believe. Sure, this is a fantastic tool for building an audience, generating buzz around a product and gaining access to funds, but it has also become incredibly competitive making it pretty difficult to stand out. Throw in a few high-profile crowdfunding fails and it’s harder than ever to get people to really get behind your ideas.
What you need then, is a really great compelling video. Your video is what you’ll use to really grab attention, to quickly explain the nature of your project, and to get people on board. In fact, projects on Kickstarter without a video don’t tend to perform nearly as well as those that have one – and are estimated to perform 30-50% worse.
So what can you do to make your videos really stand out? What do the most effective crowdfunding videos have in common? Let’s take a look at the key elements of a great crowdfunding video…
The biggest problems with crowdfunding arise when people treat it as a way to get ‘free money’. That’s not the point at all, and if you approach it that way, you won’t be successful.
Your crowdfunding campaign itself requires investment, and nowhere is money better spent than on the video. If your video looks professional and glossy, then it will not only hold attention better but it will also instil more trust in your viewers. Perception is key: if you are capable of making a high quality video, people will assume you’re capable of making other high quality products.
Take a look at the TITAN Mixer Bottle. This is a high quality video with an artistic opening featuring people working out against black backdrops. It is eye catching and it suggests a premium product.
However, be prepared to invest some money if you really want to make a high quality video with a sweeping shot on a crane. We’ve heard of entrepreneurs hiring production companies from L.A. to fly up to S.F. and shoot their video for a price tag of $20K.
Show off your Product
The purpose of your video is going to be to showcase your product. If you don’t show people what you’re building, then they won’t be able to imagine it. In the first 30 seconds of your video you’re going to want to show the product in many different ways, but more importantly in the first 10 seconds you want to tell people what it does.
In short, one of the main purposes of your video is to make the product look appealing – but there’s only so much you can do to make this possible if you don’t have anything appealing to show. Check out the video for the ‘Tesseract’. Not only is the video very well done, but the product itself looks great in the video with a sleek design and appealing aesthetic. And it is constantly well lit in futuristic-looking blues.
Likewise, try to ensure you have a strong brand in place as well and showcase this throughout the video too. Consider developing a logo for your product before you go to Kickstarter too. It adds a level of professionalism, and the association created that way is useful for future marketing.
The script you use will be a piece of persuasive writing or sales copy. Like any sales copy, your objectives are to grab attention (before the visitor navigates away from the site), to make the product sound desirable and to excite people to get involved.
One key way to accomplish this is to make sure you focus on the ‘value proposition’. How is it that your product makes life better? What is the specific problem that your product aims to solve? ColdCan does this particularly well. Don’t just tell your audience how your product helps people though – get them to really imagine it and to visualize themselves using it. Focus on the lifestyle that your product supports.
Of course a little humor never goes amiss either. You want your video to be entertaining and ideally it should leave the viewer in a good mood – that way they’re more likely to feel like giving! Here’s a particularly funny Kickstarter video created by none other than Zach Braft.
Make sure that you get to the point quickly so you don’t lose attention, keep the video relatively short (around 3 minutes) and try to anticipate and answer any questions that your viewers may have.
Generally, people respond well to stories and narratives. People connect to emotions and this is your opportunity share a bit about yourself, the journey that led you to your idea and the reasons you feel so passionately about it. Stories are naturally engaging and draw us in, while the personal touch is something that crowdfunding lends itself to particularly well.
Finding Your Own Style
As with all these things, the best practices for a crowdfunding video will vary from case to case. Some projects don’t lend themselves particularly well to humorous approaches, while others require longer videos to provide more explanation. The style of your video comes down to the brand you are trying to project to your audience. A fashion product is going take a different approach to their video then a hardware startup selling a robot. We suggest doing some research and see the different video styles that people have made and see which works best for you and your product. Take these tips and apply where relevant, injecting your own personal style as you go.
But one thing that applies in every case is the importance of the video. Spend some time and effort here and it will pay off in the long run. Do you have any stories to share from your own campaign? We’d love to hear it, so let us know in the comments down below! Also, do subscribe to our newsletter for regular updates in the startup industry.