Kickstarter is a great way to get your project off the ground and to get funding that you might otherwise struggle to get; but to get those critical early funds for your business, there are some important things to know about doing it right. If you want to make your Kickstarter project a success, you need to invest time and effort and be smart about it. The most important part of this equation is undoubtedly the video. Read on to see what makes a Kickstarter video a hit, and to discover some great resources to help ensure yours falls into that category.
Before we begin it’s important that you understand just how important your Kickstarter video is. A study on MWPDigitalMedia demonstrates this perfectly. They painstakingly analysed over 7,192 projects on Kickstarter focusing on the importance of the videos and found that projects that included a video were a whopping 85% more likely to reach its goal. You can read the full write-up <a href=”http://mwpdigitalmedia.com/blog/without-a-video-your-kickstarter-project-will-probably-fail/“>here</a>. The take home message? Don’t even think of not including a video…
This says nothing however of the quality of those videos. Is it enough to just ‘have’ a video? Or do those videos need to be of a professional quality? Well in this roundup of the best videos on Kickstarter in 2011, it’s clear to see that the videos Kickstarter vouches for are the professional looking ones: <a href=” http://www.kickstarter.com/blog/2011-the-videos”> http://www.kickstarter.com/blog/2011-the-videos<a>.
An article on Digital Accomplice (<a href=”http://www.digitalaccomplice.com/blog/story/how-to-make-a-successful-kickstarter-video-with-video-examples/”>this one</a>) sums up the situation nicely:
When an introduction video on Kickstarter looks well done, it gives potential donators the sense that the campaign creators are taking their Kickstarter seriously. No one wants to feel like they’re throwing money away.
Does your video suggest a professional project? Or is it you in your pyjamas talking to your webcam?
The Most Popular Kickstarter Videos
So, it’s clear that your project needs a video, and that this video needs to be super-high quality. But how do you accomplish that?
Well one way is to look at Kickstarter videos that have done very well. When Kickstarter first launched their ‘video analytics’ tool, they decided to show which of the videos on the site were doing the best (see the post <a href=”http://www.kickstarter.com/blog/creator-video-analytics”>here</a>). At this time, the video that had the most ‘off page views’ (meaning it had been shared) was <a href=”http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/joylabs/makey-makey-an-invention-kit-for-everyone”>Makey Makey</a>. This video is quirky, well produced, engaging and fun: there’s really nothing not to like. Here’s another videos that Kickstarter showed off as popular at the time: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/amandapalmer/amanda-palmer-the-new-record-art-book-and-tour?ref=live Amanda Palmer also actually gave a fascinating talk on crowdfunding on TED (http://www.ted.com/talks/amanda_palmer_the_art_of_asking.html). Amanda shows in particular that videos don’t have to be incredibly imaginative if they’re well thought through and original.
Here are some interesting ones to checkout…
<a href=”http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ridiculous/your-face-in-space-a-quest-to-save-earth?ref=live”>Your Face in Space</a> – A master class in making hilarious videos!
<a href=”http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1523379957/oculus-rift-step-into-the-game?play=1&ref=search“>Oculus Rift: Step Into the Game</a> – For being just awesome…
<a href=”http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1869987317/wish-i-was-here-1″>Wish I Was Here</a> – It’s Zach Braff! It was a little controversial, but it’s a very funny video…
<a href=”http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/brokencompass/rusty-the-rainbow-whale”>Rust the Rainbox Whale</a> – It’s a quirky and fun one that’s a little different..
How to Make a Video Engaging
But of course there’s a problem with taking these statistics too seriously. The problem of course being that views alone don’t represent the quality of a video: if a project is successful and well marketed then it will get lots of views regardless of the production values…
So a more useful statistic is the ‘plays completed’ number. Despite being popular, Makey Makey only has 48.77% of its views completed.
So how do you make sure your videos get watched all the way through? Well Fred Beneson’s Project <a href=” http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/fred/i-fought-sopa-and-all-i-got-was-this-stupid-t-shir?ref=live”>’I Fought SOPA And All I Got Was This Stupid T-Shirt'</a> managed an impressive 82.07%… by being only 12 seconds long. Perhaps making your Kickstarter video super short is the way to go? And that way you can make the quality higher while spending less money. Forbes agrees and recommends selling your story in ‘under a minute’ (http://www.forbes.com/sites/dailymuse/2012/09/11/9-tips-to-ace-your-kickstarter-campaign/). <a href=”http://www.thedailymuse.com/job-search/perfect-pitch/”>This</a> article on creating the perfect ‘elevator pitch’ could help.
Don’t worry too much though if your video doesn’t get watched all the way through. A <a href=”http://www.kickstarterforum.org/what-are-the-video-page-stats-like-for-your-campaign-t897.html”>discussion on the Kickstarter forum</a> suggests that a lot of creators only manage 50% or less.
How to Make a Great Kickstarter Video
A great Kickstarter video you see is a) subjective (longer might be better in some rare cases) and b) more than the sum of its parts.
Fortunately there are plenty of guides around the web to making sure that your video ticks most boxes. Here are just a few…
<a href=”http://www.kickstarter.com/blog/how-to-make-an-awesome-video“>How to Make an Awesome Video</a>
<a href=”http://www.smartshoot.com/blog/how-to-make-kickstarter-video/”>How to Make a Kickstarter Video That Raises Over $150,000</a>
<a href=”http://www.fastcompany.com/3003858/how-make-kickass-kickstarter-video”>How to Make a Kickass Kickstarter Video</a>
<a href=”https://www.videobrewery.com/blog/5-tips-kickstarter-video”>5 Must Read Tips for Your First Kickstarter Video</a>
<a href=”http://www.kickstarter.com/help/school”>The Kickstarter School</a> is also full of useful information.
Read all that and you should be good to go…
In conclusion then, a Kickstarter video is incredibly important, and it works best if it’s engaging, quirky, high quality and short. To help you along the way, here’s one more useful link that will point you in the right direction: