How To Create a Successful Crowdfunding Video for Your Startup
17 rules and steps for a campaign teaser that spreads
In 2009, a revolutionary new way to receive funding for projects appeared on the scene. From the moment that Kickstarter began posting creative projects, we heard the stories of many incredible startups who became golden in a few days or even hours. Crowdfunding campaigns became a glittering promise for many small projects and businesses.
However, not every creative idea turns out to be successful. Sometimes, even brilliant ideas fail. Online crowdfunding has been working for 10 years now, but only a third of the projects receive full funding. Clearly, to attract people with your idea and convince them to invest in your project, you have to know how to present an idea. There’s one common thing that all the successful campaigns share: an outstanding video. Not the video itself, but a video as a medium for a message. When presenting the idea to a big audience, all that matters is the way you choose to do it.
A crowdfunding video is, in many ways, close to a promotional video. Its aim is twofold: to provide a clear image of your product (how it’s going to help people) and to get financial help from people who find the product promising.
Experts predict that by 2023, there will be 12,063,870 campaigns. One of these could be yours. Let’s see what ingredients create a successful crowdfunding video.
Create a Storytelling Structure
This advice stems from two sources. First, such a structure has been tried by many crowdfunding videos that eventually reach their goals. If you analyze these videos, you’ll find that they have a structure that’s divided into different sections, which helps clarify their message.
Second, the nature of storytelling is very convenient for people. In other words, it’s how we perceive information better. In the last decade, marketing completely changed its form and pace. Before, many marketers tried to sell products directly. Now, marketers are taking a different approach. Now we tell stories, and only stories help us make the product attractive for the audience. After all, everyone loves a good story.
Introduce Yourself to a Viewer
Start by telling the origins of your project. The starting seconds are essential — this is where you can grab a viewer’s attention and maintain it until the end. Is there a story behind your project? Sure there is; every single project has a unique starting point.
Start off with a memorable, promising line. Recall how the idea shaped itself, how you proceeded with it, and why you’re so eager to make it real. Explain why the world needs your project, and talk about how your project will enhance people’s lives. Many things that are mundane and replaceable today were unimaginably novel in the not-so-distant past.
Make Sure the Video is High-Quality
If your video is poorly filmed, it will create a horrible first impression. Don’t count on financial support if you claim your business intentions with a lousy video.
All we want to say here is that you better spend some money on proper video production and make your video competitive instead of saving a few hundred dollars and ruining your chances of raising the money for the project you need. If you want to forgo professional help in making a video, at least ask someone to edit in the end. A good crowdfunding video is rich in sense and quality, and although some projects manage to survive with merely the brilliance of the idea, a team with a low-quality video will find itself at a serious disadvantage.
Also, Make Sure Your Audio Is High-Quality
Simple reminder — the narrator matters. People will often scroll down your project’s page while the narrator continues with their story. Imagine if this voice is badly recorded. In this case, a viewer will most likely stop the video and leave the page. Can you blame them for doing that? Unlikely!
High-Quality Video and Lighting Are Inseparable
If you hire a video production company to take care of the video, you don’t have to worry about this. But, if you’re planning on making a video all by yourself, you should know that there are some ground rules about lighting. It’s amazing how a good source of lighting can work for a video.
If you talk in some part of the video, we suggest that the light source should be 45 degrees away from you. It’s a standard way of setting the light. You’ll also want to find a location that looks good. Lightning plus the right location is exactly what you need for a proper crowdfunding video.
Avoid Too Much Talking — Show the Idea
There’s something that feels quite mediocre about talking heads nowadays, don’t you think? Avoid talking too much; instead, include more written description of your product on your project page. When you reach the middle section of your video, focus on your product. It’s an integral part of a crowdfunding video.
Formulate the Idea in a Simple Way
The backer has to be able to recall the core of your idea at a moment’s notice. In its detailed shape, it may be extremely complicated. However, it would make it quite hard for viewers to get it fully if you chose to explain it with a bunch of wordy details. Find the most precise verbal form for the idea. Make sure you leave no viewer with the feeling that the idea is much too wordy.
Motivate People to Invest
When you’re launching a campaign to raise financial support, you’re doing a little bit more than just presenting the idea that will make you a fortune. You’re also telling your story and showing the passion you have to make the world a better place. If you show passion, people may want to support you simply because they can see that you care so much about your product.
Be at your best — stay passionate, believe in your idea, and make others get inspired by your video. Keep in mind that overall, crowdfunding projects have an average of 47 backers. But it’s still important to attract and motivate these 47 people.
Don’t Try to Imitate Other Successful Crowdfunding Campaigns
You should be wary of using marketing approaches that worked before. Be yourself because that could be the key to your success. In fact, a backer often wants to invest not so much in the idea, but rather on the personality of the creator. It’s you who can draw attention to the idea to make it a reality.
Keep It Short
You don’t need 10 minutes to introduce a project and ask for some financial support. No one would finish watching it! If you’re already familiar with video marketing, you might know that the best length for a video is nestled between 30 seconds to three minutes. That’s the standard for the time that people are ready to spend on watching a video. Some researchers say that people today have very short attention spans.
Nonetheless, you have about one minute to explain everything. The crowdfunding video is a part of your campaign; it doesn’t have to include everything. Make the video short, and then people will be able to watch all of it.
Choose Between Live Video and Animation
Take some time to decide if a live video or an animation would be better for your project. Keep in mind that animation is more flexible and capable of showing any subject in an engaging light. Besides, today is the best time for animation in marketing campaigns. If your main concern is keeping the budget low, animation is the best choice.
If You’re the Founder of the Startup, Show Yourself In the Video
Don’t replace yourself with someone else in the video. It’s actually very simple — people want to know who the mind is behind a project. Especially when they’re deciding if they should invest or not. Backers are more likely to contribute to a project if they know who the creator is.
Include Music in the Video
Let’s count. Presumably, your video will be two minutes long. Maybe you have some part of it that will look and feel complete with background music? Find some free-licensed music or ask somebody to make it for you. You don’t need it for the whole video; even 40 seconds will be enough.
Use Both Images and Narrative
Some startups required talking more than showing. Let’s assume you can’t rely only on video. In this case, we suggest using pictures in the video as a way to illustrate the words.
Repeat Your Message Several Times During a Video
Your main message has to leave a trail in a viewer’s memory. The best strategy is to say the most important thing at the beginning and the end of the video.
Finish the Video Properly
The end creates an aftertaste — in other words, the emotions people will be left with when the video is done playing. In the end, remind the viewer that your goal is to receive some financial support. Explain vividly how through helping you raise money for your project, the backer will help the world become a better place. Tell them the truth — that without them, it won’t happen.
There are specific rules about video format on Kickstarter. The size limit is 250 MB; you can upload files in MOV, MP4, and WMV formats. The platform allows embedding a video hosted on YouTube or other popular platforms. If your project contains gifs or additional sounds that are necessary for the video, keep these materials under 5 MB. Beware of these limits before you start to make your video.
A Few Additional Tips
Don’t be afraid to be straightforward about the main reason you’re making this video — call people to action. Some newcomers feel like they must go around the question of money and would rather hint at it instead. Explain how you’re going to spend money and ask for support. Your project depends on the money, and so don’t miss the opportunity to ask for it.
Tell the audience about a reward. A great thing about the crowdfunding system is the rewards for people who support a project. Mention the rewards people will get if they help you. It will create a better relationship between you and those who support your project. Give something memorable in return for helping you out. You don’t have to list all the rewards in the video — just name a few of them. The rest of the list will be on the project page. Be sure to give your supporters rewards that will truly excite them; this way, it will be a win for both of you.
Don’t forget that you have to win over people’s attention and hearts. Be creative. Add captions, subtitles, related images, or humor. Concentrate on the advantages of your product. Tell viewers about the development process. It’s one of the most interesting areas — how it was done. People who support crowdfunding projects are pleased to know what’s going on behind those curtains. It gives them an idea of where they’re investing their money and how hard the creative team is working on the project.
Beware of accidentally including some other company’s images, video, or logos. Kickstarter does not approve of breaching copyright law.
Don’t rush into a crowdfunding campaign too soon. If your idea isn’t quite finished, take your time before asking for funds.
Say thank you to those who watched the video. Whether they’re going to invest or not, it’s still a good thing that they watched what you had to show and tell them.
Calculate the length of your campaign correctly. Don’t get seduced with fancy stories when a single idea collects support in a few days or hours. It’s a matter of luck. The Kickstarter maximum campaign time is 60 days. If you feel like you need all of them, take them.
What makes a great crowdfunding video? As we can see, the story and the personality of a creator matter as much as the video itself. Earlier, we mentioned that the average overall crowdfunding project backers are 47 people. On the other hand, a fully-funded crowdfunding campaign has an average of 300 people who support it. Generally, don’t expect to receive several huge donations. That is not how it works. There’s a possibility that you’ll get a certain amount of mid-sized donations.
Another point that illustrates this assumption is the fact that the average pledge size for fully-funded crowdfunding campaigns is only $96. That makes sense because the idea is that many people will invest in your idea, and not just a few generous strangers.
The last piece of advice we’ll give you is to update followers regularly. The reason for that is because crowdfunding campaigns that are regularly updated raise 126% more funds than those that lack updates.
There are a lot of things to contemplate before making your crowdfunding video. We hope that our advice and tips will help you come up with a great video that will bring you success.