5 Must Read Tips for Your First Kickstarter Video

A few months back I heard David Petrillo from Coffee Joulies explain how he was able to use Kickstarter to raise over $300,000 from nearly 5,000 backers. According to Petrillo, one of the main reasons for his success was having a compelling Kickstarter video. And it didn’t cost him an arm and a leg either - Petrillo hired a videographer using Craigslist. Here is what they came up with:

Visit Coffee Joulies’ Kickstarter page

According to Kickstarter “projects with videos succeed at a much higher rate than those without (50% vs. 30%)” and they’re “by far the best way to get a feel for the emotions, motivations, and character of a project”. So how do you make sure your video is a success? For starters, follow these 5 must read tips for creating your first Kickstarter video.

1. Be yourself

Kickstarter is all about community. In most cases, people are funding you as much as they’re funding your project. They want to see you, hear your passion, and get excited with you. Viewers also want to make sure you seem competent and trustworthy. When you’re on camera, bring all the energy you can muster, have fun, and smile often.

2. Keep it snappy

If you haven’t noticed, most people have short attention spans these days, like 8 seconds short. Most viewers aren’t going to sit through a 5 minute Kickstarter video to figure out if they want to back you or not. You have 10 seconds or less to hook the viewer and convince them that your video is worth finishing and your project is worth investing in.

3. Cover the basics

According to Kickstarter, every video should cover these 6 essential topics:

  • Tell viewers who you are.

  • Tell viewers the story behind your project.

  • Come out and ask for people's support, explaining why you need it and what you'll do with their money.

  • Talk about how awesome your rewards are, using any images you can.

  • Explain that if you don't reach your goal, you'll get nothing, and everyone will be sad.

  • Thank everyone!

4. Keep it legal

Whether your Kickstarter video is a personal project or a business venture, beware of violating copyright law. This includes copyrighted music, logos (yes, that Apple logo on your MacBook counts), images, and video. If you’re looking for royalty-free content, check out TuneFruit, iStockPhoto, SoundCloud, Vimeo Music Store, Free Music Archive, and ccMixter.

5. Close the sale

During the final minute of the Coffee Joulies Kickstarter Video, Petrillo lists the available rewards, each accompanied with a high quality photo. He caps it off with a very specific call to action, inviting viewers to click the green button and back their project. Apparently it worked because they beat their funding goal by nearly $300,000.

If you have a few minutes, here is a selection Kickstarter's favorite videos from 2011 - over 30,000 videos were posted throughout the year.

Surely a good Kickstarter video isn’t the only thing you need to launch a successful project, but it is one of the most important. Have you run a successful Kickstarter campaign? Share your tips in the comments!

Shark Tank pitches are a lot like Kickstarter. Check out the 7 video marketing tips we learned from the show!

Explainer Video Production

Andrew Follett

Andrew is the Founder and CEO at Video Brewery. Andrew lives in Chicago, loves startups, and enjoys traveling. You can find more video tips and tricks on his blog or follow him on Twitter @demoduckvideo.

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