5 Tips to a Successful Crowdfunding Video

The following post was shot on location at Ale Syndicate in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood. Ale Syndicate is celebrating their 1st Year in the brewery and we’re thrilled that we could give you a peek into their production facility.

Kickstarter launched in 2009, revolutionizing the way creative projects (movies, performances, products, etc.) access the funds needed for production. In just 6 years, 88,000 projects have found backers to the tune of $1.8 billion raised. In addition to Kickstarter, the crowdfunding arena has grown to encompass additional funding sites including Indiegogo, GoFundMe, and many others.
There is one catch to getting your project backed (at least on Indiegogo and Kickstarter), it’s an all or nothing proposition. If you don’t raise the the amount you set to fund your project, it all goes back to the people who made pledges. How do successful projects reach the backers needed to make their project a reality?
According to Kickstarter, projects with a video are 67% more likely to succeed than those without. Crowdfunding videos are “by far the best way to get a feel for the emotions, motivations, and character of a project”. With that in mind, here are 5 tips for creating a successful and rewarding Kickstarter video and a bonus idea for gaining increased awareness for your project!
1. Be Yourself
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. When you’re on camera, bring all the energy you can muster, have fun, and smile.
Leading up to your video shoot day, take the time to be the best possible version of yourself. You don’t need to wear a suit and tie, but you should wear clothes that reflect your role within the company and look nice. In addition, give yourself enough time to get a haircut, buy some new clothes, or trim that beard – whatever is needed to make the best first impression!

1A. Be the Best Possible On-Camera Version of Yourself

In addition, if you haven’t spent a lot of time in front of the camera, start practicing your lines. On the day of the shoot plan extra time to record your lines and have a trusted friend review the footage and give you notes.

2. Keep it Snappy

People have short attention spans these days, like 8 seconds short. So, move quickly to hook the viewer and convince them your video is worth finishing and your project is worth investing in.

As you’re preparing your script and storyboard, make sure to read it out loud for pacing and length. Read it in front of friends or family members and watch them to see if they remain engaged. If your friend’s eyes glaze over, chances are your online viewers won’t watch the whole video either.

3. Cover the Basics

The people at Kickstarter were nice enough to break the content basics down to 6 points.

  1. Tell viewers who you are.

  2. Tell viewers the story behind your project.

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

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

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

  6. Be sure to thank everyone!

Seems pretty self-explanatory, right?

We generally recommend the 60-90 second online video sweetspot. With crowdfunding videos, you can get away with a slightly longer total length (videos tend to range from 2 – 4 minutes in total length) because you have a lot more to cover that isn’t just a list of specific features. Based on industry standards (150 words per minute of video), a 2 – 4 minute video will have a script length of 300 – 600 words.

4. Keep it Legal

Whether your Kickstarter is a personal project or a business venture, beware of violating copyright law. This includes music, logos (yes, that Apple logo on your MacBook counts), images, and video.

If you’re looking for royalty-free content, check out our posts on stock music and stock video for some good options.

5. Close the Sale

Wrap your video up by quickly listing available rewards, each accompanied with a high quality photo, to make them as appealing as possible. Then cap it off by telling them to click the button and donate.

The whole point of your video is to get backers! Don’t forget to ask your viewer for money and thank them for supporting your project. Politeness goes a long way, and even if they don’t donate, hopefully they’ll at least share your project or video with others!

Bonus Tip: Push Your Video out to Other Outlets

Once you’ve got your project posted on Kickstarter with a concise video promoting your product, do you just sit back and wait for backers to support your project? Of course not!

With the all or nothing stakes, use that video to promote your project and Kickstarter page as much as possible. Post it on YouTube, Facebook, and share it on Twitter. If you have a blog, embed the video in a post with links back to your Kickstarter page. Is there an online community that might be interested in your video (hint: of course there is), find them and share your video.

Looking for inspiration to get started? Check out these awesome crowdfunding videos that highlight our 5 tips.

From Kickstarter:

The Coolest Cooler (in 2014 this project raised over $13 million)

This video covers all of Kickstarter’s suggestions for content. In addition, you get a feel for who the founder is and why this project is special to him. Don’t you want a Coolest Cooler, too? Had you helped fund the project last year – you would have gotten one!

From IndieGoGo:

Good Spread Peanut Butter

The introductory tale of traveling the country in a Winnebago, with the vintage feel to the footage, immediately hooked us. As the founders continued their tale of creating a company with a goal to help fight malnourishment in Africa, you can’t hit pause. And they wrap up the story with rewards in addition to helping starving children in Africa. Why wouldn’t you help fund this project?

From GoFundMe:

Saving Eliza (the most supported project on GoFundMe, grab the tissues!)

GoFundMe videos tend to be a bit different, as projects on this site are generally to support families and individuals recovering or living with personal tragedies. This video does an incredible job of telling Eliza’s story and outlining the effects of her disease. Her family has taken the money that they’ve raised and created a foundation to support research to cure Eliza’s illness and the other families who have children impacted by Sanfilippo Syndrome.

Want to learn more? Check out Video Brewery’s vintage post on Kickstarter videos.

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