The single most impactful asset for your Kickstarter campaign is your video. With it, you can completely control your audience’s subconscious and conscious experience. With great power comes great responsibility. Making a phenomenal video is a great responsibility, but can also be loads of fun.
It’s time to let the world know about the brainchild you’ve spent the last few years of your life concocting. The best way to do so is with a video. Think for a moment about a film that impacted your life significantly. Or, think of a commercial that inspired you to buy a product that ended up changing your life. That’s the power of film. That’s the impact your crowdfunding video can have.
These videos can be your best friend, the Sam to your Frodo leading your product to be successfully funded. Use video the RIGHT way and you can double or even triple the conversion rate on your Kickstarter page.
Yes, there’s a lot of pressure on you to make a kickass video, especially if you don’t feel comfortable making one or feel inexperienced. Don’t be afraid; everyone has to start somewhere. Let the following tips assist you in your quest to craft a badass video for your campaign.
1) Start With A Strong Hook
Immediately grasp the attention of your audience in the beginning to keep their interest throughout your video’s entirety. People decide if they want to keep watching in the first 4-10 seconds, so make them count. No pressure. Your audience needs to understand exactly what your product is and does as soon as possible, so don’t beat around the bush!
Have fun with this and keep it simple.
2) Tell A Story
What components make up a story? Storytelling has not changed much in the past 4000 years. Your video should be made up of a beginning, middle, and end. Sounds simple, right? Hold your viewers’ hands and take them on a journey. Bring them along on a much condensed Odyssey-like epic, explaining how your idea originated, starting with the realization that there was a problem and explaining how you solved it.
Make sure you get to the point in your video. Explain in every way you can WHY we need this. What makes it unique? If you get the funding, what problem will your product solve? Share just the right amount of information with your viewers. Don’t just explain how your product will solve the problems of people in general. Explain why it should matter to your viewer specifically.
Follow the consumer-based brand equity pyramid (CBBE) when addressing these points. Like the food pyramid, it is organized from most important at the bottom to least at the top (but unlike the food pyramid, this actually works). Explain who you are first and a bit about your story. Dive into the primary need your product solves and associated performance points. Then move on to describe your vision and your hopes for the company, your community, and the future. Don’t forget to show your product in action with demos and targeted use-cases.
Review your work. Make sure you answered all of the major questions backers may have about your product. Why did you make this product? Why are you doing this? Why will you be missed if you don’t get the funding you need? Explain with confidence that your product is a necessity. Don’t leave your customers hanging at the end, stroking their chins in puzzlement.
3) Be A Copycat
Check out your competition. See what the other guys are doing. Ditch what doesn’t work in their video style, borrow what does work and make your own improvements. What are they over-emphasizing? What are they under-emphasizing? Take a page out of Saruman’s book – that dude took a look at Orcs and thought, you know, I can do better, thus the Uruk-hai.
Ready for a ninja tip? Look at the comments on their Kickstarter/Indiegogo page or their Facebook page. What did they do right? What did they do wrong? What questions/concerns did their audience have? You get to learn from all their hard work and their mistakes.
Here are 2 awesome videos you can “borrow” some ideas from:
4) ABC Always Be Closing
Have a strong call to action that clearly summarizes what you want from the viewer and why they should fund your project. This part of the video is what gets people to back your project. You’ve held their attention for this long, so close out with a bang! They need to know what to do next. Be direct and ask your viewers to back your project, and encourage them to do so quickly. Keep your CTA simple. Asking your viewers to do too many things like check you out on Facebook, spread the word to their friends, follow you on Twitter, become a business partner AND donate is overwhelming. Be direct and use one request like “donate to make this life changing product a reality.” Sprinkle in terms of urgency like “don’t wait.” People on Kickstarter are on the site to get cool stuff at a discount before anyone else. Let them know what you have to offer!
The Kickstarter campaign for the game Exploding Kittens was sheer CTA perfection: “If a world full of weaponized pork missiles is a world you want to live in, please back this project and help us build this game.” I mean, who wouldn’t want to live in such a world?
Remember, coffee’s for closers. Unless you don’t drink coffee, then good for you, but you still need to close. Water’s for closers.
5) Be Authentic
People decide whether or not to give money to support a person’s product based on the inventor’s personality. True story. Be sincere and honest while demonstrating your passion for your product. When you show your true colors (just soak in Phil Collins’ sultry voice), your audience will feel connected to you and feel compelled to help your dream project become a reality. Showing vulnerability by being authentic in your video will give your audience a reason to trust you. The best way to connect with your customers is to literally connect with them. Build a relationship with your potential funders. Make sure to respond to comments to your content within 24 hours to show that you are active and available.
When deciding what to say and while actually saying it in your video, do so with a specific person in mind. Personally dedicating your message and delivery to someone will make you sound sincere and personable because you are.
6) Make a Professional-Quality Video (Or Hire a Professional)
What would James Bond be without his tools (or Q)? Just a dapper looking guy in a suit, probably. You will need assistance from gadgets and technology to create your video. It doesn’t have to be professional equipment that will burn a hole in your wallet and tire out your credit card. You would be impressed what you can do with something as simple as an iPhone. You might not be able get the same look, feel, and control as a high end camera, but if you do things the right way you can still make an extremely effective video. Here are some tips to making a kick-ass video with an iPhone:
- Shoot videos horizontally
- Don’t zoom in (this decreases the quality)
- Edit completed footage on your computer
- Purchase optional lenses made for iPhones
- Use a tripod/stabilization (unless you’re going for a Blair Witch Project thing… and if you are… don’t) No one wants to get nauseous.
- Use a good microphone, audio is VERY important
Whether you use professional equipment or something simple, be sure to know as much as you can about how to use its video capabilities. Take your time perfecting the elements of every scene prior to filming. Make sure anyone speaking in your video can be heard clearly. Use microphones when necessary and/or ensure the speaker is close enough to the filming device. Don’t overlook little details in the video; make it look professional as possible no matter what you use for filming. Ask others for their honest opinions on your finished product as well; fresh eyes can make a huge difference.
Sometimes less is more (see tip above on being authentic). Don’t get crazy with effects and transitions. Stick with simple cuts and composition to tell your story clearly, effectively, and efficiently. You don’t need gratuitous CGI to make an amazing video, just a good story (see tip #2). A lot of times, focusing on CGI makes your video worse (think Transformers 2).
Does this sound like a lot of work? It is. At the end of the day, the best way to make a video that looks professional is to hire a professional. Shelling out an extra dollar for someone who knows what they’re doing will result in a better end product.
You are now armed with the tools you need, young padawan, to set out on your video-making quest. Creating a video is a lot of work, but at the end of the day it’s also a lot of fun and lets you flex your creative muscle.