Ingredients for a Compelling Crowdfunding Video
Almost 50% of crowdfunding campaigns with a video get funded, compared to 30% of campaigns that go without. Campaigns that use a pitch video also raise 115% more money than those that just use imagery. So yeah, you obviously need a video. But how can you fit everything you need to say into a 2-minute video?
Find a Balance
Your video has to serve many purposes, and it’s tough to balance all the elements. Get too lost in the technical details of a product and your viewers’ eyes will glaze over. Spend too much time on yourself and people might not understand what it is you’re actually pitching. The key here is to keep it breezy and not go too far down a single story thread, opting instead for an overview that encourages people to explore your page further. Here are a few key things you need to touch on through your video.
What Your Idea Is
No duh, right? But some people still don’t get this right. More than half of the people who click on your video will not make it to the end. So at the very beginning of your video you need to explicitly state what your idea is, how it works, and why the world needs it.
As you speak about your product, show it in use and use text overlays to emphasize certain points. Many social media platforms will now autoplay videos, but users have quickly learned how to keep the audio muted. So as people are scrolling through their feed you need to catch their attention and educate them on your idea without the aid of your voiceover. It’s crucial in those first 15 seconds to hook the viewer in, and showing them a new product or idea used in a cool way can stop them in their tracks.
Who You Are
We’re big proponents of selling your story along with your idea, and now is your time to shine. Don’t just tell backers who you are and what you’re making. Tell them why you are the only person uniquely qualified to bring this idea to life. Touch on your background and also tell the story that gave you the “eureka” moment.
Most importantly, be yourself. Not everyone is a salesperson and some of you might cringe at the thought of getting in front of the camera for the hard sell. That said, we need to see you on camera in one way or another. So play to your strengths. If you’re having a hard time delivering lines with the camera trained on you, deliver your story in voice-over and capture footage of you working, testing or otherwise interacting with your product. Backers need to see that you are a real person with a unique passion for your project.
Why You Need People’s Support
Though some treat it as such, crowdfunding isn’t charity. People aren’t going to give you their hard-earned money out of the goodness of their hearts. Too many creators say, “I need your help making this idea a reality.” Of course you do! That’s the whole point of crowdfunding. But they don’t go any further, which makes backers worried about where all that money is going.
Be more specific, so people understand what exactly their money is paying for. “We have a working prototype, and this campaign will help us secure a spot with the manufacturer to produce the first run of product...” or “The money raised from this campaign will allow us to hire a designer to take a pass at the artwork before we go to print...” This shows backers you have a specific plan in mind and have accounted for their money in a smart way.
What Backers Get
What’s in it for me? Though you have your reward tiers on your page, not everyone will discover your video on the page. Quickly give an overview of what backers can expect. This is easier with fewer reward tiers. If you have multiple pledge levels and you can tell your script is dragging while you read through all the rewards, it might be time to rethink the number of tiers you’re offering. This section should take less than 20 seconds, and point people lower on the page for more details.
Remember, though your video is the most visible piece of media advertising your crowdfunding campaign, it isn’t the only touchpoint for potential backers. People can browse your campaign page for as long as they like, so you can go into further detail via text and graphics. Lots of research has been done on the “ideal” length of your video. Most research recommends between 1-3 minutes. I’d even say three minutes is much too long. Remember that one page of written script (double spaced) translates to about one minute of video. So if you can keep it to two pages, you’re golden.
Every project is different, and so is every creator. The more you can shape your video in the voice and tone of your overall idea, the more unique and memorable it will be.