According to Kickstarter, projects with a video succeed at a rate of 50% as opposed to 30% for those without. Indiegogo reports that campaigns with a pitch video raise 4 times more funds than campaigns without one.
What this means is that for the best chances of success, you need to have a video for your crowdfunding campaign. Not only that, but you also need to learn how to make a good crowdfunding video.
For those of you who, like me, do not have a background in video creation or filmmaking, don’t fret! After helping entrepreneurs with countless crowdfunding videos, here are the 5 steps to make a good crowdfunding video:
1. Write a positioning statement.
A Positioning Statement is a brief orientation to your product that will help us (and backers) understand what you’re doing.
The simple framework:
- For (target customer or market)…
- Who (have a compelling reason to buy)….
- Our product is a (product’s placement within a new or existing category)….
- That provides (key benefit that directly addresses the compelling reason to buy)
- Unlike (primary alternative source [that is, competitor] of the same benefit)
- Our product (key difference or point of differentiation in relation to the specific target customer)
All you have to do is fill in the blanks above to structure who you are, who you serve and how you can best serve them.
2. Write your story.
This is the most challenging part of the video: coming up with a story that explains the value of your product clearly while enticing backers.
But there’s good news, too— You can do this yourself! Why? Because you know your customers best, and best understand why they might want your product.
Here are some examples of common video archetypes to decide how you want to layout your story:
- The Crowdfunding Classic: Most of the crowdfunding videos you’ve seen fall under the Crowdfunding Classic. They cut together a few common segments into a video that describes the product. Example: FLX Bike, Graphene-X
- A Day in the Life: Showing a day in the life of someone who is using your product. In this concept, we follow a customer through their life as they encounter problems that your product solves. Example: Furbo
- The Design Story: These products typically aren’t sold on a set of features and their attendant benefits, but sold around a story. This story provides a set of existentially relevant benefits to the user. It may just connect them deeply to your personal story, which provides them a gateway into appreciating your excellent design. Example: Linjer, Move.
- The Pitch Man: In a Pitch Man video, the lead speaks directly to the camera and sells the viewer on the benefits of their product. Example: Flic
As you can see, these products are all drastically different and the videos all give off a different “feel”. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to video.
Don’t go into the video creation process looking to copy what has worked for someone else (i.e. copying “the best” video), but rather explore what you want to say and mentally experiment how it would visually come together if presented through these different archetypes above.
3. Find your tone.
As you write your story, start thinking about the tone of your brand and your voice. Think through some of these questions as you go: Is your product happy and bubbly? Is it smart? Is it serious and beautiful? Is it sarcastic and humorous?
Consider your target and their everyday lives: what tone would capture their attention? What would resonate with them?
4. Decide your budget.
This will probably be one of the biggest line items for your crowdfunding pre-launch budget. You can decide on the process that’s best for you. Great production quality makes a video look sharp and professional, but not every video needs top-notch production. The production quality you aim for should match the brand image you’re trying to develop.
Unless you have extensive experience, you probably won’t be able to make great quality production yourself. But with video creation getting more and more popular, it’s really not too hard to find someone who can help.
$0-$5k for the DIY option.
If you’re light on budget and heavy on time, this option might be for you! There will still be costs like software, equipment rentals, etc. It might look scrappy, but that’s fine if it’s a fit for your brand.
Note that with crowdfunding, backers are still more than happy to contribute to a project that has a DIY video. They understand that you’re trying to launch an idea and might not have all the funds necessary just yet and that’s why you’re here!
$4k-$12k to hire a team of freelancers to put it together.
This option takes into consideration that you are in touch with, and orchestrating, your crowdfunding video with many individual experts. You’ll come up with your own script and messaging, bringing in an expert storyteller to refine as necessary. You’ll bring on someone who is a talented cinematographer to give professional production values when it comes time for the actual filming. You’ll work with an individual talent for any voice-overs and music additions. You’ll go deep in video editing and post-production with another expert you find.
$8k-$50k+ to hire a full-service video agency.
With this option, you’re leaving it all to the pros. The agency will already have a team of experts ready to mold your idea into a winning crowdfunding video. If you do work with a full-service agency, fully expect that they will make your script, manage all of the storytelling, and do top-notch production. As in any agency relationship, you’ll have the opportunity to work closely with the team to tweak certain ideas, script, final edits, and can even opt to be on set for the shoot.
5. Pick your path.
Whether it is the DIY option or to hire a full-service video agency, it’s time to get started!
If you’re interested in working with an agency, get started by reaching out to your network. Check-in with friends, family, and your professional network to see if they have any recommendations that you can be connected with.
Alternatively, if you’ve been following certain campaigns and absolutely adore their video, reach out! Other creators will be more than happy to provide introductions to others in the industry that they have worked with.
And finally, here are good questions to ask when comparing different video agencies:
- Have you created videos for crowdfunding campaigns in the past?
- What does the cost of production include?
- How much flexibility is there to make suggestions if we don’t like the first cut of the work?
- How much would you like for me/us to be involved?
- What is your contingency plan if production doesn’t go as planned?
For more tools, worksheets and guides to get you launched and funded, be sure to check out the resources section on the website!
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