An essential part of any crowdfunding campaign is the video. According to Kickstarter, 50% of projects with a video succeed, versus 30% success for projects without a video. Videos will make, or break, your project no matter if you're funding a feature film, revolutionary toilet paper or a new iPhone accessory gizmo. Below are 5 common mistakes for crowdfunding videos - and a few tips on how to avoid them.
For a complete walkthrough on crowdfunding videos check out Demo Video Lab - a crowdfunding video event that I will be speaking at in Los Angeles, Saturday February 9.
1. "Let's Wing It"
Never just turn on the camera and wing it. These videos are boring, lack clarity and waste people's time.
I take a Joseph Campbell approach to great crowdfunding videos - while they have a thousand faces they all have a similar structure. No matter the creative approach from singing to slick product shots to scripted sketch - you should write out this basic structure, and never just "wing it":
- About You
- Your Project's Story
- Possible Scenarios
- Final Call-To-Action
You should really give a crap about video structure. It works!
2. "I'm not a video person"
Sorry, no excuses. Chances are you have an iPhone, or you know someone that does. And that's all you need!
The last thing you want is to distract your viewers with poor production value. And don't fret, you don't need a massive budget or JJ Abrams to get basic lighting, good sound and high definition. There are great online resources like Hand Held Hollywood that can recommend a few simple Apps and basic tips for shooting on your phone.
3. No Video Updates
While you typically think of "crowdfunding video" as the video on your main page, update videos can be just as critical throughout the campaign. Adding update videos helps rally support, maintain momentum and provide additional information you may have left out previously. And the more simple the better.
These are short video log updates (again, shoot them on your iPhone) about the project status. As the campaign draws to a conclusion you'll want to rally that last support to make sure you reach your goal - and an update video will do the trick.
4. Your Rewards Go On, and On, and On...
Nothing deflates the momentum of a crowdfunding video than the creator rambling off every single reward level. Sure you've spent time creating 20 amazing rewards, but this video should only feature the best ones. Keep your audience engaged and excited by highlighting the most popular and most creative rewards. Pick 5-7 from the low, medium and high ranges. Keep things exciting and let them know "there are more rewards to check out".
Take a note from FreddieW's reward section. Pick the rewards you're personally excited about. Excitement is contagious. A droning grocery list of rewards is repulsive.
5. End with a simple "Thank You"
The most common, and important element left out of videos is the final call-to-action. Many crowdfunding videos just end with a "Thank You for checking this out". But what do you want your audience to DO?
You want viewers to back your project. And share the video with their friends and followers. So tell them to! The end of the video is your last chance and last impression. Always end the video with clear, immediate and urgent next steps for your viewer.
Want proof that it works? Watch commercials.
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