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Think crowdfunding is a great way for your startup to earn much needed funding to turn your vision into reality? It definitely is. Crowdfunding as an alternative source of financing has spiked over the years.
According to Fundera, crowdfunding generated $17.2 billion in North America alone. Successful campaigns raised nearly $30,000 on average. Furthermore, according to a study conducted by the World Bank Group, the global crowdfunding industry is projected to reach $96 billion by 2025.
With that in mind, here a few tips for creating a winning crowdfunding campaign video that you can then promote on your own crowdfunding website:
Crowdfunding is rising
Creating a campaign on sites like Indiegogo or Kickstarter to collect small amounts of money from a large number of micro-investors has never been easier!
These “investors” can be friends and family, strangers who read about your product online, or even accredited investors who learned about your startup through the grapevine.
There are several reasons why crowdfunding has gained popularity. For starters, it solves the massive Catch-22 market issue many new businesses face: they can’t raise money without sales, and they can’t get sales without money.
A large number of businesses need capital but don’t fit the venture capital profile or don’t have transactional history to support funding from bank loans.
Even nonprofit organizations have started leveraging crowdfunding to meet their funding needs.
Compared to traditional forms of financing, crowdfunding is more efficient, offers social proof and product validation, and jumpstarts your marketing strategy.
A great video can help raise more money in a campaign
70% of all crowdfunding campaigns fail to meet their fundraising goal a study from Fundera found that campaigns with videos received 105% more funding than those without videos.
Simply put, video is the best way to communicate the creator’s goals, illustrate a vision, and of course, demonstrate the product!
In the crowdfunding world, “backers” want to see how something actually works and who’s actually making it—they’re looking for a wow effect or a connection.
Without a video, you could inadvertently create a major disconnect between your product and a potential backer.
With that in mind, here a few tips for creating a winning crowdfunding campaign video:
Create a demo video using a script
The first thing you should do is start drafting a script for your video. A script ensures that your video flows well, stays organized through its duration, and stays short and sweet. Ultimately, a good script makes it easier to attract investors to your product.
The beginning of your script should be roughly thirty seconds and include the "hook"—just a few simple sentences that draws viewers in (more on that later). This introduction should be roughly 30 seconds, depending on your product.
The middle of your video should have three parts: a demo video or description of the product, your story and product journey, and an explanation of the current status of your product and position (i.e., do you have a prototype, finished product, abstract idea, etc.).
And at the end, cap your script off by explaining what you plan to do with your investment and how you’ll reward your investors.
Hook the viewer in 3-5 sentences
It’s no secret that humans have a (very) short attention span (some studies say we have shorter attention spans than goldfish). Because of this, the first few seconds of your video can determine whether a viewer watches it until the end or moves on to the next best thing.
Your first few sentences should hook the viewer in and leave them wanting to know more. Here’s what Ryan Grepper, who raised over $13 million for his “Coolest Cooler” campaign, said in his intro:
“Why haven’t cooler designs changed in almost 50 years? Boring coolers are boring, break easy, and are a pain to get to and from your destination. I wanted a cooler that was really well-built, yet had so much fun built into it that I would look for excuses to get outside and enjoy it. So, I created the cooler.”
Doesn’t this make you want to learn more about what’s so cool about the coolest cooler?
Incorporate a brand origin story
Seth Godin said it best: “Marketing is no longer about the products we sell, but the stories we tell.” Every great brand uses content to tell a story and market an image. Crowdfunding is no different. In your video, be sure to incorporate elements of storytelling into the dialogue. To help frame your story, check out the “Executive Summary” sections of different business plan examples. The Executive Summary tells the story of a business by describing:
Who the business is
Why the business was started
The team behind the business
What makes the business different/unique
If you write your own executive summary for your product, your story will tell itself. Use your summary as a springboard to help you naturally sprinkle elements of storytelling throughout your video.
Discuss benefits and rewards
Every backer receives a reward for investing in your idea.
Take some time to describe what these rewards are. Don’t be afraid to have fun as you describe them—comedic skits tend to do well when thoughtfully executed.
After you’ve briefly explained your rewards, end with a call to action. After all, you’re here for one thing: to raise money for your venture. Ask for their contribution, however large or small, and thank them for their time.
Pay attention to your video production quality
Your equipment and video editing tools can make or break if viewers watch the video from start to finish, so creating a quality video should be the aim.
Don't hold back don't have a professional camera to shoot footage. If you don’t have or can’t rent a professional camera like a Canon DSLR, a modern smartphone will do the trick! In fact, some videographers prefer the iPhone 12 vs a DSLR. If you want to create an animated explainer video, consider hiring a freelancer on a platform like Upwork or Fiverr.
Even if you've never edited a video before, there's an easy and free solution for you. You can use a free online video editor like Clipchamp and you can just drag, drop and edit your video in minutes.
Add text and motion titles, your brand logo, free audio, transitions and more in this easy video editor that works directly from Chrome.
You can also find free stock videos to build your video to tell the story you want to tell. Learn how to make a promo video with stock footage.
Be passionate and authentic
Backers invest their money into people—not just products. If you come across as unlikable or salesy, people are less likely to hand over their hard-earned money, no matter how great your product is.
Crowdfunders not only want to see what you have to offer, but who you are; this is why it’s so important to show your personality and be original. Many crowdfunders make the mistake of “putting on a show” or being theatrical in a disingenuous way. Don’t be that person(!).
Looking for inspiration?
For a dose of inspiration, take the time to browse crowdfunding platforms and look at previously successful and trending crowdfunding campaigns.
Pay close attention to their videos, noting what makes them unique and what they tend to have in common.
One example of a well-executed video comes from Matthew and Mark McLachlan, creators of the successfully crowdfunded Fidget Cube.
With such a simple product, they used comedy in their campaign and created a mock OTC prescription commercial. While somber music is playing in the background, the commercial narrator says:
“From the people that brought you Duet, comes over-the-counter Fidget Cube. Fidget Cube is a vital desk toy designed to satisfy any urges to click, roll, spin, and other common fidgety impulses without driving your colleagues and loved ones away.
Fidget Cube is a cube that you fidget with. Studies have suggested that fidgeting increases focus and improves productivity. Side effects may include a sudden ability to cope with boring meetings, pay attention in class, or power through Netflix marathons… Do not use Fidget Cube if you have an aversion to rectangular prisms.”
The video pivots to the creators, who discuss the real benefits of their product and take on a more serious tone.
Ready to make a winning crowdfunding campaign video?
The key takeaway here is that no matter what kind of product you have, or how simple or complex it is, you can use authentic personality, engaging storytelling, and thorough editing to sell it.