Kickstarter continues to be the world’s largest (and best) crowdfunding platform for film, art, music, technology and other small businesses. In honor of their 8th birthday today, here are some best practices on making a kickass Kickstarter video.
Happy Birthday, Kickstarter!
Since April 28, 2009, Kickstarter has been giving the greatest gift: empowerment. In the past eight years, the platform has seen 123,672 successfully funded projects with goals ranging from $1,000 to $1,000,000. In total, Kickstarter has helped raise $2.63 billion dollars for independent artists and innovators.
Still, plenty of projects on the platform never get funded. Through their all-or-nothing model, Kickstarter has seen more than 200,000 unsuccessfully funded projects in its eight-year history. So, what separates the funded from the unfunded?
Community is the most gripping aspect of Kickstarter. Although you believe deeply in your vision, the true value of the project is determined by the strangers that choose to support it. But believing in your project is a good place to start because it’s time to turn those strangers into backers. And video is vital.
Remember, it’s not all about you.
Okay, maybe a little bit—especially if it’s your music or artwork. Realistically, however, you’re marketing yourself or your product to investors. Successful Kickstarter campaigns make critical emotional connections with backers and their wallets without being egocentric.
Earlier this year, we discussed why video is your most important marketing tool in 2017. With Kickstarter, there’s no way around it. Projects without video almost always fail. People don’t make emotional connections with text-based campaigns. Videos hit them in the feels.
When we watch a video on the internet, we fire mirror neurons in the brain that help us feel empathetic towards actions on a screen, even when we witness it passively. Google has done extensive research on the growing importance of micro-moments. These hundreds of tiny intent-driven moments in our online experience dictate our decisions. Winning these micro-moments on Kickstarter and Facebook (where your video will be shared) will make or break your campaign.
Now that we’ve established how unavoidable video is for your campaign, let’s talk effectiveness. We buy things from people we trust. We don’t buy things from brands who are arrogant, incompetent or shady.
Notable nerdcore artist, MC Frontalot, asked us to shoot this Kickstarter video to fund his music video dreams. It doesn’t take much coaxing to get a fervid, eccentric and genuine sentiment from Frontalot, but he certainly didn’t hold back. And being himself worked; the campaign began with a $10,000 goal and raised $31,400 in 30 days. He used some of the money to let us shoot his single “Critical Hit.”
This Kickstarter video for RokBlok does everything right. It showcases the product beautifully and the voiceover is relatable and the right amount of cheeky. Pink Donut founder, Logan Riley, is refreshingly honest and sincere during his pitch. He even throws in a low-key innuendo at the end.
Quality video reflects quality products
You’ve spent countless hours slaving over your plans and prototypes. Why let all of that hard work go to waste by capturing it with a crappy video?
People on the internet are video snobs. What they share online reflects on them as a person. Shareability of your video will have a direct effect on the success of your Kickstarter campaign.
Give people something they want to share. Deliver high-quality video with high-quality content. Take this Kickstarter video for Mindset headphones, for example. From the voiceover to the camera work to the CGI, this video positions Mindset as a premier product worthy of the customer’s pledge.
Capture and conclude quickly
Consumers consume an endless supply of video, especially on Facebook. Why should they stop scrolling to watch yours? Realistically, you have 10 seconds or less to capture your audience and keep them engaged for the rest of the video. And remember, in internet time, three minutes is an eternity. Do your best to keep your primary Kickstarter video less than two minutes. Release subsequent short videos if necessary.
The guys at FlowMotion did a stellar job of capturing their audience in the first 10 seconds and delivering the essentials in under two minutes. No wonder they have one of the most-funded Kickstarter campaigns of all time, raising more than $1.3 million dollars. Oh, and their product is super rad.
Hit ‘em with that quid pro quo
Kickstarter is arranged to include reward systems for each level of “backer.” Not all campaigns choose to include these, but if yours does, consider mentioning it in your video.
We shot this Kickstarter video with writer/director Eva Konstanopolous and writer, Deborah Correa for their film, “re/collection” in the fall of 2016. The two connected with their audience through their passion for filmmaking. They catered their backer packages toward their fellow film lovers and included the incentives in the video. The campaign was successfully funded within 30 days.
If you’re unable to offer a specific incentive, include a value proposition that demonstrates what the backer will gain by contributing. Here are examples from the above videos:
Mindset: “Join us and let’s make distractions a thing of the past.”
RokBlok: “I truly believe that this is the most ridiculously fun way to enjoy your favorite records. And it’s my hope that through this campaign, you’ll have the opportunity to say the same thing.”
FlowMotion: “Back us today and help us put an end to shaky videos.”
Don’t blow it.
From a PR standpoint, it’s not impossible to come back from a tainted brand image. But why risk it in the first place? If you want to see your project come to life, remember to give the people what they want. Deliver a two-minute (or less), high-quality video that captures your audience quickly, shows who you truly are and gives them something to share.