One of the most essential pieces of your crowdfunding campaign is your video pitch. Back when crowdfunding was still new, creators used to ramble for close to 10 minutes pitching their product. These days, this sort of a video will get your campaign nowhere!
So how long should a crowdfunding video be? The answer is: It depends on the campaign and product but on average, it should be between two to three minutes long. It can be longer if your product has extremely unique features that justify a longer video or if you're pitching to equity investors.
The length of your video depends heavily on the type of campaign and product you're pitching. In some cases, a longer video might be justified. How can you identify these situations? Read on to find out more.
All About Videos
A pertinent question to ask is whether you even need a video in your campaign or not. Almost every single crowdfunding platform these days advises creators to include videos in their campaigns.
According to latest statistics, 60% of crowdfunded campaigns fail. However, those without videos tend to fare far worse than those with videos.
Kickstarter recommends creating an informative video to go along with your campaign and openly states that your campaign has a high chance of failure if it doesn't have one.
Now, it is true that some types of campaigns, especially those that are seeking donations, do not really need videos. The key is to determine what drives contributions.
In the case of donation based campaigns, it's the feeling of having done some good that prompts people to give. This isn't the case with equity or rewards campaigns.
People are looking for something in return and what's more, their attention spans are extremely limited.
Very few people are going to sit down and read a long pitch, no matter how great it is. The fact is that people need to be given a reason to linger on your page and videos are what do the trick.
When crowdfunding first popped onto the scene, creators went wild with videos. They were mostly unstructured and gave backers a feel of what the person behind the campaign was like and what their motivations were.
Back then, people backed other people. These days, people back products, not necessarily the person behind it. It's more business like and therefore, the length of your video is extremely critical.
The video has to hook your potential backer into thinking that they'd like to touch and feel your product. It has to tie in with the overall tone of your pitch and has to prompt questions in the reader's head.
The answer to these questions will be found in the pitch below the video. Thus, the video and the pitch play off one another and need to be well synchronised.
This is why Kickstarter dedicates tons of web page real estate to explain how the video creation process works and why creators need to pay attention to it.
So to answer our question: Yes, you definitely need a video!
What Statistics Say
In terms of ideal video length, the stats are quite clear. The average video needs to be between two to three minutes long these days.
This is because attention spans are extremely low and people want quick hits about your product and not lengthy discussions about why it's great and so on. That's what your pitch, below the video, does.
The video exists to simply convince them to read your pitch and give them a surface level look at your product. That's it.
What really hurts campaign creators is that if the video happens to be too long, this will likely hurt your funding chances. This happens because the viewer feels there's too much fluff and they're likely to bounce.
Nailing your video script is key and it is best to hire someone who knows what they're doing in this regard. After all, it needs to mesh well with your pitch as well!
There are a few exceptions when it comes to these statistics about video length. Some campaigns will prosper with longer videos than shorter ones.
I'll address these exceptions later in this article but for now, keep in mind that for almost every campaign type, especially rewards based ones, two to three minutes is perfect.
The average person speaks 150 words per minute so this translates to a video that is between 300 to 450 words long.
Video Length and Campaign Type
The type of campaign you're running also plays a role in determining how long your video needs to be. This is simply because the nature of your audience will change.
As you've already learned, donation based campaigns don't need videos when it comes to pitching. However, you should provide updates via video since this will reinforce the feel good nature of your project.
This in turn will allow you to raise more down the road should the need arise!
Rewards based campaign videos should be between two to three minutes long. They should contain a quick introduction about the creator and a demonstration of the product.
Given the short length, it's essential that you invest in creating a high quality video with slick editing. That's the only way you'll manage to convey all the information about your product to your backers.
Some campaign creators balk at this and try to minimize costs but you need to keep the big picture in mind here. Crowdfunding is extremely competitive these days and it's not as if the platforms are going to favor you for any reason.
Their algorithms will simply promote those campaigns that have the highest engagement rates. Bounce rates are monitored and an engaging video dramatically lowers your bounce rates and increases engagement.
All of this creates a snowball where backers will be more likely to fund your campaign and this in turn signals higher engagement and as a result, the platform will promote your campaign more and you'll in turn receive even more backing.
Sounds great doesn't it?
When it comes to equity based campaigns the rules are a bit different. In such cases, you're presenting to investors who are looking for a return on their money.
This means you need to explain your pedigree (why should they trust you,) your product's relevance (why will people want to buy it,) and how the financials will work (how will they get their money back.)
Unlike with rewards based campaigns you'll need to go a bit deeper with all of these elements and the ideal length here is five minutes for your video.
Remember that despite the different audience, your goal is still the same! You need to hook them and get them to investigate your campaign more.
A good way to think of this, in marketing terms, is to look at your campaign page as a funnel. The headline of your campaign and your product's name are the initial draws. At this point, you have some level of curiosity but it's rapidly decreasing.
The video grabs that curiosity and extends it further. At this point, the reader is willing (in ideal conditions,) to investigate further and spend around a minute or so discovering your product.
This means they'll view parts of your video for product information and once their curiosity is excited, they'll scroll down to investigate further.
By this point, they're in the latter half of your funnel and your pitch takes over their curiosity completely.
This is how the video and the pitch work in tandem so don't ignore either of them!
There are two exceptional cases where a long video will help your campaign and where a short video will harm it.
The first is if your product has a large number of technically unique features. This usually applies to hardware or software products.
While you might love your product and think that it is unique, remember to place yourself in your audience's shoes. Unique in this context means something that requires a lot of explanation, even to a sophisticated audience.
If your product does something that is thought to be impossible or improbable, the viewer's curiosity shifts from the product to the creator. They begin to question your credibility and this is why you need to spend more time talking about yourself and establishing your credentials.
Of course, you should also spend time discussing your product and then reinforcing all of this in your pitch. The more improbable your product's features are or the more complex they are, the longer your video ought to be.
The other exception is when you manage to pack a ton firepower into your video via testimonials. I'm not talking about small time celebrities but genuine heavyweights in the field.
A good example of this was this campaign from Pono Music. Their video is 11 minutes long but delivers exceptional engagement due to the fact that the first half of the video is filled with bonafide celebrities delivering testimonials.
The second half of the video briefly delves into more conventional ground by introducing the product and then veers right back into testimonials about the creator. While the structure of the video might not be the most efficient, one cannot ignore the results.
As of this writing, Pono Music is the third most highly funded Kickstarter campaign in history. Heavyweight testimonials drive contributions!
While a video might seem to be a small portion of your overall campaign pitch, its length is absolutely critical for you to get right.
Stick to videos between two to three minutes for rewards based campaigns and up to five for equity based ones.
Your backers will reward you with even more funding as a result of getting this right!