You're all set with a great idea and have figured out what your message needs to be. Now all that remains is for you to create a great video.
The fact is that many campaign creators dread the video production process. However, there's no reason for you to be intimidated!
Use these 9 killer tips to make sure your video hits the right spot and gets you the backing you deserve!
Tip #1 - Be Your (Best) Self
I'm going to start with the most maddening piece of advice that is usually given: Be yourself. As if it were that easy!
The truth is that many people are shy on camera and come across as being extremely fidgety or uncomfortable on camera. If this applies to you, then being yourself isn't quite going to work.
Instead, focus on being your best self in front of the camera. This doesn't mean you need to come across as a rock star or a celebrity. It means you need to design your video and script so that it makes you comfortable.
Reduce any production trickery that requires you to carry out too many tasks in front of camera. For instance pulling off humor in front of a camera is a tough task. If you're uncomfortable with this, simply don't do it!
Here are some of the things you can do instead:
Use someone else : Have someone else stand behind the camera and talk to them instead of looking at the lens.
Use cue cards : Have someone hold cue cards behind the camera. Use the tips in the next point to help make this even more effective!
Relax : Do something prior to shooting the video that helps you relax. Be it yoga, mediation or even drinking some cold water, do whatever you need to in order to relax!
Chop it up : Break your video recording into smaller portions instead of trying to get it all done at once. Shoot as little as 10 seconds at a time to get comfortable.
Minimize : If you're still have issues appearing in front of camera, minimize your screen time and focus the video on your product or on another related topic.
Check out the tips in the video below to help you feel more at ease in front of the lens.
Tip #2 - Plan
Here's something I've noticed distressingly often. Creators are so in love with their product that they believe they can appear in front of a camera and simply wing it.
Needless to say, the minute the record button is pressed, they begin fumbling for words!
You need to plan your script well in advance of shooting. This ties in directly with the ideal length your video needs to be. Click that link to learn all about how long your video needs to be.
The average person utters around 150 words per minute. This means a four to five minute video will need to be around 500-600 words long.
Here's the next mistake that is often made: Creators pen their speech in advance and memorize it.
Don't ever do this!
You want to come across as being natural on camera. Reciting a memorized speech is going to make you sound like a mindless drone.
Instead, break your script into themes. Create a list of bullet points for each theme and allow your mind to fill the gaps. This way you'll give your brain an opportunity to be creative in the moment and you'll use your natural speech patterns.
Here's a typical framework that you can use to construct your video script:
What's the story behind your project? Why are you passionate about it?
Why is your project awesome? What makes it special?
What will happen if you don't raise the money?
What will backers get in return? Highlight the most important rewards.
Ask for everyone's support and reiterate why your project is amazing.
Tip #3 - Invest
You don't need to hire Martin Scorsese to film your video but you do need to maintain some quality standards.
Unless you're being ironic, a grainy video of you walking around and talking into your selfie camera is just not going to cut it. Think of your video as being a way of presenting your best self.
A grainy and unprofessional video is the equivalent of you turning up to a black tie event in shorts and a t-shirt.
Doesn't quite cut the mustard does it?
Smartphone technology has come a long way and you can record great videos with it. However, invest in a tripod and make sure your camera is stable.
A common sticking point is audio quality. When your phone is far away from you, your voice is going to sound hollow and will echo.
Investing in a lapel pin mounted microphone is a good idea if this is an issue. You also want to invest in a production crew if you're looking to raise money for a cause that it urgent or if your funding goal is high.
In fact, the more urgent or dear to your heart the cause is, the more you ought to invest into it. You might think that if you had the money to invest in a video crew, you wouldn't have to ask for money in the first place!
Scroll down to the end of this article for an example of a campaign that did this perfectly.
If money is really an issue for you then pay special attention to the lighting. Often, a simple change of location or shooting at a different time of the day will do wonders for the way you come across.
Here's a great tutorial to help you understand how a few simple tricks can help you elevate the quality of your video.
Tip #4 - Show Off
No, I'm not talking about doing backflips off a cliff! Instead show off your product and let people see how amazing it is.
This is especially true when it comes to rewards based crowdfunding. Demonstrate how your prototype looks and handles in real life.
Use in a variety of different situations and demonstrate its various features in your video. The more features it has, the longer your video needs to be.
If you're hiring actors to demonstrate how the product handles, make sure they look happy handling it. They don't need to be carrying Joker like grins but they need to look pleasant at the very least!
If you don't have a prototype, create detailed mockups and walk your audience through your 3-D drawings. Make sure you include demonstrations of what the product will look like when its moving etc, through these mockups.
A good practice to follow is to not talk about the product too much. Instead, skip the lengthy intros and jump right into demonstrating how it works.
You might be extremely passionate about the product and all of its features but stick to giving your audience the overview. Remember, this is supposed to be a demo video, not a tutorial!
Create a simple problem/answer framework. Pose a problem and demonstrate how your product solves that problem. Simple!
When it comes to donation based campaigns, make sure you introduce the viewer to your world. You don't have a product to highlight in such cases but you do have people around you.
Create an emotional bond with your audience by having other people talk about you or the situation you're raising money for.
Use lots of photographs to get the point across and always keep the focus on your passion for the cause. Don't be afraid to highlight exactly why you deserve backing! This is not time to have false humility.
Tip #5 - Be Legal
Here's something most campaign creators don't pay enough attention to. Those sunglasses with visible branding you're wearing in your video?
That's copyright infringement!
All logos and references you make to other companies' products could potentially be a violation of copyright. This applies mostly to rewards based and equity crowdfunding.
No one's going to line up to sue a donation based campaign but you still want to avoid the risk.
The other aspect you want to consider as a creator is the possibility of your product being ripped off by someone else. There have been many instances of popular campaigns copying successful existing products and presenting them as their own idea.
Make sure you have adequate legal documentation to prove that this idea is your own. If your product looks like something else that's already on the market, that's a lawsuit waiting to happen.
Use royalty free images if you cannot create your own. The same applies to music. Unless you own the copyright to particular tracks or have created some of your own, you can't play them in the background of your video.
This is the case even if you happen to mix the track with something else and try to get around infringement laws by modifying content.
The bottom line is: You're trying to get backing from people so don't take any risk whatsoever with your campaign.
Tip #6 - Be Passionate
This project is your baby and you've spent a lot of time on it. Many creators assume that their backers will be on board with them by default.
However, your backers aren't mind readers! They haven't witnessed all the struggle and love you've put into it.
Therefore, show them!
Take them behind the scenes of the development process and provide them with updates as to how the product is coming along. You should highlight how you created the idea in your pitch video as well.
Show them your preliminary designs, share the frustrations you faced and the mistakes you made. Not only does this humanize you, it also brings your backers closer to you. The most successful campaigns manage to create a sense of community around them.
By bringing your backers behind the scenes and showing them your journey, you're giving them even more reasons to be passionate about your product.
All of this is a great thing when it comes to helping you achieve the funding you need!
This is especially true if you have a less than perfect prototype or are trying to fund the creation of a prototype. Sketches and drawings with explanatory videos work wonders when it comes to helping your backers realize the work and effort that has gone into the product.
It's also a great way to demonstrate the fact that you've put a lot of thought into the design. Many creators ramble on about what they thought of but it's far more powerful to simply show your backers this.
A good example of a campaign that executed this is the Ostrich Pillow GO. While the campaign creator did not deliver on their promises, there's no denying that their well designed pitch video helped them land close to six times their funding goal!
Tip #7 - Get to the Point!
It's no secret that attention spans have decreased. We're a generation that is used to getting what we want right now.
If someone wants to know what your product is all about and if you don't get to the point, you're going to risk turning them off.
Not only will you turn them off, you're going to create a negative association in their brain with regards to your product.
Marketing has changed massively over this decade and consumers have come to expect certain standards when it comes to this. Think of the last time you visited a website that was slow to load.
You probably never went there again. Or how about a YouTube video that took over a minute to get into the meat of its content. I'm willing to bet you never viewed any other video from that channel again!
So make it a priority to get to the point. The point being your product in action.
Don't delay showing the product and what it looks like in action. Make sure you model the product right upfront after introducing yourself. Get into the development process after that.
Repeatedly highlight the relevant features and benefits of the product to keep the viewer's attention on your campaign page.
It sounds like a tough task but it actually pretty straightforward. As long as you create your video with the intention of making your product the star, you'll be just fine.
Tip #8 - Promote
So you've created your video and have uploaded it to your campaign page. Now all you have to do is sit back and relax right? Right?
What you really need to do is take that video of yours and spread it through all of your social media channels. Upload it to YouTube and Vimeo and every other video sharing platform you can think of.
Clip parts of it into an Instagram story and share it with your followers. Do the same thing and share it to Facebook. Tweet about it etc etc.
Sharing your video through social media should be a huge part of your promotional campaign. During your pre-launch phase, you need to have a few clips shot and ready to go since you'll need to share it with your followers.
In fact, successful campaigns manage to have their entire video shot and ready to go before their campaign is even launched. This way, they always have promotional material ready to be shared in case the opportunity arises.
You might also want to consider shooting two videos. One would be your regular campaign pitch video while the other can be a simple elevator pitch. This can be a minute long and quickly explains what your product is all about.
The point here is to not stop once you've created your video. Get ready to promote it wherever you can think of!
Tip #9 - Ask For Help
Running a successful crowdfunding campaign is tough. There are a large number of things you need to keep in mind and tons of promotional activities you need to conduct if you want to be successful.
The riskiest part of rewards based crowdfunding is that if you don't hit your goal, you're going to receive nothing for your efforts!
In the middle of all this lies your video pitch. Tailoring it for success is crucial. You need to hire the right video producers as well as the best editors to give your video the right degree of polish.
Invest in quality help and you'll realize your crowdfunding goals. If you're an experienced crowdfunder, you probably won't need too much help.
However, if this isn't the case, you need to ask for the right help from the right professionals. You can search for freelancers who are experienced with the crowdfunding process. An alternative option is to get in touch with other campaign creators and ask them for referrals.
This way, you'll be able to get in touch with people whose work you're familiar with and won't have to worry about receiving something you're unhappy with.
Examples of Great Campaign Videos
One particular video that hits all the high points and communicates what the product is all about is the HelloEar Arc campaign. Their video documents the development process using sketches an research methods as you can see in the gallery.
Animation can play a big role in demonstrating various aspects of your prototype. This is something that the Flippr campaign did very well. You can see how the video demonstrated this in the third and fourth images in the gallery below.
The last two pictures in the gallery come from the campaign for the WISP. Notice how the video directly highlights the advantages and features of the product, despite the voice over providing the same information.
Your videos need to form an emotional bond with your backers. There have been few better examples of this than the GoFundMe campaign that was titled Saving Eliza.
While this campaign packed delivered a serious emotional gut punch, notice the high quality of video production.
Clearly, the O'Neills were committed to their cause (understandably so) and they spared no expense in getting the amount of funding they needed to save their little girl.
We'd see many more campaigns succeed if their creators put in half as much effort as these creators did. Never underestimate the power of video when it comes to delivering your message!
The video pitch is an essential part of your crowdfunding campaign. Unfortunately far too many creators try to DIY this and end up falling short of their goals.
These 9 tips you've just read will help you create the perfect video and will help you realize the vision you have in mind for your business.