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A Great Kickstarter Idea Deserves a Great Kickstarter Video. Here Are 6 Tips for Crowdfunding Success.

If you’re planning to launch a Kickstarter project, I know what you’re probably thinking—do you REALLY need a Kickstarter video?

After all, you’ve come up with a GREAT idea. A project you think people will love, and want to invest in.

You’ve spent months, maybe even years, perfecting that idea, getting ready to launch.

Won’t people invest with or without a video?

Well, according to the Kickstarter website, “Videos are not required to launch, but projects that have compelling videos tend to succeed at a much higher rate.”

And according to one study, Kickstarter projects without a video are 85% MORE LIKELY TO FAIL.

So yes, I think it’s fair to say you ABSOLUTELY NEED a Kickstarter video.

Here are my six tips for crowdfunding success:

Alfred Hitchcock practically invented the rules of visual storytelling

#1 Start With a Good Story

I’ve written many times about the power of storytelling, and Kickstarter videos are a perfect example. Stories help you draw people in, and make them care about your cause or product idea.

The best stories make an emotional connection. Now, emotion doesn’t necessarily mean tears and Kleenex.

Emotional stories can tap into other emotions, too.

Like patriotism. Pride. Excitement. Outrage. The trick is to make people feel however you want them to feel.

For more on emotional storytelling, check out this recent blog post.

#2 Consider Humor

Right now, there are over half a million active projects on Kickstarter, so the biggest obstacle you face is getting noticed. You need to find a way for your project to stand out.

Most Kickstarter videos, it turns out, are NOT funny. Which means humor may be just what you need for your project to get noticed.

The video above is a good example.

Greenlight Accessories presents a simple, low-tech alternative to online dating, and begins as a tongue-in-cheek public service announcement about ODS—online dating syndrome.

It’s smart and quirky and definitely stands out in the world of Kickstarter videos.

All with the tonality of a skit on Saturday Night Live. 

One of Hitch's rules of visual storytelling was to not direct the actors, direct the audience

#3 Get To the Point Quickly

Another important consideration is video length. Trust me—nobody wants to watch a 5-minute video.

Kickstarter claims two minutes is ideal. That’s long enough to explain the product benefits, but short enough to hold the audience’s attention.

One of Hitchcock's best rules of visual storytelling was about how to frame each shot

But regardless of overall length, you should get to the point quickly, preferably within the first 30 seconds.

Why? 70% of people won’t watch the entire video.

According to a study from 2020, the average length of a Kickstarter video is 2:10. Shorter videos are more likely to get watched in their entirety.

The chart shown here shows the dropoff in viewership as video lengh increases.

#4 Sell Yourself

Another important tip for Kickstarter videos is to sell yourself. People are more likely to invest in an idea or new company when they get to know the entrepreneur involved.

In other words, people invest in people.

So definitely be your own spokesperson. Tell YOUR story—how you got the idea. Let people see your passion for this new venture and your personality, too.

It’s all about authenticity. Just be yourself.

#5 Show Off Your Product

If your Kickstarter Video is about a new product, then you need to demonstrate that product. Show how it works, people’s reactions to using it.

Sketches and blueprints only go so far. For a truly effective video, you should have a working prototype of your product.

For example, in the Greenlight Accessories video, they had prototypes of the bracelets made and gave them out to people to try on and demonstrate on camera.

#6 Include a Call to Action

My last Kickstarter tip is probably the most obvious—include a strong call to action. Tell people what you want them to do.

Should they fill out a form? Buy a product? Pledge a specified amount of money?

Whatever the next steps are, be clear and direct.

And don’t wait until the end of the video (See Tip #3 above). Pretend it’s an infomercial—get to the call to action within the first minute, then repeat it as needed.

Thanks to Adrian Sasine for the Kickstarter project above. If you’re interested in Greenlight Accessories, you can find the Kickstarter page here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Harry Hayes is the owner and executive producer at Content Puppy Productions. Before starting his business, he spent 20+ years as an advertising writer and creative director.

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