Crowdfunding is a big part of many entrepreneur’s life. It has gained immense popularity as a business financing model for individuals with big dreams, albeit limited or zero budget. In just the past year, various crowdfunding campaigns around the globe raised a total of staggering $34.4 billion!
But not all ideas are successful. Crowdfunding platform, Thecrowdfundingcentre.com released a report that suggested almost 69% to 89% of crowdfunding campaigns fail to reach their goal, depending upon the platform they were using. Even the platform that saw the highest amount of success, kickstarter.com, reported that only 31% of crowdfunding campaigns managed to surpass their goals.
So what makes for a good crowdfunding campaign? What are the practices that the 31% of projects employed to crush their crowdfunding goals? The first element, in a long list of answers, is video.
The Magic Of Video
A recent study revealed that 48% of projects that have a video received funding while only 26% of projects without a video were able to achieve their goals. That’s the magic of video. Over the years, video has proved to be one of the most engaging ways to put your message across. Video engages the audience at multiple levels, there is audio engagement, visual engagement, and if you play it right, sometimes there is even some level of emotional engagement.
The study further showed how video is immensely effective for projects of certain categories, where the ones that included a video in their campaign had a 120% greater success rate than their non-video counterparts.
But this data also suggests that even after including a video, many of the crowdfunding projects fail. It is clear that you need more than just a video to successfully get people to back your dream.
Here’s what you can do to make sure your video and your campaign has all the qualities to get your project included in that 48% successful campaigns:-
1. MAKE A PRE-LAUNCH VIDEO TO VALIDATE YOUR BUSINESS IDEA
There are thousands of crowdfunding campaigns swarming on the web. Would your business venture idea survive?
A pre-launch video, or a short teaser of your product or service, can help you validate your business idea, understand the market and estimate the chances of getting funded.
It is, therefore, smart to create a pre-launch video and share it with thought leaders, business leaders and other supporters of your target niche before your project goes live as you can create a lot of buzz and curiosity with these endorsements. You can check out these great pre-launch hacks for your crowdfunding campaign for the best results.
This is not the only benefit of having pre-launch support. If your project is supported prior to the launch of your campaign, it would give you an added credibility. People are generally inclined towards backing projects that already have conjured up some support. It’s the typical crowd mentality syndrome, which you should take advantage of.
If your pre-launch video produces good result and you know that there are people ready to invest money on you, then go ahead and hire a professional video production agency to create an even more impactful video. Dropbox actually followed this MVP strategy. Here’s the screencast video Drew Houston, the founder, created himself to test out his idea.
Post the success of this video, Drew spent $50,000 to make a professional explainer video.
2. MAKE YOUR VIDEO PERSONAL
The most important thing to remember is that the people are going to fund you, and not the idea. This of course does not mean that your video should focus only on you and your team. In fact, this does not even alter the fact that your product/idea is the most important feature of your video.
But it is equally important to have some focus on yourself. This will convince the audience that you are capable of turning your idea into something great if you do manage to get the funding. This doesn’t just end at stating your name and qualifications. Instead, give an in-depth demonstration of your idea and wherever relevant, insert your team’s collective backgrounds and experiences, both professional and personal. The ultimate goal is to make them believe in you and the dream (your project) that you are trying to materialise.
3. TELL A STORY
That’s not just the slogan of Kickstarter but also the prime ingredient of your project video. A great crowdfunding video would always have all the ingredients of a great story. It will have a beginning, middle, and an end. It will have the right ambience and will appeal to the right people.
Here is how to effectively tell your ‘story’:
The Beginning: This is the part where you make the viewer realise the need of your product in their life. Use the beginning to highlight the consumer problems that your product aims to solve.
The Middle: Once you have made your target consumer aware of their problem, it is time to introduce your product. Use the video to highlight all the features of the product and demonstrate the benefit it brings in your consumer’s life. This is also a good time to tell the viewers about the journey of how after years (or months) of designing and numerous brainstorming sessions, the product came into existence.
The End: The end is the most crucial part of your video. This is where you ask your viewers to ‘back’ your project. This should not be much of an issue if you have gotten the other three parts of your video right. It is still important to have a distinct CTA (call to action) where you clearly ask the viewer to back your project and outline what value this action will add to their lives.
The Ambience: Consider an example, if your product is, say, a fitness band, your video needs to have high powered music and a lot of activity going on. You cannot use soft guitar music and clips of people reading a book in your video. Bottom line, think about what your consumers can do with the product, and create an ambience that resonates with the activity.
4. GIVING MORE THAN YOU RECEIVE
The most successful businesses are the ones that add value to our world, our way of living or just our society as a whole.
The relevance of the above statement to your crowdfunding project is paramount. People usually help those who help them. If your project is helping people and adding value to their lives, people will instinctively help you and add value to your project.
Of course, your video will highlight what a viewer is going to receive as a ‘backer’, but it needs to say, and give more. The video should give people gratitude, for helping you realise your dream, and it should give them certainty, about the success of the product, and about your ability to turn it into a success. This certainty translates into the certainty of getting value for the money that the viewer is (hopefully) going to pledge.
5. ENAMOUR YOUR AUDIENCE WITH HIGH QUALITY VIDEO
Presentation is a key factor for a successful crowdfunding campaign. Make a good video and you will get a good response. Remember a poor quality video can create a bad impression.
Even if you have great content, shoddy camera or animation quality is sure to set you back. Bad video quality is clearly bad news for your crowdfunding endeavours.
For those who think bad video quality conveys a lack of funds, the internet tolerates no excuses! It is now possible to shoot HD videos on your smartphone and getting other components like lighting and green screens is cheaper than ever. A bad quality video is only a horrible reflection of how seriously you take your business, and how you manage it.
Making a crowdfunding video is not rocket science. It’s not easy, and there is no formula to it. The video is an irreplaceable part of the campaign and should communicate clearly and always aim to give back more than what it is asking for. A lot of work goes into making a successful crowdfunding campaign. In fact, Richard Swart, director of research at the Program for Innovation in Entrepreneurial and Social Finance at the University of California, Berkeley, found that campaigns that successfully raised $100,000 spent at least 200 hours preparing for a crowdfunding effort and an average of 136 hours managing it–all before pledged funds hit the bank.
Of course, crowdfunding is relatively new to our world and there are a number of strategies yet to be explored. If you have any tips for making a great crowdfunding video, go in the comments and start adding value now!
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