Kickstarter and other crowdfunding sites like IndieGoGo have become mainstream, and have proven to be a great way to raise money for funding everything from product inventions to art projects and events. If you are looking to start or build something and you need money to get it going, Kickstarter and IndieGoGo are great places to start.
One of the biggest contributing factors to success in raising money on these sites is a Kickstarter project video — and a great video can really set you apart from the pack. Kickstarter has even said that a project with a video is much more likely to be successfully funded. Projects without videos are funded 30% of the time while projects with videos have a 50% success rate.
So, what do you need to do in order to create a successful Kickstarter video? Here are some tips to get you started on your crowdfunding path.
Tips for Creating an Awesome Kickstarter Video
1. Develop Your Message
Before you even start filming or animating a video for your Kickstarter project, you have to spend some time thinking about the message. Do you want your story to be emotional, funny, smart, or serious?
Start by making a list of the types of responses you want to get from the viewer and the emotions that best describe your project. Think about whether you want to take the viewer on a journey, surprise them, or make them laugh. And craft your message around a theme.
Then write a script that is consistent with the theme and message. Don’t try to cover too many angles or emotions in one video. Edit your script to be as concise as possible while telling your story. Bring in writing help if need be in order to tell the best story. At the very least, run your ideas by as many people as you can for feedback.
Remember, we live in the age of short attention spans and YouTube viral videos. If your video is boring, confusing, or too long, you’ll lose the audience quickly.
2. Create a Storyboard
The next stage of pre-planning is creating storyboards. Even if you are drawing with stick figures or pulling together clip art, a full set of storyboards to outline your video will set you up for success.
Storyboards will give you the opportunity to get a sense of how long your video will be, how you’ll structure it from shot to shot, and where to place graphics as needed. It’ll give you a chance to prepare every aspect before you get into the time-consuming production process, and will save you headaches later in editing and finishing.
Remember, they don’t have to be artistic masterpieces. You just need something that gives you and any production members a road map for production.
Additionally, during the storyboard process, you’ll be able to figure out if you want to shoot live-action video, create a fully animated video, or a combination of both.
3. Shooting the Video
If you decide to shoot a live-action video, you don’t need to use a $10,000 camera with cranes and huge lights, but you should be as professional as possible. In some instances, even an iPhone camera can capture what you need, but take steps to ensure the best possible result.
Use a tripod for anything shot that isn’t moving. Shaky footage is no fun to watch. And make sure you have enough light, whether it’s with a lighting kit, or whatever is available.
Compose shots using cinematography techniques like the rule of thirds. And shoot B-roll for cutaways as needed. One long shot of you explaining your product will not be engaging no matter how charismatic you are.
Speaking of, if you aren’t comfortable being on camera, find another way to tell the story. Use shots of the product or other people who can help tell the story. Don’t jeopardize your success over pride or fear. Just look for other angles. You can always add in voice over if that is more comfortable for you.
During the storyboard phase and in production, think about a “look” for your video. Are you going to use hip color filters in the edit, or do you want to use lots of close-ups of a product? Shoot for the look that you want, so that you’ll have an easier time editing.
4. Get Animated
If live-action isn’t the way you want to go, consider a fully animated video. Just remember that the same story principles apply. Don’t let your animation be boring or unprofessional. Keep things moving and interesting.
Look for visual references from other animated videos that are successful and use them as inspiration. And consider hiring animators if you don’t have the skillset to create something professional.
5. Combine Live-Action & Animation
Sometimes the most successful videos use a combination of live-action footage with supporting graphics. Perhaps you have a product that you want to show the audience, but you also want to share features or statistics that people will remember. A supporting graphic will cover you here.
Or maybe you want to interview some of the team involved in the project. Lower thirds with names and titles will help viewers connect to who is talking.
Supporting graphics should also look professional and match the overall tone of your video, but they don’t have to be expensive. After Effects templates can come in very handy to add the additional polish you need without breaking the video budget.
Just make sure you have someone who is capable of editing and updating the project files to fit your video.
6. Don’t Forget About Audio Quality
Sound is just as important for setting the tone and telling a story as visuals. Consider adding background music where appropriate that sets the pacing for the video edit and builds emotion to support the story.
Make absolutely sure to record clean audio for any voice over or anyone talking on screen. If you stand on the top of a windy building and talk into a microphone mounted on the camera 10 feet away, the result will not be ideal. And no one wants to listen to the wind blow.
Whenever possible, find a quiet space to record audio. Listen for background noises like appliances, air conditioners, and traffic noises that will be distracting.
Use the highest quality microphones available to you, and make sure that you get high audio levels without clipping. If none of this makes sense, consider bringing in an audio professional to help.
Remember, you don’t have to shoot an Oscar-winning short or create superhero movie FX. But you do need to tell a good story and avoid distractions that will lose your audience.
Plan ahead, shoot everything you need, add in supporting graphics that push the story forward, and make it sound great. And you’ll be well on your way to creating a killer Kickstarter video and an even more successful crowdfunding campaign.