I think by now, most people have seen or heard of kickstarter. Even I, I have bought something off of there. Kickstarter is an industry that I have spoken about here and there for the past couple of years on my blog and its because it is still a growing industry. Sure, now I see a lot of different products that get onto Kickstarter than there were before but the site is still growing and other sites like Indiegogo are growing as well.
For the past 18 months, I have been filming campaign videos on Kickstarter and if there is one thing that I have learned it is-regardless of what the product is, how it solves a problem, or how unnecessary it may be; people will buy it if they like YOUR story.
When I say, your, I dont mean your products story or what you’re looking for with Kickstarter specifically, I mean why you created this product, what motivates you to take this product from an idea to a real life thing.
“…people will buy it if they like YOUR story.”
This is obviously tip number 1.
1. Focus on your story over anything else.
The whole reason people are on Kickstarter is because they get a first-hand look at what is being created before the big box companies have thought about it. You as the creator of the campaign video need to educate the entrepreneur/inventor about the importance of the story. We creators are always told, focus on the story, but with videos on products people tend to think that the specs and features of the product are the most important part. They’re not. They are important but not the MOST important.
Focus on delivering the “why” it was created and the rest will follow.
2. Familiarize yourself with the creator handbook
A lot of this is centered around kickstarter in reference because it is the biggest platform but it works with Indie go go as well. If you follow it, you’ll be at a better starting point than everyone on Kickstarter who didn’t. They tell you to “Explain your project how you would tell it to a friend.”
When I am on a consultation with a client for Kickstarter, they have these vast ideas as to what it can incorporate and what it should look like, but when I pass the creative brief back to them, I ask them what they think this project is about just by looking at pictures, and if they can’t see that it doesn’t match up then they understand it isn’t the same route.
3. USE SUBTITLES
Okay for the longest time, I didn’t do this-but I didn’t really know that it would make that much of a difference.
Subtitles are something very tedious but simple to do-if you don’t have software that can do it for you. It is still worth doing if you find yourself a campaign backer who didn’t listen to the video for whatever reason but was watching it and reading along. You just dont know how they got to pushing the button on your campaign and those subtitles could be making you or costing you money.
4. Show the product off to the right person
I know this is a bit obvious but it is extremely important. Whatever your product is, show it off in every place you want it to be used naturally. I have filmed many products that can theoretically be used anywhere in any situation but that isn’t natural. Find who you think benefits the most from it and push it to them. They will buy it more and you can make a repeat customer off of it.
A brand new microfiber towel could be used well to dry off with yourself but if it is more beneficial to the car enthusiast then I think your money producing a video should be directed towards him than say, the general public.
Trying to market to the general public seems like it can be the best way to raise a bunch of money but the point is, the general public doesn’t want to feel like everyone else. A travel backpack company linked here created a travel backpack here to not the general public but people who travel. Can everyone wear a backpack, theoretically, yes but they made it for travelers. I understand, they made compartments for clothes and blah blah blah that is obviously beneficial for travelers but if they changed the name to just backpack, then they wouldn’t have made the OVER 2 MILLION DOLLARS.
Just know the market and direct your video towards a smaller one than the general public. It will be more beneficial in the long run.
5. Have a budget for your video.
I have said this before and I will say it again, don’t let your wallet determine how much money you can make on the campaign. I don’t mean taking a second loan on your house but I mean the difference of a few hundred dollars. I have made videos for Kickstarter on a shoe string budget-I mean angel hair pasta thin.
Your video is a representation of your company and I don’t think it costs an insane amount of money to create the video that you need but I am very much for having some sort of money put in your video so it can be done correctly. Whether it is all shot on an iPhone but you need someone to edit it and put graphics and subtitles (because you’re following my tips, right?) or to shoot the entire thing, produce it, create storyboards, hire actors, location scout, and edit it.
I say to have a budget not for my pockets but if I see a project where the video isn’t done correctly, not because you don’t know how to edit and film, but because it seems like you don’t care about it. So why should I? Most people will look to spend all of the money and have it done like a Super Bowl commercial but that isn’t Kickstarter. Spend the money to have it look decent, but tell your story and have it filmed well enough that potential backers aren’t clicking off of it because of technical issues.
I have had more experience in videos for Kickstarter than most people I know and the simplest thing I can say is, I have seen every type of video work to some degree. Some have voice overs telling the story, some only have music, some have been shot with $20K budgets and others have been done on a cell phone. It depends on everything. How much money is going into the marketing, or the video or what industry is the product in-you could be saving thousands on a product that can only be found in a monopoly. It can be anything. The one thing that I know is, how you tell the story is what sells the product.