So you’re working on that video for your Kickstarter campaign. But you’re struggling to get through it. No doubt you’re unsure of something.
Where should I put this piece of information? Or that piece? Or all those pieces?
How should the video begin? End? What should be in the middle?
I could go on and on about questions you might be asking yourself, but instead, I think I’ll write you out some tips that you can use to answer those questions yourself.
This fancy word actually has a lot of meaning with regards to making videos and copy. When it comes down to it, the same techniques used to get information to those who skim your copy work here. In this case, the thing(s) a viewer of the video is most likely to remember is the information at the front of the video. The first bit of information they associate with your project is easier to recall than any other part (with one exception, listed in tip 2).
So put some good information right at the beginning. Something to get them paying attention to the video and drinking in every single frame and listening intently on the audio.
The most remembered part of any video or copy is recency. It’s got a slightly higher recall rate compared to primacy, so it’s important that the information presented at the end of the video (or copy) is the most accurate and easy to remember.
3. More Research
Though it might feel like it at times, research is never your enemy.
In this case, you should research other campaigns in your category. Find ones that were highly successful, mildly successful, and not at all successful and compare them. What did the highly successful ones do that the others didn’t? What did the not at all successful ones do that the others didn’t? Is there something unique in the mildly successful ones that simply failed to deliver?
Answer those questions, then apply the answers to your own video.
Ah, lighting. It’s that thing provided by the sun, and sometimes by artificial sources such as electrically heated filaments.
In this case, though you don’t want to just use any old lighting solution. Lighting is fairly simple (relatively speaking) but one of the biggest signs of a professional versus an amateur hoping to get fast money. Make sure your lighting is consistent but not harsh/overwhelming. Don’t let bright lighting wash out features of the video. And most importantly don’t point your camera at the sun.
Angles are another easy (relatively speaking) aspect of making a good video. You want to choose angles that are ‘unique’ but which add flavor to the video. And don’t forget to use angles that make the point of the video obvious or display the information you’re trying to convey as quickly as possible.
For example, don’t dutch angle a shot of a measurement that contains important information for your viewers. You’re guaranteed to lose potential backers if the angle chosen makes information harder to understand.
So don’t be afraid to be unique but don’t be so unique that you push people away.
Transitions can seem easy at first, but they’re actually not. There’s a nice tidy little ‘formula’ Hollywood uses that helps here, though. They change between camera angles roughly every 30 seconds.
This is because the same angle with the same view gets boring very fast. After only a minute you’re already losing audience members. By the time 5 minutes rolls around your viewership is probably deflating faster than a disturbed soufflè.
7. Video Length
Video length is a very important factor that can be harder to achieve than most people will initially believe.
Most sources online tell you to keep the video to about 3 to 5 minutes. And that’s actually a great idea. But the problem is they rarely tell you why.
The important thing to remember is that the video should never get boring or tedious to watch. Typically, 3 to 5 minutes is the sweet spot for disseminating information while minimizing the chances of a boring section in the video.
So if your video can’t fit within 5 minutes but you’re certain there are no boring parts (have a friend double or triple check) then go right ahead and go over.
Though, you will still want to avoid a 17-hour long super-video. Even if every part is exciting with no even remotely boring parts, you’re going to lose people within the first half hour.
8. Copyright Law
Copyright law might seem like a faraway concern, especially if you’re used to creating content already. But rest assured, Murphy’s law always applies. For those that don’t know, Murphy’s law states that “anything that can go wrong will go wrong”. There’s an addendum that states “and it will go wrong at the worst possible moment”.
The same is true for a Kickstarter video.
Always check and make sure you’re not using copyrighted content, like music or video from someone else. A good rule of thumb is that anything that can be proven to have been created by someone else is probably copyrighted (copyrights apply automatically in most cases without the input of the original creator). If you really want to use it, contact the copyright owner and ask permission. If they deny you permission, then move on.
The thumbnail is the first thing a viewer of a video will see. So you definitely don’t want to skimp on it. You’re in luck, though. The most popular youtube creators have mastered the art of making thumbnails that catch peoples eyes. So go look at theirs and compare/contrast them. Once you have an understanding of how their thumbnails work, apply that to your own work.
10. The Call to Action
The call to action, while misunderstood, is one of the most powerful parts of any campaign. The purpose of a call to action is to entice the potential backers into backing you.
So take care to understand your audience and craft a call to action that will get them scrambling for the pledge button.
Use phrases that tell them (gently) what to do now that they’ve seen your video. And also craft the call to action to make it seem somewhat urgent, but not so urgent that they lose the opportunity if they don’t pledge immediately. It’s a tricky balance, but when pulled off it becomes one of the most successful converters you have to make potential backers into actual backers.
11. Talk to the Professionals
Don’t be afraid to go looking for a pro video creator and ask them a few questions about how they create their videos. True, they might not respond, but if they don’t you’ve lost nothing but a few seconds typing out a question.
If they do respond, you’re suddenly gaining valuable insight. So take time to jot down notes from their response and read over it.
Although, make sure you follow the old adage of “if it sounds too good to be true it probably is”. Double and triple check their words against other pros and the internet, just to be on the safe side.
12. Don’t Make Your Video into a TV Commercial
Making TV commercials can seem tempting. After all, the company making them can afford to keep them running across a multitude of networks across multiple times out of the day. So they must be making a huge profit right?
Well, maybe. Maybe not.
But even if they are, TV commercials are specifically designed for ultra-short time slots during times when people are almost never paying attention anyway. If you make your video into a TV commercial, it’s going to trigger the automatic “I’m gonna ignore this and go get some food while I wait for my show to resume” response.
So avoid TV commercial style videos at all costs. It’s much better to make something unique when you have a theoretically unlimited time slot.
13. Who Are You?
This is one of the most important questions your video should answer. If the potential backer knows more about you and who you are and what your background is, they’re going to be more willing to trust you. And that trust will increase your conversion rate.
So make sure you include some information on you and your team (if you have one) in the video.
14. The Example Product
When making a video, it’s best to include a working example of the product you’re making in the video. Show off the product, show it functioning, show it metaphorically slamming the competition into the ground (politely).
Showing off the product in the video makes people think that you’ve already worked out all of the kinks in the product and are confident that it’s ready to be manufactured and distributed.
Sure, I’ve mentioned creativity above somewhat. But it’s honestly deserving of its own category anyway.
When making a video, don’t be afraid to be creative. Yes, there should be limits to creativity. But don’t let those limits box you into a cookie-cutter video that everyone and their kitchen sink has digested tens of thousands of times before.
As long as you know the limits of creativity, snuggle up close to them. If you make something unique, you’re more likely to convert potential backers into actual backers.
Well, there you have it. A plethora of tips for creating a wildly successful Kickstarter video. I do hope that this has been a massive help to you both now and in the future when you’re making more campaigns.
May the campaign force be with you.