Make Video magic, both Kickstarter and Indiegogo agree, to pull in viewers. Ben Franklin – who worked a great deal with creating moving pictures – remarked that a picture is worth a thousand words. When that picture moves and talks, it is even better. Keeping this in mind is an excellent Crowdfunding Tip, since the Big Two agree that campaigns with a catchy video are more successful than those without. Making a good video is exceptionally useful when promoting your crowdfunding campaign.
But you want something more than a talking head in your video. (A talking head is a person talking directly into the camera with little or no background.) You want to make your product, service or cause real. You want to bring it alive for the person viewing it. Clever skits, cute cartoons or even a lively demonstration of a table top game can pull in your audience.
If you are selling fashion wear, attractive models wearing or carrying the item in question helps sell the product. While you might personally feel that the message of “All About That Bass” makes good sense, when you are marketing a product, physical attractiveness focuses the eye of the view on your product. The buyer should be able to envision him or herself looking that good in your merchandise.
One of the best selling tactics in the world is humor. If your video can make your audience laugh – in a kindly way – and make them feel good, you are very likely to be able to follow up the laugh with real information about your product or service. People enjoy feeling good about themselves; when they feel good about themselves, then they are more likely to contribute to your crowdfunding campaign – particularly if your service or product promises more of that good feeling.
Not every situation lends itself to humor, however. If you are promoting a product that will assist others, then the chances are that those people are not good subjects for humor. To make jokes about starvation, victims of combat, or epidemics would certainly be in poor taste. You can still offer your audience a way to feel good about themselves, however. You can give them a chance to make a situation better. You can give them a way to relieve hunger, or to contribute to peaceful solutions to the problems that cause conflict. You might be familiar with the photography of Dorothea Lange, the photographer who took the well-known photograph of the migrant woman and her children. The little family is housed in a tent, dressed in ragged clothing. Lange commented that the older children were catching birds, and collecting frozen vegetables from the nearby fields to feed the younger ones. Although one of the family members later commented that Lange got a few of the details wrong, he added that her photograph was instrumental in getting emergency food supplies brought to the farm workers who were stranded in that location.
Making a eye-catching video isn’t as easy as just pointing a camera at a subject, and turning it on. You need to put some thought into the project, and set up your shoots for the best effect. You might have to make several different takes of your subject to get it to turn out just right, with the message you want to send about your product.
Video editing software is helpful, also. There are a number of free or reasonably priced programs that are suitable for small videos, such as you might create for crowdfunding projects available as Internet downloads. Look for software that will allow you to adjust the voice/picture match up, to cut unwanted portions of the raw footage, and to join sections of video together. You might even want a presentation program that will allow you to create cartoon characters, and to insert the live video footage. The options are nearly unlimited.
Even if you are proud of your video, and the information it presents, keep it short. Internet is a medium that is geared to quick, catchy presentations. Catch your audience’s attention, tickle their funny bone or appeal to their sympathies or give them something to dream about – but do it in three minutes or less. There is a good reason why most radio commercials are three minutes long or less; not only do the advertisers pay by the minute, but the unseen audience has a hard time staying focused on a sales pitch for longer than that.
If a simple, straight-forward recording is what you can manage, then rehearse your speech until you can practically recite it with your eyes closed. Make eye contact with the camera. Try to avoid glancing up or to the side – the camera will distinctly catch your eye movement. If you are speaking to someone else in the camera view, then focus on that person, or look slightly in front of them. The camera will make it look as if you are looking directly at them, but will still be able to get your facial expression. Place your recording in an area that is in keeping with the subject of your crowdfunding campaign.
You don’t need super fancy equipment to make a decent video. A mid-range Canon camera that will take either still pictures or video will work. If you don’t have a video camera, you can use an editor to string a series of still pictures together, and create an audio recording to go with the sequence. Exercising your photography skills, however, can be beneficial.
Frame pictures of speakers slightly out of the center of the video. This is especially helpful if the view over the speaker’s shoulder reinforces the subject. Keep the camera steady. While the bouncing view displayed in the Blair Witch movie might have enhanced the impression that it really was made from “found” footage, in most situations it just shows that the camera person didn’t know how to keep his or her camera hand steady. You can speak from behind the camera to explain a scene. If you are doing this, pan or zoom your camera slowly – but with purpose – to keep from disorienting viewers. Keep user testimonials to a minimum.
It takes some thought and some planning to make video magic – but for your crowdfunding campaign, it can make a world of difference. Take a look at some Success Stories videos used by the campaigns featured on Best Crowdfunding Websites for eye-catching examples.