Starting a Kickstarter campaign can be scary, especially since the odds are already stacked against you before you even sign up. According to Kickstarter, 56% of projects fail to get funding. This means less than half of the total launched campaigns achieve their goal. By including a video in your campaign, your chances improve significantly; 85% of the successfully funded campaigns all had video. Sinking part of your investment into Kickstarter video production can make all the difference between you successfully funding your product or heading back to the drawing board.
Here are some things to take into account when preparing your video.
Effective Kickstarter video production starts with a great script. And they key to writing a great script is to first find all the pain points that your product/service can soothe. At the end of the day, people are going to buy—or back—your project if they personally relate to the pain and believe that you can, in fact, alleviate it.
For example, Coffee Joulies, created by Dave Petrillo and Dave Jackson, are little metal constructs that can keep hot drinks—like coffee—at the “perfect” temperature for drinking. Dave introduces the Joulies by talking about a “problem that everyone has experienced,” specifically how coffee isn’t always the right temperature.
He goes on to say, very simply, that he was tired of burning his mouth on coffee that was too hot. He was also tired of waiting for his coffee to cool down, only to find that he had missed his “short window of opportunity” and had to settle for cold coffee.
The simplicity of the dialogue only serves to emphasize how relatable the problem is. If people can relate to what they’re seeing, they’ll support the project through every way they know. You can worry about creative shots or dialogue after you’ve put together the pain points, and not before.
Preparation is Imperative
Once you’ve got a script ready, don’t just take it to any Los Angeles video production company and then leave it completely up to them and their professional video editing services. Aside from the fact that you may end up with something completely different from your initial vision (directors are good, but they aren’t mind readers) you’ll also end up spending more resources that could have been directed somewhere else.
Steve Young from Smart Shoot points out that “lack of preparation can drive up costs” during Kickstarter video production. A decent Kickstarter video can cost anywhere between $10k to $15k to produce, although some can hit the $50k mark. Prepare for the pre-production, production, and post-production stages in any way you can—even if it’s just scene notes or 3D printed prototypes. Every little bit helps.
Personal is Preferable
People hate sales pitches, so make sure you stay clear of sounding like one. Keep everything personal and personable by talking a little bit about yourself and why you decided to develop your product or service.
Again, drawing from Coffee Joulies’ example, Dave spends a few minutes talking about his friendship with the other Dave, and how they’ve been inventing things together ever since they were in diapers. Their Kickstarter campaign raised over $306,000 in just 37 days—proof that adding a human touch to your Kickstarter video production may be the final push people need to pledge for your project.
One Last Thing: Pre-Sales, Not Profit
The general misconception is that every dollar you make over your goal amount profit. This isn’t true. If you originally asked for $5k and you managed to raise $20k, you don’t actually have $15k extra cash. What you do have is $15k worth of promises to a lot of backers who will rake your name through the mud if you fail to deliver.
The takeaway here is to always manage expectations when it comes to what you’ll earn. Remember that Kickstarter takes 5% of your total campaign funds as their fee. The bulk of what remains goes to fulfilling pre-orders. The rest goes into shipping and handling, processing, Kickstarter video production, taxes and more.