WHAT IS CROWDFUNDING?
As the name suggests, you are – quite literally – funded by a crowd. If you’re launching a product, starting a company, or introducing a service, you’ll need definitely need quite a bit of funding to cover all the sneaky financial bits. Unlike traditional funding, where one or two company backers give you a huge chunk of cash to cover your costs, crowdfunding raises a large amount by getting smaller donations from lots of different people.
To put it in numbers, say you’re trying to raise $15,000. You can get three companies to give you $5,000 each, or you can get 30 people to give you $500 each. The difference is massive, but the results stay the same. Either way, you get the money you need.
But where are you going to find those people?
That’s what the internet is for.
What was once an untested, alternative fundraising model is now the go-to cash campaign for start-ups and new businesses. Aspiring entrepreneurs are attracted by the ease-of-use that are crowdfunding campaigns. No complicated business terms or cutting-edge equipment needed. All you really need to do is get the word out there, convince a number of people you’re worth the investment, and wait for pledges.
And if you’re sitting there muttering, easier said than done, you’d be right; any campaign will take time, effort, and resources to launch. But when done right, the results can be incredible.
VIDEOS: SHARE YOUR STORY, MAKE A STATEMENT
The most common content in crowdfunding campaigns are explainer videos or “crowdfunding videos” (like the many Kickstarter videos you are likely to have seen). As the name suggests, these videos give you the time and creative space to explain your product, service, or idea in a way that can encourage support. Projects with explainer videos averaged a successfully funded rate of 50%, whereas videos without garnered a 30% funding average.
Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo are built on the belief that crowdfunding videos are the best way to run your campaign. And the numbers don’t lie! Check it out;
This platform managed to attract more than 5 million contributors to pledge to the different projects featured on their website – all in a span of less than five years. These 5 million, to date, have contributed around $1 billion in funds to more 55,000 individual projects. That’s roughly $18,000 per project, with each contributor giving around $200.
IndieGoGo is another crowdfunding platform worth mentioning. As of 2015, it has hosted a campaign that single-handedly produced $12 million in pledges, attracted 2.5 million people pledging to 175,000 campaigns, and raised over $800 million in funds thus far.
SET YOURSELF APART
While the numbers are quite promising, they’re also very daunting – especially for someone who has yet to give crowdfunding a shot. As mentioned earlier, having an explainer video definitely gives you the competitive edge. Yes, highly-effective web video production is just one part of the success formula for your campaign. But it is definitely a huge part.
So, what works?
While there is no solid, one-size-fits-all formula, a lot of successful Kickstarter video production teams have noted that capitalizing on the human connection and engaging viewers through empathy, emotions, and relatable content can garner the best results. They encourage entrepreneurs to go with raw and real, with maybe a splash of humor to keep things light.