The ABCs of Crowdfunding: V is for Video

Everyone knows you need a campaign video to tell your initial story in a crowdfunding campaign. And most people know that many different kinds of videos can work – they can be very simple, or elaborate. They can cost next to nothing, or thousands. It all depends on your purpose, branding, project, resources and what is needed.

Why video?

  • Almost nothing beats video updates on your campaign page that can be shared out to contributors via the updates.
  • Video is the closest to face-to-face that you can get – you have the chance to share your passion, enthusiasm and determination for your project—all three of which are important for people to make the decision to invest in you, your project, your cause, your product or your company.
  • Regular updates give you something new to say on a regular basis, and they keep people engaged. Like a TV series (as opposed to a movie), your contributors get to know you as a character, they become more interested in your welfare and how you’re progressing toward your goal.
  • More videos gives you more opportunity to do more show and tell.
  • The more they know and become invested in your fate, the more they may contribute.
  • And, every time you make a video, and share it out through your channels, you may reach new audiences.
  • Videos can be as simple to make as recording with your smart phone, or computer webcam. Easy uploaders directly to most crowdfunding platforms make it painless.

Want some real incentive? Indiegogo campaigns that use on average raise 114% more funds, and four times more than those that don’t!

No one can eat just one

Videos are just about as addictive as potato chips, so don’t stop at just making one launch video—you can very effectively use quick video clips for regular contributor updates, or for commercials to run in other media like YouTube and Facebook, for example.

We’re doing that currently with this campaign.

Author Gail Krawetz is benefitting from “vidbits” supporting her campaign.

The author was interviewed and the resulting video was clipped into multiple single question/answer pieces. I call them vidbits 🙂  They give little tidbits that keep the viewer checking back in when they see new ones promoted via our social media channels. They’re engaging, short and add more information as the campaign goes along.

You can also use them in guest posts about your campaign for niche bloggers who can really help amp up your crowd networking for you. If you plan it right, you can even make your initial story campaign video and have it organized so that you can cut clips out for various commercials, so you minimize your work and maximize your content production.

The brass tacks

Making videos may not be your strong suit…it isn’t for most people. easier. Here are some great resources to make your video planning and execution a lot easier: 8 Video Creation Tips to Ramp UP Your Crowdfunding Campaign (Desmond Wong, Indiegogo, 4/22/16)

Among other helpful tips, Desmond suggests the possibility of renting video equipment rather than buying it if you’re only going to use it for the short term…great idea!

How to DIY: Home Studio Setup for Video Production (Ashley Hockney, Teachable.com, 8/5/15)

 This is the post I used to set up my studio, and I make many videos for my online courses and campaigns. I found Ashley really deconstructs and takes all the vagueness out of this process that can be overwhelming for someone who tries to research what the best equipment or process might be.

You can go with acquiring some teleprompting equipment and experience if you intend to make a lot of videos, (for your campaign and other purposes), but Desmond’s advice about trying to memorize your script and rehearse your delivery also works.

Remember you can always edit, so don’t worry about starting over if you muff up a word, or forget what you wanted to say. Keep the camera rolling, check your notes, and start over. And that keeps it simpler than dealing with all the teleprompter related equipment and processes.

And most importantly, your video is your story. Plan your story carefully.

The ABCs of Crowdfunding: A is for Ambassadors

The strength of your body is your core: a group of muscles in the center of your body that keep you healthy and moving forward. Your campaign’s “core” is your inner circle: Your family, friends, colleagues/co-workers, and anyone else to whom you are close enough to ask them to help advocate for you and your campaign (in addition to contributing, of course!)

 Here are some ways to engage your core, turning them into social media and marketing ambassadors:

Have a launch event. A launch even is a great way to collect, inspire and activate your core group for the course of the campaign. Invite your inner circle of 50 or so folks who you believe will not only want to support your crowdfunding campaign with perk purchases but will also be able to help you promote the campaign. Asking this core group to be marketing ambassadors for the campaign is your responsibility, but so is making it as easy for them to help you as possible:

  • Give them assignments. At the event, suggest some ways that they can become part of your tribe, and help you over the period of the campaign (4-6 weeks)
  • Make their tasks simple and varied (nothing that takes more than a few minutes each).
  • Put the tasks on a checklist and hand them out at the event, but also tell them they’ll each get an email version, or maybe tell them you’ll email them a task each day that will take only a few minutes. (You can do this through the platform updates tool, for example, after you’ve added them to your campaign email list.)
  • Treena Wynes offered a membership and created a tribe based on her food theme. (Indie Ink Publishing, 2013).

    Treena Wynes offered a membership and created a tribe based on her food theme. (Indie Ink Publishing, 2013).

    Give your allies a tribe name. This allows you to build a membership or subscription around a brand or entity. (We named our Eating Myself Crazy author’s tribe The Moody Foodys. Their checklist looked like a grocery shopping list. The whole event was based on healthy food. A local radio talk show host who was a friend of the author came and together they made some recipes and talked like they were on air. It was a blast and people got to eat the food. The host was hilarious.) This led to the idea of a perk that was a membership/subscription to the author’s newsletter with healthy eating tips and recipes.

  • Sharing. Tasks should include ways in which the tribe can share news of the campaign and ways others in their network can become involved. Example: “Share the campaign on FB, with a header note that says “I contributed to Joe’s awesome crowdfunding project for Mayerthorpe’s new community park project. It’s really important to him. He’s a great guy, and I hope my friends will consider contributing to it too.” This type of word-of-mouth testimonial is solid gold. Create branded content in the form of tweets and Facebook posts that you can send them on a daily basis to make it easy for them to share.
  • Reward for work. Maybe there are 10 tasks spread over the 4 weeks and those who provide evidence of doing all the tasks get some kind of special reward at the end of the campaign.
  • Incentives are GOOD. If you can offer your tribe something that nobody else gets and that doesn’t cost you much to provide, you might get even more enthusiasm.

ABCs of Crowdfunding: O is for Outreach

Soooo…You’ve launched your campaign and now have 30 days or more to reach your goal. How well you use social media and, most importantly, your email list, during the campaign will correlate directly to your results: The better you use your communication tools, the higher your contribution total will be.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind for fueling campaign interest (and contributions) through the campaign:

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