Setting up your campaign
First and foremost, give yourself time to build your campaign page. You can create your campaign over a few days or even weeks. You must remember that this is going to be your calling card and, if you are serious about your project, you must put a real effort and time into making sure that it’s as presentable, clear and representative of you and your project as possible.
Whether you like it or not, people won’t judge your campaign based on what your best intentions are or what you had in mind while setting up your page. The first impression counts the most.
Every crowdfunding website has different functions and different layouts, however, some general features overlap across all the platforms. Below you can find a list of the most common functions found across the most popular crowdfunding platforms.
Have your campaign video ready before you go live.
Before you sit down to make your campaign video do your research but don’t be put off by fancy and advanced editing, keep in mind that your video isn’t about your amazing filmmaking skills. Unless of course, this is what your project is about, in which case the main character of your promotional video should be complex camera moves and advanced storytelling skills.
The promotional video should be all about your project and your passion for bringing it to life. Your personality and enthusiasm are what needs to come across much more than your technical abilities. People react in a positive way to passion, emotions and good stories. Audiences connect to honest human stories, engage your audience in the story you are trying to bring to life.
From my experience, the following tips work while making a crowdfunding video:
– Don’t make your campaign video longer than 3 mins. Film trailers are generally about 2’30”. The research shows that viewers don’t pay much attention to randomly found videos for longer than 3 min (and it’s a stretch).
-Of course, people watch longer videos, but it has to be something they are passionate about or a show/programme/Youtube channel they like. At this point, you are just trying to capture their interest in your idea, hence make it short and sweet.
– Don’t make the video all about you, your skills or how fantastic your team is. I’m sure you are, but you are trying to find support for your project, so make it about your project. It seems quite obvious but isn’t that easy and straightforward to follow in practice.
– Tell people what kind of impact your project is going to have on others. Tap into their consciousness and try to show your viewers that your project is about bringing positive change in some way.
– Try telling a compelling story about your project or the idea behind your project, so your audience becomes emotionally attached to your project/idea. Emotions are what people look for in films and stories, and this is also what captures their attention while watching campaign videos. Focus on emotions, not on the technical cleverness, which often takes the focus away from emotions and the story itself.
– However saying all that above, your video still needs to be presented professionally. Your image needs to be in focus and audio clear. Remember sound matters a lot !!!
– Be clear about your message and tell people what you need and what you are after. Don’t confuse people with too many requests at the same time, make a straightforward request such as: post my campaign link on your FB page or contribute if you can.
– Treat your campaign video as a visual pitch during which you have to describe your project to your potential investors. Talk about the project and the story behind your idea/project; tell people why you think THIS project is important and why you want and need to get greater support for it.
– Convey your passion to your viewers by being yourself (don’t pretend to be something you are not because the camera picks up on that). The people who are going to support you and your project want to see the real person behind the idea. Be the face of your campaign and, if needed, push through your comfort zone to get the end results you dream about.
From the very beginning of your campaign include as many team members as you can/you have by introducing them properly to your audience and supporters. It will give your campaign validation that apart from you, other people are also involved and committed to the project.
Add photos of all your collaborators to the campaign page and your social media pages (FB, Instagram). People like visuals; it makes them trust a person, in this case, you. Make sure the pictures you post are visually appealing.
Remember to link your websites and social networking sites to your campaign page. If your team members have their own websites and social media, link them too. In this case, the more really means, the better.
This is where you can get creative. Of course, depending on the category of your project, different kind of material will be suitable for attracting various supporters, investors or contributors.
As obvious as it sounds, remember that people, in general, are attracted and interested in unique, original concepts and creative projects. So if there is something original and very unique about your project, you really must utilize that as much as you can in your promotional and marketing materials.
If you are having difficulty with finding ideas for your promotional materials, below are a few suggestions to get your brain bubbling.
– Promotional Poster is still, as it always has been, a good idea. The visual association will help people remember your project better by using images. The same artwork can also be used on notebooks, pillow covers, mugs, cups etc.
– Visual arts including photographs, pictures, logo, look board, look book, storyboard, etc. All of that could be used in your perks package as well.
– Nowadays pretty much everything can be either photographed or designed. The high-end photographs can be used as part of your marketing campaign as well as one of the campaign perks. Don’t forget to include # or links in your photos.
I would personally advise against creating too many tangible promotional materials. Simply because it costs money and postage costs money too. Individually it may not seem to be a huge cost, but these costs tend to pile up pretty fast.
– GIFF’s with links to either your campaign page or to the website your campaign is associated with could be a good idea.
– Short 30 sec. video interviews.
– 30 sec. scenes previous.
– Blog posts.