How To Make A Successful Kickstarter Video (with VIDEO Examples)This is the story of how dreams come true…hopefully. Alex Wang and Andrew Park from Carapace Wetsuits are just like you, they have a great idea and they want to get it funded and bring it to life. Their big idea is custom-made wet suits that fit better and therefore keep you warmer. Just like you, they also knew Kickstarter was a great way to get funded, but on Kickstarter your big idea is only the first step. You’re going to want a video to ensure you get funded.Â In fact, Kickstarter lays it all out in black & white:
Since the entrepreneur skill set doesn’t typically include a professional expertise in the unique craft of effective storytelling in video….
Alex & Andrew knew finding a production partner who could effectively sell their story was essential.Â Alex sees it like this: “We’re not video people so we really have to lean on someone to Â tell us the steps to make a successful video… with any partner you have to gel with them. It goes a long way in terms of being on the same page“.Â That’s good advice but there must be more to it. As Carapace continues their crusade for a successful video, let’s take a look at some success stories and hear, in their own words, what worked and why.
Because I own Digital Accomplice, a San Francisco Bay Area video production company, it only seems natural that I should want to become an expert in Kickstarter videos (to help the scores of clients right here). With 20 years experience I can say I’m an expert in video production but Kickstarter surely has it’s own rules and secret sauce for success, right? I started my deep dive by consulting my friend Veronica Belmont, a technology geek/internet-celebrity/video host who has more geek fingers in digital pies than anyone I know.Â Veronica pointed me to the successful/hilarious CLANG video game Kickstarter campaign. (+100 geek points if you get the subtext of the Gabe Newell cameo).
As you can tell, it’s well done, and it worked. But why? I think Veronica summed it up nicely:
“The CLANG video is not only entertaining, but it’s also produced and shot professionally. When an introduction video on Kickstarter looks well done, it gives potential donators the sense that the campaign creators are taking their Kickstarter seriously. No one wants to feel like they’re throwing money away.”
Couldn’t agree more: Authentic, engaging, well-thought out concept, good “story of why we should care” and an on-brand theme for the game.Â OK, I couldn’t help but recognize that the concept and crazy coreography of CLANG aren’t right for every video. I wanted to learn how a more typical Kickstarter tech-product might go about their video campaign. I reached out to Bill Geiser the CEO of a wearable technology company called Meta Watch. They were also was fully funded on Kickstarter (in 48 hours) and he attributes this success primarily to the video:
“Video is far more effective for story-telling as compared to text or text and photos. And, story-telling is what people buy into”.
Here’s what they did:
I think this example works well for a few reasons: It’s professionally produced, it has well-thought out concepts, shot composition and some added sizzle with the animated text graphics. It shows competence in execution and that they are taking their company and campaign seriously.
One of my other favorite’s was produced by our strategic partners over at Alchemy Creative. They helped produce a top-notch video for Boosted Boards, who make motorized skateboards. With a new technology, they knew that trust in their product was essential. Boosted’s Sanjay Dastoor summed up how to look at producing a successful Kickstarter video:
“We decided that a good video would help communicate our vision better and help convince our backers that we were serious about what we were making. If potential backers have doubts about your team or what you’re promising, they won’t pledge. It’s easy to make a video, but it’s hard to make a great video. If you want people to share the video, it’s worth investing some time and money.”
Check out the amazing video that got them funded in 24 hours:
I think the engagement on this video is fantastic, great shots, concepts, editing, music and messaging. If only every video has a product as conducive to shooting video of it motion!
By now, I’m hoping it’s hard to not believe that a Kickstarter video is worthwhile… but before you hop “on board”Â there are some other things to consider:
Alex from Carapace shared a little intel that he’s heard of Kickstarter videos that have been submitted, and meet all requirements, but get rejected by Kickstarter.Â Ouch! I reached out to Kickstarter to clarify by they declined to comment other than to steer all curious cats to their Kickstarter School and their Pressroom. As I cannot confirm the validity of this claim, I’d just be wary of making an investment that puts acceptance in jeopardy. In fairness, I can’t imagine that a great video of a great product that meets all other criteria gets rejected for no good reason, but buyer beware.
There are also the likely ancillary effects of having a video you can stand behind. Investors, press, customers, peers, employers, partners – all of them are sure to look at you, your product, your company with the respect that your video commands. Even if your campaign fails, you could have a video that effectively tells your story…and live to fight another day.
I also think it’s important to focus the video on the campaign, not just the product. Don’t forget great give-aways for donors too!
So where does all this leave our friends Alex and Andrew at Carapace? What will they do? I’ll circle back with them once their video is live and see how it goes but Alex recognized an interesting point that no matter what happens with the campaign & company, the video will live online forever:
“There is the fact that the video is there forever so I don’t want to look back and not be proud of what I did, whether or not it is funded.*”
We’ll just have to wait and see if Carapace can catch the big wave they’re searching for.Â I’m hoping that they, and you, get some value out of these success stories and that all your Kickstarter dreams come true.
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Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions and I’ll do my best to help answer them.