Your video is your crowdfunding campaign's emotional appeal. It's your most "shareable" asset, as videos are shared online 12x more than images and text combined. It's also the first thing potential donors see when they visit your crowdfunding campaign page.
Not that we're pressuring you or anything, but your video better be good.
Okay, maybe we're pressuring you a little bit.
Here are a few tips to make your video as great as the amazing things you've set out to accomplish with crowdfunding.
Make it shorter than you think it should be
Two minutes, two minutes, two minutes.
Wait, our video just needs to be two minutes? That sounds too easy to be true!
Actually, condensing everything great about what you're doing down to two minutes might prove to be challenging. However, an industry leader in video marketing, Wistia, did a little research on audience retention and found that after two minutes of video-viewing, the audience retention drops significantly (and it continues to decline as videos get longer).
Here's a pro tip: Instead of filming a 15-minute video and then trying to figure out how to widdle it down, try thinking strategically about what you should include in a two-minute video right from the beginning, and then work from there!
Seek out good lighting
The right lighting can make your video shine. And that pun is proudly intended.
When seeking out the best location to film, do not forget how big of a difference lighting can make in the quality of your video. Natural lighting should be your first choice, though you'll want to find a shady spot so that the sun isn't cast directly in your eyes and face, as this can create an ugly shadow effect. You never want to have your back to the sun either, unless you want to become one big shadow.
You can (and should) test out lighting by taking pictures of your speakers before the cameras start rolling. So play around with lighting and make that video shine!
Upgrade your audio
If you've ever been to Arizona State University, you'd know there is a large fountain located in the center of campus. It's a staple to university, and it's beautiful.
And, for the reasons stated above, students who need to create videos (such as campaigners) tend to flock to the fountain to use as a background in their videos.
And guess what happens?
That's right - you can't hear them at all because the fountain in the background is so loud!
My sister (who makes her living creating videos) recently came over to my house to help me record a video, which included audio voice-over. "Turn off your air conditioner," she said. What? "It will be too loud in the background of your audio." She was right. Things as simple as air conditioners, water fountains, footsteps, cars, and even heavy breathing can hinder your video's sound quality.
Additionally, avoid speaking in large, empty rooms (like gymnasiums) at all expenses to avoid low-quality echoey audio. Instead, try to record audio in smaller rooms - or even a closet or car, if it's just voice-overs - for the highest quality audio. Bonus points if someone on your team has access to a high-quality mic you can use!
Finally, if you plan to add music (we recommend Ben Music for royalty-free music), make sure it never overpowers the speaker. In general, music without words will be your best option so that there isn't any competition between the speaker and the music!
And, of course, tell a great story!
Think of the most inspiring short video you've seen recently. It's a guarantee that the video included is a fully fleshed-out story, inclusive of a protagonist, a challenge, and a story arc. If you want to inspire others to join you and your team, your crowdfunding video should also include a compelling story.
But where do you begin to draft that story? We recommend the Public Narrative approach (the story of self, the story of us, and the story of now) - a tried and true formula that allows you to share where you've been and where you'll get to go, thanks to your donors. In essence, you'll share how your group got started and what your shared values are, what the challenge at hand is, and how others can be a part of solving that problem by getting involved with the campaign (likely through a donation).
First, work with your team to draft the overarching story you want to tell, and from there, create a video that captures it well utilizing the above tips.
It will be tempting (and come easy) to talk about your campaign solely from your perspective but remember, the video isn't for you; it's for the people who visit your page to become more invested in what you are doing.
Creating your video with a focus on inspiring others will be monumental to your video's - and your campaign's - success!