Ok, so you probably know by now that a badass campaign video is essential to launch a campaign over six figures (Remember, campaigns with videos are 85% more likely to fund.)
But what is a “badass video” except for any video on a campaign that got funded?
As much as we’d prefer it otherwise, there’s no 100% sure-fire magic template for a crowdfunding video. There’s a billion different approaches campaigns take that all worked; some take the funny route, some go sincere and emotional, and some are just nuts.
With so many different types of products and angles that get funded, it’s more effective to start our search for a unifying principle of videos by focusing on what we do know holds true about every crowdfunding project; they all happen on that little ol’ place called the internet.
This is important, because when we strip back all the layers of the internet (aka the information superhighway, aka the thing we read on the toilet, aka big webbwubbwubb) we’re left with its true guiding purpose;
The internet exists to capture attention.
And gosh darn it, I’ll say the internet does a pretty good job of getting it, doesn’t it?
Any machine with an internet connection is full of infinite entertainment (naked people), the world’s collective knowledge an any topic you care to learn more about (naked people), and instantaneous communication to anyone across the globe (like naked people).
This is the landscape where crowdfunding campaigns happen.
If you hope to succeed at Super Crowdfunding, you have to compete against this massive competition for attention from everything else on the internet. You need to be able to draw attention from the ficklest of eyeballs to stand a chance at funding.
That’s why there’s the Toddler Test.
Life changes when you learn to walk. It’s like the size of your world multiplies every single day. As such, it’s hard to pay attention to anything because you can do anything. Only staying still is boring. Same with the internet.
The Toddler Test is a simple way to get your video to at least 70% of “good” from the start. And it works for any type of project.
If your video emotionally hooks your audience to think “tell me more” and scroll down on your page within the first 10 seconds (the attention span of a toddler), you’ve got a great video.
Is that number nuts? Isn’t that way not-charitable to backers’ attention spans?
Nope, it’s right on target. Even on the $3.2 million Joking Hazard campaign, less than 40% of viewers even finished the campaign video, and average time on site was less than 90 seconds.
It’s easy to get caught up in the minutia of every single decision needing to be made in a video, which technical specs to include, which stories to tell, etc, but don’t lose sight that the primary goal of a campaign video is getting a “tell me more” and a scroll.
“But my product is revolutionary in x, y, and z ways so I have to…”
If you can’t explain the core benefit well enough to hook someone in 10 seconds, it doesn’t matter. They’ll never get to your argument or facts if they don’t watch enough of the video.
“But seriously, 10 seconds isn’t enough to talk about y & z, you don’t understand,”
That’s correct, I don’t understand. That’s what I’m getting at. If you haven’t done the research needed to figure out the most important emotional problem to your potential backers, you either a) need to get better at explaining, b) haven’t done the research necessary to know what your audience cares about or c) you’re chasing the wrong audience.
Crowds buy things because they solve a problem, whether that problem is socks getting lost in the washer, too much sunlight, or boredom, these are all still problems. Much less people care about the technical details of your campaign than the problems they solve. Imagine how many more people search Google for “pants for large thighs” versus “most advanced stretch denim composition and design” and you’ll get an idea of what I’m getting at. Yes, there’s technical backers who need that info, but they’re not the majority.
Ok, got it. Our goal is to solve problems as simply as possible.
How do you know you’re thinking simple enough?
Lucky you, the internet has already solved this particular problem. The mighty, mighty Reddit has an entire community called Explain Like I’m Five dedicated to exactly what you think. Every question in here, be it about cryptocurrency, baking cookies, or radiation science, has to be explained simply and clearly enough that even a five year-old could understand. (Yes, I realize Five Year Olds aren’t Toddlers but the Toddler Test sounded way too good so hell no I’m not giving up that title alliteration).
When building your video and page, take a thirty minute dive through this forum to study the language and techniques that experts (like crowdfunders who need money) use to talk to laypeople (people who give money to crowdfunders). This will provide you a great crash course in learning how to break the curse of expertise and communicate directly with your potential backers, in their own words.
It might feel odd to spend so much time trying to remove all the technical / overcomplicated wording from your video and page, but don’t get blinded by your experience. While you’ve spent the last 3 years immersed in the details of building your product, your customers haven’t. Research from Tulane University backs up the fact that too much technical jargon reduces funding. (Interestingly enough, too little technical terms also hurts a campaign because no one can trust it, hence the importance of Credibility Indicators). When in doubt about the language you want to use, run it by your early page reviewers to ensure you’re moving in the right direction.
Your future backers have problems. When building your video, make sure you use the Toddler Test to make sure you can capture their attention enough to get them to say “tell me more” and scroll down. If you’ve got that handled in your video, you’re well on the way to a perfect video.
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