Posted June 11, 2013 by Steve Young
How does an inventor with no built-in audience create a product video that raises over $150,000 on Kickstarter? Also, are you having trouble coming up with the right script for your video?
In this post, we’ll break down the key points you need to have in your video to reach your crowd-funding goals.
While we understand that making a video can be intimidating and many of us do not feel comfortable being in front of the camera, having a video with your Kickstarter campaign is essential to its success.
In fact, Kickstarter reports that projects with videos succeed at a much higher rate than those without (50% vs. 30%).
That’s why we brought on someone who has actually invented a noteworthy product, put himself in front of the camera (even though he was uncomfortable with it) and managed to raise over $150,000 on Kickstarter to teach us how he did it.
Dotan Saguy is an inventor based in Los Angeles, California and the man behind Smarterflo. Dotan and I did a Google Hangout to break down the process of creating a successful Kickstarter campaign and his approach to creating a video that exceeded his funding goal by 10x.
About the Kickstarter Campaign
While the Smart Cover is one of the most popular iPad accessories, it’s functionality as an iPad stand is somewhat limited.
1) When reclined, it’s difficult to see the screen
2) When upright, you have to move further away from the iPad to see the screen.
Those are the pain points that the Smarter Stand alleviates. As the world’s most portable iPad stand, Smarter Stand is composed of 2 Smart Clips that attach to either side of the iPad or iPad mini Smart Cover and lets you use your iPad in new and more comfortable stand positions.
You get different stand positions by sliding the clips so they block one or more folds of the Smart Cover.
The clips are designed to slide perfectly on the Smart Cover (or Smart Case) yet they’re tightly attached enough to stay on as you carry your iPad around.
You can buy the products on Smarterflo.com.
How to Create a Kickstarter Video
1) Do Your Research
Before even thinking about writing a script, storyboarding your video, or finding a filmmaker, make sure you watch as many Kickstarter videos as you can.
Learn from similar product videos or take a glance at the videos of the most funded campaigns on Kickstarter.
Dotan watched over 100 videos on Kickstarter and made notes of what worked and didn’t work.
He found that the campaigns that had the best videos usually raised the most money.
2) Perfecting the Script: Find the Pain
Before writing the script, you want to first start by jointing down a few of the pain points that your product will solve. It’s important to make the viewers see and relate to the pain you are alleviating with your product.
For example, Dotan does a fantastic job of showcasing the limitations of the Smart Case. He shows you the reclined position and how it’s not ideal for seeing what’s on the screen.
Then he shows you the upright position and how it forces you to move further away from the iPad to actually see the screen.
You want to spend the bulk of your time perfecting the script writing process. Act out the different scenes and get as much feedback from your friends and family.
After you nail down the messaging, you’ll want to find a filmmaker to produce and edit the video.
Trust us when we tell you that preparation is the most important part of the video creation process.
Showing the prep work to your filmmaker will spur on more creative ideas and really make a more polished video.
Lack of preparation, however, drives up costs.
When you rely on your filmmaker for the entire production process – pre-production, production, and post-production – you will end up paying more for the video and may also end up with a video that you doesn’t align with your initial vision.
3) Personalize the Video
Remember funders on Kickstarter back the inventor just as much as they back the product. Spend a few minutes talking about yourself and why you decided to develop this new product.
Kickstarter recommends that you tell the story behind your project. Where did you get the idea? What stage is it at now?
It’s also important to explicitly ask for people’s support, explain why you need the money and what you’ll do with it.
Although it may not always be financially feasible, having a beta version of the product is a great way to encourage more backers – ensuring them that the idea is close to becoming a reality.
4) Go for the Right Look
While shooting in your garage may be a good idea for a Kickstarter video promoting your band, it’s certainly not for promoting your product.
Dotan wanted an “Apple-like” aesthetic for his video, so he decided to go with a minimalistic approach and use a white background for the video.
Whatever aesthetic you try to achieve make sure it has a professional look and fits within the overall design of your product.
Remember that video is an essential component to the success of your campaign. While it may be daunting at first, by doing your research, focusing your time on the script, and finding the right look for your video you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish.
Dotan is living proof that with a little imagination and preparation, you too can achieve success on Kickstarter.
What kind of project do you want to launch on Kickstarter? Have tips that we missed? Add them to the comments below.
About Steve Young
Steve Young is the Director of Product Marketing at SmartShoot. He enjoys writing about marketing, design and product development. Although he shares the same name as a famous quarterback he unfortunately does not share the same bank account, so please throw him a bone and share or comment on his posts. Connect with him on Twitter and Google+.
Keep in touch: @stevepyoung