MLP has earned a reputation as the go-to company for Kickstarter campaign videos. After all, we made the video that helped M3D become the fastest fulfilled campaign, the fastest to $1 million, and rank in the top 10 most-funded Kickstarter campaigns. Since The Micro campaign concluded, we’ve been busy with other projects (TV shows, sports filmmaking), but this summer we got the opportunity to work on two more Kickstarter campaign videos: a new 3D printer and a portable water analyzer and filtration unit. Now, Cubibot and Ecomo haven’t launched yet, so we can’t share their videos with you. What we can do is talk about the process of making a successful Kickstarter video – what works, what doesn’t, and what you need to do to make sure as many people see your campaign as possible.
Step 1: Do Your Research
There are a few key questions you need to answer before you start your Kickstarter campaign. If you can’t answer these questions, or if your answers aren’t compelling, you should probably work more on your product before you present it to the world.
So, you need to figure out what sets your product apart from your competitors. These differences can be highlighted in your video and your marketing. You need to understand why people would want to buy your product – not just because you want them to, but what problem of theirs would your product solve? When we’re working with you to plan the video, you need to think about your competitors again. Have they done crowdfunding campaigns? What stood out about those videos? What did you like, what didn’t you like? We can translate those preferences into your video, and help you make the best pitch possible.
Step 2: Craft Your Story
Ok, so you know your target audience, you know what sets your product apart, and you’ve seen what’s worked for other Kickstarter campaigns. Time to pull it all together into your company’s story.
So what is your story? How did you invent your product? Everyone loves a good origin story (or so Marvel would have us believe) so tell us yours. Then we need to know the coolest features of your products. If you could show the world what your product can do, what would you want the world to notice? Finally we need a call to action. You’re raising money – for what? Are you completing the prototype? Are you going to mass manufacture? And what will backers get in reward? Video is great for making that emotional connection with viewers, so don’t squander it.
Step 3: Get Hype
You can’t just launch your Kickstarter campaign on a whim, without building up excitement first. How will people know about it? How will it even get noticed? Before you launch, you have to build awareness of your brand.
So that means setting up social accounts – Facebook and Twitter, at least. These social accounts have to be active too – you need to be posting relevant content and updates about your campaign launch. You should also set up a website with a landing page to collect emails. If people are interested enough to give you their email address, they’ll likely want to know when your campaign launches. So tell them! The morning of your launch, email that list with the announcement to be sure to get an early surge in backers. Finally, you’ll need to schedule some pre-agreed backers to fund you at various points throughout the campaign. Work your contact list, and get at least $5000 of commitment for the launch of the campaign. That will help your campaign look good, and boost it in rankings. You want to do that two more times – one for the middle of the campaign, and one for the end. Not necessarily $5000 each time, but you want a group of donors at those points to avoid slumps and keep the campaign looking active.
Step 4: Communicate
You’ve successfully funded your campaign, congratulations! Now you can get to work making your dream a reality. But along the way, remember that your dream has now become several thousand other people’s dream as well. They invested in your product monetarily, which means they’re emotionally invested as well. So keep the communication lines open! Kickstarter lets you post regular updates for backers even after the campaign has closed, so take advantage! Let them know your progress, post pictures of your team and your product, maybe do a follow-up video… Keep talking to them so they know you’re hard at work fulfilling your obligations. The more you communicate openly, the more leeway you’ll have if the timeline does get delayed. And no one likes being given the run-around!
So there you have it, four steps to Kickstarter success: Do Your Research, Craft Your Story, Get Hype, and Communicate. Need help with your upcoming campaign? Contact us today!