Every day, hundreds of little brands like yours rise and fall. How can you stand out and actually convince potential customers and investors to support your startup?
With smart video marketing, you can solve both of these problems – catch the attention of your market and convert viewers into loyal supporters. Not to mention other benefits that we’ve covered in our Video Marketing 101 blog post.
But where do you begin when your brand is practically unknown, and your product is too innovative for organic widespread adoption?
If you run a new start-up that hasn’t been backed yet, a quality pre-launch video campaign is too much of a luxury. We get it. You need to save money for the basics like production and administrative costs.
However, unless you are absolutely confident in your product, or have to keep it a secret before launch, you need at least some pre-launch video marketing.
Both crowdfunding videos and investor videos have the same goal – to raise money for the company. However, because the audiences and stakes differ, you need a unique approach to each of these fundraising strategies.
Below, you will find the guidelines for both. Alternatively, if you are a fully-funded startup with a tested product ready to hit the market, you can skip ahead to the last part of this article.
Dozens of new startups come to platforms like Kickstarter every day to market their “next big thing”, all fighting for their piece of the pie. So how can you effectively compete for the funding there?
According to Kickstarter’s own statistics, their campaigns have helped fund over 180,000 projects. However, this number represents only 38% of all projects on the platform, which means that 1 of every 3 projects has failed.
One of the reasons for this is the cliche video marketing. Most startup crowdfunding videos are so similar that it gets funny:
There are many ways you can improve this worn-down template. If you want to know how to market a product using a promotional video, the following steps will help you find the right approach for your crowdfunding campaign:
The first step when it comes to creating a standout crowdfunding promotional video is to define your brand. As the saying goes, your brand is whatever your customer says it is. So start with asking yourself the questions your potential supporters may ask.
Potential backers want to know:
Potential backers want to know your entire plan for the project – not just what they will receive for contributing. Once you have answers to these questions, you can decide how to best promote your crowdfunding campaign.
People love stories, in particular, the stories with a clear message. The message could be happy, sad, motivational, emotional – you name it. The easier it is for the potential backers to connect with your story, the more people will agree with its message.
When creating a story for your crowdfunding video, the first questions you should ask yourself are: “What is so special about this business idea? Why am I committed to following this idea?” Find the answers that you are most passionate about and try to incorporate them into your story.
The next step in storytelling is conceptualization. You need to determine the best possible way to present your story in the video form.
Keep in mind that the most exceptional stories captivate viewers, teach them something new, and shift their perspective. But even if your story doesn’t sound that exciting, it can always be presented in an unexpected way. An experienced video production partner can help you with that.
A video’s tone is its character or attitude. When marketing a new product, several videos can say the same thing but using different tones, which can alter how your message is perceived by the audience.
Knowing your audience is the key to choosing the right tone of voice for your marketing – comical or serious, inspirational or cautious, etc.
In order to determine the most appropriate tone for your video, it could also help to hire a scriptwriter to draft several scripts. By comparing them side by side, you will get a better idea of what feels right for your specific startup.
Studies have shown that the average human’s attention span has dropped from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds in 2017. It’s now shorter than that of a goldfish.
Furthermore, research has proven that videos 30 seconds long are viewed to completion 88% of the time. At the same time, if you grab your viewers’ attention in the first 30 seconds, you can safely expect them to watch another 90 seconds too, according to a study done by Wistia.
That’s why the industry standard for explainer videos is 2 minutes. The first 30 seconds are dedicated to attract the audience, while the rest of the video gets into the details about the company or product.
A great thing about startup marketing is that it is, by default, authentic. Whether you understand it or not, the brand that you are creating is a reflection of who you are – and it can actually be your secret marketing sauce!
Take the Exploding Kittens for example. Arguably the most ridicules card game ever created, Exploding Kittens has raised almost $9 Million through crowdfunding on Kickstarter – 87,825% of their initial goal.
Regardless of whether you are shooting a live-action promotional video or creating a simple animation, your brand’s personality should shine through. If someone else is creating your crowdfunding video for you, make sure your video still reflects the unique aspects of your startup.
Although all of the earlier tips for crowdfunding video do apply to videos for prospective business investors, the latter requires a more serious, structured, and data-driven approach.
A common crowd may forgive some sloppiness of speech and lazy napkin drawings, but with investors, you have to be precise and purposeful. Your promotional video should be well-thought-out and organized.
Unfortunately, there is no perfect formula when it comes to sales pitches. However, here are a few strong video pitch fundraising ideas from bestselling author Daniel H. Pink and his book “6 Elevator Pitches for the 21st Century”:
It’s impossible to design an effective video pitch if you don’t know who you’re pitching to. Be sure to study the investment companies and angel investors that are active on your market before designing your pitch.
Make your point: Investors don’t have time to sit around and try to decipher who you are, what you do, and what you want. They are interested to know:
Investors will only donate money to your new product launch if they know that your company is reputable. Use your video to show your potential investors precisely why they should invest.
Your video’s conclusion is incredibly important. If you want your promotional video to stick in people’s minds, be sure that the ending flows nicely and reiterates your main goals.
Here’s a nice cartoon video from Strategyzer that shows how all of the tips above can work in practice:
A pitch video not only effectively communicates your message, but it can also benefit your company because it is shareable and memorable. The best fundraising videos are those that market themselves naturally.
Let’s fast forward. You have made an effective pitch video, received funding, and are now ready to present your product to the world. What’s next?
The fact that someone has backed your idea doesn’t guarantee that the general public will receive it well. Sometimes customers are simply not ready for new things.
That’s why you need an explainer video to support your product launch. Explainer videos fit well with early-stage product promotion and can serve you for as long as your brand and product remain without changes.
In case you’ve already created videos for investors or your crowdfunding campaign, you’re in luck; many previous ideas can be repurposed.
Unlike investor pitches and crowdfunding videos, general product explainers are meant for a wider audience and longer usage. That’s why it’s wise to invest more in this type of promotional video content.
With this being said, if you opt for an animated video, you’ll have enough flexibility in terms of cost and complexity to avoid spending your entire startup budget.
Here is an example of an animated startup explainer video that we have created for Conversy, a new chatbot platform:
There are many benefits to working with a video agency for a new product launch, but the important point to note here is that it doesn’t have to cost a fortune.
Less visual complexity, shorter message, and faster production – and you can get a perfect mix of quality and cost for your startup video.
To learn more how video can help your startup reach its marketing goals – whether it’s launching a new product or promoting an existing one – feel free to contact us.
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