As a Technology, Design and Hardware Campaign Specialist, I spend a lot of time reviewing campaign pages, perks and outreach strategies. Unfortunately, however, I don’t often have the opportunity to work closely with campaigners on their pitch videos. This is a shame because a pitch video is often the most time-consuming and expensive part of a campaign, as well as the hardest to change. Elements like graphics and text can easily be moved around on the campaign page, but it’s very hard to fix a pitch video that doesn’t have the right elements to begin with.
Contributors decide whether to pledge their attention and funds to your campaign in a split second. The first thirty seconds of your pitch video should give viewers all of the information they need to make their decision in the shortest time possible.
While the first ten seconds are arguably the most critical for capturing a viewer’s interest, thirty seconds is a length of time used in many paid placements. If constructed wisely, this segment of your video can be leveraged as a YouTube banner ad (Jibo is one campaign that did this) and as a long-term piece of marketing collateral as you continue to grow your business.
Whether your project is big or small, high-budget or no-budget, these three strategies will give you everything you need to make the opening of your pitch video shine.
Show your product
Successful campaign videos use a variety of strategies to introduce their products in the first thirty seconds, some obvious and others more technical. Of course, they all give the name of the item, show what it looks like and explain what it will do. You’ll also notice that they all show the product in motion, either by moving the product or by moving the camera. If the product is simple, videos may show it in use. Put sound and images together to make your introduction more exciting—you could use voice overs, music, or both. You may use different visual layers, labeling features with on-screen text added during the editing process. All of these approaches are used to ultimately establish a tone. For example, some products are more approachable and others are more epic. Determine yours and work to embrace it.
Check out this video about how to show your product effectively:
One of the great things about crowdfunding is that it helps you create a personal connection with your audience that can last well beyond your campaign. Hardware pitch videos take advantage of this by having members of their team directly address the audience in the first thirty seconds. This section often includes a CEO, founder, or designer facing the camera, speaking about their experiences and their vision in a conversational tone. Show your passion and explain why it is important. What impact will your product have on the world? If viewers hear about your product from you, they are more likely to want to join your community.
Putting your team on screen is just one strategy to establish a connection with your audience. Another way to make sure contributors understand your product and its impact is to include testimonials from third-party sources. If you have existing press coverage, a good reputation in your field, or a dedicated fan base, don’t be afraid to put these on screen in the first thirty seconds. The first thirty seconds of SKULLY’s video show quotations from high-profile press sources, establishing the product as a well-recognized innovation. Testimonials can also be helpful if it’s difficult to show how the product works. The Core introduced their advanced personal speaker with testimonials from audio experts who praised the power and quality of the sound.
Don’t be afraid to keep it simple
It can be intimidating to make a pitch video for the first time. Some campaigners get caught up in making a big splash and forget to keep the focus on the product. You don’t need a rocket launch in your first thirty seconds to grab a viewer’s attention, and you don’t need to be a comedian to convince people what you are doing is important or interesting. The three tips above should keep you on track to make a video that is worth the time and money you put into it.