How to Create a Compelling Video for Your Kickstarter Campaign

Your video is featured at the very top of your Kickstarter campaign page — and needs to draw in potential backers quickly in order for your campaign to be successful.

Before even starting your project, it's best to spend time creating the video and getting it ready for upload.

A polished video eases the approval process. If your video flows smoothly, has a good look and feel, and accurately explains your project, the Kickstarter review team can see that you understand the guidelines and requirements for a campaign.

How to outline the content for your Kickstarter campaign video

The video is one of the most important tools you have to get backers excited about your Kickstarter campaign because it tells a story in an easy-to-follow way and doesn't require backers to go through lines of text.

Be sure you clearly convey the primary goal of your campaign. For example, is the campaign hoping to completely fund a new fashion item and get it in stores, or provide resources to make samples for a trunk show?

As you gather your raw materials, constantly think about how each element will illustrate the goal of your campaign. If it doesn't fit, don't use it. Even if humorous, your video needs to be professional and convey a clear message to instill confidence in your backers.

An important element to consider when beginning your Project Video: Two minutes or less! Internet users, even those seeking creative projects and content, have an extremely short attention span. If you can't tell the story of your project in under two minutes, it's unlikely you will be able to draw backers in.

Before beginning production of your video, gather up and identify the raw materials you might want to include, such as

  • Existing video clips of your project underway

  • Still photos from your project underway

  • Still photos of prototypes, samples, or examples of what you hope to produce

  • Illustrations or animated panels you want to show onscreen to highlight a film's story

  • Existing video or news clips that relate to your product or eventual goal

  • Music clips or downloads for purchase that fit with the theme of your project

How to choose the tools to make a great Kickstarter campaign video

Even if you don't actually have video footage for the project, you can use a number of tools to turn still photos into a video with music or other sound. Two major computer-based resources to try are

  • iMovie: This drag-and-drop program comes standard on most Mac computers now and allows you to input video clips, photos, and music into a central file and edit them together into a finished piece.

  • Windows Movie Maker: Part of the Microsoft suite of software often found on PCs that have recent versions of Windows and Office installed. If it is not pre-installed on your computer, you can download it from the Microsoft website.

If you don't have access to a desktop-based editing program or are intimidated by the idea of using one, there are other, extremely user-friendly ways to create a video — even from still photos:

  • Animoto: This web-based tool enables you to create an unlimited number of 30-second videos for free, using a drag-and-drop tool. You can become a member for as little as $30/year to get access to templates and music to make videos of any duration.

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    You then can begin uploading your raw data, such as videos and still photos. You then manipulate your video elements to tell your Kickstarter story.

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    Music adds an important element to any video project and can create a fun, serious, energetic, or lighthearted mood. Choose a track and let Animoto match the music to your images.

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  • YouTube Video Editor: YouTube already is a great place to upload and showcase your videos; the website also has a good online tool for basic editing and enhancement. Using this free editor, you can

    • Combine video clips.

    • Stabilize blurriness.

    • Add transitions and music.

    • Make precise timing edits.

    YouTube Video Editor does not allow you to integrate still photos like Animoto does, but it is a good tool if you already have a collection of video clips and you need to edit it down into two minutes for your Kickstarter Project Video.

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  • Picasa: Most people think of Picasa as a photography tool, used to organize and upload photos to web albums. However, this tool from Google also has functions that let you make a video from just your still photos, similar to Animoto. If you don't already have Picasa on your computer, you can download it for free from Picasa.

A smartphone is another tool you can use to create a Kickstarter Project Video. Most smartphones (iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, and so on) come with an integrated video camera. For a simple and straightforward video about your project, try the following steps:

  1. Use your phone to film a short two-minute synopsis of the project, showing any relevant visuals, details, or project elements.

    You will not be able to edit, manipulate, or change this video; you will have to shoot it in real time, exactly as you would like it to appear online.

  2. To save the video to your computer, sync your phone with your computer or e-mail the video file to yourself.

  3. Preview your video.

    You want to make sure the video displays well on a computer, has understandable audio and appropriate lighting, is filmed with a steady hand, and includes all the content you planned.

  4. Upload the video when you come to that part of your project's development.

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