After deciding that Kickstarter was the right path for OPLØFT, we had two months to prepare the content of the campaign. It may sound like a lot, but knowing that you pretty much have one shot to do it right, it isn't. Our main focus was the campaign video, and in this post you'll get our key findings from video production - as well as a cheat sheet you can use to get inspiration for the rest of your campaign content
About the series: We knew very little about crowdfunding, when we decided to crowdfund our height-adjustable desk OPLØFT in the beginning of 2016. The experience was intense, but in the end we got the $60.000 we needed to start production. The journey has taught us a great deal, and in this series we want to share our insights, do's and don'ts, so you can learn from our mistakes.
Every aspect of your campaign content is an art in itself, and everything can be tweaked infinitely. But with only two months and a steep learning curve ahead of us, we decided to dedicate a lot of our energy toward producing a great video for the campaign (and for that reason we mainly speak about video production in this post).
The heart and soul of most Kickstarters is the video. It might be the only part of the campaign that people see when it's posted on social media, and it's most likely the first thing backers will look for, when they enter a campaign. This means the video should catch peoples attention, explain the product in an efficient matter and preferably communicate professionalism.
Crowdfunding isn't longterm brandbuilding - it's an infomercial that should sell your idea in a matter of minutes. We knew our product and we knew people was excited when they tried it in real life, and in order to convert that excitement into a video, we wanted to keep a tight focus:
- Tell a history but focus on the product (not the overall mission of a better working environment) - Explain why the product is important - Explain how it works and why it's unique - Present the team and establish credibility
Get professional shooters We wrote our script for the video based on those few key points, but we realized we needed outside help in order to get the video quality we wanted. For that reason we hired a videographer, who would spend two days shooting our video and edit it afterwards.
Shooting some sleek product video in our office.
With the script in hand we scheduled videosessions with physiotherapist Kasper and SOHO office space in Copenhagen before the shooting days, which made the shooting days run smoothly; Everything was planned and everyone was working in the same direction.
Hiring a videographer was without a doubt the right decision. Even though we might have liked a little more polish on the video in the end, we're really happy with the result, and the production value is much higher than it would have been, if we had shot it ourself.
Stick to the script! But no firsts without a lot of learning. After the smooth days of shooting the video, we got the first edit from the videographer. In a creative process like this, everyone had envisioned what the final video would look like, and everyones version was slightly different from what it actually looked like.
When we started discussing what to fix in the next edit, some found that it needed more of the talking should come from voiceover, some wanted more product and less scene, this word instead of that word - too many oppinions about what worked and what we needed to change. Five edits later we ended up with a version that everybody seemed to like - and it was pretty close to the initial script.
In order to save precious time in the editing process, the script needs to be clear from the beginning - and not just in words and sellingpoints, but also which pictures should go along with each statement. And when it's done - stick to it all the way!
Beside the campaign-video we also planned a few shorter videos.
With only two months to craft the content that should sell OPLØFT, we read a few books and guidelines about crowdfunding, and added our own research by looking at successful campaigns in the design space.
Kickstarter and IndieGogo doesn't remove campaigns when they're over, which means a wealth data is available at those platforms. This is a great way to get inspired by some proven content.
Here's what our cheatsheet ended up looking like:
Narrative Who are we? A team of engineers and designers - Steffen, Mathies and Mads.
What's the project all about? A Scandinavien designed device which turn any desk into a ergonomically correct height adjustable desk - "OPLØFT - transforms any desk into a height-adjustable desk."
Why's OPLØFT important? More people sit down eight hours at work everyday. It's hard on the back and a lot of people experience backpain because of sedentary work. OPLØFT is an important tool to get people to work while standing instead of sitting all day.
What makes the project unique? (Key selling points) - Ergonomically c
orrect. - Nice, Scandinavian design. - Compact - easy to store when needed. - Stability and robustness. - Easy and quick to use. - Complete workspace. - Can be used with desktop computers.
How are we going to spend the backers money? Maturing the product and starting production.
Credibility How has the process been up untill now? CAD-drawings and prototypes. Pictures and video from manufacturing of prototype.
How can backers trust us to deliver? Experience in product development and starting produktion.
Extra credibility (get outsiders with appropriate knowledge to approve the product). - Physiotherapist Kasper, who has helped us get the ergonomi right during development. - Voxpop - peoples initial expression, when they try OPLØFT in real life.
- Don't just tell what happens after the campaign - include what has been done so far as well.
- Be detailed in every step. - Keep it realistic.
Layout: - Don't asume people will spend their precious time on you: Keep it short and sweet. - Split presentation/content into catchy and descriptive headlines. - Use as many pictures, illustrations and videos as possible - avoid making it too text heavy. - GIF's are nice!
Other notes: - It's rewardbased: Don't ask for donations but for "preorders", "backing the project", "support" - both for feedback and funds to complete production. - GET FEEDBACK! Set up the campaign before launching and get feedback on the real thing a number of times before launching.