A great equity crowdfunding campaign deserves a great video to tell your story. Your video is your best chance to convey your excitement and passion for the business and to get potential investors as excited as you are – it can’t be rushed and deserves at least as much care and attention as the rest of your fundraising efforts.
At Seedrs, we review hundreds of campaigns every month and have a few dozen live at any one time. As an equity crowdfunding platform, we also see the data and analytics behind who is investing in what and how potential investors behave when they look at a campaign page. We’ve learned several things about what does and doesn’t work for crowdfunding videos.
The written portion of your campaign page exists to satisfy the audience’s rational questions about your pitch, but it’s the video that will get the viewer excited and engage their emotions. Equity crowdfunding involves real money changing hands for a stake in a company, so it needs to be done precisely and accurately. The video is there to bring some humanity and personality back into the factual disclosures in the campaign text.
The best crowdfunding videos are filmed in a setting that brings the viewer into the place where your work gets done. Filming in your offices can be annoying and make things harder for lighting and sounds. But it’s worth it to give the viewer a taste of your day-to-day work life because that’s what they’re investing in. To avoid long, boring shots of just talking to the camera, interleave the footage with quick cutaway shots of your offices, your customers and other settings.
Putting a face to the name
The face of the entrepreneur is one of the most important parts of the video. Some entrepreneurs try and hide behind a product demonstration or an animation. But potential investors absolutely must see your face if you want them to trust you. If you are nervous, get a friend to stand next to the camera and talk to them instead of looking at the lens.
We’ve seen people try printing out the script in large font size and taping it up next to the camera, but the best technique is just to write bullet points and ad-lib the rest because it sounds more natural. Try and film short, direct and punchy segments rather than long rambling narratives. That way it’s easier to edit the footage together. Film as many takes as you can. It can be hard to memorise a script and still sound natural.
The most important marketing for your campaign happens off the platform that it’s listed on. You should be promoting your campaign through as many channels as you can and video is a great way to do this. You can post your outtakes, behind the scenes videos and all sorts of video content directly on YouTube. Don’t be afraid to use more than one video on your campaign page. The most important video should be your general trailer, but another video could focus on your product, team or some aspect of your campaign that people want to know more about.
Be careful making statements of fact, predictions about the future or mentioning financial information in your film. The videos form part of the campaign and some equity platforms (such as ours) require that factual statements in videos are able to be supported with evidence. It’s vital not to include the financial terms of the deal in your video because it might be shared or embedded anywhere and wouldn’t have the disclaimers and context that it does when it’s on the main website’s page.
The clarity of the presenter’s voice is also extremely important. Make sure that you use a good quality microphone, film in a quiet place and that any background music (added afterwards) is kept fairly quiet. The quality of the sound is as important than the quality of the images because if the viewer can’t hear you clearly, then they can understand what you are saying.
My final piece of advice is to watch as many crowdfunding videos as possible to learn from what you like and don’t like in other people’s videos. There are plenty of playlists on YouTube and Vimeo with great videos from all the crowdfunding websites. This piece originally appeared in our regular column on UK business site Real Business as How to make a great crowdfunding video