Wow your crowd with video

Adam Laurie Wow Your Crowd

Crowdfunding Video Essentials.

“There are so many people out there with great ideas and the problem they have is getting the finances to get those ideas off the ground to benefit the masses. Our objective is to help project creators do that.”



- Adam Laurie, Wow Your Crowd

Interview with Adam Laurie

 

In 2016, Adam Laurie received the Award for Best CrowdFunding Video for the Dolfi campaign on Indiegogo that ran in March of 2015.

It was awarded by CrowdInsider at the annual event organised by CrowdFest.

Not really surprising, as the Dolfi campaign smashed all expectations, exceeding its $100,000 target within days to a whopping $1.15 million by the end of the campaign – or in other words, it was 428% funded.

Dolfi is a hand-sized ‘washing machine’, shaped like a bar of soap. In essence, it uses ultra sonic technology to wash clothes.

Developed with Swiss technology, it emits microscopic bubbles in the water which clean the fibres upon impact. Along with this clever device, all you need is a basin, some water and a little detergent.

According to Adam this is a ‘game changer’ of a product which will allow people in the third world to wash their clothes without having to buy an expensive washing machine.

Not only that, its compact size enables it to fit into any small bag allowing people to wash their clothes while travelling.

“If you use a video with your campaign, on average you’ll raise 114% more money than if you don’t. Campaigns with a video have average contributions that are 12% higher than campaigns without a video.” – Slava Rubin, CEO Indiegogo

In this digital age, video is the best way to showcase a product or an idea and to show people who the person is behind the brand.

Listen to the interview below:

In short, video is an absolute must.

So then, how do you go about creating a great video for your crowdfunding campaign?

Adam says he won the Best CrowdFunding Video Award because the campaign was 428% funded and also because the Dolfi video does a great job at selling the idea to people. It clearly explains the service and need for this product as well as how it will benefit them.

Based in London, Adam had been doing a lot of video work for advertising agencies, but in 2011-2012 this work dried up. For four months, he had no work – as he says: “It was not good. I was getting married in June 2012, and I had no money coming in. I thought my wife was going to leave me it was so bad.”

It was then that he decided to use his knowledge of Internet Marketing and SEO to create a promotional video of his services which he put up on YouTube. It was a ‘game changer’.

Within a period of 18 months he brought in over six figures in business. He realised then how powerful video is when used that way for business. He got to the top of Google and YouTube for a certain key phrase, and that is how Lena found him.

However, with Lena in Thailand, and not exactly down the road from Adam in London, how did they make it work?

Adam says: “Communication is key.

We had to be really clear about what we had to achieve. We had a number of meetings through Skype and obviously across email.

Pre-production, everyone understood what was needed and what was going to happen.”

The four previous videos that Lena attempted for the campaign included an animation video which looked great but didn’t have a story or really push the features or benefits of the product.

She had also created a live action video but the level of production was not good.

Adam decided to take things back to basics and work on developing the narrative for the video: they had to get the message right first. Once they were happy with that they could develop the visuals.

Spending time on the script, Adam worked closely with his scriptwriter and with Lena to make sure they included all the key features as well as the key message about the product.

Once the script was ready, Adam moved on to develop the visuals for the video, consisting of a combination of animation, live action, stock footage and on-screen graphics.

In his own words: “That’s something that I personally prefer when it comes to producing videos. I’m very much a visual person and I believe in making things dynamic, engaging and entertaining.

If you combine as many elements as possible that appeal to people then you’re going to get a great video.

Wow your crowdfunding crowd with videoSome people prefer to read text, others prefer to listen to or watch.

If you comprise strong visuals with great music and great voice overs, and you re-affirm the narrative of the script with on-screen text graphics and a mixture of animation which is moving in and out, and great live action visuals – when you combine that all together, mix that all up – you get a really powerful marketing message or potion.

I guess we also chucked in a bit of our ‘special sauce’ and yes, you’re going to get a really good video.”

Adam offers some guidance on how to put together a good script.

Creating promotional sales videos, which Adam does for companies to promote their products and services, is very similar to creating a crowdfunding pitch video.

The line that he generally follows for a script is the following:

START – In the opening statement, you want to raise the problem people are facing. Where is the need for your product or idea.

INTRODUCE – Then introduce the solution to the need with your product or idea.

FOLLOW UP – Explain the features and benefits of your product or idea.

SUMMARISE – Add a call to action.

Once the script has taken shape, the question that many project creators then ask is: “How long should a crowdfunding video be?”

Adam continues: “Normally, if you can get the video down to three minutes then that is a good start. Having said that, some videos require more explanation so will need to be a bit longer.

For instance, equity campaigns might need to be four to six minutes long to add in extra information about financials or the way the relationship is going to work.

The main thing to remember is that the video needs to be engaging from start to finish.

You’ve got to keep people interested, and have them hooked in throughout.

If the video is engaging and entertaining from the start, you’re not going to notice how long it is; you are drawn into it while watching it. As a matter of fact, the Dolfi video was three minutes and 50 seconds long.”

In terms of using voice over for the video, Adam says its basically up to you. There are lots of different ways to do the audio. The challenge for the Dolfi project was the different geographical locations of the team, so they decided to create a video with voice over.

Lena, separately, shot a one minute video that provided the call to action at the end of the video.

Featuring the project creator makes a big difference least of all because people can relate to who is behind the project.

Adam agrees: “It was tremendous that Lena was there in the video. It makes a huge difference. The founder needs to be in the video. I say to all my clients that they need to be in the video; whether they are in the whole video or just the beginning or the end – you have to decide what works best.

Wow your crowdfunding crowd with video

People buy people.

They want to see the passion of that person and what they are going to bring to that campaign.”

An important point that Anthony reiterates: “So true. People fund people. It’s one way of shortening the curve of people getting to know you, like you and trust you. Appearing in your own video certainly shortens that process.”

Video is a brilliant icebreaker when you feature yourself.

For example, Adam has a number of videos that he uses for his business to promote himself and his team as well as his services. Because of those videos, he has clients contacting him and talking to him like they already know him. So he highly agrees that founders should feature in their videos.

On the subject of choosing different styles for the videos, Adam explains that it comes down to what the brand style is. Moreover, every company has a different brand style. As such, he would match animation and graphics to that brand style.

A traditional company for instance would have a traditional look in terms of the graphics, font and artwork. With a more dynamic, young company he would include colour, moving animation, possibly cartoon characters, etc. There’s no one particular style of animation that one should use, but there is the option of 2D or 3D motion graphics animation. In the case of Dolfi, they used 3D animation.

However, Adam stresses that he would not create a video solely with animation for a crowdfunding pitch, as he personally doesn’t think they work particularly well.

Going back to the previous point he made about featuring the founder in the video, Adam restates: “It’s important for the viewer to relate to you and your idea or product and I don’t think you can do that through an animated explainer video as well as through a live action pitch video with you and/or others being in it. People will find it easier to believe and trust in you if they see real people enjoying themselves with your product or service.”

Check out Adam’s Award Winning Crowdfunding Video

Another important component of a great video is the music.

How does one go about choosing the right music?

For this, Adam uses PremiumBeat which offers different styles and sound effects. PremiumBeat works on the basis that you pay for the license of the track – so once you buy the track, you can use it anytime, anywhere. He feels it’s reasonably priced, as on average he would pay about £55 per track (but check the terms and conditions!).

Adam also used stock footage in the Dolfi video, combining it with a live action shoot, filming the product in a luxury bathroom environment.

Stock footage is available from many websites, but he uses ShutterStock and Pond5.

The problem with stock footage is that it is really expensive. Each video clip can cost from £60 to £250, so if you’re looking to create a video that’s one minute long and you want to show a clip every 2 seconds, you’re going to need 30 clips and lots of money!

Another website, VideoBlocks offers a subscription based service for around $99 per annum. Once a member, you can use any of their content and the standard stock footage is really good and cost effective. They also provide a premium service at about $40 per clip.

Wow your crowdfunding crowd with video

Call to Action

Having talked a lot about featuring the founder in the video, the question then arises as to where the Call To Action (CTA) should appear in the video and how specific it should be.

According to Adam there should certainly be a CTA at the end of the video, as that is the last thing that people will remember. There can be what he calls a ‘soft’ CTA earlier on so you can have a soft call to action midway and then a full call to action at the end of the video. You can double that up with a screen graphic and add a voice over to reaffirm the message: it’s all about building the relationship with the viewer!

To create the graphics, Adam uses a professional video programme, software and illustration software. They use all the Adobe Suite which includes all the effects for animation, premier pro for video illustrator and photoshop for creating graphics. These services come with a monthly subscription but if you don’t want everything you can pay for segments of the package. Google also offers a free YouTube package called Director for Business App. It allows you to make video ads for free from your mobile.

Adam uses lots of different tools for creating videos. Apart from Adobe, there are different plugins like RedGiant which offers lots of cool filters to enhance graphics. Another plugin for syncing audio when using multiple cameras is PluralEyes.

If you’re starting out in video Adam recommends that you start with Adobe CC until you master it and then you can add extra plugins.

There you have it … If you have read this far then you will agree that Adam has provided lots for you to consider when putting together a great video for your crowdfunding campaign.

Finally from Adam:

“It’s all about providing information and education on how to create great videos, and how to use video as a marketing tool to grow and reach your target audience. We help people run their crowdfunding campaign in the best way and help them get funded.”



- Adam Laurie, Wow Your Crowd

 

Adam Laurie Videographer

Adam Laurie, founder of Wow Your Crowd is a filmmaker and veteran of the UK Advertising industry. He’s built a multi-faceted understanding of video production through his time with first-class advertising and production agencies such as AMV BDDO and Blink Productions.

Adam and the team will take your project smoothly from concept through to production and delivery.

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