Synopsis: The video of an equity crowdfunding campaign is much shorter than the detailed financial model and business plan… but despite this, the video is actually much more important! This article explains the key points to make your equity crowdfunding video shine, stand out, and get results.
An Equity Crowdfunding Video Is Vital
Let’s face it. These days, a lot of people prefer to watch media instead of read it.
Reading takes much more effort, and in the online, on-screen environment, it is all-too-easy to get distracted onto something else. Most people probably know this through their own personal experience of having a dozen tabs open on their brower, and struggling to pay attention to any of them for more than a few minutes.
A well-crafted video, by contrast, can be digested quickly and easily. Not only that – if it’s entertaining and amazing, it is much more shareable on social media.
This is why an equity crowdfunding video is so very critical to success. People have better engagement with video. Once people have clicked onto your offer page, it will be the first thing that most people will do next to learn more. It’s a key piece of the conversion piece in the marketing funnel of your campaign.
1. Attention-Grabbing Start
The most valuable real-estate of your equity crowdfunding video is the first few seconds. Get that wrong, and nothing else matters. People will just click away, never to be seen again.
- You don’t have long to make a first-impression, and
- You don’t get a second chance at making a first impression.
What grabs attention? Emotion, stories, and compelling images.
Don’t be boring. Give them a reason to keep watching. Ask people you trust for feedback on the video before you show it to the general public. If they think it’s boring, re-do the start first.
Don’t have a long introductory jingle. People don’t have time for that.
Also, if the crowdfunding platform allows you to make yoir video auto-play, then do that. If you can’t auto-play, then the thumbnail of the video must be very well thought-through, in order to get people to click on the video in the first place.
2. Tell, Don’t Sell
“If you want to be heard, whisper.”
The video should really be a place to showcase your personal passion for the project. This isn’t a place to do the hard-sell. Rather, it’s where viewer can get to know you and find out about your personal drivers and motivation for building this company in the first place.
Do you know why a lot of investors / backers commit to crowdfunding campaigns? It’s often because they’re looking for community. If you can make a connection between your project and the identity of the person watching the video, then you’ll be incredibly well-placed to win their hearts and minds.
However, don’t forget to use your equity crowdfunding video to lay out the tangible nuts and bolts of your campaign too – such as:
- What does your company do? What problem do you solve? (Explained in plain and simple language)
- What is the principal aim of your campaign? Why are you crowdfunding?
- How much are you hoping to raise, and what will you use it for? Testing? Marketing? Expansion?
- What milestones has your business already reached, and what will the extra capital allow you to do?
3. Invest In Production Quality
You want your equity crowdfunding video to make the best possible impression on potential investors, right?
Then you need to do more than recording with a smartphone or a cheap camera. A bit of investment into the production goes a long way.
If you don’t have the expertise or equipment to do this internally, do yourself a favor and work with a pro. The cost is well worth it, if you’re expecting to raise hundreds of thousand (or millions) of dollars.
You don’t need to spend a fortune on your video, but you do need to have the basics covered:
- Engaging Videography & Transitions: It can’t just be a video of the company founder talking to the camera. Also include shots of your product or service being demonstrated, testimonials from your customers, and so on… all combined to keep people watching all the way to the end.
- Lighting: Neutral background which keeps the viewer’s focus on where you want it to be.
- Sound: No distracting background noise. Voice comes through with no echo or distortions.
- Background Music: A little light music helps project an extra touch of class.
- Subtitles & Overlays: Increasingly, people surf the Internet using their smartphones. If they are watching your video somewhere they can’t hear the sound, then subtitles will ensure the message still gets across.
4. Keep It Short & Focused
An equity crowdfunding video is a bit like the cover of a book.
They say “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”, but people do. All the time.
The same is true of an equity crowdfunding video. The point is to make a strong impression and make them want to know more.
Don’t ramble or include every single detail. Focus on the basic story of what your company does and why it’s different and special, the emotional reasons for why you’re crowdfunding, and social proof indicators. If your company has a well-known investor already supporting you, mention it. If your company has won awards, highlight them.
You can’t include everything on the cover of a book. The purpose is to make whoever picks it up want to move past the cover and become excited about what’s inside.
5. Finish With A Call To Action
Always keep in the front-of-mind: the real purpose of the equity crowdfunding video is to get you a result. Namely, to get people to invest money into your equity crowdfunding campaign. If the video only entertains the viewer, and they don’t go on to the next step, then that’s a failure from the point of view of your objective.
Don’t forget to ask for the “sale”!
If a viewer watches right through to the end, they need to be told what to do next. So, at the end of the video, it is vitally important to have a clear call-to-action that asks viewers to take the next step towards investing.
One approach is to ask for them to invest immediately – right at the end of the video. But that is probably a bit too aggressive. It takes more than a short video to convince viewers they should invest a sizeable sum of money into your startup, especially if they are “cold traffic” – as in, the video is the first time they have ever heard of you.
A much better approach is to ask viewers to take an action to get them closer to the level of trust needed to close the deal.
Ask them to:
- Download the offering document to read more, or;
- Send in a question through the Q&A forum. As long as you reply to the question quickly, this provides a level of human engagement between a potential investor and the company they’re thinking of investing in. It’s a fantastic way to build trust.
Investors only invest in companies that they know, like, and trust. The equity crowdfunding video is a key pillar to building this sort of engagement with your crowd!