Is 1 min video too short?
I think a one minute video would be great! Most people have short attention spans. I'm constantly appalled at the number of folks who bail out before the end of my usual 2-3 minute videos. If you can get everything you need into one minute, you'll probably get more people to watch it all the way through.
Are there any successful projects without video?
Yes. There are not many... but they do exist.Like Carol said, I'd suggest making a video that is simple and homey. Somebody filming you reading your books to some kids. Then cut to you talking directly to the camera (perhaps with kids way in background reading or playing), introducing yourself and telling us why you write. If I saw a 30s video like that for a kids book I'd be inspired by the person and consider backing before I even knew the topic of the books!
How do I improve video quality?
Hi Louie, I am currently going through the same pain as you experienced with regard to having downgraded after it is uploaded to Kickstarter and has gone through the video encoding process as used by Kickstarter. If you found a solution to your problem I'd love to hear it ; ) Basically when I upload the same Kickstarter Project Video I have created to YouTube, the resolution of the video stays exactly the same as it is before uploading, so obviously a problem that can be avoided/ eliminated by Kickstarter should they choose to upgrade the performance of this area of their website. In viewing many blogs / posts on the internet (not necessarily on Kickstarter's website) This issue regarding the video image quality post Kickstarter's encoding seems to be a real problem for a lot of people ; ( The most frustrating part being that while a lot of people are raising the issue, Kickstarter seems to be choosing not to hear this common complaint, as I have yet to find a post by Kickstarter which gives a definitive answer to this problem. I would expect that given the number of project creators whom are experiencing the same problem of lowered video resolution quality after Kickstarters encoding process, that Kickstarter would offer some real support by; (a) Giving a detailed account on the Kickstarter encoding method and how to setup your video to avoid having Kickstarter's encoder trashing the quality of project creators videos (this is certainly not covered in enough detail in the Kickstarter FAQ's Like you Louie I have tried converting the video with different formats (.mov / .mp4), changed the 1920x1080 size to 1280x720 which is the stated 16:9 ratio that Kickstarter encodes to, uploading again ......... and the same poor result ; ( (b) Improve the quality of the Kickstarter video encoding system to the same standard as that which can be found on YouTube, Vimeo or similar sites. I believe "Option b", would be the ultimate solution, as a market leader in the crowdfunding space, Kickstarter should also strive to have the best, most user friendly platform as well, not only will this enhance and strengthen their relationship with project creators due to a better product offering by Kickstarter, it will serve to make Kickstarter a stronger brand / business so a win win : ) Anyway, that's my rant now back to the task at hand of trying to solve the problem of getting the video to upload and maintain a high quality resolution after the Kickstarter encoding. Kind RegardsJamie
At what video plays count did your project start to get supported?
I was too busy working through my launch checklist to take notes very early on, but having launched my most recent at 0851, I managed to sneak a look at 0942 by which time we had 171 video plays and 116 backers (63.16% video plays to completion).It is my 4th KS and I am quite well known in my field though. If you're coming into this completely "cold" I would expect stats to be much more like yours.
Alex Eames - RasPi.TV
What tips do you have for making a great project video on a limited budget?
Keep it 2-3 minutes. Attention span is low, and everyone has a threshold for how long they'll pay attention (or can pay attention before the manager comes to look over their shoulder). The opening moments will have the backers judging your video and deciding if they want to keep going, so try and hook them early. Focus on audio quality. If you don't have a microphone and have to use the in-camera audio, then get the camera as close to you as it can. You can kill audio bounce by hanging a blanket behind the camera. A cheap solution is getting a Zoom H4n (or whatever device that works as a microphone/recorder itself) and holding it in your hand just beneath the frame. Also, make sure where you're shooting isn't riddled with background noises. Shoot near a window. As a filmmaker, I use a light kit, but for the natural look, I tend to just shoot near a window so the soft, diffused light can look good and natural. Just be careful to keep continuity on days where the sun peeks out from behind the clouds while you're filming. It's a cheap way to look well lit. Find the line between informational/inspirational. Some people pitch the big picture without satisfying the detail-oriented people. Some people focus on the nitty gritty without explaining why they're running the Kickstarter. Be fun. Not all campaigns can focus on this, but I'm more likely to keep watching if I'm entertained. I want to like you and if I like you, I'll be more likely to support you. Tell a story. Lastly, let the backers in on why you're doing this, and give them a sense of the origin story if it's interesting. These people are being invited to be on the ground floor of something cool, and as long as you don't come off as needy, a fun relationship can form between creator and backer. Most of those have no impact on the budget, but are important to get right.
Do you put your campaign URL into your Kickstarter video? Benfits and drawbacks?
Unless you're posting your video outside of Kickstarter, why would this be an issue? If people are watching your video on your project page, they already know the URL.If you're talking about posting your video elsewhere before you launch, you are correct — you won't know the URL before you launch. You just have to let people know when you expect to go live and have them search for you. There is nothing wrong with posting your video after you've launched. While it's best if you can use pre-release exposure to get your campaign off to a good start, every backer is useful regardless of when they pledge. In fact, a surge of new backers who have discovered your video on YouTube or such and come in mid-campaign can give you a nice shot in the arm.
Is 4 min. video too long?
Yes - unless your video is really entertaining. The average attention span on YouTube is about 2 minutes. Try and keep it punchy and under 2 minutes.There's nothing to stop you adding other videos further down in the pitch. Just stick to the most important benefits. What problem will this solve for ME? ME ME ME ME. I'm afraid most backers won't give much of a damn about your product features, it's the direct almost tangible benefits they will buy.Hope this helps.Alex
Alex Eames - RasPi.TV
What is good percentage of people completing full campaign video?
On my campaigns it tends to vary between about 50-60% at the start (hitting up previous backers and twitter - e.g. people who know of me) and reduces to around 30-60% by the end of the campaign.Having said that though, completed video views are not necessarily all that important compared to number of backers. For example, if someone clicked away from your video half-way through because they were already 'sold' and went off to back the project, that's better than someone watching all the way to the end and not backing.So you have to take the 'completed views' figure with a pinch of salt. It's only a single metric in isolation.For me, a more interesting figure is how many video views it takes to get a backer. :) Once you've had more than, say 1000 views you know if your video is doing its job. On some of my campaigns the video play:backer ratio is about 10. That's a 10% conversion rate. It varies between projects though. Anything over about 4% conversion rate is OK in my opinion.
Alex Eames - RasPi.TV
I'm on my second project, more promotion but same video views?
Hey Cory! I just looked at both of your campaigns. It seems like the page for your new project is fleshed out with more information and information is organized clearly. I also better understand what you mean by "visual novel" from the explanation on your new project.As for the videos, the newer one starts off a bit abruptly and it's not completely clear what you're watching. Is this gameplay? A trailer? Am I waiting for a voiceover? I also watch most videos without sound, so that makes it even more difficult to tell what's happening (though I appreciated the captions). Your first project video is probably closer to what people are used to seeing (someone talking, introducing their idea, etc) and maybe why people kept watching? These are just guesses! But all of this is to say that there's more to a good campaign than the video, and you've clearly learned that. Wishing you success this second time around.