A few months ago, a friend shared with me the crowdfunding campaign for Descalza, not only did I fall in love with the product, but having a background in media production and having previously produced hundreds of videos, including award-winning documentaries, I felt this was a very important subject to share with this community, since it touches entrepreneurship and video.
After watching her campaign I contacted Lisbeth Carolina Arias, first to congratulate her, and then to ask her and her team for some tips they find important in the creation of videos and that could lead to a successful fundraising campaign.
Watch the video for Descalza (so you can understand why I was hooked) and read the tips that Carolina and her cinematographer, Ibrahim Zafar, very kindly shared with us.
Why is it important to have a video supporting a crowdfunding campaign?
IZ: Videos are the most effective way to communicate a story. The most important aspect of a crowdfunding campaign is the story, because that’s what viewers and potential buyers will attach too. People just want to see content that they can relate to and buy products and services that give their life more meaning. By using a video on a crowdfunding campaign, you can quickly show your audience why your brand matters.
CA: Video can have such a unique impact on people. It’s one thing to read someone’s story and another to experience their story through their eyes. That’s what we did with our video for Descalza. We took everyone who saw the video to El Salvador, to my grandmother’s house, to the artisan’s workshop, to the volcanoes, and to the city of Raleigh. The campaign did so well, because we had a video that touched people’s core. When they were watching Descalza, they were reflecting on their own personal stories. I don’t know what other way we would’ve been able to make such an impact than with the video.
What has been the impact of your video and how has it helped you achieve your goal?
CA: It’s definitely helped me connect to people at such a personal level. With our goal in the campaign, we reached it. People were sharing and backing Descalza because of the story, because they wanted to see Descalza succeed. Post-Kickstarter, we are still using video as our main source of content to not only tell the stories of our artisans, but give people a glimpse of what the process looks like.
What elements are essential when making a video for a crowdfunding campaign?
IZ: The most important elements of any video are honesty and originality. In an age where people are flooded with videos on their social feeds, viewers want to know that video they’re watching conveys your story in the most honest form, because that is the only way that you can stay original. Think about it – no one on this entire planet shares your exact footprint or has had the same set of experiences that you have. It’s easy to want to gravitate to someone else’s personal narrative and to copy their style for your video, but your video will attract the most attention if you keep it honest and keep it original. A huge mistake is when brands watch videos of other brands and try to copy that same exact style with their own story, and change the name of the product/company. What works for others may not work for you so keep it original!
Which tips can you share for creating a video that generates impact and successfully supports a crowdfunding campaign?
1. Keep it interesting. Use different angles and approaches in your video that will keep your viewer watching your video until the end.
2. Show value. Make sure you show the value of the product/service in someone’s life.
3. Don’t tell them what, show them why. People are quick to show the product in the first few seconds of the video. Start off by explaining the problem in a way that the viewer will empathize with the situation and beg for the solution. Then show them what you’re selling.
4. You have to love it. Whatever video you create, it has to work on you first. If you’re uninterested in your own video, then your viewers will be much less interested. Make sure you make a video that keeps your attention first.
5. Create more. Your crowdfunding video is your main bread and butter, but you also need shorter/quick videos that you can display on social media to drive traffic to the campaign. These can be quick 3-10 second videos from boomerangs to GIFs that are taken from the main video.
What can I do if I lack the budget to produce a video?
IZ: Think about this – everyday you see dozens of cellphone-made videos on your social feed that have millions of views. Sometimes these videos are just a few seconds long. On the opposite, large companies will spend $50,000 dollars and shoot a video that may get only a few hundred views. In today’s world, there is no correlation between video cost and video impact. The key is that if you’re on a budget, be creative. Use your knowledge of what makes you laugh, cry, and act to your benefit, and work backwards to understand how you can recreate those feelings for others through your video.
CA: I was on a budget and we made it work. Why? Because of the team. This might take a little more time but I would find the right people to be part of your team first. Sometimes it’s a matter of asking friends or reaching out to students who are always looking to enhance their portfolio. I don’t think the video would’ve been as successful if I didn’t have passionate people on the team who go above and beyond with the work they produce.
More about Lisbeth Carolina Arias – Founder & Creative Director: Born in El Salvador, studied Fashion & Textile Design at NC State College of Textiles in Raleigh. Worked in Fashion studios such as Vera Wang, Valentin Nicole, and Piece & Co. in New York City & Amo Romeo in Italy. Returned back to Raleigh, NC to start Descalza.
More about Ibrahim Zafar – Video (Director of Photography): Traveling the world, making films. Filmmaker/Cinematographer based out of Washington, DC. www.ibrahimzafar.com