In preparation for a presentation at Oxford University Isis Innovation I spent some time recently viewing videos on crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter, Seedrs, Crowdcube and Indiegogo. As the presentation was aimed at UK start-ups and new tech companies I limited my search to UK companies looking for investment who had posted a video.
Overall the results shocked me – there are so many poor quality videos that communicate the wrong message that I’m surprised investors even take the time to consider them.
Admittedly there are also some very nicely produced videos that have clearly had some serious money spent on them, but in general I would say that most of those were not communicating directly to the investors either.
Here are 3 examples I discovered. Please don’t watch the whole videos – I invite you to watch each video as if from the eyes of an investor then stop as soon as you have seen enough.
I’m guessing that you didn’t get more than 30 seconds or so into any of the videos (unless you were so fascinated for all the wrong reasons and had to watch more 🙂 )
The trap that most people fall into is to create a promotional video for their product. An investor is not buying your product, they are looking for an opportunity to invest that is likely to give them a decent return. So this is still a promotional video, however you are promoting an investment opportunity, your company and your team.
Here are my top tips for creating effective video content that will engage investors and give you the best chance of attracting investment
Think of the video as an executive summary of the opportunity that will attract an investors attention. Don’t try to give them all the intricate detail in the video; once you have engaged them they will be happy to spend more time reading through your proposition.
Make sure you answert the following questions:
- Why – Why this particular project, why you created it, why is there a need for it?
- What – a brief overview of features/benefits of the product. What makes your idea special/new and investment -worthy.
This is informative – NOT a sell
- Who – It’s very important to realise that an investor is not just buying a product. They invest in people and teams.
- How – How will the money be spent – What’s in it for the investors?
Include testimonials where possible, both about the product and how it is going to make someone’s life easier/better and about the the professionalism, experience and reliability of the team.
The quality of your video represents the quality of your offering. How much confidence would you have in the professionalism and reliability of any of the above 3 examples?
If you have a level of investment already I would always recommend that you commission help from a professional. Be clear about what you need based on the above guidance and the budget you need to work within. A video does not need to be complicated and long to be effective. If you have no money at this stage and need to create a video without any budget follow these guidelines:
- Keep it short and simple. One person speaking to a camera or being interviewed by a friend with some simple shots demonstrating your product will be more effective than an attempt at a Hollywood blockbuster!
- The most important aspect is good quality sound. If the investor can’t hear your pitch because the music is too loud or because you sound like you are in the bathroom they will click away. Beg or borrow a decent quality camcorder and make sure you can plug in a separate lapel microphone (inexpensive options like this from Amazon will be fine.
- Use additional lighting to make sure that your face and the product stand out from the background. An Anglepoise lamp will do. Failing that make the best use of available light from a window – keeping the window out of the picture. Never stand in front of a bright light or window because the camera will auto-expose to the brightest light and you will look dark.
- Be yourself and demonstrate the passion you have for the idea – don’t try to be a TV presenter.
- Don’t have a script and place it near the camera. Learn the key points that you need to include and have single word reminders on a note near the camera lens – then practice a number of times before hitting the record button. It will come out differently each time but that doesn’t matter. All the key points will be there and you will look natural on camera.
I hope that you find these tips useful. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments and share the article if you think your network will benefit
Business Video Producer