If you have a video your Kickstarter project is 85% more likely to succeed

video inluences Kickstarter fundingWe work with many small businesses and entrepreneurs on video projects and are fans of the Kickstarter crowd funding website.

We noticed a trend that it always seems to be projects that have great videos that are the most successful in getting funded, and wanted to find out if there was any data to back this theory up.

We painstakingly analysed 7,196 projects on Kickstarter to see what advantages having a video gives a project owner looking for funding.

The results, as you will find out in a minute are actually astounding and have implications beyond just Kickstarter as this is effectively a study on how video influences conversion rate.

Background to the analysis

Kickstarter projects work on an all or nothing basis. The project owner sets a target amount of money that they need to raise in order to make their project happen and if they fail to raise 100% of that amount then the project fails to get any funding.

In order to ensure that our data was representative we needed to understand what percentage of projects on Kickstarter succeeded in gaining funding as this would allow us to analyse a set of projects by the same percentage, and then to look at the funded group and the non funded group to see what % of each group had a video.

For example if we looked at only videos that had gained funding we would not be able to see the effect video has in helping project owners to get funding, Likewise if we only analysed projects that failed to get funding we would not be able to see the effect of video.

On Kickstarter 56% of projects fail to get funded and 44% achieve funding – see detail here.

Therefore in order to make our data representative of the Kickstarter site as a whole, from our total of 7,196 projects we would ensure that 3,166 successfully received funding and the balance of 4,030 would be projects that had failed to get funding.

In addition to the top-line stats we looked into a range of other aspects of the data to uncover the types of projects where a video is most important and also the specific geographical areas of the world where a video is most influential in helping a project to get funded.

The Research Findings

The relationship is strong!

Overall we found that projects that have a video are 85% more likely to achieve their funding goal.

having a video increases the chances of your kickstarter project getting bunding by 85%

In total 48% of the projects that have a video achieve their funding goal and 26% of projects that do not have a video achieve their funding goal.

What categories of Kickstarter projects benefit most from having a video?

We also analysed the effect of a video on the success of a Kickstarter project through looking at all of the different categories of projects on Kickstarter. As you can see below the variance is relatively consistent.

effect of video on different categories of Kickstarter project

But there are certain categories of projects that seem to benefit significantly more through having a video. All of these categories’ projects had at least 120% greater success of funding when they had a video in their project – as shown above.

It is worth mentioning that the categories in the screenshot above are ranked from left to right in order of frequency of use – i.e. we analysed 409 videos in the Film & Video category versus 9 in the radio and podcast category.

Most noteworthy are the food, product design, photography and Children’s books categories where we analysed at least 150 projects and the advantage a video brings is more than 200%.

After looking at the data through Kickstarter category groupings we analysed the data geographically.

Where are most successful Kickstarter projects based?

Being a USA based organization the majority of Kickstarter projects are from America. The locations with most projects are California (19% of total projects) and New York (13.6%). followed by Texas with 4.6% of projects and the others less.

Again; blue is with video and red is without video.

Effect of video on Kickstarter projects geographically

Outside of the USA there are few locations with high volumes of projects although the UK is by far the most active outside of the USA. The UK has 2.6% of projects and all other nations are less than 1% of total projects. This chart shows the effect that a video had on projects in the 4 countries with the most projects as shown above.

Here is an infographic giving full detail of the study:

Click here to see a larger version.

infographic on how video influences success of Kickstarter funding

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The wild ones

There are some projects on Kickstarter that just blow their funding target out of the water. They hit on something that there is an incredible demand for and get far more funding than they ever anticipated was possible.

Most of these projects are in the gaming sector with a cult following. For example this one:

Fate Core Role Playing Game

$433,365 raised from $3,000 goal

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/evilhat/fate-core

Here are 3 more videos from projects in different categories that were incredibly successful:

Penny Arcades Podcast – Gaming

$230,030 raised from $10 goal

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/pennyarcade/penny-arcades-podcast-downloadable-content-the-ret

Pebble e-watch – Product Design

$10,266,845 raised from $100,000 goal

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/597507018/pebble-e-paper-watch-for-iphone-and-android?ref=recommended

And finally our favourite Kickstarter video production due to the nostalgia inducing stories – fantastic branding:

Stout Bottle Opener – Product

$46,111 of $14,900 goal

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/274312229/stout-bottle-opener-a-forever-object

How Can You Benefit from this Research?

We have learnt that it is incredibly important to put a lot of love into your Kickstarter project page.

  • Unless you have a video on your Kickstarter project you are 85% more likely to fail to get funding. So get a video.
  • Do not just slap up any old video. The better quality and more convincing your video is the more you will raise. Consider it a vital investment in your dream.

We are seeing time and again that video has the power to influence and effect change more than any other medium of communication ever. Face to face may be more effective but it is not scalable in the same way that online video is.

Key Considerations When Planning Your Video

To create an effective video for your Kickstarter project there are many things to get right such as:

  • Length
  • Script
  • Engagement
  • Style
  • Authenticity
  • Call to action

But the starting point and anchor to your video has to be your passion and your belief in your dream. If you can express yourself fully then you will gain the support of others who may not typically associate with the topic of your project. I contributed to a film on the migration of butterfly’s the other week and I have never had a particular interest in them – I just liked the story and associated with the owners dream.

If you need help/advice on your fundraising web video production then just fill out the form below and we will be in touch to help you out.

MWP are a video strategy, production and marketing company with a focus on delivering measurable results.

§ If you would like to learn more or just have an informal discussion over a coffee, then just send us a note. We'd love to hear from you...

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