What Can Kickstarter Project Videos Learn from Facebook Videos?

17 February 2020 | 2 Comments

Every night, Megan spends 10 minutes or so scrolling through Facebook on her phone while we’re cozying up with the cats. I glance over from time to time, and I’ve noticed that most of what she’s looking at are videos.

Some are ads, and some are just for fun. They’re all different lengths and feature very different styles and approaches. However, they all have one thing in common: They work just as well without sound as they do when audio is activated.

After I noticed this pattern, I started paying attention to how the videos accomplished such a feat, as I thought I could learn something about it to apply to Kickstarter project videos. After all, there are many times when turning on the audio simply isn’t an option for potential backers who are considering your Kickstarter project.

Here are my initial observations:

  • Large-font text embedded into the visuals to explain what’s happening (either transcribed dialogue, quote excerpts, or helpful labels).
  • Extremely expressive actors–you know what they’re doing/explaining thanks to non-verbal cues.
  • Clear visual demonstrations showing the product in use (for ads), focusing on its core features.

I also looked into a few articles about effective Facebook and Instagram videos. This was my favorite article, and a few highlights from it are noted below:

  • Start with a question, end with a call to action (both shown in text in the video).
  • Highlight numbers, or even just include them–they stand out among other text.
  • Start with the product. This might not be ideal for Kickstarter, where I often think it’s better to start with the story. But we’ve all seen commercials where we have no idea what is being sold until the end. Those types of ads really don’t work online, as people move on after a few seconds if it isn’t clear.
  • Text only is an option (a particularly budget-friendly one), especially if you animate the text. I don’t think this would work as well on Kickstarter, though.

Do you watch videos on Facebook or Instagram without audio? What are some elements of those silent videos that help you understand what’s happening?

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2 Comments on “What Can Kickstarter Project Videos Learn from Facebook Videos?

  1. Absolutely true Jamey, most of the day my personal phone is kept with volume down to avoid disruption. At times I will check it, either Instagram or Facebook, in case something has come up or if I have a short break. If I scroll past an interesting video I may still watch it, and if it has some kind of text the chance of watching it increases greatly.
    We talked on the podcast about this a bit as well, important aspect of videos for marketing!

  2. I often watch videos without audio and whenever possible I watch with subtitles even when using audio (regardless of the platform).

    For me personally, a clear context and a logical progression is key to help me understand a silent video. I think of it like reading something in my native language, if there is a word missing or a typo, my brain auto-corrects that because I know where that sentence is likely heading based on that particular context.

    I think a great example of this is the Web Summit video from the article you referenced. The add was a total of 26 seconds long, but within 2 seconds I already understood everything I needed to understand, but I was still invested and interested in seeing the final result.

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