Crowd funding isn’t a new technique and its use can be identified as far back as 1700’s and has developed onto an online system. There are now over 450 crowdfunding platforms online. The article sourced above investigates the use of crowdfunding, using the platform Kickstarter, within film campaigns. It analysed over 100 campaigns comparing the successful campaigners to the failed campaigns. It identifies key techniques to make a campaign more successful such as quality control, networking, developing trust, updates and reward quality.
10% of the Sundance selection in 2012 was comprised of projects funded via Kickstarter (Kickstarter, 2012a) however in the same year 60% of film Kickstarter campaigns failed to reach their targets. The article analyses data using a specific method to investigate why this was and what made the successful campaigns different.
Focus has been given to this report so that a clear and concise plan can be made for the crowdfunding campaign ‘The Mines’ a feature film set in 1984, England. The goal is to raise a specified amount to successfully produce the film by Autumn 2017.
The report provides detailed differences between successful and failed campaigns to take on board within your own project. The article was published in 2012, however the majority of data and references are before 2014 therefore re-analysis of current projects would be required to see any changes over the couple of years.
Successful Campaigns – Do’s and Don’t
- Accessed a large network that branched out from family and friends to interact with a wider network of target audience interests. This is recommended to be done in three stages. Phase 1 ‘Friend Funding’ -initial quick flow of investment. Phase 2 ‘Getting the Crowd’ – Beginning to branch out further. Phase 3 ‘Race to be in’ – Individuals who see a campaign is close to it’s goal and donate due to a fear of missing out.
- Develop trust and loyalty with target audience – Giving people a personal connection to the project.
- Clear understanding of online mechanisms such as social media and data analysis techniques. Don’t underestimate the time and commitment needed to run a campaign.
- Provide daily updates to keep backers informed of progress and changes. This engagement is an important part of campaign management.
- Offer value and something in return. Most campaigns offer rewards depending on the amount donated. This is usually split into $10, $25, $50, $100, $250, $500, $1000 and $2000. The reward also represents the quality of the amount donated and the greater the range of rewards the more successful the campaign.
Examples include; physical rewards such as badges, copy of the script, DVDs or opportunities to be a cast member/extra, co-creator, producer. This enhances engagement and relationship with the audience.
- Pitch Quality.
Directly address the audience and give as much information as possible in both text and video format. Help reduce the risk of uncertainty by displaying your passion, business strengths and film making capabilities.
- Give an explanation of fund use that the users can understand.
- Partner with known people and/or products to emphasis the quality of a product.
Remember: TRUST DIRECTLY AFFECTS TRANSACTIONS.
The data also suggests that the target amount represents an average of 1%-2% of backers e.g. a £4000 target would need 40-80 backers to achieve it’s goal.
The articles provides over three pages of references for further reading and available data. This allows me to view other investigations in the subject and view their conclusions too. I will be investigating the subject further to be able to create a successful campaign and reach the goal required to produce ‘The Mines’. Unfortunately the article only looks at campaigns on Kickstarter and no other platform so it would be interesting to gather more information and compare the successes by platform too.