Your words matter – Video campaigns for crowdfunding
Author: Marisa Ferentinou, Synthesis Center for Research and Education Ltd (Cyprus)
Date of publication: 04/04/2022
Crowdfunding platforms provide a tool to launch, promote and get funding from backers. This is done with the use of a video (in the majority of platforms) and a small description that accompanies it. The success of the campaign’s video is leading to the success of the entire campaign. The language and content used in the video can make or break the campaign and thus influence the prospects of the entire business. Words matter: crowdfunding campaigns rely heavily on the written or spoken word to convey their message and create the personality of the campaign. Which language is then associated with successful campaigns?
Anglin et al. in their research titled “Choose your words carefully: Harnessing the language of crowdfunding for success” (2022) provide some insights on key areas that have proven important in receiving funding. The first area discussed is a narrative phenomenon that has to do with the transmission of the personality of the entrepreneur through the video content. Showing some personal qualities or character traits can show some influential aspects of the entrepreneur’s personality to backers and offer an avenue for the entrepreneur that allows for raw, unfiltered expression. In a rewards-based crowdfunding platform, the backers are not people who are seeking to hear professional investment narratives. The backers are usually people who seek to invest in a cause and a person they can relate with. Which personality language can thus influence best a crowdfunding performance?
The best advice is to showcase the personality characteristics that are most authentic and truly reflective of one’s self. Moreover, entrepreneurial characteristics are often associated with specific attitudes, such as positivity, since entrepreneurs are associated with an “upbeat bunch” – that of a resilient, hopeful, optimistic, and confident individual (Anglin et al., 2022). Further characteristics that are associated with an entrepreneurial personality are that of a charismatic person and a narcissist. Narcissism might be problematic in the long run, yet expressing some narcissistic traits in the short term can show a competent individual that others will want to support and follow.
To achieve that, use language that expresses a sense of authority, superiority, and self-sufficiency. At last, linguistic styles need to be taken into consideration. This refers to the types/ style of words used to describe the different parts of the campaign, for example in describing the service or product offered. Some linguistic styles include the technique of “building excitement” (e.g. amazing, awesome, etc.), words that ascribe “autonomy” (e.g. take control, take action, etc.), “inclusiveness” (e.g. community, help, etc.), and many more.
The above characteristics and linguistic styles can result in a successful campaign that spreads the message of the campaign loud and clear, cultivates excitement, respect, and admiration for the initiator, and sends out messages of inclusiveness, innovativeness, and autonomy.