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Do you need video in your presentation?

They say a picture paints a thousand words. Well, in the modern world of digital media, it is probably about time that old saying got updated - nowadays, we should perhaps also be talking about how a video paints a thousand pictures.

Whatever the precise maths of it, there is no doubt that video is an extremely powerful tool for getting a message across. In terms of sales and marketing, it has been estimated that video can increase understanding of a concept, brand, product or service by 75 per cent - that is three quarters more impact, more engagement, more recall.

Of course, motion pictures are nothing new, and have been captivating audiences for the past 100 years or so. But what is really new in the 21st Century is how affordable and accessible the means of production have become. Whereas in the past you needed a film studio to create high quality videos and animations, now practically everybody can do wonderful things with a smartphone or GoPro and editing software.

This has greatly expanded the possibilities for where video can be and is being used. The latest big trend in social media is for livestreaming and vloging. Video, as a medium for communication is being applied in new and exciting places, from digital content marketing to interactive sales presentations. 

The challenge for any sales pitch is to make your presentation engaging, relevant and memorable. You only need to look at TV advertising revenue to know how powerful video can be. Now, instead of being the sort of things only the marketing budgets of the biggest brands could stretch to, video is something every marketing team can use, for every purpose - including adding impact and engagement to presentations. 

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Getting Interactive

The reason video works so well as a marketing medium is that it engages an audience deeply. Similar effects can be achieved through the constituent parts which make up video - audio, images and animations. Taking any or all of these elements and applying them in a creative way can turn a static, two-dimensional presentation into something interactive, which not only captures attention but also draws the audience into action. Here is how to go about creating a successful interactive sales presentation:

Define your message

Regardless of the media, good marketing is founded on some core principles - know your audience, shape your offer around what will appeal to them, and create a clear, consistent message. Only once you know exactly what you want to achieve should you turn to making an actual presentation, with all design and creative choices shaped by your knowledge of your audience, your brand identity and what you want your audience to do at the end of your presentation. 

Get ready to innovate

Video and animation are great tools for presentations because they are so flexible. When you consider real video footage, voiceovers, music and other audio, animations and editing options such as transitions, colour palette, filters and so on, the scope for what you can achieve with video is limitless. The key is to work with people who can help you make the vision happen - the creative specialists who know how to turn a marketing goal into a concept, and the technical specialists who can bring the concept to life.

End with a call to action

The risk with something as aesthetically pleasing, and as downright fun, as video is that you can get lost in the medium and forget about the message. Your aim is not to win the Cannes festival, but to win over a new customer or client. If your presentation is good enough, your audience will be ready to interact, so make sure you end with something they can do. Everything before should be leading up to this point, as this is where you convert from presenting to securing a deal.

Optimise for mobile

The wonders of modern technology mean you no longer have to stand in a room in front of people to deliver a sales presentation. When building your pitch, have one eye on the options available for delivering it to your audience - perhaps shared remotely via a virtual meeting platform, perhaps forwarded for the recipients to view in their own time. In this case, bear in mind how many people use mobile devices to view video these days, and make sure you are optimised for smaller screens.

Written by Richard Newman June of 2017