Video is now cost effective to produce professionally and easy to distribute via the internet. Of all the media it is the one we instinctively ‘get’ and communicates messages in such a way that we experience them rather than interpret them. Video’s versatility and popularity is now making the pitch video a more accessible way of selling. The pitch video is not exactly an advert, it’s more direct in its proposition than that. It can be a video of the perfect salesman conducting the perfect business pitch or a mash-up of graphics, story, statistics and effects to convey a compelling proposal.
Presentation is everything
A video can be used to distinguish your offerings from competitors at the presentation stage of a pitch process in B2B sales. For the corporate pitches where the sales team, having slogged it out in preparation for the last month, finally stand for the first time in front of their prospective client – the knowledge of having that edge over rival teams can be empowering.
A well-conceived pitch video can be used to demonstrate a high level of professionalism and commitment to the company pitched, within a presentation. By referring to the video to illustrate the USPs of your proposal you’ll leave the potential client with something that they will remember.
The pitch video can also be used to introduce your company, your team, where you work, show how you work and demonstrate past projects worked on that have been a success. It will demystify you and show the client, as if on a tailored tour, your capabilities at this crucial introductory stage. Of course you can talk about these things if you like but it won’t have the same impact as integrating a video within a pitch. It certainly has potential to impress, more so than power point slides.
A place for reference
Having an easy to access link to a video of your company capabilities or your sales pitch can be very useful whether you intend to send the link on the end of an email to potential clients and partners or as a dedicated place to direct prospective customers when they want to know more.
Research has indicated that after 72 hours an average person will remember only 10 percent of text in comparison to 95 percent of a video. That’s a compelling argument alone for a company to use video to effectively promote their proposition.
For complex proposals a visual explainer video can answer questions and quash confusion around your offer. It can use graphics, animations, actors and present useful analogies visually to ‘paint a 1000 words’ in seconds. The explainer video shows key information in a fast way that engages the customer.
Connect with your customer
A pitch video can apply to B2C sales too – as a way of generating a soft lead for a sales team or as a full sales process. One in three Britons watch a video online at least once a week. Internet behaviour analysts, Comscore, found that retail site visitors who viewed video stayed two minutes longer and were 64% more likely to make a purchase than the other visitors to the site. The website homepage is your business doorway or shop front – perhaps the first introduction to your company and your proposition. By embedding a pitch video on that page you have the perfectly prepared sales pitch a click away from the customer.
A pitch with global access
The video is versatile and can be placed on popular platforms like Youtube and Vimeo. Youtube is the second largest social media after Facebook with 1 billion unique users a month. More than 6 billion hours of video are viewed each month on YouTube – that’s equivalent to almost an hour for every person on Earth. You can take this as an indication of how video is dominating current media and it can be accessed from smartphones, tablets and home computers. For a company not to exploit video in some part of the sales process is a missed trick. It’s going to be a big year for video and marketing departments know it. Market research service provider, Nielsen, claims 64% of marketers anticipate that video will be the priority for their marketing strategies in the near future.
“The great thing about a pitch video is that it really can appeal on emotional levels to the customer in ways that other sales pitches fail to,” explains David Hunstone, Managing Director of video production company Hub TV. “With creative video production that includes music, animation, characters to relate to, a story arc and a call to action – it can be flawless in execution in terms of communicating the right message. For a customer this may be the first introduction to your brand so this will represent the values of your company, and will be a professional presentation of your sales process.
“It’s important to get a direct message to your customers and video can do this effectively. You can make a commercial or you can create a pitch video that will have a lasting impression and gets the key selling points across,” said Hunstone.
For leads such as people who have subscribed to your e-marketing news feed or who interact with your website to a degree where they have given your company personal data for capture (perhaps to access information, advice, news or blogs) – give them access to your video pitch – following with direct contact. The video if viewed will have communicated your sales proposition clearly, getting you one step closer to the ‘close’.
Moving images work
If the pitch video is on your company homepage this is a real benefit. The visitor to that page already has a vested interest demonstrated from just being there but to convert to a sale it’s important to keep the person interested in your site, so they don’t move on to another company with a similar proposition. To keep them engaged you must explain in the most effective way what they can gain from buying from you. Video really does invite people to take a look – it’s been proven.
“By embedding the videos to your website, you can increase the click through rates by thirty percent and on average they will stay longer on a website with a video on the landing page,” confirms Hunstone.
Follow the rules
If you use a model, actor or a genuine sales person to present a pitch you should think about following a few advisable rules for clarity. First, it’s wise to avoid using industry jargon, steer away from overly abstract or complex concepts, speak clearly, wear easy on the eye, solid coloured clothing and do not overdo jewellery. Your sector may require a special approach. Align the dress code of the presenter and their personality to the customer you are seeking to create a rapport with. Use graphics to simplify an idea visually rather than complicate a concept. It’s a good idea to illustrate and then solve a posed problem where your proposition is the most effective solution. At the end of the video you can propose the call to action into the sales funnel – either to a paysite with terms and conditions or to contact a salesperson direct. Quality of the video and production values does count so source and hire professionals. Lastly, make sure your video is not too long. Three minutes or under should be enough to convey your message – you want the viewer to be there at the end.
By Richard Forsyth from Varn Media
With thanks to David Hunstone from Hub TV