Video: The New Elevator Pitch?

How much more effective would an elevator pitch be if it was timed perfectly with a visual aid? A video? Someone searches for you or your company online, they get a 30-second introduction that tells them more than they could learn in an hour of reading your marketing literature. You answer the question, “What do you do?” by giving them an experience and an invitation to engage.

As video marketing continues gaining traction, we are still just on the cusp of understanding the magnificent power video has as an integrated communications tool for marketing. As we continue to evolve our use of video, elevator pitches are one of the next things to be turned into a visual snapshot – revealing what we do and the benefits we offer with sight, sound, text, and most importantly, emotion.

I’ve been working in the print supplies and supply-chain management industry for more than 20 years, a career that now puts me in the high tech community of Silicon Valley. Throughout my career, I’ve been able to use technology to differentiate myself, as well as my clients, from the competition.  Video is one of those defining technologies that I picked up along the way, and am convinced it has the power to influence every marketing professional out there.  As my career has evolved, so has my skill set, but having tech experience isn’t a prerequisite for marketing professionals to use  video.

Video is something we are all familiar with and it’s only increasing in popularity; ComScore reported that in 2012, 84.4 percent of Internet users in the U.S. watched online video. To that effect, according to the Content Marketing Institute, from 2011-2012, the perception of video marketing effectiveness increased by 36%. As the popularity of video marketing increases, I know that number will continue to rise. However, as much as I enjoy passing along funny YouTube videos to friends and family, in order to fully realize video’s potential as a 21st-century marketing medium we must look beyond sneezing pandas and the Harlem Shake. We have to learn to be video creators, not just consumers.

My early experiences with video consisted mainly of creating visual how-to guides. My clients loved receiving video tutorials about using our online products in more creative ways. From there I began developing projects that were more specific, like a recent video about best practices for filing taxes. Riveting? Well, yes. For everyone that needed the advice, it was. Call it narrow-casting as opposed to broadcasting. But in both cases I was building my company’s brand value along with my own, in a very personal and effective way for all involved. The benefit hasn’t been in just one direction. My customers reported an increase in sales and satisfaction, and a greater desire for incorporating video in their marketing efforts.

There are a lot of video creation solutions out there, and although they’re great for online birthday greetings or high-end production, I personally rely on Camtasia, a gem that I’ve been using for years. Camtasia is easy to learn and I can export to any video format – web, mobile device, etc. with a single click, which is very effective for marketing material that has to work wherever my customers want to watch it.

In addition to being easy to create, video supports company returns in ways that traditional marketing sometimes cannot. According to IDG Research Services, nearly 75 percent of consumers use video to research a product, and 46 percent of them purchase the product after viewing the related video. That is great news for a growing business, as video can take a mere day to complete, and a quality video can be made without breaking a sweat or your budget. Clients of mine, old and new, continue coming back time and again for video because they generate business. Bottom line.

So, instead of reciting an elevator pitch that feels rehearsed and is full of buzzwords, or posting yet another product brochure, turn to video as your next marketing vehicle. The value is just starting to be understood and the future for those that know how to make it work is very bright.

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