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Avoiding the seven-year pitch

2 min read - by Arjen Buenk - Senior Motion Graphics Designer

Content? Check. Slide deck? Check.

Financials? Business plan? Credentials? Check. Check. Check.

Okay, so your client pitch is all good to go, right? Well maybe, or maybe not. Because there’s one crucial pitch element that, inexplicably, many marketers often still overlook (or at least overcook). The Video.

As a way of making your customer or prospect’s first point of contact with your business a powerful, compelling one, video is an obvious choice. It’s quick. It’s slick. It’s punchy. It resonates instantly. And if a picture speaks a thousand words, how many does a video communicate? Neither are videos as tough to put together as you might imagine. What’s not to like?

Strange then that, despite all these great selling points, video still seems subservient to the rest of the pitch in many cases. A bit samey. A bit boring even.

Why? Most often because its real strength and value has been forgotten: length.

To really make the point, let’s come at it from a slightly different angle.

Video can do more to grab and inform an audience than pretty much any other kind of content. And it can do so quickly. It can tell them who you are, what you do, and how and where you do it. It can showcase your brand and its values. It can convince people to buy or invest. It might make them think, laugh, or even cry.

The point is though, that not only CAN video make an impact quickly, it MUST. In two minutes, ideally. Tops. And maintaining the self-discipline to keep it short and snappy isn’t always easy. There always seems to be more to say. Take it from us. Resist the temptation.

The optimum length, 60 to 90 seconds, might seem like a brutally short time-frame, but there’s a very good reason for it: it’s aligned to people’s attention spans, which are short and getting shorter. Hardly surprising given the enormous volumes of media content we all now consume.

A useful exercise is to look at it like the classic old elevator pitch: You have the time it takes to make a short journey in an elevator. How do you get your point across succinctly, quickly and memorably?

It’s all about brevity, one of the most useful disciplines a seller can learn. And it is possible – if you concentrate on the real core of your message.

As Einstein said, if you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.

And that’s as true when making a video as at any other time.

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