THE BLOG

Pitch Perfect: Using Video to Engage With Investors

23/08/2013 14:22 BST | Updated 22/10/2013 10:12 BST

Since 1st January 2013, the clocks have tallied up nearly 295,000 minutes, almost exactly the same as the number of start-ups that have registered as companies in the UK this year. This means that there's a new business being set up every minute in Britain.

As business expert and StartUp Britain co-founder Emma Jones has said, "We're seeing record numbers of people setting up a business. It's astonishing to think that in the last month alone 25,502 people decided to start up here in Britain."

So, if there's one thing that Britain isn't lacking in it is great business ideas. While this is a hugely positive sign of the growing self-starter trend, it's also an indication of how fierce competition is for investment.

In an age when the pitch-stage governs the start of most businesses, how can entrepreneurs make sure their ideas are quickly and clearly communicated? Start-ups need to attract new visitors to their website but, rather than encouraging people to simply purchase a product, they also need to engage with prospective investors.

Online video is a sure fire step to making certain a business proposition can be heard over the clamour of competitors, long enough to make investors want to buy in. Video has the advantage of conveying a lot of information in a short amount of time. The combination of strong visuals and sound effects as demonstrated by animated video for example, is far more engaging than text alone.

Using online video in this type of scenario is something that has been taken to a literal level in a recent competition ran by entrepreneur-focused website Tech City News called the Elevator Pitch. In a Dragons Den style set-up, 13 founders had just 30 seconds to pitch their start-up proposition to camera as they plunged 37 floors at the Heron Tower in London.

The videos highlighted the importance of short sharp messages when pitching. After being edited, the clips were uploaded to YouTube and shared via social media for maximum exposure. Since the competition began its first series in January 2013, the 13 start-ups have attracted over $15m of investment.

The benefits of using online video as a start-up are clear - it increases brand awareness by 170%, brand favourability by 500%, and perhaps most importantly for investment, 65% of executives visited a vendor's website after watching a work-related video online. However, many brands make the mistake of "doing a video" without putting much thought into its style or content.

When considering which kind of video will condense your proposition the most effectively without compromising on your message, there's one option which should be at the top of your list: animation. Whether it's explaining a new app or an innovative product or complex service, short animations can deliver a message quickly, effectively, and with increased memory retention rates like no other.

The biggest obstacle that most startups run into when approaching a production company for a video is cost. With most startups facing enormous set up costs and increasing overheads, the budget for creative video content is usually squeezed to a point where it's not a viable option. simpleshow understands this problem and has launched a special initiative for start-ups looking to make an animation.

Whether a short film, elevator pitch or a short animation that explains a business proposition in a simple way, online video is today's ticket to success.