Startup videos, such as pitch videos, product demo videos, or explainer videos, are the most effective tool in marketing today. These videos can deliver your unique idea, brand values, team strengths, and technology breakthroughs to decision makers in just a few minutes.
A professionally crafted video pitch can dramatically elevate your chances of getting funded by investors or accepted into startup incubators. Learning how to pitch is essential if you want funding, and watching other companies’ pitching videos, practicing pitching on your friends, and mastering the wording is something you will have to do.
How to Make a Winning Pitch Video
So let’s say you have a brilliant idea that can change the world. Now, you need others to believe in it! Here are the best tips on how to make a meaningful and effective video pitch:
1. Watch lots of Kickstarter videos.
Use others’ experience and learn from the best.
It’s hard to search for good video pitch examples, especially in certain industries. Unfortunately, most of the best pitching videos will not be posted publicly due to copyright issues. Startup founders are usually very protective of their ideas and unwilling to publicly disclose a new product or service in this highly competitive environment — especially at the early stages when the product hasn’t been manufactured or the patent isn’t registered.
We suggest that you turn to crowdfunding campaign platforms such as Kickstarter or Indiegogo and check the most successful pitch videos to learn how to pitch. As you watch those videos, you will see a common pattern among the pitches, and you can develop your own structure based on what you see.
2. Keep it short.
You have just two minutes to convince.
Keep your video pitch under two minutes in length so you don’t lose your investors’ or backers’ attention. Getting the point across quickly also shows that you respect their time. Don’t steal people’s time by talking too slowly or stammering; practice a lot and keep it short and worth watching.
When crafting your pitch video, remember this: Although you may be deepinto your project, your audience might have zero knowledge of your industry or market. You have to get to the point as quickly as possible. It’s best to stick to the problem/ solution/ market opportunities formula for the introduction of your pitch.
3. Craft your value proposition.
“We help X do Y doing Z.”
Never assume that people already know what your idea is. To avoid this misunderstanding, you need to craft the main essence of your product — a value proposition —into one strong sentence. (Don’t confuse it with your product slogan!)
Value proposition formula:
For____________ (your target audience) who ____________(audience’s need or opportunity), ___________ (product/service name) is____________(product category) that ____________ (statement of benefit).
State the problem you are committed to solving, how you propose to do that, and who will benefit.
This approach will help create a value proposition statement that ANY person will understand. Test your value proposition on an older generation or kids. If they are able to understand what is your idea about, then you’ve nailed it.
4. Highlight your benefits.
People want to know “What’s in it for me?”
The human mind is able to process around three pieces of information at once in short-term memory. This means it’s important to outline the three most important practical or emotional benefits your product offers to people. Don’t waste time by mentioning all the product features in your video pitch — stick with highlighting the benefits. Be clear in your pitch about how your product will benefit your target audience and make their lives easier. Will it save their money, or time, or both? Let them know.
5. Practice, practice, practice.
Pitch to everyone — your family, your friends, your mentors.
Practicing over and over again will give you confidence and help you master your message. Even just saying the words and phrases out loud can give you an idea of how to improve or how to express yourself better, especially the way you deliver your messages.
After you practice, you need to put away your pitching script and do the pitch in front of your colleague, friend, or family member. Their reactions and comments will show you the strengths and weaknesses of your pitch, reveal what’s unclear, and give you meaningful tips on enhancing your pitch that you couldn’t notice on your own.
Explain to your friend who your pitch is aimed at (for example, a potential customer or an investor) so they can give you more specific feedback. Also, see whether you have the opportunity to get criticisms from people who are in your target audience — that’s obviously very valuable feedback.
As you gain more and more confidence, try to pitch to a larger audience. There is a great opportunity to test your skills at pitching clubs like 1 Million Cups, or you can look for pitching events and sessions on Eventribe.
6. Get Visual.
Show what you have now.
Traction is very important for your potential investor. People are not willing to invest in a bare-bones idea — they want to know what you have already achieved or what you’re still dreaming and planning.
The beauty of the video is that it makes a person accept information on different levels — audio and visual — so use your pitch video to its full power for maximum impact! Use photos, screenshots, and video clips of your work, testimonials from others, etc. Make your video a visual and audial showcase of what you’re all about. Tell your story and explain what you want to do in such a way that it compels people to get to know you and share your enthusiasm. Wrap your message in a visually appealing way that will engage the viewer until the end.
7. Don’t be shy — brag about your company.
Showcase your team’s expertise and skills.
Brag about your company’s experience and achievements as well as your personal achievements. Your team is one of the key factors of any startup success, and any experienced investor knows it. So if you or your team member have won a contest or competition that is relevant to your startup industry, had a significant track record in a well-known company, or just graduated from a prestigious institution, include that info in your short team biography to prove your professional credibility and your ability to deliver what you have planned.
Close with a simple but compelling call to action. What do you want your viewer to do next? Just say it or ask it so your viewer has a clear idea of what to do next.