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What the Coronavirus Has Taught Us About Video Conferencing

Following the outbreak of the coronavirus, millions of employees and students were forced to stay at home. These social distancing measures led governments, companies, and schools to employ strict work-from-home policies. 

Demand for video conferencing and digital conferencing software skyrocketed. 

Surge of Video Conferencing Needs 

Working from home drove companies like Google, Microsoft, and Zoom to offer their software for free to accommodate the growing demand from users. 

Depending on which software you choose, these can connect either a small group of five or large audiences of at least 150 people.

Transitioning from In-Person to Virtual Environments 

Some may say that in-person events are incomparable, especially for brands, because they make distributing content and building networks easier and more authentic. 

Is it, however, the most effective way to connect with people? 

A virtual event is similar to its in-person counterpart. It’s highly interactive and versatile depending on specific goals and purposes. 

Virtual Conferencing Benefits 

With video conferencing platforms, working together, even remotely, has never been easier. Apart from reducing travel costs, you also get: 

  • Improved communication 
  • Better business relationships 
  • Wider reach 
  • Simplified management and usability 
  • Increased productivity 

The best thing about virtual conferences is that you can be in two—even several—places at once.

Choosing the Right Video Conferencing Platform 

Over 98% of medium and large businesses, and two-thirds of small organizations, are likely to purchase video conferencing solutions in the years to come. 

Apart from the increase in remote work driving the need for video conferencing solutions, today’s companies need to communicate with employees from multiple offices. 

If you’re looking to integrate this into establishing a virtual environment for your workplace, choose a service tailored to your business needs. Consider these factors before you make your purchase. 

Locations of End Users 

Some platforms are restricted in specific regions or countries. Before making a purchase, make sure that everyone will have access to it. 

Recording Capabilities 

You may want to go over the highlights of your meeting on a later date. These keep track of where you are in terms of project management or if you’re remotely interviewing potential employees. 

Mobile Optimization 

Make sure that your video conferencing platform is available on both desktop and mobile devices to ensure equally positive experiences. 

Screen-Sharing Capabilities 

Collaborations may occur in and out of the workplace. This feature allows you to give feedback and apply changes to plans or design in real time. 

Application Integration 

If you frequently use third-party applications like PowerPoint during your meetings, you may want to look for a platform that allows you to import presentations and documents. 

There are also platforms that allow plug-ins that make it easier for you to schedule your next meeting and take notes without having to switch applications.

Before the coronavirus forced people to keep their distance, technology had already begun to give them the means of coming together. 

As businesses continue to work across greater distances, the advantages of working in virtual environments will become more and more clear.

5 Dashboard Visualizations to Help Boost Sales

Data visualization, to put it simply, is the presentation of data in a graphical format. This involves turning analytics and insights presented in a way other than textually, making difficult concepts much easier to comprehend. 

The human brain processes information much easier when presented with large amounts of data translated into charts and graphs.  

Using visuals is a quick and easy way to convey complex concepts in a manner that everyone can understand. 

Data visualization, therefore, can: 

  • Identify areas of improvement 
  • Clarify which factors influence customer behavior 
  • Help allocate products 
  • Predict sales volumes 

In many industries, sales in particular, seeing is believing. The ability to view information and apply solutions in real-time is important. 

So, here are five essential dashboard data visualizations that sales teams can use to improve their performance and boost their sales advantage.

Geographical Heatmaps 

Also known as “choropleth maps,” these refer to a color-coded matrix that represents value or risk. These are maps of countries or cities, highlighted or annotated to show numbers. 

Preparing and analyzing heatmaps are incredibly easy. These could be up and running just by merely translating the necessary data. This type of data visualization is usually quicker to interpret than numbers at first glance because its colors usually range from green (good values) to red (bad values). 

An example of sales teams using heatmaps would be when they’re determining their target demographic—a consensus of households that would be interested in their products. 

Bubble Charts/Word Clouds 

Bubbles charts are similar to heatmaps, only that the objects that represent values are, well, bubbles. You can use colors can to represent values for this type of data visualization. 

Word clouds look like jumbled words that seem to have no correlation until given context. These are clusters of words in different sizes. The bigger and bolder they appear, the more often they are mentioned in a text—the more important they are.  

In this text for example, you will see the word “data” 13 times. If it were to appear as a word cloud, it would appear to be the biggest word.

Waterfall Charts 

To better understand finances, waterfall charts help translate financial data and project a clearer picture of how gains, losses, and balances are affecting bottomline. 

To put it in the context of marketing, another example would be how leads and blog traffic in the last year could be affecting your business.  

Radar Charts 

Also referred to as “spider charts,” these best visualize multiple performance variables that are sub-components of other variables. When you’re uncertain about the units of measurement used, these provide a rough estimate. 

An example would be gauging customer experience after purchasing a product. The different variables would include price, customer support quality, ease of the sales process, and user-friendliness of the service.  

Bullet/Gauge Charts 

Gauge charts, also referred to as dial or speedometer charts, represent one metric at a time. Their goal is simple: to show how close you are to achieving a certain goal.  

Say you’re aiming for a certain number of leads for a project. Assume that number is 100 and you’re only at the 65 mark. It’s easier to visualize that using a gauge chart. Apart from that, you’d know how important this value is to the discussion since it is emphasized in graphical form.

Today, as data collection becomes more streamlined, information becomes abundant, meaning there’s so much to learn. The only problem is, not everyone can comprehend all this.  

Data visualization is an effective strategy if you want to translate complex datasets into information that is more concise, straightforward, and understandable to those who are not familiar with the concept you are discussing. 

It continues to help sales teams and analysts look at data more imaginatively. Ultimately, this is a useful skill to develop, effectively conveying and leveraging information in a visual format. 

How to Maximize Quick Presentations

You don’t always have enough time to sell your ideas. Ideally, you’d want 15-20 minutes to go through the finer details of what makes your business special. However, given your client’s (or perspective client’s) busy schedule, you don’t always get that. When you come across those cases, you should know how to maximize the time you have to make a winning sales presentation.

At the end of the day, it will always come down to making every slide—and second—count. At SlideGenius, it’s our business as presentation experts to create pitch decks that help our clients sell their business in the boardroom.

Prospects will have their eyes and ears open to presentations that are unique. These are our tips on how to carefully create a presentation that can successfully sell your business:

Open Strong

When time is short, the audience’s attention is your most valuable resource. You need to take control of it wisely. This makes your opening slide the most crucial, as this will set the tone of your presentation. Failure to grasp your audience’s interest from the get-go could be a telltale sign of a failed pitch attempt.

Having a strong hook is an effective strategy to catching your audience’s attention. This can be done in several ways:

Make a Provocative Statement

These are meant to challenge your audience’s ideas. It entices them to listen in to what you have to say. After all, it’s only natural to want to hear someone back up their statements after hearing bold claims that catch them off guard.

Additionally, highlight shocking numbers to drive the impact of your statement.

Ask “What If?”

Engage the imagination of your audience by proposing a unique and beneficial scenario. This simple trick subconsciously pushes audience members to put themselves into the scenario you propose. It’s a great foundation to the narrative you’re trying to build throughout your presentation.

Engage Visually

Complement your opening statement with an image that’s relevant and impactful. It will draw in your audience’s eyes and improve their comprehension of your message. This one-two punch of content creates a clear message that your audience can easily latch on to.

Stick to Your Core Message  

You can afford to meander through every minute detail about your company. A good sales pitch delivers a clear message, not a long one.

Knowing that you don’t have much time on your hands means you don’t have many slides to work with either. Treat each slide like a crucial chapter to your story, presenting new and thought-provoking information with every click. But remember that they all should contribute to your core message. The last thing you want is for them to feel like their precious time was wasted by slides that ultimately served very little purpose.

Tailor Your Content

Being prepared will save you time. Before you step into to the boardroom, beware of who exactly you are presenting to. Is it the CEO? Or a specific department within a company? Put yourself into the shoes of your audience and consider the content you want to see from a presentation.

Audiences will feel a deeper connection with your pitch when it feels like the content was made for their needs specifically. Having a unique presentation for each one will reduce the feeling of repetition for yourself as a presenter.

SlideGenius Is Your Presentation Expert

Need help for your next big meeting? Contact us and we can create a winning presentation! From PowerPoint presentations to animated marketing videos, we are capable of crafting a variety of pitch materials designed to boost communication and drive better business.

We’ve worked on over 1 million slides for +3,000 global clients. Every presentation has the potential to be a unique and effective sales tool.

Our team of presentation designers, writers and animators collaborate diligently to ensure every element of a presentation is treated excellently. We’ve worked with clients from every industry, creating presentations that sell regardless of topic or scale. The refined skills of our team consistently provide world-class design standards that boost the image of our partners. Let us help you inject new life into your presentations and raise your business towards new heights.

We have helped spark million-dollar growth for businesses around the world. The growth of our clients is our biggest measure of success. Together, let’s achieve greatness through the unlimited capabilities within PowerPoint! Reach out now to get a quote free of charge.

Contact us today!

What Your SaaS Prospects Subconsciously Want (and Need) from Your Sales Presentations

The SaaS tech industry is one of the biggest sectors in the world and shows no signs of slowing down. New players from every corner appear each day, all of whom claim to bring the “hottest” product on the market.  

This hyperbolic sales pitch is a very common practice but is ultimately a misguided one. For a business to land big prospects, their sales presentation has to deliver more than just big claims. Because the market is so crowded with new products, audiences need to see an extra bit of flair to really sell them on something new.  

At SlideGenius, we know what it takes to make your presentation match your cutting edge idea and we’ve helped countless clients succeed once they had their foot in the door. 

Prospects will tune into presentations that are unique and standout. How can you carefully create a presentation that successfully sells your business?

Engage Visually  

Humans are naturally visual creatures. One of the most common mistakes people make in their sales presentations is their overreliance on text. Blocks of text are not only unappealing to look at, but they can also be counterproductive. Why overexplain when you can say so much with just an image? After all, our brains can process images in just under 13 milliseconds.  

By adding more visual flair to your presentation, you automatically make it easier for audiences to connect with what you’re selling. Since people are more likely to be visually-oriented learners, images help make your presentation more memorable.

Concise Message 

Everyone likes to talk big when making a sale. But when everyone is talking big, then no one ever truly stands out. Instead of trying to speak with the loudest voice in the room, speak with a purpose. Condense the content of your presentation to the very essential pieces of information. There will be cases when you’ll be speaking to very powerful people who have very little time on their hands. The faster they are able to understand what you offer, the faster they can decide on when to start buying. 

Take the time to carefully curate your slides with content that best fits the interests of your audience. Put yourself in their place and consider what you’d like to hear and see from a sales presentation. Having even just a small grasp of their mindset will help you in the process of refining your sales pitch.

Rehearse Before the Big Meeting  

There’s a stark difference between a well-practiced presenter and one who prefers to wing it. While some do prefer to do things on the fly, the style tends to devolve into stammered ramblings that fail to effectively get the point across. Practice runs help you clean up your delivery. The more you run through your presentation, the more likely you’ll catch areas that could use improvement. Once your delivery is perfected, you’ll have no problem projecting the right information to your audience.  

High-level clientele will know a practiced speech when they see it. This will reflect your commitment to mastering the facets of your business. While this may not directly affect the content of your presentation, your confidence as a presenter will play a large part in successfully selling your business to new partners.

SlideGenius is Your Presentation Expert 

Need help for your next big meeting? Contact us and we can create a winning presentation! From PowerPoint presentations to animated marketing videos, no one helps you boost communication and drive better business like we do.  

We’ve worked on over one million slides for +3,000 global clients. Our experience has taught us that every presentation has the potential to be a unique and impactful sales tool. It’s a matter of knowing how to use PowerPoint to its full potential. Most people only ever utilize the surface-level features of PowerPoint without realizing what can be accomplished using the program.  

We’ve worked with clients from every industry, creating presentations that sell regardless of topic or scale. Let us inject new life into your presentations and raise your business towards new heights. Reach out now to get a quote free of charge. 

Contact us today! 

The Beginner’s Guide to Content Management Systems: 18 Must-Have Features

Modern, scalable website management requires a powerful platform that’s optimized for search engines out of the box and allows for complete customization and control over all design elements.

Therefore, a Content Management System (CMS) is the cornerstone of a successful website experience for most companies.

Popular CMS platforms include WordPress, Squarespace, Drupal, and Magento (there are literally hundreds of options), which continue to evolve as the role of content marketing and management evolve.

With the ever-growing range of hosting platforms, visual website builders, and content marketing channels, finding the right CMS is getting harder, not easier! Not every platform has the necessary tools to boost your content strategy. 

Here’s a checklist of 18 must-have tools. Make sure the CMS you’re interested in has as many as possible built-in.

1. High performance & scalability

Your content marketing strategy may start with only a handful of blog posts, but it’s likely to scale exponentially into something massive. 

When looking at a CMS, think big. Does it have the ability to handle 100 blog posts? 1,000? Can you easily search, group, manage, tag, and edit posts, even among hundreds or thousands? 

Scalability is a must-have necessity. And, along with it, performance is key. Indexing, searching, and editing should be fast and fluid.

2. A user-friendly interface

You’re going to spend a lot of time in your CMS, executing tasks and performing actions. 

You don’t want a system that’s cumbersome and difficult to work with! The back-end system should be easily navigable, intuitive, and well-designed to make content management easy and straightforward. If actions and options are nested, buried, and hidden, you’ll spend more time clicking through menus than you want to, and that’s time wasted.

3. Enhanced user permissions & user management

As your content marketing efforts grow, so should your team. When your one-man show becomes a team of three, four, or five, you need to keep your CMS orderly and organized. User permissions are the simplest way to do it. 

Keep admin privileges for yourself, delegate management roles to one or two others, and hand out low-level permissions on an as-needed basis. Not only does this hierarchy keep people in-line, it also keeps a digital record of who’s doing what, when.

4. A proper content editor

Just because a CMS platform can manage content doesn’t mean it’s also good for creating it! One of the top features of any CMS system is a good content creator and editor. Look for a system that offers diverse editing capabilities, including a text-based editor, hard coding option, and a visual editor (WYSIWYG, or “What You See Is What You Get”). 

Especially when it comes to blogging, the more control you have over how your content looks when it’s published, the better your content marketing presentation will be. Plus, it’s good for making changes on-the-fly!

5. A robust digital asset management system

Content goes beyond written text. Sure, a well-written blog post is good, but a well-written post with a captivating image, embedded video, and downloadable content is even better. 

Your CMS needs a robust digital asset management system that stores these all in one place. Centralized asset hosting ensures there aren’t any missing elements in your final piece of content, and that your pages load faster and more completely. 

6. Design flexibility & customization

Presentation is everything. It’s important to remember that a CMS is also front-facing, and it dictates the experience people have with your content. Make sure your choice of CMS has display customization capabilities that allow you to tailor the experience people have with it. 

From changing page layouts to organizing navigation, your CMS needs to offer design flexibility and customization options that make it useful to you and the people using it.

7. Mobile support

Everything today is mobile, including how people consume content. If your CMS can’t shift seamlessly from desktop to mobile, it’s going to restrict your abilities. A good CMS will have a back-end dashboard that’s mobile-friendly, as well as tools to help make front-facing content accessible and seamless. 

There’s no room in a mobile world for a static CMS, so take the time to find one that’s up-to-speed and compliant with the greater trends of the mobile web.

8. Third-party integrations/open APIs

Content isn’t just a one-way medium. In fact, the best content is two-way and highly dynamic! If you plan on creating interactive, robust content, you’re going to need third-party integrations and open API capabilities. That quiz you create needs to query a database for results. The interactive infographic you put up needs data support from external sources. 

The easier a CMS makes integration, the more capabilities you have for producing winning content.

9. Marketing features

The objective word in “content marketing” is “marketing.” To that end, you need a way to mobilize the content you write in a way that drives leads, creates conversions, or encourages interaction. A CMS with built-in marketing tools is the solution. 

From simple social share buttons to plugins and snippets for signups, products, or general CTAs, your CMS should ultimately aid in your efforts to market to your customers. A CMS that does this natively takes a lot of legwork out of setting up marketing mechanisms.

10. Comes with SEO-friendly features

The big draw of content marketing is the SEO upside it offers. As websites jockey for ranking in SERPs, their site’s SEO profile gives them the edge. That SEO juice comes largely from their content marketing efforts, which are fueled by the CMS. Make sure your CMS offers meta tagging, meta description editing, URL and redirect editing, category tagging, schema markup and more. 

Any built-in SEO tools automatically give you an edge over a CMS that doesn’t offer any.

11. Advanced security management

Cybersecurity is more important than ever before. Your site needs to be protected against malicious hacking attempts—your CMS in particular. Since this is where most of your content will reside, you need to make sure the CMS itself has robust security features. 

Two-factor authentication, tiered permissions, cloud security, data encryption, and more are all must-haves in today. They’ll keep your content safe and, more importantly, keep your site secured against probing data attacks and hacks.

12. A robust blogging platform

Content marketing takes many forms, but blogging is king among them. Some of the most trafficked sites in the world today are blogs! A blog isn’t just a big block of text, but rather an article-style piece of content that can include just about anything you need to get your thesis across—pictures, video, interactive questions, animated .gifs, links, etc. 

Almost every CMS has some form of blogging platform built-in, but not all are equal. Find a CMS that puts a major emphasis on blog creation, optimization, and management.

13. A robust internal search functionality

When you’re looking for that blog post you published last year, you don’t want to dig through pages and pages of files. Good CMS systems will support the ability to search for what you’re looking for. The best CMS systems will use advanced search algorithms like semantic search to ensure you find exactly what you need in seconds. 

Searchability becomes more important as your content collection grows, so plan ahead when choosing a CMS.

14. Multiple-website support

Your brand likely has more than one website. You might have a client-facing site, an eCommerce store, an affiliate site, and countless other sites. 

Managing them takes work, but it doesn’t mean they need to be completely isolated and siloed from one another. Find a CMS with multiple website support, so you can share content across all of them. They’re still separated and independently managed, but all the content you’re creating will be available across all your properties.

15. Effective testing & previewing tools

A lot of work goes into creating a blog post and other forward-facing content. You’re bound to have several iterations before finding the perfect one. You need testing and preview tools to make certain every little change shows up exactly how you want it to. 

Preview tools give you the ability to see the finished result before it’s actually live, eliminating embarrassing mistakes and quick fixes that might undermine the power of your content.

16. 24/7 support

What happens when your CMS goes down and you lose all of your content? What do you do if you keep running into an annoying problem and can’t find any solutions for it online? You call someone! A CMS is only as good as its support system, which means you need to be able to rely on someone to help you when things don’t go right. 

Look for platforms offering 24/7 live chat or call-in services and get the peace of mind that comes with round-the-clock help.

17. Easily upgradeable

Technology isn’t a static invention—it’s always changing, evolving, and getting better. Stick with a CMS that understands this and is built to grow, evolve, and upgrade with time. It should be easy to install new updates and enhance the features of your CMS as it expands. More importantly, you’ll want to put your trust in a system that’s constantly being worked on! 

As new features and capabilities become available, you want the power to add them. Look to the future and ask yourself if your CMS will keep up with the competition.

18. Multilingual support

The internet has made the world a much smaller place, and it’s likely that your audience is monolingual these days. Moreover, your staff is likely very diverse, too! Support the people creating and consuming your content by using a CMS platform with multilingual support features. This could mean anything from a multilingual help menu to the ability to auto-translate content once it’s live on the page. 

Your forethought to using a multilingual platform might just be the thing that garners you a broader following and a more complete content team.

The Best CMSs

Needless to say, the following content management systems have all of the 18 must-have features.

1) WordPress: For expandability and user-friendliness

We’re willing to bet that you’ve probably heard about WordPress. This CMS boasts the largest market share among its competitors by far and is the CMS we use here at SlideGenius for ourselves and our customers.

2) Joomla: A great runner-up to WordPress

When people debate which is the best CMS software, Joomla is one of the names that comes up most often alongside WordPress. The general consensus is that while Joomla may not be as beginner-friendly as WordPress, it can be more flexible in some aspects.

3) Squarespace: For quickly building a website with an integrated CMS

If your main goal is to get a website with integrated CMS online as fast as possible, try Squarespace. Another all-in-one package, Squarespace expedites the process of building your website with its rich library of customizable templates. You can choose your template based on the type of website you’re building, including options for eCommerce, business, a professional portfolio, a community site, or a basic blog.

A good CMS is essential for great content

All these features add up to one thing: a highly capable CMS that’ll ensure the success of your content marketing efforts. Putting these pieces together and picking a CMS that has all or most of them is the first step to putting your content in a position to flourish. In today’s age of digital consumption, that means having a leg-up on the competition. 

Are Your Company’s Sales Presentations Harnessing Basic Marketing Principles? They Should Be

Marketing is the backbone of business. It is how communication lines between businesses and consumers are formed. All of the world’s biggest companies would not have achieved their prominence without the support of a masterfully crafted marketing plan. Regardless of product or industry, the principles of marketing are focused on creating connections to generate more sales for the company.  

At SlideGenius, we specialize in an unsung, yet powerful marketing tool: PowerPoint presentations. Our team of expert presentation designers is fully trained to craft pitch decks that help our clients sell their business in the boardroom. Even when content may seem too much to contain, we always find ways of enhancing the very best aspects of our clients to deliver amazing presentations.

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It’s critical for businesses to present a consistent voice in their marketing strategies. Whether they are connecting with consumers or potential investors, the overarching principles of marketing are always the same: Product, Place, Price and Promotion. In this article we will discuss how marketing’s four P’s apply to creating winning presentations.

Product 

Target markets may vary, but the end goal of almost every business is to sell products. The structure of your sales presentation should effectively showcase what you are offering and how it’s different from the rest. Whether you’re pitching to potential investors or consumers directly, your slides must clearly present information in a concise and digestible manner. The more your audience understands your product and its value, the more likely they are to purchase.  

To give life to your product, craft a narrative for your PowerPoint. This should build on the ideas of how your product fits into the needs of your audience. A narrative makes it easier for audiences to connect with your message and develop a more meaningful understanding of what you are offering. 

Price  

Once you provide the details of your product, you must then name your price. This will be the tipping point for most audiences. This makes it important to be transparent with them throughout your presentation. Especially if you are speaking to potential investors, you will need to explain clearly where their money will be going and how it will directly affect the quality of the product. For consumers, they will want a breakdown of why your product is worth their money and if it will truly add value to their lives. 

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Promotion  

The success of a business depends on more than just the quality of the product. Your sales presentation should illustrate the marketing and advertising plans you have for your product. Your audience will want to know exactly how you plan on getting consumers to buy your products. Otherwise, what value is there in a product that no one knows about? With a sound plan to boost your visibility, investors can get a clearer scope of how your product can generate income in the future.  

Place 

Just because a presentation ends does not mean your sales pitch does, too. Provide your audience with clear directions on how to reach you afterwards. This “place” can be via email, website, or mobile numbers. It will be important to your audience knowing that you’re accessible in order to start doing business. By directing your audience to where they can reach you next, you will subliminally challenge them to make the next move. This engages them to keep the conversation going and further develop the connections you’ve built through the presentation. Knowing where and how they can reach you will be important for audiences to hoping to reach out.  

SlideGenius is Your Presentation Expert 

Are you still struggling to create killer presentations? We are always here to help you out! From PowerPoint presentations to animated marketing videos, we are capable of crafting a variety of pitch materials designed to boost communication and drive better business.  

We’ve worked on over one million slides for +3,000 global clients. Our experience has taught us that every presentation has the potential to be a unique and effective sales tool. It’s just a matter of knowing how to use PowerPoint to its full potential.

Our team of presentation designers, writers and animators collaborate diligently to ensure every aspect of your presentation is handled with the utmost expertise. We’ve worked with clients from every industry, delivering effective presentations regardless of topic or scale. The our team’s refined skills ensure that the world-class standards of our partners are always met. Let us help you breathe new life into your presentations and elevate your brand’s image in the boardroom.  

Reach out now to get a quote free of charge. 

Five Scenarios that Call for Outsourced Graphic Design

Outsourcing is a polarizing topic.

Some companies are staunchly against it, while others readily delegate work to partners and independent contractors alike.

For skilled tasks like graphic design, outsourcing is almost inevitable.

In these cases, it’s best to embrace the benefits of outsourcing, no matter your stance.

Outsourcing Is Trending

It might surprise you to learn that more companies are outsourcing graphic design work than ever before—and not necessarily under the duress of a heavy workload.

Choosing to outsource graphic design has some great benefits. Plus, it’s easier than ever thanks to the gig economy.

In the age of remote work and side hustles, finding a qualified graphic designer (or team of designers) for an affordable price takes minutes.

You might hop on a freelancer bidding website, contact a friend of a friend, or search the web for a trustworthy partner. Thankfully, there are few-to-no barriers to outsourcing, which has made it a viable solution for many companies in managing their workflow.

The Top Reasons Companies Outsource

Why outsource?

Every company has its own reasons, and different situations call for different solutions. To understand why outsourced graphic design is such a booming trend, take a look at some of the top survey answers from major companies:

  • 59% – Reduce/control costs
  • 57% – Focus on core functions
  • 47% – Solve capacity issues
  • 31% – Improve services
  • 28% – Gain access to expert talent and knowledge
  • 17% – Manage the business environment
  • 17% – Accelerate organizational transformation

From the numbers, outsourcing is often the function of cost control and task delegation.

Companies need a way to get quality collateral fast, without hampering their already-busy production teams. These are all valid reasons for seeking outsourced graphic design help, but it’s important to recognize the many other situations that might call for a helping hand.

Recognize Outsourcing Opportunities

It’s not always easy to recognize outsourcing as a solution. Here are some of the most common scenarios companies run up against and why outsourcing graphic design is the most viable solution.

Scenario 1: You need to cut costs

There’s a misconception that outsourcing is more expensive than in-house graphic design.

This simply isn’t true in most situations.

Consider the cost of a full-time salary and benefits packages, versus the cost of delegating a set number of hours out to someone. On average, a graphic designer pulls in around $45,000 per year.

That’s a major expense and you have every right to balk at the cost.

An outsourced specialist ultimately costs less than an in-house employee and will likely accomplish more in less time, instilling more total value in your cost per project.

Scenario 2: You’re growing and your internal design team is overwhelmed

Working at-scale is hard when you’re growing.

You might have more work than four graphic designers can handle, but not enough to justify bringing on a fifth person—it’s workflow purgatory!

Outsourcing graphic design as an intermediary measure allows you to function at-scale, without straining your operations to prematurely accommodate more staff.

With outsourcing, designers are there when you need it and gone when you don’t:

Download the full diagram here.

As the diagram above shows, if you ever experience #1 or #3, you should consider outsourcing graphic design to a trusted partner.

It’s the ultimate in flexibility.

Scenario 3: You’ve hired your first dedicated marketing person

A dedicated marketing manager is the first step to a robust marketing team—but they’re still only one person.

No matter how talented they are, they don’t have time to create and coordinate collateral. Let them focus on the administrative tasks crucial to campaign execution. Being able to focus on tact and strategy is what ultimately lifts your campaigns to success.

Leave content and collateral creation to a specialist.

Scenario 4: Your internal design team is getting burned out

Repetition is a precursor to burnout. If your in-house team works on the same projects over and over again with little deviation, they will stagnate and fizzle.

Outsourcing these repetitive and monotonous graphic design tasks is a win-win for everyone.

Your in-house team gets diversity and exposure to new projects. An outsourced specialist, on the other hand, gets consistent work they understand and can plan for.

Scenario 5: Your internal marketing team needs specialized support

Once in awhile, there’s a project above the pay grade of your in-house team (we see this a lot when it comes to incorporating presentation animation).

Instead of turning the project away, consider outsourcing.

It’s easy to meet the demands of the project when you have an entire world of skilled professionals to pick from. They’re able to help you deliver a quality result, without serving in a full-time capacity.

Like this post? Check out our “How to Effectively Support Busy Graphic Design Teams” guide:

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Conclusion

No matter your feelings about outsourcing work, it’s important to recognize the benefits associated with it.

Every business is likely to encounter a situation in which outsourcing is the answer. When they do, having the wherewithal to turn to a outsourced designer can be the difference between success and hardship.

Keep an eye out for opportunities to improve capacity, cut costs, and control workflow by outsourcing graphic designers.

Capitalizing on these opportunities and utilizing an outsourced graphic design solution will put your business in a position to keep moving forward, full steam ahead with marketing and branding goals.

Ready to start your journey to presentation perfection? Schedule a free presentation consultation now.

Going Above & Beyond: Three Biotech & Pharmaceutical Presentations to Emulate

These days, to stand out in the pharmaceutical or biotechnology industries, companies need to drive meaningful activity at every stage of the buyer’s journey—from creating awareness to validating their expertise to closing those highly-coveted prospects.

It’s not hard to understand why. After all, pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms operate within mammoth industries ($188 billion and $112 billion, respectively).

Standing out, therefore, is a must.

In addition to other marketing efforts, like harnessing content marketing, which drives both awareness and expertise, pharma and biotech companies need to make sure their marketing and sales presentations are doing everything they can to help educate and close prospects.

So what does this caliber of presentation look like?

In this article, we will take a look at what makes a good presentation in the bio and pharma space. 

How We Did It

We sat down with our accomplished team of SlideGeniuses to discuss the sector in detail.

We had them answer the following questions for three of our customers (Johnson & Johnson, Astellas Pharma, and Pfizer) that operate in the vertical:

  1. What were the client’s goals for the presentation? 
  2. Are there any recurring issues that presentations have in the biotech and pharma industries?
  3. How did the presentation design strategy help accomplish these goals?

Recurring Issues with Biotech & Pharma Presentations

1) Visuals Aren’t Enticing

The Pharmaceuticals sector has always had issues with having stale graphics and data within their presentations.

2) Poor Data Visualization

Data is generally very scientific and is hard to understand unless presented in a digestible way.

3) Inconsistent Branding

Typically, companies in the space don’t have a well-established brand or style. In large markets like biotech and pharmaceuticals, companies have a hard time standing out.

BRAND #1: JOHNSON & JOHNSON

Johnson & Johnson’s goals for the presentation:

Their audience was made up of businessmen and women eager to learn what is on the horizon for the company. Johnson & Johnson created this deck to provide an overview of the company, what they stand for, what products they create, financials, and who are some of the minds within the company. They wanted the audience to understand the core of the business.

Original presentation’s main issue: visuals weren’t enticing enough.

The Final Product:

How did our design enhancements help accomplish Johnson & Johnson’s goals?

Johnson & Johnson wanted to inject their brand into their presentation to stray away from the typical, dull PowerPoints we see in that sector. 

With that in mind, our goal was to keep their classic red and white colors and pair that with a modern yet minimalist design to engage with the audience in a meaningful way.

For their credo slide, we showcased pictures that tell a story of Johnson & Johnson’s mission. 

It was important to showcase the many areas of the healthcare sector that the company touches and this slide helps the audience understand that by provoking an emotional response through imagery.

BRAND #2: ASTELLAS PHARMA

Astellas’ goals for the presentation:

Astellas was concerned that their message got lost with poor use of graphics and monotonous data. They had an important engagement with potential investors in their audience, so it was key to enhance their messaging through graphic design.

Original presentation’s main issue: Poor data visualization.

The Final Product:

How did our design enhancements help accomplish Astella’s goals?

Our strategy for this project was to take Astellas’ strong brand colors and create a bold impactful presentation that will help drive their message home. Astellas wanted us to highlight their company, products, and sectors they service in a way the audience would understand.

In the product introduction slide, we showcased a few of their products that were new to the market. The goal was to highlight these with meaningful imagery and short descriptions to educate the audience of Astellas’ current projects.

For the “therapeutics” slide, we used iconography to help showcase the different fields of expertise Astellas’ is concentrated in.

BRAND #3: Pfizer

Pfizer’s goals for the presentation:

Pfizer’s audience was comprised of scientists and researchers. They wanted the audience to have up-to-date information with new products, road maps, and financials.

Original presentation’s main issue: Inconsistent branding.

The Final Product:

How did our design enhancements help accomplish Pfizer’s goals?

Going into this project, the client and SlideGenius agreed that visuals were needed to drive the narrative. Knowing that we incorporated stunning imagery, that drove home the message of each PowerPoint slide.

For example, for corporate responsibility, they wanted to showcase their involvement in healthcare with a strong visual that emphasized the message. 

Under “leadership”, we highlighted top team members of the organization to showcase expertise in each sector. We wanted to show the audience the full breadth of their services within healthcare.

Why Your SaaS Sales Presentations Aren’t Helping Your Sales Team

Cloud-based computing and data management is becoming the global standard for corporations. SaaS providers are leading the charge in developing the infrastructure for this digital-centric future. 

The SaaS market is one of the tech industry’s fastest booming sectors, with new players rising left and right. 

SaaS providers carry all the pressure to stand out against their competition and land key partnerships. This means having an impressive sales presentation is absolutely critical for pushing a company to success.  

At SlideGenius, we specialize in creating impactful sales pitches using PowerPoint. We are experts in utilizing the power of creative visual storytelling. 

The unlimited potential within PowerPoint enables us to consistently create fresh and exciting sales presentations and help businesses from all industries achieve success. 

Our team of presentation designers is fully trained to ensure that every slide is treated with masterful design that’s engaging and intuitive. From the introductory slides to closing remarks, we guarantee any audience to be hooked on your presentation.  

While platforms, formats and audiences may be different from pitch to pitch, it’s essential to remember these to guide the direction of every presentation.

Deliver a Refined Core Message

It’s important to understand the mindset of c-level clientele in the boardroom. They carry all the power in the company but have very little time on their hands. When information is not straight-to-the-point, it’s a waste of their precious time. Getting them into the boardroom takes work. Be sure your presentation is capable of fully capitalizing on the time you have to make a strong impression.  

Whether your product is tailored for enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), human resource management (HRM) or supply chain management (SRM), your core message should stand out clearly. Don’t hesitate to put the spotlight on the value your SaaS platform provides. This lets you establish expertise early on in your presentation.  

Use your core message as the guiding anchor of your presentation. It should be what you always go back to when fine-tuning your content.

The moment a slide deviates from your core message, you run the risk of losing your audience. Refine your presentation to a point where every slide feels relevant to the story you’re telling throughout the presentation.

Visualize Data  

Executives are big on data, but they will not waste time personally sifting through the raw numbers. Your job is to showcase all relevant data in ways that make understanding quick and easy. 

We’ve all seen the slides that look like raw financial statements pasted onscreen. This is a common mistake that’s absolutely unacceptable. Not only are those slides unappealing to look at, they come across as lazy. It takes a bit of graphic design expertise to accomplish, but infographics are great for presenting relevant pieces of data in engaging ways. Even when the information is seemingly uninteresting, unique graphics can really improve its reception.  

Practice, Practice, Practice  

Want to deliver a better presentation? The secret is simple… rehearse before stepping into the boardroom. Presenting to executives is always a high-stakes affair. Considering the power their decisions hold, you cannot simply rely on “winging it” to carry yourself to success. Executives are in their position because they know all the skills necessary to take control of any boardroom. Those who just “wing it” stick out like a sore thumb and only do more harm to their business than good.  

Practicing your presentation beforehand breeds confidence. Enough practice will help put you in the right state of mind to deliver an effective presentation. The more you rehearse, the more you improve. Whether it’s in your delivery or the content itself, rehearsals put you face-to-face with the imperfections that would have been unnoticeable if you had simply improvised on the day of the meeting.   

SlideGenius Creates Presentations for You    

From PowerPoint presentations to animated marketing videos, we craft brilliant pitch materials capable of generating invaluable results.

Let us unlock the power of your next SaaS sales presentation. We’ve proudly helped our clients raise hundreds of millions of dollars for their businesses. We look forward to doing the same for you!

Contact us today! 

Brand Consistency Mistakes Companies Consistently Make

The power of consistent branding is unrivaled.

Think about the Golden Arches of McDonalds, the iconic iPhone from Apple, or Nike’s “Just Do It” slogan. All it takes is a symbol or a few words to stimulate much broader thoughts about what these companies offer.

That’s the power of a well-branded company.

Most companies have the nuts and bolts of their brand, but have a hard time assembling them into a well-oiled machine.

Here are some of the most common mistakes holding them back:

Mistake #1: You Don’t Have a Brand Champion

Every brand needs a champion.

Find someone with a clear vision of what your brand should be and put them in a position to execute—President, Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), or a similar position.

When most people think of Apple, they think of Steve Jobs. The man is synonymous with the brand, despite having passed away. Why? Because he was the foremost brand champion for the company. His iconic blue jeans and black turtleneck mirrored the clean lines and polished design of Apple products. The way he spoke was indicative of Apple’s focus on innovation.

Jobs saw Apple’s brand as something to harness and he turned it into the monolithic company it is today.

It takes a true brand champion to recognize the potential and take the right steps to realize it. Find a person who’s passionate about your brand and put them in the pilot’s seat.

Mistake #2: You Have an Inconsistent Brand Identity

Brands are built by their consistency.

No matter where you look, everything from the colors, logos, verbiage and imagery are uniform to the brand without any deviation. That repetition is the key to association within the minds of consumers.

The more people see a uniform, coordinated message the easier it becomes for them to familiarize who and what they stand for. Using outdated assets, poor visuals, or disorganized concepts will only drag you down. 

The easiest way to establish a consistent brand presence—which certainly includes company presentations—is to create and strictly adhere to guidelines.

Define every single aspect of your brand, down to the smallest details. Some facets to identify include:

  • Voice. What type of voice does your brand project? Authoritative? Funny? Whimsical? Trustworthy? If your brand were a person, the tone of voice is how it would present itself.
  • Color palette. What colors represent your brand? Pick a palette and stick to it across all branded materials. Use CYMK or Hex color codes to ensure every hue is the same.
  • Logos. Define your logo and any alternate logos. Make sure everything from color and font to proportions and angles are all characterized.
  • Typography. What fonts are acceptable for your brand? Serif or sans-serif? Do you have primary, secondary, and tertiary fonts? What size lettering is acceptable?
  • Imagery. Determine the types of imagery acceptable to use in conjunction with your brand. Delineate things like image type and content, as well as resolution and licensing.

All these factors should come together in a comprehensive and cohesive brand style guide. Anyone who represents your brand in any way should have access to the style guide and refer to it frequently. If you ever evolve or update, so should the guide. It’s your branding bible!

Mistake #3: You’re Holding Back Your Creative Experts

Look at a LEGO. There’s nothing complicated about blocks that connect together.

The product itself isn’t necessarily exciting either. But what is exciting—and the reason LEGO has maintained popularity for more than 80 years—is the creativity behind the brand. Beyond the various LEGO sets themselves, the brand exudes limitless imaginative appeal.

Just by looking at Legoland, a theme park brimming with creativity, you’ll already see from their social profiles how much ingenuity the LEGO team has! They’ve built life-sized cars, near life-like sculptures, and recreated iconic movie scenes using only LEGOs.

They continuously showcase the power of the product in ways that inspire imagination and connect that feeling with the brand.

LEGO has built its brand beyond just blocks, doing so with unmatched creative action. Whether it’s building life-sized replicas out of LEGOs or creating exciting brand collaterals, the concept is the same: Put creatives in a position to succeed.  

RELATED: How to Effectively Support Busy Graphic Design Teams

Mistake #4: You’re Wasting Your Design Team’s Time

Do your designers work overtime making mundane updates to existing content, like a brochure or flyer?

If that’s the case, then they’re not properly utilizing their talents. It could be limiting your company’s reach and costing you on the bottom line.

Designers are a core asset in brand building…don’t squander them!

As a rule of thumb, your design process should never be boring. If your designers are toiling away at their computers producing content that looks like everything else, your brand can hardly stand apart.

Conversely, if they’re excited about creating something unique, there’s a good chance it’ll contribute to the strength of your brand. Don’t waste their time or skills with a thousand little tweaks to a piece of collateral that’s a one-time pitch.

Instead, focus their passion on the larger concept and encourage them to create diverse collateral that fuel your business’ many branding efforts.

Mistake #5: Your Content Creation Rate is Too Slow

If your brand is locked down to the point that it stifles new content creation, corporate marketing will turn into a bottleneck. You’ll acquire a perception of being outdated and irrelevant within your industry.

You need to open the floodgates and create a consistent cadence that continually pumps life into your marketing efforts.

Take Pepsi, for example.

The company doesn’t roll out new products every few months—instead, it rolls out new content daily. There’s always a new commercial, contest, social media posts, and so on. At some point during the day, a person is going to come into contact with Pepsi in a way they haven’t before.

When they do, the brand’s strength grows. Even if that person doesn’t drink Pepsi, they know and respect the power of the brand.

You don’t have to create content every day, but make sure you’re generating new, quality, engaging content often enough to stay relevant in the eyes of your target audience.

Mistake #6: Your Brand is Static

The marketplace constantly evolves, as do your target customers.

As a result, your brand must be dynamic. You must recognize important shifts and evolution in your market, and refine your brand so it reflects these changes. The value proposition you project today may not be the one you focus on tomorrow.

Look at Walmart, for example. For years, Walmart’s main brand proposition focused on lower prices—but that’s not its chief message today.

Today, it’s all about convenience. Walmart is building brand equity through convenience—offering an in-store grocery, curbside pickup, and robust online shopping experience. The message has evolved. “I’ll go to Walmart because it’s cheaper” has become “I’ll go to Walmart because it’s convenient.”

They have grown stronger because they have adapted.  

Mistake #7: Your Branding Overemphasizes Sales

Modern audiences won’t give your brand the time of day if you only seem interested in their money.

People want to choose to spend their money on you, not feel bullied into it. An approach that’s too aggressive will get stonewalled. Opt for an approach that’s relatable first and foremost.

Starbucks doesn’t push people to buy coffee or hound them into spending money. You can walk right into a Starbucks, grab a seat, and hang out without ordering anything at all! Starbucks’ brand isn’t wrapped up in selling coffee. It’s focused on welcoming people. Customers spend money because they want to, not because they’re asked to.

They have found success outside of sales, and in a roundabout way, that’s what drives its sales.

RELATED: Boost Sales Presentation Effectiveness Using Basic Marketing Principles

Mistake #8: You Don’t Understand Your Target Audience

This is marketing 101, which is why we saved it for last. We constantly see companies that don’t truly know their target audience. 

A brand should fill a niche in someone’s life. For you to stand out, understand your target audience and communicate a clear value proposition to them.

Successful companies don’t just understand their audience at a surface level—they understand the values of their customers and the journey they’ll take in connecting with the brand. McDonald’s doesn’t just sell hamburgers. They sell hamburgers to single moms on-the-go who need to grab a quick bite for their kids on the way home from school. McDonald’s goes beyond their products, forming an identity their target audience relate to.

Get to know your target audience and work backward from their needs, wants, challenges, and values. The more you align with their lifestyle, the more trustworthy and established your brand becomes. 

Don’t Make These Classic Mistakes

Building these things takes patience and focus. Most importantly, it means avoiding the common mistakes that hamper even the best efforts. Pay attention to these mistakes and focus on creating your brand through consistent, concerted effort.

Staying true to the brand you’re trying to build goes a long way in making it a reality.