When deciding what you want from marketing, think about how the content will primarily be used. While "a slide deck" might be the first idea that comes to mind, is it really the best format for the message's intenteded goals?
A down and dirty primer on purposing marketing content:
When a deck is best
A slide deck is best when the main purpose of the content is to be presented live in order to show something that cannot easily be explained by email or a flier. The goals are to communicate a message, engage in conversation and create an atmosphere in which the subject will ask questions in order to better understand the content. To those ends, the slides contained therein should contain graphical content that show the participant how and why something works. A slide deck:
- Is best for showing, not telling
- Contains primarily graphics
- Does not contain paragraphs of text
- Does not contain primarily bullet points
- Does not make sense independent of the presenter's words and actions
- Cannot be "read"
- Engenders discussion
- Should "cover" 2/3 of the time allotted with 1/3 for questions/discussion
When a document is best
A document, such as a one-sheet, spec sheet, flier or pamphlet is best when the recipient wishes to skim and absorb the content independent of its creator. It should be self-explanatory and tell a story using well-constructed paragraphs to lead the reader to a conclusion about the information contained therein. Its goals include to communicate a message to the independent reader about a specific topic, quickly provide a high level of detail and lead to setting up a meeting. To those ends, a document should contain detail-oriented prose to dive deep into the message as well as bullet points to aid in pulling out memorable key concepts. A document:
- Is best for telling, not showing
- Contains primarily prose
- Contains well-constructed paragraphs of text that tell a story and give detail
- Contains bullet points to pull out salient features and points
- Works best when read independently
- Engenders a meeting
Before creating a slide deck to present a message, ask yourself:
- Is the primary purpose to discuss this message in a live meeting?
- Is the primary purpose to engender live discussion of this message?
- Is the primary purpose to show the message in a way that is most beneficial with live interaction?
If the answer to any of these questions is "no," then switch to prose and create a document instead.