Every author is familiar with the phrase “show, don’t tell.” It basically means that creative writers should allow their readers to experience their story through the actions, dialogue, and thoughts of their characters rather than through their own exposition.
As it turns out, “show, don’t tell” is a pretty great business philosophy, too. Product demo videos are the perfect way to show potential customers what your products can do, rather than simply telling them and hoping they believe you.
In this article we’ll look at what product demos are and how they differ from explainer videos, why they’re beneficial, and six tips to create them more effectively.
The Difference Between Explainer and Product Demo Videos
These two types of videos are often confused. So before we show you how to craft an effective product demo video, we’ll first show you how they differ from explainer videos:
- Product Demo Video: An effective product demo video teaches viewers how a product works while enticing them to buy. It typically lists a product’s benefits and how it’s used to solve a common problem.
- Explainer Video: An explainer video, on the other hand, breaks down a complex topic and teaches it in a comprehensible way. Explainer video topics are usually related to the product a company sells, but not about a product.
For example, a camera manufacturing company could create a demo video showing viewers how their new line of cameras works and the features they have. They could also shoot an explainer video that covers lighting techniques for photographers. Make sense?
Why Are Product Demo Videos Valuable?
So what’s the deal with product demo videos? Why should your company spend valuable time and resources creating them? Are they really worth it? The answer is: it depends. But in all likelihood, yes, they really are worth it.
A product demo video will help your business sell more products, boost sales rep productivity, and give you valuable insight into the minds of your customers. Let’s look at each of these benefits individually:
Sell More Products
A product demo video will allow you to demonstrate to your customers that your product does, in fact, do what you claim it does. Modern consumers are skeptical of most companies and don’t usually trust their marketing efforts. Seeing a product in action can go a long way toward convincing them that a product is viable and entice them to buy.
Also, a demo video will allow you to showcase a product’s unique features and benefits. What makes your company’s offerings so great? Show these things to viewers in your videos and you’ll start to see a bump in sales.
Boost Sales Rep Productivity
A product demo video can boost sales rep productivity in two ways. First, it will allow them to demo products for potential customers without having to waste time on travel. Second, it will help to pre-sell a prospect on the product before the salesperson even begins a conversation. By the time the sales rep actually starts talking to a potential customer, they’ll likely already be half-way ready to make a purchase. Win!
Gain Valuable Customer Insights
Lastly, product demo videos give companies a sneak peek into the minds of their customers. After the video has been shot and shown to prospects, their reactions can be analyzed. Did the demo adequately convey the product’s benefits? Was it watched the entire way through? Did it increase sales?
By asking these questions, you’ll learn what your audience really wants from your company’s products. You can then adjust the products and/or marketing efforts to make improvements.
6 Tips to Create a Winning Product Demo Video
Now that we’ve covered the difference between explainer and product demo videos as well as the benefits of recording product demonstrations, we want to give you a few video creation tips. Keep these six things in mind the next time you attempt to create a product demo video.
1. Get Your Script Right
Before you step in front of a camera and hit record, we recommend planning out your product demo video. You don’t need to script out every single line (though you can if you want to!) but you should at least have a good sense of how your video will begin, which product features you’ll demonstrate, and the call-to-action (CTA) you’ll use at the end.
Once you’ve created a product demo video script, run through it a few times off camera. You’ll look more natural during your video if you’ve taken the time to practice what you’ll say and do beforehand.
2. Tackle Real-World Problems
The best product demo videos don’t just show viewers what a product can do; they show the product being used to solve a common problem the viewer deals with on a regular basis.
If you don’t know what your ideal customers’ main challenges are, it’s time to do some research. Scour the web for information on your target audience, analyze your competitors, conduct customer surveys. Whatever you need to do to gain a solid understanding of your prospects.
Then, assemble this information in a few different buyer personas. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, a buyer persona is a fictional character that represents a specific segment of a target audience. Proper buyer personas include demographic information like gender, age, occupation, and income level as well as psychographic details like customer hopes, fears, and challenges.
Here’s a great example of a product demo video that shows a common problem being solved:
This video from Tesco tells viewers what their product does and why it’s beneficial in a quick, succinct way.
3. Keep Video Length In Mind
Human attention spans are evolving. It’s not that your audience can’t focus on an hour long product demo video, it’s that most folks will choose not to. Which means you should try to keep your videos to just a few minutes in length.
Your product demo videos need to be long enough to properly explain key features, but not so long that viewers lose interest.
It’s helpful to remember that product demo videos aren’t top-of-funnel content. The folks watching them will have an interest in your company’s products and will want to see what they can do, allowing you to shoot slightly longer videos than you normally would.
But don’t push it! Make sure your videos cut straight to the point and deliver information in a concise way.
4. Use Text and Visuals
This is a product demo video so visuals are obviously important, but so is text. We recommend including subtitles with your videos. That way both auditory and visual learners will benefit from your recorded product demos.
Text is also great for listing directions. If your product demo video tackles a complex topic, include text boxes so that viewers can easily follow along and perform the tasks your demonstrating themselves if they need to.
This product demo video from Lime gets it right:
5. Tap Into Viewer Emotions
Just because you’re shooting a product demo video doesn’t mean it has to be lifeless and devoid of emotions. The best videos, the kind we remember, get viewers emotionally involved. Recorded product demos are no different.
But how do you do this? One of the best ways is to tell a story. Check out how this was done for Dawn soap in this product demo video:
As you can tell, this isn’t your typical product demo video. In fact, the product, Dawn, isn’t even mentioned until the minute and a half mark. The first half of the video does a great job of telling a story and “hooking” the viewer. They’re completely engaged by the time Dawn soap is shown. But the video still demonstrates how effective the product is.
6. Optimize For Future Success
Lastly, you need to optimize your videos for future success. Once a video has been created and published for all the world to see, analyze how it performs. Study watch numbers, read comment threads, and get customer feedback on each of your product demos. Then, use this information to help you craft more effective videos in the future.
For example, let’s say that you publish a video that shows viewers how to use your company’s newest vacuum cleaner. A quick look at the video stats shows that viewership drops dramatically at the half-way point — right when you start to talk about the vacuum’s technical specification. In future videos, you may decide to not include so many tech specs and see if this improves watch time metrics.
Your Turn: Make an Awesome Product Demo Video!
Product demo videos are excellent company assets. They’ll help your organization sell more products, allow your sales reps to be more productive, and give you valuable information about the mindset of your target audience.
Fortunately, crafting an effective product demo video doesn’t have to be hard. Just follow the six tips outlined above and you’ll be able to publish amazing recorded product demonstrations for your company. Good luck… and share your videos with us when you’re done!
Jacob Thomas is a freelance copywriter and content marketer based in Nashville, TN. His professional writing approach has helped numerous businesses gain more traffic, leads, and sales. To contact Jacob, visit www.jtcopywriting.com.