Demo videos are powerful tools B2B companies can use to nudge potential customers through the sales funnel.
70% of prospective B2B customers will return to Google search 2-3 times before moving onto the final stage of the sales funnel.
These searches — this research — it's all about the customer doing their due diligence. The average B2B buyer needs to justify the cost of your service to either their higher-ups or their own bottom line.
So you need to help them come to the right conclusion.
Yet, when potential customers are considering your product, several things can motivate them to bounce out of your sales funnel and into a competitor's.
That's where demo videos come in.
They increase transparency between you and your sales leads — enabling potential customers to get the information they need to make the right decision.
In this article, we'll show you how to create a product demo video that converts. But first, you need to understand what a product demo is (and what it isn't) and when you should use it.
What is a product demo video?
A product demo video shows a potential customer how your product works and how it can solve their existing pain points.
Think of the infomercials where a TV personality cuts through a metal can with a knife, but less corny and targeted toward something that can benefit your customers.
Sometimes a product demo video is called a sales video, a product video, or an explainer video. These are all basically the same thing — a video designed to help educate a potential customer on the product or service you're selling and move them through your sales funnel.
The greatest strength of a demo video is the ability to show (not just tell) your product’s value to a prospective customer.
Demo videos can be an awesome leveraging tool that can make your business feel more personal — not just another faceless corporation vying for attention.
Research shows that video marketers gain 66% more qualified leads every year.
Often a great product demo video is the difference between closing a deal and losing a prospect. A great demo lets your prospects understand how your solution truly solves their pain points, streamlining their current processes while saving them time and money.
What a product demo video is not
A product demo video is not an introduction to your entire company. That would be more along the lines of a brand video.
You want your video's focus to be on the product and the problems it helps solve. Videos that spend too much time on a brand's identity or culture are missing the point. A product video is not a customer testimonial video or a brand video.
A product video is mid to low-funnel leverage. Generally speaking, if a customer has found your product demo video, it's because they already know of your brand.
The focus, then, is on conversion. We're looking to showcase your product's strengths and sell the viewer on them.
But making a product demo video is one thing. Making a product demo video that converts is a whole other animal.
Why use product demo videos at all?
Let's play devil's advocate for a second.
Isn't video marketing catered more toward B2C businesses?
We know the stats about video engagement on Instagram and Facebook, but those are for fashion companies and mattress brands.
Don't B2B customers, who usually come with a much higher buy-in threshold, scoff at video marketing?
First, there's the undeniable fact that humans watch more video content than ever before across all industries and sectors.
There is little logic in thinking the B2B-sphere is immune to this radical shift in how we consume content. From Facetime replacing text messages and phone calls to YouTube becoming the second most popular search engine, video is where trends are headed.
Speaking of SEO, it is 53 times easier to rank a video (for any business type) in the SERP than traditional blog content.
Finally, 85% of surveyed B2B companies committed to increasing their video marketing budgets in 2020. The truth is video marketing for B2B will soon be as common as customer case studies.
The question isn't, "should I make a product demo video for my company?
The question is, "how do I make a product demo video that brings in results?"
Before we get into that, let's check out this excellent product demo video from BitDam:
Notice how it flows nicely and focuses on the benefits to the customer? That's only the beginning.
Let's dive into the details.
Notice how it flows nicely and focuses on the customer’s benefits? That's only the beginning.
But first, let’s discuss live demonstrations vs. demo videos.
Demo videos vs. live demonstrations
Live demonstrations are fairly common among companies, especially those with more complex products.
Some firms explain their product live and show it off without customer interaction.
Others get the customer involved — this gets a “micro commitment” from the customer, making them slightly more likely to buy.
These live demos help you gather product feedback, too.
Here’s an example of a live demonstration on LinkedIn from MeetEdgar.
The obvious upside to these live demonstrations is that they’re more personal and tailored to each prospect. They also save you time and money when it comes to creating the demo video.
However, they have several drawbacks:
- Not scalable — You must assign some sales team members to perform product demos. This hogs time each sales rep might need to bring in new leads and close more deals. With videos, you can create and implement them once, freeing up sales reps in the process.
- Malfunction risk — Your product may not work correctly live, which can lose the sale and be quite embarrassing. Videos let you make sure everything works right before demoing the product.
- Customer overwhelm — Complex products often have too many details for customers to keep track of at once. As a result, they may become overwhelmed and less likely to buy. Videos let customers consume the product demo at their own pace.
Live demonstrations — interactive or not — do have their place. That said, many businesses would do quite well or even better with a product demo video.
Types of demo videos
There are several types of demo videos that fit different levels of needs, budget, and complexity.
Below are a few common types of video demos. Some companies stick with just one method, while others might mix and match two or all three elements.
A screencast video is the simplest type of product video demo.
This works best for non-physical product demonstrations, such as software video demos, since you record actions taken on a screen.
Screencasts are usually walkthroughs of software, highlighting the product’s best features, interface, and usability.
To create a screencast demo, you’ll need a software program that can record and edit your screen — preferably one that does both. You can narrate as you give the demo, but some might opt to do a voiceover later.
Regardless, once you have the screen recording, you just need to edit it into a smooth, flowing video and make sure the audio sounds crisp and clear.
Screencasts tend to suit lower budgets, given their simplicity. However, they can be less engaging and exciting than other demo videos.
2. Animated explainer video
Animated explainer videos use cartoonish characters and imagery to demonstrate a product’s features and benefits while adding some fun and brand personality. They can use 2D or 3D animation or a mix.
For that reason, animated explainer videos tend to be more interesting to customers than screencasts.
They’re a bit pricier but still less expensive than a live-action video.
That said, you can make them unique to your brand and tell a story about your product, winning over customers that are well-suited to what you’re offering.
Animated visuals allow you to better express and convey the characters’ emotions in your video, which can connect with the viewer as well.
Whiteboard explainer videos are another classic form of product demonstration.
These let you sketch out visuals to accompany the speaker’s words, helping to reinforce what the speaker is talking about.
In general, you record the whiteboard portion separate from the voice, making it easier to sync the two together.
3. Live-action video
Live-action videos are high-end demo videos.
These don’t have to be live demos, of course. They’re pre-recorded with real people, places, and props instead of animations.
These tend to be the most time-consuming and expensive. You need to hire actors — unless you plan on using team members — and arrange for sets and props.
Live-action videos work best for physical products, but you can use them for non-physical products, too — especially if you incorporate elements of animated videos and screencasts.
If possible, you might want to showcase the product directly alongside shots of your actors using it.
For example, you may mix screenshots of a software product alongside clips of people using a computer and smiling. That implies they’re using the software and enjoying it.
How to make a high-converting product demo video
First, when we say convert, we don't necessarily mean, "buy your product." When we say convert, we mean, "take the desired action."
If you're using a product demo video on a landing page to get more consultations scheduled, then the video that converts well for you will be the one that helps you schedule more consultations.
To help you create a demo video that converts, we put together this list of essential steps you'll need to follow:
1. Understand the specific goal of this video
We discussed how product demos are a great marketing tool to move customers along in their buyer's journey. So it follows that creating product demo videos for a cold prospect is very different from creating product demo videos for a customer who has interacted with your service.
Also, is the video trying to get sign-ups for a newsletter, a consultation scheduled, or a purchase? It's important to figure out what you're looking for from your video, as that will help you decide whether you should use an outside agency or your in-house team.
2. Focus on the problem you're solving
Your potential client list consists of founders, owners, heads of marketing, heads of sales, and other higher-up stakeholders.
Fluff and filler content doesn't resonate well with these professionals. They'll look at your demo video and expect it to speak directly to their pain points intelligently and articulately.
3. Keep the solution (relatively) simple
In a demo video, you identify the customer's problem and position your product or service as the solution.
This isn't a soapbox for your company to list all of its features and the myriad ways in which you can improve a customer's life. There just isn't enough time for that. If you try to include it all, your video will come across as unfocused, and you'll lose your viewer's attention.
With that in mind, don’t try to focus on any particular product feature. Instead, keep the focus on your value proposition — only giving one or two sentences to features that tie back to your customer’s problem and your value proposition.
4. Decide: agency vs. in-house. Who is creating the video?
Do you have a videographer, designer, sound person, editor, voiceover, and marketing team ready to go to help create a high-quality video production that leads to increased conversion?
If so, consider creating your product video in-house.
If not, when it comes to creating high-quality B2B videos, we recommend a purpose-built approach from third-party video experts like Testimonial Hero.
Getting an expert's insight can lead to cutting-edge marketing tactics custom-fitted to your brand's needs.
Additionally, working with third-party video experts can save you a substantial amount of time and money normally spent hunting for the right people and resources.
5. Strike a balance between your company and the customer
You want to maintain a balance between pointing out the problem and offering a solution.
Depending on where you place this demo video (on social media or landing/product pages), your customers will be at various stages in their buyer's journey.
However, it's unlikely that a demo video will serve as the last point of contact before a customer buys your service. Instead, a demo video affirms the customer's belief that your business may offer a solution for their needs.
Your product demo video needs to reflect that balance. An effective demo video isn't a hard sell, and it isn't a cold call — it's something in between.
6. Structure and stage the video
Once you know who is making your video, it's time to get started.
We recommend you storyboard your ideas. Storyboarding allows you to plan visuals, so you can confirm that you're highlighting what’s most important.
You also want your voiceover script written and polished.
You'll know your video is ready to be produced when you can storyboard.
Remember to keep in mind:
- The value proposition of your product
- The pain points your customer is looking to solve
- The CTA to move the customer through the next stage of the sales funnel
7. Have a clear CTA
In our experience, many B2B companies still miss this common best practice (as you'll see below in our video demo examples).
Perhaps it's because the CTA on a video isn't a streamlined process where a customer can just click a button.
However, a high-converting demo needs to position or nudge the customer deeper down the sales funnel. To do that, you need a clear and compelling CTA.
8. Be mindful of video length
There are exceptions to this rule (we cover one below). But, in general, there is a clear relationship between product demo length and engagement levels.
9. Monitor your demo video’s analytics
Optimization is a key element of successful marketing — and that extends to your video content.
Once your demo video is live and starts to get some views, keep an eye on its performance by looking at analytics. Monitor KPIs like watch time and the page’s bounce rate. See if there are any areas where viewers stop watching. These could indicate lost interest, which is useful information for shooting future product demo videos.
Do your best to track conversions from this video as well.
Over time, you’ll most likely create new demos for the same product. When you do, make sure to use your analytic findings to inform video creation.
4 examples of effective demo videos (with tips on how they could be even better)
1. Salesforce CPQ and Billing - Humorous, live-action demo
Salesforce's demo video is clever in that it humanizes CPQ and billing. The video starts with two employees, one representing CPQ and one billing. This demo video is also showing the solution before the pain point.
We think that works because it serves as a build-up toward the humorous reveal, which is how awful life was for these two employees (and the company) before they got Salesforce.
This demo video is also a great example of keeping the solution simple. We know CPQ and Billing, no matter how streamlined, isn't the kind of process you can do with a few clicks. And while the video does show us actual screens being used, it cuts away to the benefit of an employee getting a quote quickly.
This demo doesn't bore you with a detailed step-by-step process. Instead, it shows you how life is so much simpler with the product.
Plus, this video ends on a CTA, directing the customer to visit a page to learn more about how they can "build seamless, recurring relationships with [their] customers."
2. Pipedrive - A longer than usual demo
We started the list with two pretty upbeat, light-hearted demos around two minutes long that showed the products’ main features without getting too detailed.
We also wanted to show you that you can break these rules if you have a good reason, as Pipedrive does.
Pipedrive lets businesses customize their sales pipeline. Their product demo video is nearly five minutes long (basically twice as long as the Salesforce and Slack examples). But it’s long for a good reason. Pipedrive takes a close look at its services and how it can help you and your sales team manage your pipeline.
However, this demo doesn't end with a CTA. We think it could have been better if they directed the prospective customer to logical next steps (in other words, encourages them down the sales funnel).
3. SurveyMonkey — Step by step instructions
So far, we've seen demo videos that mostly skirt around various product features, which makes sense. A product demo video doesn't have to be about every component of what you're selling.
But if it can be, that's great, too.
SurveyMonkey's demo video is like a compelling mini-tutorial.
At first, the video starts a little too far away from the actual product features for our taste. It's a little hard to see, and you'd need to be full screen (or on mobile) to get all the information the demo displays.
But at around the one-minute mark, the video focuses on the buttons the user presses to create a new survey, see survey results, and send out survey reminders.
After watching this demo video, we understand the value SurveyMonkey brings to businesses and how to use its main features to get started.
4. Fronter - Strong visuals
Fronter uses an animated demo video to show its product off. It starts immediately with a pain point, visually demonstrating how "collaboration web projects can be really messy and time-consuming."
After establishing that pain point, Fronter immediately positions itself as a solution.
Fronter's demo video walks you through creating a project and casually mentions the pain points involved with getting everyone's feedback.
This is a relatively short demo at just over a minute. Fronter could strengthen it by showing the customer more examples of how this product solves pain points.
Businesses are going to meet any service offering a way to communicate across teams with a skeptical eye. The last thing anyone wants is another channel on which to communicate. Fronter could elevate this video demo by spending more time on how its product integrates with established work processes, especially on the design front.
We hope this guide on creating high-converting demo videos was helpful.
At Testimonial Hero, we have extensive experience in helping our clients use video testimonials to drive sales. But that's just the tip of the iceberg of what video marketing can accomplish.
High-converting demo videos are a great way to move your customer along their buyer's journey by creating a bridge between what you offer and what your customer needs.
To make sure you're moving your customer in the direction you want, remember these five best practices:
- Focusing on the problem you're solving.
- Keeping the solution (relatively) simple.
- Striking a balance between your company and the customer.
- Having a clear CTA.
- Being mindful of video length.
By following those tips, you're on your way to making a high-quality product demo.