How to Make a Highly Converting Product Demo Video
By the time someone wants to watch your product demo video, they are already hooked on the idea of buying from you.
With over 50% of internet users looking for videos related to a product or service before visiting a store, demonstrating a product through video is a must.
Otherwise, you’re taking the risk of losing a potential customer to a competitor that invested in product demo video.
If you’re unsure about the resources and skills you need to create this type of videos, this guide is here to help!
There are many ways you can feature your product(s) in a video—so what makes a product demonstration video special?
A product demo video is a unique piece of content that aims to introduce your potential customers to the feeling and outcome of owning and using your product.
They aren’t just guidance on how to use your product. Product demo videos are highly practical, but also inspiring, and they show your viewers how their life or work can be improved.
Over 50% of internet users look for videos related to a product or service before visiting a store.
The best product demo videos acknowledge their audience’s key challenges and literally walk them through the product to paint the picture of a solution.
This type of videos plays a massive role in the customer journey. After they’ve named their problem and learned about possible solutions, they need proof and reassurance about the purchase decision they’re making. Demo videos do exactly that!
Keep in mind that not all product videos are demo videos. Product videos can take many shapes by focusing on telling a story, entertaining, introducing the team behind it, and much more.
A great example of a product video that isn’t a demo video is the Will it blend? video series from Blendtec. In it, they try to blend random products in the Blendtec blenders. Do they walk you through product features and ways it will improve your food preparation? No. But do they make you laugh? Certainly!
In the sections that follow, we’ll go over the key stages of the creation of your product demo video. These include:
- Your product’s value proposition
- Your script and storyboard
- Two key ways to record your product demo video
- Recording and editing tools
- Final tips for a great demo video
Ready to make an outstanding product demonstration video? We’re jumping right in.
Before you rush to press record, pause to think of the main reason your product matters to your audience. No matter how well you believe you can produce the video itself, the ‘why’ behind the product is what will ultimately drive its success.
This is called a value proposition. It’s the outcome you’re promising you will deliver to your customer.
You might think that your product’s value proposition is clear and obvious, but remember that you know your product inside out. Your viewer probably doesn’t.
To identify your product’s value proposition, ask yourself the following:
- How does the product solve customer’s problems or improves a situation in their life or work?
- What are the benefits it delivers?
- How is the product different from competitor products?
Write 3-5 bullet points that communicate your product’s value proposition. Then, choose the one overarching idea that your audience will resonate with, and make sure to make it the core of your product demo video.
For example, Marketo’s product demonstration video agitates the problem of ever-growing marketing channels and the difficulty to understand which ones are working from the marketer’s perspective:
Another great example is iPhone X with the “it’s all screen” value proposition, emphasizing its focus on the leading technology such as face ID unlocking and augmented reality. It’s the focus throughout the iPhone X demo video:
Here’s how we tackled our own value proposition. We aim to help busy marketers save time and expand their reach on social media with video. With Wave.video, it’s easy to create engaging videos even if you are not a pro in design or video making. This demo video mentions this right at the beginning and once again towards the end:
Сreate Social Videos Like A Pro | Wave.video
Remember that even though the video is about your product, its goal is to get your potential customer to learn what’s in it for them. Make sure to create a strong value proposition to communicate this easily and clearly.
It’s time to turn your value proposition into a cohesive storyline.
You might be tempted to simply sit down and film the demo off the cuff. While this can still work out great, it makes it too easy to accidentally leave out an important point.
Your product demo video might be your only shot to get the viewer to take action, so it’s essential to make the information in it as crisp, relevant, and enticing as possible.
To achieve this, consider two simple but powerful processes: storyboarding and scripting.
Storyboarding is the process of visually outlining your video. It includes thumbnails of frames and scenes you want to include from start to finish, as well as notes for each of them. Storyboards are a great visual tool to help you materialize your video idea.
They can be on the simple or the complex side. You can do them hand-drawn or digitally. Most importantly, you want your storyboard to aid your video creation process, not make it unnecessarily time-consuming.
As a rule of thumb, each major occurrence in your video should get at least one thumbnail to itself, with notes to describe the purpose of the scene and its impact on the next one.
For example, our own demo video we showed earlier outlines these elements for the first 30 seconds of the video:
- First scene: an animated Wave.video logo over a video of sea waves
- Second scene: the statement “Create engaging videos like a pro” over another video of sea waves
- Third scene: an animated description of the ability to create videos for multiple social formats
- Fourth scene: screencast of how these multiple formats look and work
- Fifth scene: screencast of our media library on the left-hand side with the description on the right-hand side
- Sixth scene: screencast of the media upload feature on the right-hand side with the description on the left-hand side
…and so on. Doing this before your video will help you save time while recording and help you discover the absolute best ways to showcase your product.
Another method is video scripting. It is the text-based way to define what goes into your video, but unlike storyboarding, it focuses on what you’ll say to the camera or in a voiceover.
Scripting is important because it’s another way of making sure nothing gets left out. It helps you identify the best words and phrases to convey your message.
This is where your value proposition comes into play. Your video script is the place to let each of the points you listed earlier shine.
Then, once you build out the full script, you can start reading it out loud and noticing any areas you can make more fluid and conversational by removing jargon words and phrases you wouldn’t otherwise say when talking to a customer.
Pro tip: Our favorite way to make the most out of this process is to actually combine storyboarding with video scripting. Your storyboard will help you nail down the visual feel of your video, and the script will ensure your voiceover is hyper-focused. Win-win!
Ways to create a product demo: shoot a video with your phone (if you have a physical product), make a screencast (for online services). Any other?
Have one look at product demo videos and you’ll notice that they fall into one of the two types: a physical product demonstration and an on-screen product demonstration for products like software and online services.
The best physical product demonstrations showcase the product in real-life settings. This means taking your product’s value proposition and placing it in an environment where it serves its purpose.
If you think of all the infomercials you’ve ever seen, that’s essentially what they do. They agitate a real, physical problem (often in black and white video), and they present the product as the ultimate solution (in color, of course!).
Use your storyboarding process to consider all the situations, angles, and scenarios that would be helpful to someone who is considering buying the product.
And the best part? You don’t need expensive or complicated equipment to record your product; a smartphone video will do a great job!
Check out this great example from Wurth—a drill bits demo that’s really simple, yet extremely useful:
A non-physical product demonstration, like a software or an online platform, usually includes screencasts of the product in use with voiceovers and on-screen prompts to guide the eye to the most important action on the screen.
Screencasts can help you take your viewer through the process of reaching an outcome they’re looking for.
For example, FreshBooks used one of their product demo videos to agitate the problem of time-consuming invoicing, and walked through the process of simple invoicing using their system:
Now that you have your value proposition, a storyboard, and a video script, it’s time to get to work!
Let’s talk about some tools to help you create and edit your product demo video.
Filming your products
To film your physical products in the best quality possible, you don’t need a crazy budget or a huge investment. While having a DSLR camera is certainly an advantage, it’s not a necessity.
All you need is a way to make your video clear and stable, which you can do with:
- A standard, rear-facing smartphone camera. Most smartphones offer quality video recording, often at 4K resolution. Make sure to use the main camera instead of the front-facing one!
- A tripod. This is key to avoid any shakiness or blurry movements in your video. Smartphone tripods are quite affordable—you can typically get one for less than $20.
- A source of light. You don’t need professional light kits—a natural source of light will do perfectly fine! If you have natural light coming from multiple angles, it’s even better as this will help with shadows.
Recording your screen
To make the most of your on-screen product demonstration, you need a great screen recording software. Here are some of our favorites:
- Camtasia is the most robust and advanced screen recording and editing tool, yet it’s super simple to use.
- Snagit is a dedicated screen capturing and recording tool with many additional options, such as audio recording, grabbing individual frames, and more.
- Screenflow is another great alternative with features like adding highlights and annotations.
They all come with a free trial and are quick and easy to get started with.
Editing your video
Finally, when you have all the footage you need, it’s time to edit it into a nicely flowing, engaging video.
Luckily, you don’t need to master an advanced editing program do to so! In Wave.video, you can effortlessly import your footage, add and remove clips, and arrange them with a drag-and-drop function.
You can also trim them to achieve the idea you developed in your storyboard.
You can also easily add and remove text and annotations to draw attention to a specific part of your product.
This is also useful when you want to add a URL to drive immediate action, like Atlassian did here in this product demo video:
In the Wave.video editor, you can also easily add transitions and other visual effects to make your video look sleek and professional.
You now have all you need to start working on an outstanding product demo video that will turn your viewers into excited customers. Here are some final tips on making the best product demonstration:
Lighting and clarity first! If your video is blurry, shaky, dark, or simply unclear in any way, your viewers will instinctively click away no matter how good your product might be. Same goes for your screen recording—ensure all the text is legible and all images are crisp.
Keep an eye on the length. There is no magic formula that works for all products when it comes to the demo video length. Take the time you need to convey why your product can solve someone’s problem, but be mindful of people’s patience and time.
While the video from Atlassian above is almost 13 minutes long, this one from Dyson is only 30 seconds long, while still showing all the ways it improves a household:
Keep collecting feedback. Don’t look at your product demo video as a one-and-done activity. Once you’ve had it for a while, make sure to review comments (if it’s on YouTube) and even survey customers who have bought a product after watching the video.
Over time, you can create more product demo videos for a product and see which one attracts more sales (or sales conversations) and leaves a better impression with customers.
You’re ready to wow your prospects with a great product demo video. Happy creating!