"Show, don't tell" is an adage that literally and figuratively sits well with the concept of product demos. However, marketers don't end up spending time creating videos that can actually convert--a big mistake.
Here's what the data tells us:
- Greater retention: Viewers can retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video format as compared to 10% when reading it in text.
- Increased adoption: A staggering 99% of video marketers plan to use the video format going forward, and about 95% of them plan to increase their marketing spend:
- Better ROI: As per research, 74% of marketers claim that video has a better return on investment than static imagery. In fact, 68% of marketers prefer video marketing to have a better return on investment than Google Ads.
The writing is on the wall: Video marketing is exploding. It's time for brands to embrace the "Show, don't tell" mindset and leverage product demos to reinforce their credibility, reliability, and validity.
In this article, we'll look at:
- the top benefits of using product videos
- some expert-approved tips and hacks on improving the quality of product videos to skyrocket conversions
Let's jump right in.
Top-3 Benefits of Product Demos in Sales
In this section, we'll quickly go through the primary benefits of using product demos for driving your sales efforts:
- Augments your sales efforts: When it comes to closing leads and reaching your sales target, a sales pitch will no longer cut it. Marketers need to focus on driving educative, interactive, and demonstrative content to gain the user's attention and trust. Enter: product videos. As per data, "32% of businesses are using video for sales."
- Helps express the product better visually: If a picture says a thousand words, a video says a million. Oftentimes, communicating the specifics of a product's features, benefits, USPs, etc., can become challenging and cumbersome in the text format. Video, on the other hand, is more palatable, owing to its simplicity and aesthetics. By extension, this can help capture and retain the user's attention for a longer period of time--an undue advantage, given that the average human's attention span is a mere 8-seconds now (shorter than a goldfish)!
- Creates a powerful and positive image in the user's mind: Product videos allow marketers to demonstrate the product in action with the use of animation, graphics, imagery, etc. This effective strategy raises awareness about the product while engaging the user organically. In other words, if you wish to create a lasting first impression with a potential lead, product videos are your calling.
Key takeaway: Product demos double up as a multi-purpose tool to educate users about your product, build trust in the process, and demonstrate the brand's values and intrinsic culture--keeping the consumer at the forefront at all times.
Next, let's deep-dive to understand how you can transform your product demos from good to great with a few simple, time-tested hacks.
Top-5 Tips to Drive a Great Product Demo
1. Decide on a time limit before delivering the demo:
A product demo can touch upon a host of topics such as:
- What the product entails in terms of the specifications, features, etc.
- What are the benefits and USPs of the product?
- How the product works through a step-by-step lowdown
- How to showcase pricing?
The list is endless.
So the real question then becomes: "What should the ideal product demo length be?"
As per data, your marketing video should be less than two minutes, with the ideal length for the first outreach sales video being less than 60 seconds. Data further claims that 58% of viewers a business-related video all the way through if it’s less than 60 seconds. That said, if it is a live video, whether in-person or on the phone, ensure that it stays between 15-20 minutes.
Take a look at Airtable's product demo, which takes a top-of-the-funnel approach and ticks all the boxes in terms of using animation, demonstrating the product use case and benefits, highlighting the specific tactics and features as time rolls on, and keeping the video under two minutes--the standard benchmark:
Key takeaway: Structuring your product demo video requires strategic thinking and a lot of effort if you wish to get the demo right. Marketers also need to conceptualize how they're going to visualize every single aspect shown so that the text is minimal yet impactful at the same time. Remember that keeping the demo short, interesting, and value-focused will ensure that the prospect is paying attention till the very end, and the chances of them converting will be higher.
2. Decide on a channel before delivering the demo:
Next, you'll need to understand the type of channel to use to promote your video--be it in person, by email, via a phone call, through customer support channels like video chat, and so on. Data suggests that most marketers prefer hosting their videos on free social platforms like YouTube (51%), followed by paid video hosting (17%), and self-hosting (23%). Additionally, they also prefer using social channels like Facebook (75%) and Instagram (58%) to advertise their videos.
If you need help in understanding what the ideal time/day should be for posting and promoting your demo, leverage in a robust live chat software and let it do the data heavy-lifting.
Live chat tools can provide real-time insights into user preferences, communication history, etc., so that you can drive data-informed decisions and boost your demo's reach.
Slack has a dedicated YouTube channel where it promotes the brand's product demo video--the stuff of legends. The product demo video allows the on-looker to quickly:
- Visualizing they can use this product to their advantage
- Visualizing the various features it provides
Choosing the right channel for communication is as important as the content you display. If your user base is not active on the said channel, all that effort will go waste:
Moreover, the brand categorizes the content into useful segments, making the content well-structured and easy to digest:
Key takeaway: Brainstorm to understand the right kind of channels to use to promote your demo and boost visibility. You can leverage powerful tools such as live chat to get real-time data relating to your user base's interests. If you're doing live demos, make sure to keep the content and graphics channel friendly for the chosen medium.
3. Showcase the agenda:
At first glance, your prospects should understand the key topics the product demo will cover and how long it will last. Here's an example of an effective demo agenda for longer product videos:
You need to strategically conceptualize and tailor your demo around your prospect’s key pain points, align it with your business goals, and propose related solutions/use cases.
Key takeaway: Exhibiting a well-thought-out and methodical demo agenda--as opposed to an unstructured and chaotic video flow--allows your leads to be better aware of the product demo and, more importantly, understand its core purpose. You will not achieve the desired results by winging the demo video and creating it on a hunch, so make sure to have a proper start, middle, and end to the flow.
4. Talk 20%, listen 80%:
As with life, great demonstrators actively listen to their target audience instead of making it a one-way communication. Live product demos also act as a window of opportunity to truly listen to your customer's needs and collate invaluable information as to what might be working for your product and what might not be working in your favor.
Key takeaway: Use these actionable insights to iterate and improve on your demo, and convert smarter the next time.
5. Effectively deal with bugs:
Finally, do a Quality Analysis before your live demo begins. If you do find yourself in deep waters mid-way, follow these steps:
- One, don't fret and be calm and cool.
- Two, speak as though you're encountering the issue for the first time. Keep the language conversational.
- Three, quickly change the subject and go back to the main topic of discussion.
- Four, do not ignore the error message or the unexpected pop-up. Acknowledge it, say you're sorry, and move on quickly to the next steps.
Key takeaway: Keeping an open mind, thinking on your feet, and being agile as the demo progresses are key to a successful demonstration. Even if you do encounter errors along the way, you'll have the confidence to back you up and deliver an impactful demo, despite the hiccups.
Capitalizing on product demos should be every marketer's priority today. The format should be easily consumable, making it easier for marketers to convert leads and boost the bottom line. Additionally, you need to keep your audience in mind when delivering a product demo.
According to a SaaS expert: "Good demos don’t have to be perfect for the product. They have to be perfect for the audience.’’ We couldn't agree more. To wrap up, with product videos, the proof (of the product) literally lies in the demo! Agree?
About the Author
Dhruv Mehta is a Digital Marketing Professional who works at Acquire and provides solutions in the digital era. In his free time, he loves to write on tech and marketing. He is a frequent contributor to Tweak Your Biz. Connect with him on Twitter or LinkedIn.