Research suggests that showing, rather than just telling, is a more effective way to get customers engaged because it saves time and effort when compared to reading text.

For you, this is an opportunity to demonstrate your product and to show potential customers its value in a more engaging way.

The brands highlighted below have each used video to demo their products, and we’ve given a couple of takeaway points to highlight what each demo does well.

Google: Show and Tell with Weezer

  1. It takes less than a minute — less than 30 seconds, in fact — to understand what Voice Search is, how it works, and how well it works. (Plus, it has Weezer.)
  2. This is a promo video that appears in Google’s DemoSlam, a site “where amazing tech demonstrations battle for your enjoyment.” That’s right: in a hot-or-not-style comparison, you get to watch and rate various demos of Google products, many uploaded by normal users. Talk about crowdsourcing useful content!

Prezi: Keeping it Simple

  1. This type of video is simple, easy to make, and a great solution if you sell software or an online service. You can create similar screen capture recordings with programs like ScreenFlow or Camtasia. These programs make it incredibly easy to cut, edit, and add voice overs to create a very very professional looking demo.
  2. This is a useful approach if you find yourself overloaded with FAQs from customers. Create a video answer to a common question, and point your customers to the video for a visual demonstration of how something works. Tip: Create a Playlist of FAQ videos and place them prominently on Customer Service pages of your site.

DropBox: The Whole Story (in a Nutshell, Twice)

  1. Dropbox presents the problem you didn’t know you had (files all over the place), the solution to that problem (“a magic pocket”), and shows you how it works, all in simple language with simple illustrations and metaphors. Any company can do this.
  2. They go one better by telling you another helpful story: the story of Josh, who is traveling to Africa and needs a resource to keep his files accessible. Josh is a lot like me, with the same sorts of problems. Dropbox is the solution to his problems. This video is why I downloaded Dropbox in 2011, and I still use it.

LegoLand: Showcasing the Experience

  1. Lego knows their audience. The product is aimed at children and parents, so the video is child-centric, clearly hoping to bring out the child in everyone. (And who wouldn’t love a bed made of Legos?)
  2. This type of demo is great for companies that sell experience products, particularly ones that might be unfamiliar to people who have never had a comparable experience. This is a teaser as much as a demo.

Whatever you do, avoid trying to get into too much detail in a single video. Your best bet is to update your site video content on a regular basis, and use each new video to explore a new aspect of your product in a simple way.

The Final Cut:

When creating your demo or explanation videos, keep these tips in mind:

  • Keep it short.
  • Tell a story with your video to help make your product or service relatable to your potential customers.
  • Use video to answer common questions about your product to reduce customer support requests.
  • Showcase the experience the customer will receive when using your product or service.

Questions? Comments? Share your thoughts!

Written by Laci Texter

SproutVideo blog contributor. You can follow her on Twitter and Google+.

Posted February 18, 2013

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