How to make a great product demo video
A stand-out product demo video should anticipate the viewer’s needs and provide them with all the information they need to make a decision. As you hatch a plan for creating your video, stick to these basic guidelines.
- Set a clear goal. First things first, establish why you are spending the time (and money!) to shoot this video. Ask yourself what you intend to accomplish and give your video direction so that your audience gets clear value from the video. Your initial goal can be as simple as informing would-be clients of your product’s key benefits.
- Know your audience. A truly great product demo will connect with its audience by acknowledging their motivations and offering solutions to specific problems, ideally in a way that reflects their values. That means you should consider not only what you say but how you say it. What tone of voice does your audience respond well to? How can you best adapt that style to the nature of your product? Should you go for a humorous approach or an emotional appeal? Work through these questions so you can build a basic framework for your message.
- Plan your message. Once you’ve nailed down how your message should feel, you can get busy hammering out what you intend to say to your audience by writing a script. From use case scenarios to general functionality tips, you’re probably eager to share a ton of great information with your viewers. Try to avoid inundating them with too much information. Instead, distill your message into just the most pertinent points, and deliver it in a way that’s easy for the audience to digest.
- Highlight key benefits. Here’s your big chance to connect with your audience and let them know you’ve done your homework. Since you’ve already identified the issues your audience is hoping to solve, clearly spell out precisely what your product does to remedy those problems. Be methodical and stick to high-level talking points. You should leave the viewer with zero doubt about what your product can do to benefit them.
- Provide a deeper product description. Operate under the assumption that your audience already has some previous knowledge and give them more than the absolute basics. Remember, your audience has already taken the first step by choosing to watch your demo video. Your job is to provide them with the additional details they need to take further action.
- Show the product in action. You’ve got the viewer’s full attention, so make the most of it! Beyond spending time yakking up the benefits of your product, you need to take time to actually show viewers how it works. If your product requires a lengthy description to show it off from start to finish, you may want to use clever editing to cut it down or try thinking about your how-to as a story that will keep viewers engaged. If there are multiple use cases that could apply to your product, or if it functions in wildly different ways, consider creating individual demo videos to suit each specific function.
- End your demo with a call to action. So, now you’ve managed to address all of your viewer’s concerns in a beautifully edited and masterfully succinct demo. Way to go! But now’s not the time to leave your audience hanging. This is the most critical point in the whole process. A successful demo video follows through with a final call to action. Leave your audiences with an easy-to-follow directive on where they can go next to find, purchase, download, subscribe, or take whatever additional actions are required to use your product.
4 Great product demo videos to inspire you
Now that you have some background on how to make an effective demo video, it’s probably helpful to see a few examples for added inspiration. As you watch, zero in on the key takeaways, how the product is represented, and the overall tone and style of the video.
Apple’s most recent iPhone 13 product demonstration video does an excellent job of taking what could potentially be a confusing topic for customers and presenting it in a way that is not only easy to follow but also entertaining. The speaker walks the audience through four types of new iPhones while highlighting the small differences in functionality that set them apart in an effort to help them make the right purchasing decision. What’s also great about this demo is how it addresses common durability problems, including cracked screens and water damage, and clarifies how the latest iPhone models help to avoid these problems. The product is plainly featured throughout the course of the video as the narrator gives the high-level details that could sway a viewer’s decision to buy.
2. Lime scooters
Lime keeps it short and sweet with a 54-second demo for anyone wondering how electric scooter rentals work. Key traffic safety and parking instructions are presented in bulleted points to make the info more digestible to the viewer. The video sticks to a simple step-by-step formula, ideal for viewers who are most likely hoping to quickly get all the info they need to rent the scooter in front of them and be on their way.
Not to break our arms patting our own backs, but we think Descript’s demo video is a pretty great example of how a demo video can use brand styling and sharp timing for added emphasis and comedic effect. And creators seem to agree — it’s by far the most-watched of the dozens of product videos we’ve published. The video is packed with bright colors that reflect our brand. And it moves with rapid-fire edits that create the feeling of momentum – one amazing feature topped by another. All focused on what it can do for you, the creator. Take note of how we structured the hierarchy of features, with a clear focus on those that distinguish Descript from other editing tools. It’s also just solid on all the fundamentals: good writing, expert editing, and spirited acting.
The Google Lens demo is a great example of storytelling done right. The script immediately grabs your attention with a fun factoid, then seamlessly transitions to the problem Google Lens solves and tells you how it solves that problem. Although the video describes technical processes that are very complex, Google manages to keep things simple and high-level while still giving you the chihuahuas-to-muffin comparison you never knew you needed.