How to use product demo videos

How to use product demo videos

Sabrina Pan

September 2023

What are product demo videos?

Product demo videos showcase a closer look into your product's functionality and its key features. These videos typically contain more information and answer specific questions, making them suitable for later in the customer journey. These videos can serve two main purposes: providing a high-level overview of a feature or delivering a detailed step-by-step instructional guide. Depending on your needs, demo videos can be made using screen recordings, animations, real-life footage, or a combination of these mediums. Ultimately, product demo videos should build confidence in prospects, converting them to become customers or motivating existing customers to keep using your product.

When should I use product demo videos?

In help articles or a video tutorial series

When you notice frequently asked questions about your product, consider creating reusable demo videos to walk through how your product works. These videos can be embedded into your website's help articles or used to establish a video tutorial series. In fact, 81% of all customers attempt to resolve issues on their own before reaching out to a live representative. Offering this kind of content empowers people to self-serve answers at their own convenience, saving your team time and reducing the chances of people disengaging due to hesitancy to seek assistance. Additionally, you can repurpose these demos by sharing them on social video platforms, turning them into marketing content to reach a wider audience.

During the sales cycle

You can also incorporate product demo videos into your sales process to free up more time for selling rather than lengthy explanations. Live demonstrations take up valuable resource time from your team and can be wasted when the opportunity falls flat. We can reduce the amount of wasted live demos by following up to initial discovery calls with a relevant product demo video. This adds another stage of qualification since prospects who engage with the video may be more worthwhile to pursue further. Priming prospects with a demo video prior to a live demo call can also lead to a more productive and focussed discussion. 

To further personalize your interactions with prospects, consider pairing these demos with casual webcam or selfie-style videos, adding a human touch to your customer relationships.

5 creative product demo videos

Now that we have an idea of what product demo videos are and when to use them. Let’s take a look at how other companies have leveraged product demo videos.

Slack: Using Slack emoji reactions for getting work done

This video demonstrates how to use emoji reactions for productivity in Slack. While it primarily focuses on a single feature, it also explains how various features work together. By showcasing this feature alongside real use cases, it inspires people to explore more ways to use the product. Slack integrates these videos into their help articles as part of a video tutorial series. Additionally, they've uploaded this video to YouTube, amassing over 82k views. This serves as an excellent example of how demo videos can also function as marketing content.

Zendesk: The Basics

As the first video within a seven part video tutorial series, this one introduces and demonstrates the product as a whole. The rest of the tutorials provide an overview into different key functionalities within the product. These videos are also embedded within the demo section of their website where they are recommended alongside other self-serve resources such as interactive demos and webinar videos. And of course, these videos are uploaded on YouTube where they can also function as marketing content–sound familiar?

Wealthsimple: Welcome to Wealthsimple tax

This video tutorial is showcased in a step-by-step style to explain how to successfully file taxes, allowing additional context to be provided at each step of the process. It is important to note how they present the actual product experience while referencing how to interact with it. This level of information can be extremely beneficial for walking through a complex flow or topic since users can now follow along the video as they go through the experience themselves.

Adobe Creative Cloud: Add depth to art with gradients in Illustrator

Adobe is also no stranger to using video as their help articles rely on video whenever they can. This particular video is a part of a tutorial series with step-by-step instructions on how to achieve basic design outcomes using their product. However, notice how their product interfaces are presented in a simplified way which strips away details from the actual product experience. This can be a helpful stylistic choice to protect the relevancy of the video against any changes to the product interface and experience. However, it can also be counterintuitive to helping the viewer learn how to use the product.

Webflow: Build a website hero section

Webflow demonstrates how to build a website through a series of video tutorials. These videos combine screen recordings, real-life footage, and animations to present clear instructions all while incorporating personality, humour, and professionalism. These elements make learning a complex workflow more enjoyable while also allowing Webflow to be seen as a thought leader in the website building industry.

So, when should I use product demo videos?

You might be wondering whether you need to create high-level overview demos or step-by-step tutorials. While offering both to your prospects and customers is ideal, oftentimes you may need to prioritize one. If this is the case, ask yourselves which aspect of your business needs more support at the moment.

You may benefit from providing high-level overview demos if…
  • You repeatedly demonstrate generic aspects of your product during your sales cycle

  • You want more people to understand your key product offerings

You may benefit from providing step-by-step tutorials if…
  • You or your team is spread thin assisting customers through confusing workflows

  • You have an inherently complex product

  • Your product experience is complicated but will take significant time and resources before it can be improved

We can also chat through what might work best for your situation by sending us an email at sabrina@mograff.com