Show Don't Tell: How to Record a Software Demo Video
Video is an increasingly valuable tool for businesses, with one survey suggesting that 87% of marketers in 2023 expect a positive return on investment (ROI) from video. There are many different types of videos you can experiment with.
Software demo videos offer an amazing opportunity to showcase your product or service.
If you’re interested in recording a software demo video but are unsure where to start, you’ve come to the right place. This guide will explain what a demo video is and provide an 8-step guide for planning, recording, and marketing your demo video.
What is a demo video?
A demo video is a video that showcases your software or product, showing how it works to potential customers, clients, or stakeholders. The key aim of your software demo video is to show your software in action and reveal how valuable your software is to the watcher.
However, it is also important that the video is compelling, understandable, and relevant.
Recording a great software demo shouldn’t be too complicated as long as you get your planning, content, and editing right. Once you’ve got your video, you can use it on social media campaigns, in virtual meetingswith clients and stakeholders, and on custom landing pages created with a website builder.
How can you create a demo video?
Now that you know what a demo video is, it’s time to delve into creating one. You don’t have to be an experienced director or video editor to make a great software video. Just follow these eight product demo video best practices!
1. Plan how you will record the product demo video
The first step in creating a compelling demo video is ensuring you have it thoroughly planned out. This includes what tools you will use for recording, editing, and showing the video.
Another important thing to plan is the video’s structure. How will it open, what steps will you use to showcase your software, and how will it end. Plan out the video scene-by-scene.
2. Set a timeline and budget
Locking down your timeline and budget is an essential part of planning your demo video. Once you get stuck in the recording process, it will be easy to spend too much time editing minor details or trying to create something unique.
When budgeting for your software demo video, there are several elements you need to consider:
- Equipment - do you have software demo recording tools and equipment, or will you need to buy or rent it?
- Scriptwriting - will you hire a writer or do this in-house?
- Voiceover - will you hire a professional voice actor or do it yourself?
- Video editing - do you need to purchase video editing software? Will you send your video to a professional editor to edit?
- Music - will you play background music in your video? Do you need to purchase copyright for that music?
- Stock images and footage - do you need additional images and footage in your video? If so, you might need to purchase copyright for them.
One editor suggests that product demo videos cost $1,000-3,000 for every finished minute. Whether you’re on a budget or not, remember that the best software demo videos don’t overdo it. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Set yourself a strict timeline and budget for completing the video and stick to it.
3. Craft a script
While the visuals of your demo video are important, that’s no reason to ignore the quality of the script. The script is what guides your watchers through the video and brings the visuals to life.
Using a template like this, you can create a script that matches the visuals in your demo video.
With this script template, you can make sure that the script and the action on-screen are lining up correctly, making the editing process much smoother.
4. Grab attention in the first few seconds
Whether you plan on creating on-demand video content or streaming live, you must grab your audience’s attention in the first few seconds. Viewers want to know if they will be interested, informed, and excited by a video, and they won’t stick around long to find out.
That is why the introduction to your video is so important.
YouTube suggests that the first 15 seconds are the most crucial for viewer retention. Within these 15 seconds, you want your viewer to nod their heads and say, “tell me more”.
Here are some attention-grabbing app demo video example tips:
- Get your point across right away: Is there a problem that your software solves? Tell the viewers immediately rather than making them wait to find out.
- Use a before and after shot: This is your life without our software. This is your life with it. This simple contrast is a quick way to grab viewer attention.
- Surprise them with statistics: This is especially effective for demo videos intended for B2B software companies or if you’re presenting this video to potential stakeholders. A surprising and meaningful statistic highlighting why your software is valuable is a great way to open your video.
For some inspiration, watch this demo video from Zendesk, a customer service software provider. It opens with a problem that viewers may be experiencing, making it both attention-grabbing while discussing how its offer is part of the solution.
5. Highlight features that fulfil a customer need
When you create a software demo video, you must focus on needs over wants.
You need to identify customer pain points, then create content that addresses customer needs and problems. That is important. Viewers stop watching videos when they aren’t getting the information they expected.
Your software may have many important features, a fascinating origin story, and lots of great customer reviews to support it. However, these aren’t the key points of a demo video. Instead, you should conduct a features, advantages, and benefits analysis to create a video on how your product features can fulfill customer needs. The video from IKEA in the example above shows how you can use augmented reality to choose the perfect furniture for any space in your home.
6. Be creative with the video
We’ve told you not to reinvent the wheel when creating a demo video, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative. Here are some creative ideas for demo videos:
- Record a Q&A: Not only do Q&A videos allow you to answer those frequently asked questions directly, but they are also more SEO-friendly. With so many customers asking questions online, either in their search engine or via their smart speaker, a Q&A-centric demo video is more likely to generate views.
- Record your desktop: Record your software in action using a screen recorder. This screen recording software lets your viewers get a feel of your product. It may be a good idea to publish your screen capture demo videos on your website, so your viewers are not distracted by ads and can go straight to your product page after watching. Free screen recording is a great way to get your point across to your target audience and potential customers.
- Present your software through the customer’s eyes: Step into the viewer’s shoes and try to create great demo videos that reflect part of their workflow or a common task that they have to do. This way, you can show them the software in context and make a bigger impact.
Consider these ideas.
The demo video from ClickMeeting above showcases the software in real-life use while explaining its features. The video ends with a logical CTA.
7. Edit the video
Once you’ve recorded everything for your software demo video, it’s time to edit. There are various video editing software solutions available that are great even for beginners. You can also use pitch presentation templates to spice up your video and make it look more professional.
When editing your demo video, it is important to stick to the script and remember what you’re trying to achieve. Your visuals should show the software in real-life situations, and the titles, voiceover, or captions should explain what the software is doing at any given point.
One survey suggests that 48% of customers value videos that reflect specific products and services they are interested in. Edit your video so that your software and its value to your viewers remain the focus.
8. Create a marketing plan
The final step for creating a great software demo video is to create a marketing plan for it. Video marketing is increasingly important for businesses. One survey found that 93% of brands gained a new customer due to video content on social media.That’s why video marketing tools are an important part of your efforts.
Here are some important things to remember when creating a video marketing plan:
- Nail down your message across your demo video and other media, such as blog posts, your website, and anything else your viewers might see. You don’t want your audience to get mixed messages!
- Optimize your videos depending on the channel they are being shared on. You may want to upload a shorter version of your demo video on Facebook and other social media sites. On the other hand, you will probably want to give your remote salespeople the full thing. The aspect ratio and screen size will also vary across platforms, so be prepared to create different versions of your video.
All the effort you’ve put into creating a software demo video will go to waste if people don’t get to watch it. Promoting it on your website and social media channels will allow viewers to see what your product has to offer and make an informed purchasing decision.
Software demo videos are an excellent way to showcase your product, inform customers, clients, or stakeholders about your software’s features, and drive purchases. If you’re new to video recording, it can feel scary when trying to record your first video, especially if you’re a newcomer to scriptwriting or video editing.
Recording a demo video, however, doesn’t have to be scary. Following the tips in this guide will help you create and market an amazing demo video. And you’ll have lots of fun along the way!
Record Your Software Demo With ScreenRec
sudo wget -q -O - https://screenrec.com/download/pub.asc | sudo apt-key add -
sudo add-apt-repository 'deb https://screenrec.com/download/ubuntu stable main'
sudo apt update
sudo apt install screenrec
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