Demo Videos are the most common video our clients ask for (it is part of our name, after all), and we know that one of the main questions people ask before engaging any kind of marketing or customer outreach is “Is this the best way to spend our limited budget?” We know that video can be more expensive than some other options, so we’ve written this to help you decide if a demo video is worth it for your app, website, or system.
What Is a Demo Video?
Here’s our quick definition of Demo Video: A short (usually less than 90 second) video that shows the basics of how an app works in an engaging and easy-to-understand way.
Demo videos aren’t simple tutorials. They tend to focus on the benefits of using a product while also showing how it works. We like to say that a demo video will help you understand why an app is useful to you and what it feels like to use it, rather than going into the details of exactly how to do specific things – the “how” is what a tutorial video is for.
Since we obviously believe that video is often the best way to explain things, it might be easiest to watch this example of a demo video we recently made:
As you can see, the video gives you an overview of all of the things you can do in the app while specifically highlighting the unique indoor turn-by-turn directions feature. Unless you pay close attention to what is been tapped on the screen, you don’t learn much about exactly how to access any of the features, but that isn’t the purpose of the video. Instead, it shows you the kinds of things you can do and gives you the feeling that it is easy to accomplish the highlighted tasks.
Where Do You Put A Demo Video?
Deciding if a Demo Video is worth it can really hinge on your plans for it. If people don’t ever see your video, what’s the point in having it? And counterintuitively: if the people who do see your video don’t want to watch it where they come across it, you won’t get much value out of it.
As an example: imagine scrolling through Facebook or Instagram and coming across a video about a software product you might be slightly curious about. If that video is 90 seconds long, are you going to watch the whole thing?
Probably not – that’s too long to interrupt your scrolling.
What if it’s a 20 second promo video that’s designed to grab your attention – like this one?
That’s a lot more likely.
Now, imagine being told about a useful app by someone you know, then specifically visiting the company’s website to find out more information. At the top of the page, there’s a call-to-action to watch a 90 second video showing what the app does – will you watch that? Definitely!
You’ve come to this site to learn about the product, so 90 seconds is no longer too long. Instead, it seems like a “short and sweet” way to learn about this app you’re considering using.
Demo videos should be shown to people where they have the time and interest to watch them. That could be on your app’s website, in an email newsletter or outreach campaign, or when they’re delivered to a prospective client with an invitation to “take a minute to learn more about our product.” The right demo video can even get you in the door with investors!
Just because you’re planning to put a demo video on your website, it’s important not to try to make that video do double-duty as a tutorial video. If you do, you’ll risk making a video that really isn’t very good at either task. That doesn’t mean that your tutorials can’t include some information about how useful a feature us (many prospective users will look at your tutorials before deciding to try your product), but the main focus needs to be on how you use it. Here’s a good example:
And one more thing before we go on: Demo Videos aren’t really well-suited to use in app stores. Apple doesn’t allow App Previews to vary much from their strict guidelines, and Google Play videos are far more likely to be watched if they are pretty short – about 30 seconds or so is ideal. This App Preview we recently finished illustrates the format nicely:
So What is a Demo Video Worth?
If you have a well-made professional demo video and use it well, it can literally be a game changer. We’ve had multiple clients come to us asking for a video to help them get noticed, then tell us that the video(s) we made for them changed everything. One repeat client who used their video to get in the door with potential industry partners said
Another client who recently launched a niche SaaS product said
Even if a video doesn’t get you in the door with high-value clients or industry partners, it can still make a huge difference to your business. In a 2018 survey conducted be Hubspot, 97% of marketers said video has helped increase users’ understanding of their product or service, and 95% of consumers said that they’d watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service.
Video is essential, and it can be extremely valuable. Testing by Klientboost showed that adding a video to a landing page increased conversions by 60% (other sources have even seen 86% improvements), and Hubspot has found that people click videos 20% more often than static images on Facebook. When it comes to the amount of time people are willing to give to your messaging, Wistia has found that people spend 2.6x as long on pages with videos than on static pages.
When you combine all of these factors, you could be getting hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of value from a video (some of our clients have said that individual videos have been worth millions to their businesses).
To approach the question from a different direction, when video was first exploding on the web, Forrester Research’s Dr. James McQuivey released a report that updated the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” to be “a video is worth 1.8 million words.”
Think of all of the work that goes into crafting a single SEO-optimized web page (typically about 600 words of content), then imagine 3,000 times that much value – that’s 1.8 million words. To put an equivalent cost on that, if you say that a beginning blog writer would get paid a minimum of 5¢ per word (with experienced writers getting three or more times that), then a video being worth 1.8 million words means it’s worth paying upwards of $90,000 for!
However you look at it, the message should be clear: a well made video can be extremely valuable.
You Get What You Pay For (to a Degree)
However, notice that I said a well made video. A video that poorly-represents your product (or even misrepresents it!) can range from worthless down to severely detrimental. Customers notice when a script is bad, or when there’s almost nothing about the product itself in a video that’s billed as a “product tour.”
Sure, you can get a 60-second video made on Fivver or Upwork for a few hundred dollars – but in most cases, you’ll be risking wasting that money. You could even be costing yourself money by alienating customers.
We have so many examples of clients who came to us after having an extremely low-cost video made, and almost all of them have said something like “that was a waste of my time and money” or “I should have just hired a real demo video producer the first time.”
That said, there are companies that start their rate sheet at easily ten times our rates, so being on a budget isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Your budget just has to be realistic.
It is entirely possible to get a game-changing demo video for $2,500-5,000 (sometimes even a little less), but the value you get from that video could be tens or hundreds of times what you spend.
If you’re interested in exploring what a demo video can do for your app or system, please book a free consultation with our video production team.