The How and Why of Successful User Product Demonstrations

— April 14, 2017

In my 2016 blog The Simple Why and How of Product Demonstration Videos, I showed that product demonstration videos enable better conversion opportunities. I also listed 5 reasons why videos should be an important part of your marketing mix and revealed how you can simply create product demonstration videos in 6 steps.

In this blog, I want to explore in depth a subcategory of product demonstration videos, which is product demonstration videos made by users. There are several reasons why you would want user product demonstrations and several reasons why you would not want them. I have also found 7 features that successful product demonstration videos have in common, which I want to share with you. You can use the list if you decide to produce your product demonstration videos yourself or keep it in mind when using user videos.

‘The How and Why of Successful User Product Demonstrations’ In this blog, I explore in depth product demonstration videos made by users. There are several reasons why you would want user product demonstrations and several reasons why you would not want them. I also list 7 features that successful product demonstration videos have in common. Read the blog here:

Why you should use video in your marketing mix

First, let me revisit why it is important to add video to your marketing mix. In 2015, Matt Aunger has collected 6 stats, which I find very convincing and which I believe still hold somewhat the same value in 2017:

  • Video generates 3x as many monthly visitors to a website as other content.
  • Visitors spend 88% more time on a website that includes video.
  • Organic traffic from search engines increases by 157% with video.
  • Consumers are 46% more likely to seek information about a product or service after seeing it in an online video.
  • Consumers are 85% more likely to buy after watching a product video.
  • Consumers have 57% more confidence in their online purchase with video.

5 reasons why to use user product demonstrations

So, are you convinced that video is important for your company? Great! Would you like some more information about why user product demonstrations are a good idea? Larry Alton has 5 reasons for you:

1. A more “real” demonstration

You have been working on your product for months and so you know how to navigate it easily. When you start showing off your own product, all your movements and explanations will be premeditated, scripted, and rehearsed. Your actions will not mimic those of a user seeing your product for the first time. Putting your product in the hands of real users will result in a “real” demonstration of the product. Your demonstration video is not necessarily about the product itself; it is about the experience of using the product.

2. Illumination of non-intuitive features

No matter how well-designed your product is, there will probably be some non-intuitive features in the finished product. Putting your product in the hands of a real user will lead them to explore these non-intuitive features in a real environment, showcasing them to users who are unfamiliar with them. You may even receive information with which you can improve the product.

3. More trust and conversions

People tend to trust other people like them far more than they trust entrepreneurs or salespeople. Any kind of video testimonial, review, or demonstration from another user is going to make other customers on your site trust you more. Anyone can claim that their product is the best on the market, but it is far more believable when an actual customer makes the same claim.

4. Less work

User-generated content allows you to obtain more content from your users rather than producing it all yourself. That means that if you encourage your existing customers to make their own videos, you will spare yourself the effort of creating those videos yourself.

5. Social credibility and sharing potential

You will probably earn some social credibility if you use product demonstrators who have their own followings and influential circles. Anyone who sees and knows the user giving the demonstration is more likely to engage with the video, and may even share it with their friends and followers, greatly increasing the reach of each video you produce this way. It is especially useful to get the help of social influencers in your specific niche.

3 reasons why to use user product demonstrations

User product demonstrations do come with three drawbacks. Alton describes these too:

1. Less predictability

First-time user experiences are unpredictable, especially if your product is new. You will run the risk of a reviewer discovering a problem or not knowing what to do next.

2. Less thoroughness

It is unlikely that a natural reviewer will be able to explore as many details of your product as you will. This keeps the video concise, but at the same time, the reviewer may overlook key details that make your product unique. Giving your user reviewers some pointers before shooting the video can help, but it can also make your video feel more scripted and less effective.

I think that, if you make sure you do not have just one user video, some reviewers will probably notice what is unique about your product. If nobody notices, you may want to work on that unique part a bit more!

3. Loss of brand voice

Finally, the average reviewer will not speak to your audience using your signature brand voice. This can compromise the overall brand experience, which is a helpful tool in pitching the product.

However, I do feel that everybody knows that a reviewer does not use the brand voice and that, when pitching the product, the people you are pitching it to do not expect that from the reviewer.

7 features that successful product demonstration videos have in common

If your product demonstration video contains the 7 features below, you will have a higher likelihood of convincing your audience of your product’s merit, Blog Herald claims. If you decide to produce these videos yourself, make sure to take this list into account. If you decide to use user videos, this list can be useful as well.

1. Conciseness

Your video needs to be as concise as possible. People want to see what your product is and how it works in the shortest amount of time possible. The key advantage to videos over written text is their ability to convey more information in a shorter amount of time, so take advantage of it. Try to get your demo under a minute. If there is more to say after that, you can create another video for a more in-depth look at your product’s features.

2. Approachability

Approachability can be achieved in a number of ways. Number one on the list is friendliness though.

3. User focus

As mentioned, the demonstration video is not all about the product. The real target is the user. Make sure your demonstration video explains why users might benefit from your product, and what the average user experience is like.

4. Simplicity

It might seem like the more information you include, the better. However, as a general rule, simplistic demonstration videos outperform complex ones because they are easier to grasp and less confusing.

5. Entertainment value

You want your users to see the logical value of your product, but you also do not want them to be bored. Your video should contain some kind of entertainment value, whether that is through humor, beautiful designs, or immersive music.

6. Originality

Your video also needs to be original, doing something that no one has ever done before.

7. Memorability

A good product demonstration video is a memorable one. What good is your product demonstration video if your users forget what you are trying to sell by the end of it? What if they do not remember your brand name, or forget how to use your product by the time they get their hands on it? If yours does not seem to stick out in your users’ minds, you need to do more to call out the most important features. People tend to remember novel and surprising experiences, so make good use of striking, unexpected turns. Finally, do not forget to repeat your key points to drive them home.

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Author: Greetje den Holder

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