Create a product demo video

1. List the key questions to answer in the video. Review product FAQs and audience research to find what people are asking.

Ask your sales and customer support teams for FAQs and look through reviews, social media comments, and forum discussions about the product or its competitors. Focus on the common objections, concerns, or problems faced by prospects during the product analysis phase of your funnel.  If your product is unreleased or for a newer company, look at your audience research, like prospect interviews or market research, to determine what questions and pain points your audience has.

2. Identify the product’s value proposition for your video’s target audience.

Describe who your product is for, what problem it solves, how it solves it, and what differentiates your product from competitors. Use this information to help guide video creation.

3. Write a video script that includes the product’s value proposition and key use cases, benefits, or features. Address your target audience’s pain points, using words that your audience uses.

Prioritize key points that can be stated in a 2-minute video, instead of answering all product questions in one video.  For physical products, include information about what the product is used for, any variation info – like color or material options – what the product includes, and a summary of how to use it. For services or software, focus more on its use cases and benefits, including what problem the product solves for the customer and how.

4. Sketch out each key shot using a storyboard.

For live-action videos, add notes detailing how close the camera should be to the product and presenter, and what angles are needed to best showcase your product in action.  For animated or screencast videos, describe what you want to show on screen during each section of narration and any movements, like animated “camera” movements or mouse movements.

5. Assemble your video production set and resources like video equipment, actors, and software tools.

Perform pre-production tasks: Buy, rent, or gather video equipment. This may include a softbox light kit, tripod, DSLR camera or smartphone camera, and microphone. For live-action product demos, create a set that showcases your product. Choose a location that adds context to the product, like Nespresso’s video that shows the product in use in a home kitchen, or choose a studio location with lighting and a color backdrop to minimize distraction, like Wooden Crate’s minimalistic product demo video. Hire actors or voice actors, or assign the roles in-house. Choose presenters and performers that fit your target audience. For screencast videos, choose a screencasting tool like Loom or CloudApp. For animated videos, hire animators or choose an animation tool, like Blender, Adobe Animate, or Adobe After Effects.

6. Shoot a video that fits your goals and showcases important product features, uses, or benefits.

For physical products, perform a clear walk-through of the product in action from multiple angles.  For services or for intangible products like SaaS products, record voice-over from your presenter, record product screencasts if necessary, and show people using the product in its environment, like in Slack’s video where people are using the product in a stylized office building. To maximize ROI from production efforts, consider shooting more product footage than necessary, like extra angles or extra voice-over or presenter footage that answers additional product questions. This footage can be trimmed in the editing process to use as additional video assets, without having to plan or invest in future product shoots.

7. Edit the video in a video editing tool to assemble footage, brand the video, and make video adjustments.

Choose a video editing tool that fits your budget, experience level, and needs. Consider free options like Descript or Lightworks, or premium options like Adobe Premiere Pro or Kapwing (also has a free version). Cut extra footage, add branding elements, add any graphic or on-screen text overlays, add background music or narration, and clean up the audio and color balance. For software products, add graphics and on-screen text to give the video appealing visuals and clarity.

8. Upload the video to a cloud-based video host, like YouTube or Vimeo.

Consider free options like YouTube or Vimeo that have built-in audiences, or premium options that are designed for marketers, like Wistia.

9. Embed the hosted video on your product page or other relevant page.

Embed the hosted video, instead of uploading the video directly to your site, to help keep the page load time low.  To optimize the video, place on only the most relevant page on your website, supplement the video with a text summary on the page, and include closed captions.

10. Distribute the video to your sales team for their sales efforts, and promote the video to your bottom-of-the-funnel marketing channels.