“How It Works” – Every Tech Platform’s Most Important Video

May 31, 2018

If you make only one video for your tech company and never make another video again, the demonstration video is the one in which you should invest your time and energy. Your customers need to know how it works.

Whether you are posting on your homepage, on a sales or landing page, or sharing with social media, this video will attract more interest and answer more questions than any other type of video.


Why make a demo video? Why not just write about it?

Let’s say you’ve got an app. You can describe what it does utilizing words. You can explain how to use it, and when, and why someone might want to. You can use lots of pretty adjectives like “intuitive” or “sleek” or “simple,” even though these words are subjective and don’t really mean anything outside of an individual’s experience.

In the end, you’ve written a thousand words on the subject, and your potential customer still has no clue what it actually feels like to use your product. To them, it’s a nice idea, perhaps, but a theoretical one. And if the app in question is particularly complex, your customers aren’t just walking away uninterested, there’s a good chance they’re actively confused.


The power of show and tell.

You would never watch a cooking show where they just told you about how to make a chocolate cake. The “why” is obvious: that’s not how most people learn. Combining a visual demonstration of features with verbal explanations mixes both “show” and “tell” into an explanation that is immediately intuitive and creates multi-sensory, emotionally-connected memories.

This video for the ACV Auctions App is a great example of this. Clocking in at under two minutes, the video explains every step of how to use the app, while simultaneously showing what the process looks like for an average user. The result? Potential customers walk away from the explanation with a feeling of confidence that they could use the app comfortably, despite the fact that car sales are a notoriously complicated undertaking.


Using the demo video.

People crave new and interesting information, especially when it’s presented in a way that is engaging to watch and visually appealing. There are entire online empires dedicated to sharing videos about science facts, makeup routines, household repairs, and more. There are 1.8 people subscribed to a YouTube channel dedicated entirely to finding out what happens when different objects are squished using a hydraulic press, so you can be sure that whatever industry you’re in, there is a population of people out there who would be interested in learning more about your part in it.

This is why you should feel comfortable with putting your demo video front and center in your marketing plan. Can it go on your home page? Yes. Can it go on a separate sales page? Yes. Can it go in a blog post? Yes. Can it be shared on social media? Absolutely. In fact, Facebook users are seven times more likely to share a video than a link. And that’s the case even when it’s a link to a site with a video on it.


How not to use your demo video.

A video is not a replacement for a detailed list of specs. It doesn’t take the place of web copy, and it shouldn’t be your only available source of information about your product. Even with captions, videos are not accessible to everyone. People using screen readers, people who have limited mobile data or slow internet connections, and people who are at work or in public places may still want access to information about your products that are in an easier-to-access format.

This frees you up to curate what goes into your video deliberately. The median length of the most popular YouTube videos is two minutes and one second. The demo video should leave customers hungry for more information, not overwhelmed by details.

  • What is it?
  • What does it do?
  • What does it look like?
  • How does it work?
  • Who is it for?

If you’ve touched on all of these in your video, either implicitly or explicitly, you’ve done enough. Save some content for future videos focused on specific uses or benefits.  

Here we have a video that demonstrates the capabilities of the Nintendo Switch.  The video shows us what the console looks like, how it can be used, and what features it has that make it unique to other gaming platforms.


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Are you a tech company looking to integrate video into your marketing?

Nickel City Graphics has a guide for you. Written with the needs of tech companies specifically in mind, The Tech Company’s Video Marketing Playbook delves into the different kinds of videos you can use, and how they can be made most effective. Sound like something you’re looking for? Download the Playbook today.