How Long Should Your Product Demo Video Be?

When you’re creating a product demo video that’s meant to win hearts (and sales), it can be easy to go overboard. Data and details may seem too important to leave out, but at this stage—brief is often better.

Don’t lose sight of the primary goals when it’s time to show off your solution. Your demo video doesn’t need to tell the entire story; for now, you want to pique interest, maximize engagement, and move prospects along to the next steps in your funnel.

So, to convince viewers to complete a call to action after watching your demo video, how long should that video be? 

While live product demos fall just short of a half-hour on average, demo videos have the highest success rate when they’re focused and concise. In fact, you should develop your product demo video around a single question: How does this solve a specific problem for your target consumer?

The answer to that question shows off your solution’s primary features within the context of key pain points, and it should be delivered in no more than 2-5 minutes.  

Use Data to Decide How to Structure Your Demo

To get the most out of this window of time, loosely follow the blueprint below for your video’s narrative structure: 

  1. Set up/solution intro (within 20-30 seconds max)
  2. Solve the problem for your target consumer (approx 1-3 minutes)
  3. Wrap up/CTA (final 20-30 seconds)

First, set up your solution—and do it quickly. For example, in our demo video for Bottomline Data Security’s PaymodeX, it takes about 9 seconds to identify the nexus between a viewer’s pain point and the company’s solution: making the transition from paper to electronic payments.

Those early seconds prove critical in keeping a viewer’s attention—we know 33% of people will stop watching by the 30-second mark. 

Next, hit the highlights. This Enviance demo video for their safety data sheet vault successfully summarizes the company’s solution within the first 30 seconds. Then, over the next 90 seconds, the video focuses directly on the capabilities and features while using animated demo screens and a tight script to identify the platform’s strongest selling points. 

Viewers report retaining 95% of a marketing message when they watch it as a video (vs just 10% when reading the same info in text format). Overall, 72% of consumers would rather learn about a product or service through video.

Finally, wrap it up. Remind the audience why they need this specific solution and how you’ve solved their problem before delivering a clear CTA that keeps prospects moving through your pipeline. 

Look Beyond a Single Demo Video

If it feels like you’re playing a game of twister while trying to cram every last detail into a 2-5 minute window, take a step back. You may need a gut-check on what information is truly necessary for your audience at this point in the sales process. 

Or, you may need a suite of videos instead.

For example, if you need to give a lengthier introduction to adequately summarize your solution and the purpose it serves, consider investing in an explainer video to attract more interest or engage prospects at a different point in your funnel. 

An explainer gives you space to provide a high-level overview of who you are or what problem you solve. It can also explain why you solve that problem, which can make it the perfect pairing for a product demo video. 

Alternatively, you may need more than one demo to highlight multiple functions of your offer. Or you may need to appeal to customers within vertical markets by highlighting different product features. Finally, you may consider a demo video in multiple versions, such as one that’s been repurposed specifically for a virtual tradeshow or event.

Demos Customized to Distinct Segments

Take the series of videos we created for the healthtech company IQVIA earlier this year.  The demos all highlight the value of their Orchestrated Customer Engagement solution. However, each piece in the series distinctly focuses on engagement with a specific customer segment.

For example, this first demo focuses on how the solution can improve engagement and communication with healthcare professionals:

The second demo focuses on how the platform can be used for interactions with Key Account Managers:

Note that all these videos are about two minutes or so in length. This shorter duration helps target the video audience more precisely, thus increasing engagement and ROI.

Keep Distribution in Mind

Where’s your demo video going? Another factor to keep in mind when determining your product demo video length is your distribution plan. How is your video going to be shared and promoted? Different platforms are optimized for different target lengths. 

You aren’t tied into a single channel, either. For example, you can use snippets of your demo on platforms like Instagram and Twitter, and then drive viewers to the full-length video on YouTube or your website. The way your demo is scripted and designed is important for developing powerful segments for distinct social platforms. 

Views Aren’t Everything

Sure, views are nice to accumulate and they might help you prove the overall value of the campaign to C-suite stakeholders, but if all those views aren’t translating into conversions for your campaign’s CTA, then they’re are just a vanity metric. 

Instead, examine signups, conversions, sales, revenue, and other KPIs that actually reflect progress toward your campaign goals. Then take a look at how video length may be playing a role in those factors and optimize accordingly. Even within the ideal 2-5 minute window, there’s a big difference between a demo that lasts 2 minutes and one that clocks in at closer to 5.

Final Thoughts

Remember, your product demo video doesn’t have to answer every question or show off each feature. Instead, aim to provide just enough clarity and insights into your solution to get someone to act. Don’t fall into the trap of assuming more is better. Likewise, don’t count on someone watching for more than a few seconds if they aren’t immediately engaged by your solution. Length is important, but it’s just one of the components of a successful product demo video.

Have a demo video project in mind? Talk with one of our experts today.