Explainer or demo videos are more than just the images and sounds that ultimately play in a viewers’ web browser. They are also weeks of topical research, storyboarding, scripting, branding alignment, and other high-value efforts. All of these elements represent a significant investment, and carefully planning how to leverage these assets across multiple channels and audiences is essential to optimizing the ROI of your marketing video budget.
At Autodemo, we have more than 20 years experience in helping our customers make the most of their investment in explainer and demo videos. We work with both long-term partners and first-time clients to ensure that their message reaches the largest in-market audience, using (and re-using) the knowledge and video assets we help develop.
Content is still king
Successful marketing videos are all about content. When developing an explainer or demo video, we think of each element of the video as a distinct piece of content that can be repackaged or tweaked for use in another channel or targeted to another audience.
Think of the initial video project as a showcase – you’re telling a complete story in those 90 seconds to 3 minutes. Within that narrative are numerous pieces of content that will really resonate in a specific context. That 15-second segment of your demo video that focuses on a financial performance dashboard will completely blow away a CFO if pulled out in a spot for social media.
So, you’ve built your showcase. To maximize that investment, you need to cherry-pick the best content and make sure it reaches your best prospects.
What does it really mean to maximize your investment in an explainer or demo videos?
As you’ve probably noticed by now, when I say “maximize your investment,” I’m not necessarily saying “spend less on your video project.” That can happen, particularly if we help develop some standard iconography or branding elements that can be reused across different projects. We also offer attractive rates on multi-video packages, when that’s the best answer for our customer.
But most often, “maximizing your investment” boils down to spending a little more to bring in significantly more revenue. ROI, after all, stands for “Return on Investment,” and the best way to improve ROI is to grow the Return by making smart, scalable investments upfront.
For explainer and demo videos, that means thinking proactively about how the core content you are creating can be tailored, packaged and delivered to prospects based on their personal interests.
The first step is for us to listen
For our team at Autodemo to truly help you get the most from your video budget, we have to understand your business, your audience and your goals. And that means listening. Fortunately, we’ve built that into our production process, so it’s second nature to us.
Each of our explainer and demo projects begins with a kickoff meeting, where our producers make sure we get how the video fits into your marketing and sales plans. The longer we work together, the more we come to act as a strategic partner, not just a vendor. But we also are sure to gain this kind of insight about our new customers, too.
And the communication is not limited to the kickoff meeting. Our own sales team makes it a point to ask “big picture” questions about your goals as we discuss potential projects. We like to think of it this way – we want to talk to your best salespeople and marketers and see what they really need to succeed, and then distill that into a video project proposal that we present back to you. And, based on our decades of experience, that can include tactics and deliverables you may not have thought of yet.
This philosophy permeates our entire production process. We ask the questions upfront, and we keep on asking. We can find ways to scale your video project during the script-writing phase, early production, or during the wrap-up of the initial project. Sometimes we stick a pin in a data point you shared early on – you’re going to a trade show soon, or you want to increase your social followers – and we revisit the topic when we’re ready to deliver your initial video.
We never stop listening.
How explainer and demo video content can be scaled to maximize your investment
Both explainer and demo videos can be re-edited for specific audiences and channels. The two video solutions serve different purposes in your marketing and sales strategies, and typically so do the other presentation formats you create from their core content.
Explainer videos typically focus on key ideas and value propositions, so perspective and context is everything when it comes to really connecting with the audience. Often we find that a few tweaks to the voice-over script – your solution “makes life easier” for managers, as opposed to “improving efficiency” for the C-Suite – can create a version of the explainer that’s tailored to a new B2B Buying Group persona or customer profile and help you drive an omni-channel approach to winning an account. We can also create an optimized version of an explainer that focuses on your biggest win points to help tip an account in your favor in the final stages of the sales process.
Explainers tend to be a little shorter than demos and present more of a cohesive narrative, so they can’t always be just parsed up into smaller videos. We often pull one or two “big win” numbers or key benefits into a short social media video, which then drives to a landing page or other experience where the full explainer is on display.
Demo videos focus on your solution’s “wow factor” features and are typically longer than explainers. They can be readily edited into multiple smaller videos that focus on each feature, which can anchor landing pages for highly targeted, personalize display or SEM campaigns. And using video on such pages can increase conversions by 80 percent or better. That translates into more leads and more sales.
In some cases we develop videos that are essentially hybrids of demos and explainers – we lead with an explanation of the value provided and then highlight screen functionality to illustrate how your solution makes it happen. Depending on the breadth of your product offering, you can use these hybrid videos for various audiences or purchase cycle stages.
Other sources of content can fit into your video maximization strategy, too
I’ve spent a lot of time talking about using content we create as the basis for other, optimized videos. But we can also accomplish this by incorporating video and rich-media assets you already are using into explainers, demos and other videos.
- Did you just have a great zoom call with your best customers? We can edit the best insights into a 3-5 minute version that you can circulate to prospects to illustrate how easy it is to onboard with your solution, or work with your customer success team. We can also do this for internal communications, to help distill an informative half-hour webinar down to a digestible format, complete with a few dynamic graphics, for the whole team.
- Does Sales have a great presentation that really closes the deal? We can animate a version of the slidedeck, complete with voice narration, that you can use as a leave-behind for other team members. We can also create a video to send as a warm-up for the field call, so Sales can hit the ground running. Incorporating clips from your explainer and demo videos can be a great fit here.
- Does inside sales find themselves visiting the same talking points over and over? We can take that script and create just-in-time proof point videos that they can send to prospects who are on the verge of agreeing to a field call. Often we find that we can take 30-second clips of explainers and edit them into this format, with slight voice over changes to sync with your call scripts. Demos can also be edited in thai fashion to create quick, easy-to-understand helper videos for your customer success team.
Video can elevate any form of sales and marketing communication.
Get the most from your explainer and demo video investment
Video is a powerful media for engaging, educating and inspiring your best customers. And it’s also a significant investment. By always thinking about how you can re-target your explainer and demo video content to potential buyers based on their interests and role in the purchase decision, you’ll be able to maximize your investment in video.