We live in the information age, and it’s transformed the way we communicate and share information. It’s arguably nothing short of a paradigm shift!
We’ve grown from text to images, and images to moving images and video. And it’s not surprising that video is so natural, since visuals are the primary way we experience the world around us.
Video has become a de facto language and the best way to get people’s attention and communicate ideas quickly and efficiently. We use it for everything from entertainment to advertising, even tutorials and app demos.
And animation is especially brilliant at this. Let’s explore this, shall we?
An app demo video is a promotional video that introduces your app to your potential customers and explains how it works.
Think of it as a demo that shows off your mobile app. It gives the viewer an idea of how it works and how it would improve their lives.
It’s a great way to show off your app in action. You can also use these videos as a tool to get feedback from potential users and other developers. They don’t have to be long, but they should definitely be entertaining!
In the world of mobile apps, there’s no dearth of options. From choosing your development platform and deciding what features you want in your app, to creating an engaging user experience that will keep users coming back for more.
But one thing we can all agree on is that it’s important to have a good, natural interface. We’ve all had that experience of downloading an app just to find it not only visually ugly, but confusing to use.
That’s where app demo videos become handy. By showing your app in action, you give potential users a clearer understanding of how it works and what makes it unique. You can also use these videos to showcase your app’s design, functionality and features.
App demo videos are an essential part of the mobile application development process. They help you to understand what your users will experience when using your app, and they also help you to demonstrate it to other people who can then give their feedback on how well it works for them.
The primary goal of an app demo is usually onboarding (or sign up).
However, they have many other uses besides that. You can also use them to launch new products, release new features, educate existing users, and a whole lot more.
Some common scenarios where demo apps are useful include:
When trying your hand at a video, you might feel like you don’t know where to start. Or you might want to throw in everything including the kitchen sink. This is why it’s important to plan things out first.
Introduce your product briefly, but don't go into too much detail. Your audience is already interested if they're watching the video. Remember to stay focused. If you run a different tangent, you run the risk of losing the viewer’s interest.
It's tempting to focus solely on features when creating a new product, but it's important to remember that people buy products because they solve a problem or help them achieve something.
Show the product in action. Don't go into TOO much depth. Don't feel obligated to include every step in a demo video. You can achieve that by creating a tutorial video.
If you're working with a complex product or service, it may make sense to create multiple demos illustrating different aspects, but start with something simple that would appeal to your entire audience.
At the end of the video, provide a clear, specific next step for your audience to take, such as download a trial, request more information, or even buy now.
Once you've thought through these elements, it's helpful to write a script and a storyboard so you have a solid foundation for your product video.
With your plan in hand, it's time to move on to step 2.
Getting Subscriptions? Educating? Raising awareness? Before creating your video, decide what you're trying to achieve and what message you want viewers to take away from watching your video.
After watching your video, what action do you hope viewers take and what business problem does your video solve? For example: “Submit a demo request to see what the app can do for you!”
Have they bought from you before? Do you want to introduce a new product or feature? Is the video reaching people who haven't heard of you before? Who is this audience? How long will they be willing to watch? Which buyer persona will you be targeting with this video?
These are all important questions to ask yourself.
Do you have $7,000 or $80,000 to make this product demo video?
Determine your budget so you know where to start. It’s also important to set expectations. If you have a limited budget, you won't be able to create a video as good as Apple's newest release. And that’s okay– a skilled team can work wonders even with limited resources.
How long can you wait before releasing your video?
Depending on the complexity, an animated video can take time. Set out a realistic timeline and work accordingly.
Will you tell a short story? Highlight pain points? Which method would you prefer? Text or visuals only? Decide how you'd like to communicate your goal and then decide how you'll bring it into reality.
If you're working closely with a creative agency or freelancer, they might be able to help you define the structure of your video. If you're going to be doing it yourself, then use videos like the ones listed below to inspire you, and define which format will be most effective for your product and goals.
All videos have a story, a skeleton, on which the body of the media stands like a foundation. There’s a beginning, middle and end, and you need to craft your story accordingly.
Work within your budget and skill level. In addition, narrow down the option that best highlights your product and the scope your project requires. Again, a skilled team can guide you through this if it’s all too confusing or overwhelming.
Length is another factor to consider. How long should a video demo be? Two minutes is the ideal time for most people.
However, you can extend your demo for up to five minutes if your demo goes into greater detail about use cases and feature sets. But remember that often, less is more, and people have limited attention spans.
Don’t set out to include every possible piece of information in your arsenal, but pick and choose and be selective about what you want to put in.
It’s important to remember that an app demo video doesn’t have to be all serious business. For example, this video for Zocdoc uses a tasteful splash of humor and even poetry to really appeal and connect to the viewer.
We said earlier that you should keep in mind who your audience is and what they’re like. And this video for a Lego app got that memo. Bursting with energy and creativity that matches their audience, this video speaks their language.
This demo video by SoFi blurs the lines between explaining the app and all-out advertising it, but in a good way.
This app demo video for Duolingo is pretty straightforward. But even here, we see a splash of creativity, with a cute little animated character jumping around and emphasizing the text and visuals to keep it fresh and interesting.
Again, just because an app demo video has a pretty dry and specific role to play, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t inject some liveliness and drama into it.
This app for Moodcaster could have stuck to just showing screenshots of the app. But they jazzed it up by using animated typography and upbeat music to really pump things up and keep it interesting. It’s subtle and simple, but it makes a huge difference.
Doorport is a security app for building tenants. But notice how their video goes beyond just explaining how the system works, and begins with addressing pain points and problems faced by their target user at the same time. This is a clever way to really connect with the audience on a better, closer level, even if all you’re doing is explaining how an app works.
This adorable app demo video for Rivet turns a tutorial into a story, while showcasing how the app works and how your children will interact with it. And more importantly, why it will be a fun experience for them, whatever their reading skill levels. This is a great example of the old adage “show, don’t tell” where it doesn’t go into detailed explanations, rather, just shows two characters interacting with the app and enjoying the experience.
Need more examples? Check out the best software demo videos!
This was a concise guide and a good place to get started. Video truly is the most powerful and effective communication tool available today, and it seems there’s nothing it cannot do.
But you don’t have to only take our word for it. Consider the following gems of advice from many others in the field:
You see, as it turns out, more than 25% of App Store and Google Play users admit to “rarely” or “never” reading the text description before proceeding to download an app. (Source: preapps.com)
So hooked are people, in fact, that 75% of them claim that videos are the best way to learn how a mobile app operates – while only 18% lean towards screenshots, and 7% tend to rely on written text descriptions. (Source: preapps.com)
72% of them would prefer getting their major product info through a video, as reported in another survey. (Source: veedyou.com)
And there you have it, everything you need to get started on your demo video. The sky’s the limit! Good luck, and remember to have fun!
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