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Software Walk-through Video Tips

If your company makes software this post is for you!

Software demo videos can be a real challenge to do well. How do you plan to make it cost-effective but professional looking? How can you make it clear while not boring? How much should you say and what stays out? Let’s take a look at some strategy and tactics for how to deal with these challenges with real world examples.

One of our clients just launched a revolutionary new TV-ad buying software and wanted to help ‘show and tell’ their audience all about it. As with many new types of software, clients don’t have a good sense of what to expect, it may even be an entirely new concept. The first thought is to ‘just show it to them’, but to do that likely requires lengthy explanations that can overwhelm even those who are very interested. For example, with just a glance at this direct capture of the software interface, you can see there’s a lot to take in quickly:

Plain software captures can be overwhelming to new audiences.

One way to go about clarifying is to ‘call out’ or draw attention to just a portion of the screen at a time. By using on-screen text as well as voice-over audio you can double reinforce key points, helping your audience absorb new information more easily. Here’s a call out example that summarizes just 2 portions of the screen at once, with text:

Try to call out features visually as you speak to them.

You can see that by using some basic graphic design elements to frame your presentation, you can make your message easier to absorb and a bit more engaging and professional looking. If these elements are animated, it can help give the whole video a bit more of a flow.

Another challenging part is deciding how deep to go into any one feature. Initially, you may opt to just start high level with a quick introduction, perhaps 30-90 seconds, and then go into deeper individual features with more videos. This is a great solution as it can really help keep the length down and help audience members focus on specific features that are relevant to them when they are ready.

Here’s a look at a few feature-focused videos we did for a different client. These videos would assume, before viewing, that you had a basic understanding of the company and product and were now taking the next step by evaluating specific features.

A video series like this can also be helpful for building an online video library for pre/post sales support. Your team could also use these to send in emails, etc. when client questions arise. As new features are added, these video scan be recreated in an ongoing cycle and replaced when irrelevant.

Summary

If you are looking into creating software videos, take the time to identify who your audience is, what they can be expected to know and where in the sales process this content fits. Generally, the earlier in the sales process it is, the better it needs to look.  Once a client has purchased your software, having more utilitarian content become available starts to make more sense.  It’s also probably true that having the depth and volume of post-sales support video content can really help save your team support time and ultimately money. Good luck!

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