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Nine Tips to Make Great Demo Videos

videoOne of the most effective ways for startups to quickly and simply explain what they do is using demo videos. If done right, demo videos can not only educate and entertain but capture enough interest that a person is compelled to do something  - e.g. register, purchase, look for more information or share.

With so many startups embracing video, it is getting more difficult to stand out from the crowd. Here are some tips to give your video a fighting chance of being discovered and watched.

1. Long before production begins, be clear about the video’s purpose. Is it mostly an educational vehicle, or will it be used for branding, marketing or sales? To get the best ROI, try to make the video work with different target audiences.

2. Identify your target audiences so the video speaks to their interests and needs. A video developed for a consumer will be a different beast from a video for enterprise buyers. While a funny video may engage B2C consumers, it may fall flat in the B2B market.

3. Make a video no longer than 90 seconds. The longer the video, the more people who drop off. Why? People are impatient, time-strapped and multi-tasking so they are looking for instant gratification.

4. Write a script. Then rewrite it, edit it and edit it some more. Every word needs to be scrutinized for the value it offers. If a short word can replace a long word, do it. If two or three sentences can be eliminated, do it. If a sentence adds little substance, kill it. A 60-second video could have as few as 200 words.

5. Before the video is developed, have a storyboard created to see how the video and the words flow. Upon seeing the video on paper, you may discover there are unneeded parts or the video is missing key information.

6. Select a video maker who has a track record in creating the type of videos you need. Ask to see their portfolios, and then spend the time to watch a bunch of videos to get a better idea of the potential fit. You should consider at least three to five different video makers before making a final decision. Some of the options to find a video maker include Wooshii, which is kind of like 99Designs for videos.

7. Be clear about the price and what it includes. In addition to the video itself, you could get charged for music, voice-overs, HD and conversion to different formats. You also need to know how many revisions are included in the price. An animated demo video can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $15,000, depending on your budget and needs.

8. Be sure the agreement includes the fact you will own the video, as opposed to a license.

9. Have a plan to seed and distribute the video. This could include your Website, social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Vimeo), press releases, newsletters, email or presentations. The more ways and places a video can be used, the better the ROI.

For more information and insight into making a video, check out:

The Distilled Guide to Online Video Making (Distilled.net)

- Three Things This Viral Video Gets Exactly Right (Copyblogger)

If you’re looking for help to create a demo video, drop me a line, and I’ll provide some information on the services I provide through ME Consulting.

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  • Steve Johnson

    I think its a job of experts, and one should let the experts handle this job. A lot of companies
    often start with poorly made video and later on switch to better productions as they
    become more aware of how production quality represents the brand.

  • Ericka

    I agree…it is a job for experts if you want it done right the first time and to represent the professionalim of your company. A cheap video makas the product or service look cheap.