Product Videos that Pop! 3 Ways to Showcase Software
November 19, 2021
Product videos are the trusty hammer in your marketer’s video toolkit — as in, you can’t build the scaffolding to support the rest of your efforts without them. Product videos do a ton of heavy lifting to educate people about what you do and persuade prospects that your solution is the best one for them. That’s why it’s super important to invest in creating standout product videos for your brand.
For B2B SaaS companies like us, we know it can be challenging to create product videos when your product isn’t a tangible item. Maybe your service doesn’t feel quite as exciting as a shiny, sparkly consumer good. You might wonder: How can software companies like ours show off our products in a way that’s not boring?
Luckily for you, we have over a decade of experience answering that very question. By now, we’re well versed in creating highly engaging and outside-of-the-box videos for our own software products. From our flashy podcast announcement video to the live event we hosted to launch new Channels features, we’ve learned how to make a big impact — and we don’t mind sharing our secrets.
In this post, we’ll discuss three types of product videos every software company can make. And, we’ll share top production tips from the Wistia Studios team that will help amplify the impact of your product videos. Let’s go!
1. Grab attention with a product overview
Product overview videos are arguably one of the most important videos you’ll ever create for your brand. These provide general information about what you do and are often found on individual product pages or maybe even your website homepage.
So, how do you grab people’s attention and then keep them interested in what you have to offer?
Before you do anything else, it’s important to consider your product. Are you selling software or a physical product? Software is inherently more difficult to showcase, so screengrabs will become your best friend. On the other hand, if you do have a physical product, you should seize the opportunity to put it front and center in your video.
Product overview video examples: Slack and Descript
Let’s start with a couple of examples.
Slack, the popular business communication platform, created an eye-catching product video and told an interesting and relatable story within it, using people to add a human touch. In this video, you see how Brianna uses Slack for everything at work — using channels to organize projects, collaborating with her colleagues, and more.
Another example of an attention-grabbing product overview video we love comes from Descript, an app that allows you to record, transcribe, edit, mix, collaborate, and master your audio and video. The animation of Descript’s software illustrates how easy (and fun!) it is to edit your audio or video content with its product. Plus, Descript ties its product to multiple pain points folks experience while making videos. This video shows how Descript can help make the process more enjoyable for users.
Next, let’s jump into production tips and ways you can jazz up product overview videos, particularly for products that are harder to visualize.
Product overview video tips
- Create an eye-catching environment to deliver your message. To help you stand out, consider your brand colors or product colors to establish a colorful and unique set for presenting your product.
- Work with an animator to give your software shots some sparkle! However, be careful not to reimagine your product too far. You don’t want your users to feel confused when your product doesn’t match the user experience displayed in the video.
- Choose a presenter and write a script that offers surprising, funny, or relatable moments for your audience. Make your product real for your audience — show it in action, or talk about it in a real-world context so your audience really understands what you mean.
- Add a human touch and highlight your brand personality. Showcasing people from your company and displaying your brand culture can help your audience feel more connected to both your product and company as a whole.
- Consider pacing. Allow moments to land and create space for feature capabilities to sink in. You don’t want a product overview video to feel like a product manual or textbook taken to the screen, and you also don’t want your audience to feel like they’re drinking from a firehose. Strike a balance between showing, telling, and giving people time to process information.
- Always tie your innovative work back to a pain point or use case for your customer. This shows that you understand how people live, how they work, and how your product fits into their lifestyle or environment. Never show off without explaining why you did something and how your product or service will impact your audience in a way they’ve never experienced before.
See how these examples and tips make software the furthest thing from boring? Apply these lessons and you’ll be on your way to making your own product overview video shine!
2. Make a big splash with product launch videos
Are you launching a new product or feature? Launch videos can help your brand generate buzz when you’re ready to announce something super exciting. Go big with a flashy new video to introduce what’s new to your audience and get them excited to learn more.
Product launch video examples: Wistia
When we announced podcasting capabilities at Wistia, we created a launch video for the podcasting software. However, we faced a challenge. We knew we needed to come up with a creative concept that told a story without relying on an actual product (because we didn’t have one).
As you’ll see below, in this case, we chose to lean into the microphone aspect of podcasting.
If there’s a lesson to take away here, it’s to think about different use cases and amplify ideas people can visualize that are also related to your product.
The goal here is to make a big impact in a way that fits your brand. Creating a launch video doesn’t have to be expensive, but it should feel like an elevated effort compared to what you’ve made in the past.
Product launch video tips
- Consider a video campaign. A campaign gives you more space to spread out and build on a message. In a campaign, multiple videos help create a messaging arc; however, each video should still make sense on its own.
- Brainstorm ideas well outside of what your brand has done before. For example, you could opt for a fully animated video or invest in a video with a much higher production value than what you’ve done in the past. This can signal to your customers and prospects that they’re watching something new and different — and important — from you.
- Lean into humor (if it makes sense for your brand). This could be a good time to introduce a little irreverence if it feels authentic. That said, if you’re not a funny brand or don’t have a legitimately funny writer, jokes might fall short and distract from the main message you’re trying to convey. Use your best judgment here!
- Once again, keep pacing in mind. Creating a video that delights your audience is all about pacing — give your audience moments where they can be delighted and let them enjoy that feeling before moving on. Think of this almost like a tour through an amusement park where you experience a ride — except the ride is an individual point about your product. You want to let that experience sink in before you rush to the next ride!
As you create your video, always keep your audience in mind. Even as you’re trying to elevate your content, don’t forget to communicate with people in a way that’s accessible, resonates with them, and strikes a tone that is true to your brand and engaging for your viewers.
3. Communicate regular updates via video
How do you currently communicate product updates with customers? Do you send an email? Perhaps you schedule a few in-app notifications? We’ll have you know that video can take these routine product updates to the next level!
Video update examples: HubSpot and Ahrefs
HubSpot took a unique approach to create a product update video. During its annual conference, INBOUND, HubSpot’s product leaders sat down with each other to discuss the latest features and updates to the HubSpot CRM platform. Then, the company created a recap video featuring the conversation highlights for folks who missed the conference.
On the other hand, Ahrefs, the platform of SEO tools and resources to grow your search traffic, has its own dedicated YouTube channel for product updates. It was here that UX writer, Rebekah Bek, shared all the product updates in Ahref’s SEO tools from September 2021. Ahrefs also embeds its update videos in a “Product Blog” section of its website, which differentiates the page and gives folks the choice of watching a quick update video or reading through the latest updates.
Video update tips
- Create a fun video bumper for the intro of your video if you plan to send product update videos regularly. If you place a bumper in front of a talking head video, it can give your video more personality and create expectations with your audience for future content. Don’t be afraid to add a jingle, either!
- Include human faces. This seems simple, but getting an actual person from your product team to take ownership of the latest updates can make the video more interesting and motivate people to tune in. Featuring folks who worked on your product is an interesting way to connect faces with what’s happening behind the scenes.
- Show, don’t tell. The best way to get folks excited about your update? Show it off — literally! If possible, include real clips showing off your updates. You can jazz these up with bright backdrops and callouts, but don’t get too creative with the actual product. Like we said earlier, you want your video to reflect what users can really expect from your product — while drawing attention to all of the great new things you want to highlight.
As a little bonus, here’s another example of ours! At Wistia, we created a video to showcase the updates we made to Channels, our feature that can help you turn a collection of videos or podcasts into a lead-generating experience. The video showcased Senior Product Manager, Megan Salisbury, as she highlighted four exciting new features the product team helped bring to life.
If you have exciting new product updates you want people to know about, create a video like this to help spread the word!
Use video to center your product and captivate your audience
There you have it — three types of amazing product videos your business can create to get people’s attention about your product, let folks know about upcoming launches, and keep everyone informed about what’s going on at your company!
We hope these production tips from our Studios team will help you step up your video game to create attention-grabbing content and make your B2B content feel far from boring.